Discover the home of the world-famous Grand National steeplechase on a trip to Liverpool’s Aintree Racecourse. Dating back to 1829, the main site offers the opportunity to see traditional horse racing on scheduled race days, while its Equestrian Centre, Motor Racing Circuit, and Golf Centre provide alternatives for off-season visits.
Outside of race season, the racecourse itself doesn’t offer any specific tours, though staff are generally open to visitors popping in for a look if possible. Otherwise, visit the Equestrian Centre for insight into the world of equestrian sports, pausing for a beverage in the café, or see the course from a different perspective as you try your hand at golf or family-friendly Footgolf at the Aintree Golf Centre.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Aintree Racecourse is a popular stop for horse racing and other sports fans visiting Liverpool.
- Tickets for the Grand National sell out fast. Book early to avoid disappointment.
- If you plan to visit the racecourse on a non-race day, it’s worth calling ahead to ensure that the site is not closed for a private function.
- Race days typically involve a lot of standing in the sun and sipping Champagne, so it’s wise to keep hydrated and wear sun protection.
- Aintree Racecourse is wheelchair-friendly, offering accessible bathrooms, viewing areas, and parking bays.
How to Get There
Aintree Station, just opposite the racecourse, has direct and regular links to Liverpool Central. Alternatively, bus 300, 310, and 345 also serve Aintree Station from the city. The site has 1,800 parking spaces, yet with more than 30,000 people attending the Grand National each day, it’s wise to avoid driving; on non-race days, however, parking is free and easy.
When to Get There
For the full Aintree experience, it’s best to visit on a race day, with the Grand National taking place over three days in April, and three other races taking place between October and December. Dressage, show jumping, and motor-racing events are scheduled regularly at the Equestrian Centre and Motor Racing Circuit, while the Golf Centre is open daily except for on race days and Christmas.
The Winner, the Horse, the Legend
The Grand National has been held annually at Aintree since 1839, and in that time only one horse has won the race three times. Red Rum—who won in 1973, 1974, and 1977, and came in second in 1975 and ’76—is still considered a national treasure. Visitors can pay respects to his buried remains by the Aintree Racecourse winner’s post.