Best of British: 60 things that make Britain great

Imagine you're cut off in a far-off land. What longings would be uppermost in your mind? Here we celebrate those aspects of life that make our islands distinct and beguiling.

8. Top hat

top hatThe Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot represents the highlight of the Season and it’s where men are required to wear a top hat, preferably a proper tall, silk one. The English Season has evolved from our love of horse racing and the development of other games that turned into major sporting events centred on the glorious midsummer season. Wimbledon, Lord’s, Henley, Goodwood and Glyndebourne all evoke dressing up, benign sunny weather, picnics and a douceur de vivre that is compressed into a few precious summer months.

Glorious Goodwood: ‘a garden party with racing tacked on’
(Edward Vll)

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