If you’re one of the lucky racegoers heading to this year’s Randox Health Grand National Festival (6-8 April 2017), check out our guide to visiting Aintree with all the information you need
What to wear
Aintree racecourse doesn’t set an official dress code as such, however, smart wear is expected and what most spectators opt for.
There is often a mixture of attire from tweed (depending on the weather) and summer dresses (regardless of the weather!), with plenty of fake tan — after all this is Liverpool.
Described as a ‘spectacle of colour’, many visitors will showcase their favourite raceday outfits, so expect some interesting sights among the crowd.
Sports clothes and fancy dress are a definite no-no at the Grand National meeting.
The best, and easiest, method of reaching the racecourse is normally by train, although services in the region may be affected by strike action this year.
The nearest mainline station is Liverpool Lime Street. It is a short walk from Liverpool City Centre station — where you can catch a train to Aintree.
Aintree Station is directly opposite the racecourse, where regular trains run every 15 minutes on racedays.
Despite the industrial action, Merseyrail says it will run trains between Liverpool City Centre and Aintree every 7.5 minutes at key times on Grand National day, but warns other routes in the region are likely to be disrupted.
The racecourse can be reached by bus on services 300, 311, 345, 350 and 351 — both to and from Liverpool.
From Bootle New Strand take route 61A.
From the south, leave the M6 at Junction 21A and join M62 west.
Leave M62 at J6 to join M57 — follow signs for races.
From the north, leave M6 at J26 and join M58 — follow signs for races.
From the Mersey Tunnels follow signs for Preston, then for A59 and then signs for races.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport is the nearest airport to the racecourse and is a 20 minute drive away.
Manchester Airport is approximately a 45 minute drive.
Where to park
There is parking at the racecourse for up to 1,800 cars.
For the Grand National Festival car parking is limited and must be purchased in advance. It is not available on the day.
Call: 0344 579 3001.
Walk the Grand National course
Get close to the huge National fences — including The Chair, Becher’s Brook and the Canal Turn — during tours organised by the racecourse each morning over the three-day meeting.
New this year is ‘course tour buggy’ trips — enjoy a 30-minute ride round the impressive track (highly recommended to see).
Starting point is in the centre of the course and they will be leaving every 5-10 minutes from 10.10-12noon.
There is no booking for this — it is first come, first served.
Walking the course is possible too — racegoers should download the Aintree App. When registering at the starting point, visitors will receive an enamel ‘course tour souvenir’ badge.
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Know your betting lingo
Accumulator: bet involving two or more selections in different races — winnings from one are placed on the next
Also ran: any horse not finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th in a race
Bar: denotes that all horses not already listed in the betting market for a race are at the bar price or longer odds
Each-way: a bet in two equal parts — one backing a horse to win and the other backing it to finish in the first three
Even money: betting odds where your stake exactly equals your winnings
Form: A horse’s race record. This is denoted by figures next to its name on a racecard
Odds on: odds where the winnings are less than the stake
On the nose: betting on a horse to win only
Placed: when a horse finishes in the first three.
Starting price: the official odds of the horse at which the bets are settled in betting shops.
Eating and drinking
There is a selection of food outlets for racegoers to enjoy and is guaranteed to suit all tastes — including international cuisine, street food stalls, selling hog roast, pizza, curry, traditional burgers, fish and chips plus more.
Costa coffee is also available from the bars (as well as alcohol of course!) or if you’re treating yourself head to the Moet et Chandon Champagne Bar.
Picnics are not allowed at the racecourse.