Getting to and from Aintree racecourse for the Grand National is not exactly the easiest day out. With 70,000 fans heading to the racecourse, it can be a big of a struggle to navigate around, find the best place to bet, meet up with mates, and watch all the action.
Over the years Aintree organisers have tweaked and redesigned the racecourse to be more suitable when so many people descend for the Grand National Festival. Grandstands have been built and demolished, parade rings updated, stables revamped, and bars given plenty of facelifts.
These days the Aintree experience is one of the best in horse racing. And we’re pretty jealous of those heading to this little pocket of Liverpool for the Grand National.
For those of you who are lucky enough to have snagged a Grand National ticket, it’s probably worth checking out how to get around the racecourse. And so, Paddy Power is here to bring you the ultimate visitors’ 2023 Grand National guide!
How to get to Aintree
Aintree Racecourse sits north of Liverpool city centre, past Everton and Anfield, beyond Walton Hall Park, and the other side of Aintree University Hospital. Here’s how to get to the racecourse on race day:
Car – Those with cars can drive from Liverpool city centre up the A59, but most visitors will likely come from the M57 or M58, and get off at the Aintree junction. Follow the yellow/tourism signs as you approach the racecourse for directions to car parks.
Bus – You can get buses 300, 310 and 345 from Liverpool city centre up to Aintree Racecourse.
Trains – Merseyrail runs a Grand National Festival timetable, while means trains leave from Liverpool Central / Moorfields to Aintree every seven-and-a-half minutes. Trains on the following lines will also be in operation:
- Southport Line
- Ormskirk Line
- Wirral Line
- Kirkby Line (some services terminate at Sandhills)
Plane – International visitors can land at John Lennon Airport and drive to the racecourse within 20 minutes. There is also an airport bus to Liverpool South Parkway station. Manchester Airport is also within an hour of the racecourse.
Helicopter – Yes, just like at Cheltenham, you can take a helicopter to Aintree. According to the Jockey Club, helicopter travel is “the quickest and most direct way to get to the races”. There’s a helipad located a few hundred metres from the racecourse.
How much are Grand National tickets?
Tickets for the Grand National start at £32 for Festival Zone. Kids go free in this zone. After that, tickets get rather expensive:
- £48 – Lord Sefton Terrace
- £48 – Earl of Derby Terrace
- £58 – Lord Daresbury Roof
- £58 – Princess Royal Roof
- £80 – Earl of Derby Lower/Upper Seats
- £80 – Lord Sefton Lower/Upper Seats
- £83 – Queen Mother Roof
- £104 – Queen Mother Seats
- £110 – Princess Royal Seats and Gallery
Hospitality starts at £225 and goes as high as £1095 for a ticket at The Art School at Aintree.
Is there a Grand National dress code?
There is a Grand National dress code but it’s nowhere near as stringent as the one at Royal Ascot. Racegoers are encouraged to “come dressed to feel your best”. This means smart but casual attire in the main. If you’ve bought a grandstand or hospitality ticket then you’re probably expected to dress up for it.
However, the only real exceptions for the Grand National are fancy dress that is considered “inappropriate or offensive”, or “anything deemed vulgar or derogatory”. You may be thrown out of the racecourse if your fancy dress is not to taste.
Meanwhile, racegoers should avoid wearing football shirts and team colours. We all know why.
Grand National 2023 Map
Aintree officials tweak the racecourse for the Grand National due to the sheer volume of racegoers who stroll through the gates over the three-day festival. It means there are plenty of pop-up areas and temporary points of interest to be aware of.
Here’s the map of Aintree Racecourse for the 2023 Grand National…
Where are the toilets at Aintree?
As you can see from the map, toilets at Aintree are located across the racecourse. There are toilets at:
- West Tip Grandstand (no wheelchair facilities)
- The Pharmacy
- County Car Park and VIP Entrance
- The Red Rum Garden
- All grandstands
Additionally, there are disabled toilet facilities at:
- Princess Royal Stand
- Lord Daresbury Stand
- Queen Mother Stand
- Earl of Derby Stand
- Lord Sefton Stand
- McCoy’s Bar
- Paddock Lodge
- Equestrian Centre
- Pure Gym Car Park
- The Media Centre
- The Weighing Room
Best place to watch the Grand National
There are of course plenty of great vantage points to watch the Grand National. And while most of us will be watching on TV, for those lucky 70,000 who are attending Aintree, it’s a bit of a scramble to get the best view. Those with specific tickets will be able to watch in their own grandstands, and the Lord Daresbury and Queen Mother stands have a perfect view of the finish line.
If you have a general ticket for the Grand National then the Chair Pavilion has unreserved seats and a great view of the racing action, and is the best place to watch it unfold.
How much is a beer at Aintree?
Beers at the Grand National are expected to be priced the same as in 2022. That means a pint of Guinness should cost £7, a pint of craft beer £7.20, and Cider £7.20. A glass of wine will set you back £8, and a spirit with mixer will come in at around £7.80.
Is there Ladies Day at the Grand National Festival?
Yes, Ladies’ Day at the Grand National takes place on Friday 14 April this year. The event is always a spectacle, and has proved a hit with women for decades. Ladies’ Day usually attracts around 50,000 visitors and there is no specific dress code, other than to look and feel your best!
Can I charge my phone at Aintree?
It’s a question few of us might think about until it’s too late, but you can charge your phone at the Grand National. This is, of course, particularly useful if you’re betting on races via the Paddy Power sportsbook! Phone chargers are available in the Chair Pavilion, Aintree Pavilion, Princess Royal Stand and the Cube.
How to bet at Aintree
You can bet at the Grand National at various areas across the Aintree Racecourse, including in front of the course itself. However, fans can also bet at Aintree via their Paddy Power app and save time queuing for your winnings!
READ THESE NEXT ON THE GRAND NATIONAL 2023
- Gallop over to Paddy Power News for all the latest horse racing tips
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- The full list of Grand National weights for Aintree 2023
- How Aintree Grand National favourites performed at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival
AND TAKE A LOOK AT THESE GRAND NATIONAL GUIDES
- What age horse has won the most Grand Nationals?
- Grand National records: Fastest winning time, fewest finishers, pints drunk, heaviest weight
- What other Grand Nationals are there in the world?
- Why is the Grand National held in April?
- What time does the Grand National finish? Record times, delayed starts, and when you’ll know the result
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THE PADDY POWER GUIDE TO RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING – EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW