From walking the course to what to wear: H&H’s ultimate guide to the Grand National

  • Horse & Hound is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • If you’re one of the lucky racegoers heading to this year’s Randox Health Grand National Festival (4-6 April 2019), 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.

    Getting there

    By train…

    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.

    By bus…

    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.

    By car…

    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.

    By air…

    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.

    Continued below…

    Like this? You may also enjoy reading these articles…

    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.

    Don’t miss our Grand National preview in the 4 April issue of Horse & Hound magazine, and the full report in the 11 April issue

    You may like...