The Grand National is a National Hunt horse race first held in 1839 and has become the most valuable jump race in Europe. Run over a distance of 4 miles and 2½ furlongs, a maximum of 40 horses jump over 30 fences across 2 laps of the course.
Red Rum is the most successful horse at the Grand National, winning the race three times (1973, 1974, 1977) as well as finishing second in 1975 and 1976. The 2019 race was won by Tiger Roll, becoming the first horse since Red Rum to win back-to-back Nationals. Tiger Roll was looking to equal Red Rum’s 3 victories in 2020 but the race was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Aside from the Grand National steeplechase, there are several other Grade 1 races run over the three day Aintree Festival.
When is the Grand National?
The Grand National is run as part of the three day Aintree Festival, which takes place in April. Liverpool’s Day is on the Thursday of the Festival, with Ladies Day on the Friday where fashion is at the forefront of the day.
The Grand National is held on the third day of the Aintree Festival on the Saturday, being the last race to be run and held at 5:15pm.
The 2020 Grand National was cancelled due to the Coronavirus panedemic, with a virtual race run instead (see below). The 2021 Aintree Festival will be held from the 8th to the 10th April 2021, with the Grand National being run at 5:15pm on Saturday 10th April 2021.
Where is the Grand National?
The Grand National has been held at Aintree Racecourse in Aintree, a village near Liverpool in England since 1839.
Address: Ormskirk Rd, Liverpool L9 5AS
How do I get to the Grand National?
Aintree Racecourse is situated in the village of Aintree, approximately 6 miles to the north of Liverpool city centre.
Airport – Liverpool John Lennon Airport is approximately 18 miles away from Aintree and has connections with many UK and international destinations.
From the airport catch the 80A, 86A or 500 bus to Liverpool South Parkway then take a train to Aintree Station.
Bus – Bus services 300, 310 and 345 run directly to Aintree from Liverpool.
Alternatively, Megabus offers cheap travel to Liverpool and offers over 10 routes from Birmingham, Cardiff, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester, London, Manchester, Milton Keynes and Sheffield. You can search and book your tickets here.
Driving/Parking – Parking must be pre-booked for the Grand National festival, whilst it is free for all other meets. Directions for driving:
- From South Leave M6 at J21A and join M62 west. Leave M62 at J6 to join M57, follow signs for races.
- From North Leave M6 at J26 and join M58, follow signs for races.
- From Mersey Tunnels follow signs for Preston, then for A59, then signs for races.
Train – Aintree Station is directly opposite the station, with regular services from Liverpool Central Station (every 15 minutes or less during racedays). Liverpool Lime Street is the closest mainline station, being just a short walk from Central Station.
How do I get tickets to the Grand National?
Starting at £30, many of the tickets to the Grand National festival sell out in advance. For further ticket information, click on the official Aintree Racecourse website here.