One of the biggest races of the year on the Horse Racing calendar has to be the Grand National. 

The first run was way back in 1839 and the Grand National has since become a fixture in the racing calendar taking place once a year at Aintree Racecourse on Merseyside.

It has a 185-year history and the race, over around 4 miles, is the most valuable jump race in Europe and an event which is seen as something bigger than just the race itself.

Comparing it with similar levels of importance across the pond, the Grand National is like the Kentucky Derby when it comes to importance.

The unpredictable nature of both events mean huge amounts are wagered on them each year. This year, the Kentucky Derby odds are favoring Sierra Leone, while the Grand National odds are suggesting Corach Rambler has the best chance.

They are both at around 6/1 which highlights how unpredictable the races are.

With the event aired on terrestrial television across the UK and broadcast worldwide too, the event has drawn huge attention from sports bettors, from regular horse bettors to those who just want to be part of the action for this special event.

Around 150,000 race fans will make their way to Aintree for the three-day racing spectacular, from April 13, through to April 15, 2024.

While many will be hardened race fans with their focus on the action on the turf, it is also one hell of a party. 

While many will focus on the main event on Saturday at 4pm, the Grand National actually refers to the whole weekend’s festival and we have some of the top tips for getting yourself prepared for attending the event.

Where to Stay

Anyone heading up to Aintree for the first time should prepare themselves for the best way to enjoy the weekend.

By finding a place in the Liverpool city centre, you’d be ready to get to and from the racecourse as well as be in the perfect place to curry on the festivities into the night.

Liverpool is a city with so much excitement and entertainment on offer from bars, clubs, casinos, and a wealth of great restaurants as well.

Soak up the atmosphere along the river Mersey after the thrill of the race, and with so many people in attendance, it’s worth making your booking ahead to avoid any disappointments. 

Dress Code

As we said, it’s a party! There are no dress code restrictions put in place for the event, but attendees are encouraged to come dressed to feel their best. 

Being a huge, televised event, attendees can be shown on television at any time and photos will be taken all throughout the event.

Make sure you are dressed how you would want to be seen at a major event. Get dressed up and enjoy the glamour with the world tuning in, green with envy at your good fortune for being there in person.

Don’t forget, Friday April 12th is Ladies Day and where racegoers dress to impress with so much style on display. This is also when the awards for the Best Dressed racegoers are announced.

Parking

If you are choosing to drive up to Aintree, be prepared for some traffic. With so many people in attendance, it can take much longer than you’d expect.

You will need to make sure that you book your parking well in advance. All can be done through the Jockey Club website but bear in mind that all places are limited and need to be arranged prior to your arrival.

Arrival Times

The Aintree gates open at 11am every day so that racegoers have plenty of time to get themselves in, settled, and happy before the first race gets underway at 13:45.

All the restaurants and bars are open throughout the day to ensure racegoers have access to everything on offer from the start of the day.

Entertainment

Not only is there top-quality racing on the course, but there is also so much more on offer for fans at Aintree. 

The Red Rum Garden is a popular setting for most throughout the day with extra weather cover, which is often necessary in England!

There are plenty of food and drink options, as well as in other areas of the course to tempt all different cravings. 

Live music and DJs continue throughout the day and night to provide further action and fun vibes to give you the best experience possible throughout the day. 

There is so much to enjoy and the Grand National, like the Kentucky Derby, should be a bucket list destination for race fans all over the world. 

Both are glamorous events which racegoers can enjoy and experience, with cool fashion and good times on offer, everyone goes away from the events with memories to last a lifetime.

Everything can be capped off if you can pick the winner and celebrate in style.