Grand National History
GRAND NATIONAL

HISTORY

A Legacy of Thrills: The Grand National Through the Years

Grand National Trainer Icon
GRAND NATIONAL

FAMOUS WOMEN

Women Who've Shaped the Grand National

Winning Podium Grand National
GRAND NATIONAL

RECORDS

The Grand National: Where Records Are Made and Broken

A GUIDE TO AINTREE & THE GRAND NATIONAL

Hosting one of the biggest jump races in the world, Aintree Racecourse will welcome in excess of 152,000 spectators during the three-day Grand National Festival in 2025. And all of those racegoers will need tickets!

Essentially there are three Grand National Day options: Ticket only, Hospitality Packages and Private Boxes, so depending on your budget, there's quite a range to choose from.

Here's a guide to what you can expect on Grand National Day, the third day of the festival.

TICKET OPTIONS

The Embankment

For £45, you can enjoy prime viewing of the first fences of the Grand National Course. This ticket includes bars, catering facilities, big screen viewing, live entertainment, and betting facilities. However, there is no access to the main course with this ticket.

Festival Zone

Starting at £85 for adults and £42.50 for children, the Festival Zone provides an all-around experience. It offers access to world-class racing, live music, entertainment, and a variety of food and drink options. You'll also have the chance to see the horses in the Aintree Parade Ring.

West Tip Seats

Priced at £110 for adults, the West Tip Seats are located near the home-straight and final fences on the course. These seats come with a private bar, toilets, and access to the Festival Zone, including the Irish Bar with betting facilities and big screens.

Earl of Derby and Lord Sefton Terraces

These terraces offer views over the Parade Ring, Winners' Enclosure, and the Course. Tickets are in high demand and are priced at £125.

Garden Club

For £150, the Garden Club offers a private first-floor bar with views of the parade ring and a private balcony. It also includes live entertainment, betting facilities, and big screen viewing.

LUXURY EXPERIENCES

Private Boxes

If you're looking to indulge, private boxes at Aintree offer the ultimate luxury experience. Witness the drama unfold and history being made as the heroes cross the Winning Post.

McCoys Package

Priced at £390, this package allows you to be at the heart of the action with large flat-screen TVs and an outdoor terrace.

Many Clouds Package

For a lively and contemporary experience, the Many Clouds package is priced at £610 and offers a perfect setting to appreciate world-class racing and entertainment.

Important Information

It's worth noting that buying tickets online in advance will secure you the best price. Tickets for Aintree sell out fast, be sure to book early.

MORE RACE GUIDES

Aintree Countdown

GRAND NATIONAL 2025

5th April 4pm 

The 2025 Grand National will be held at Aintree Racecourse on Saturday, April 5th at 4pm. The Randox Health sponsored race is run over 4 miles 514 yards with 30 jumps over two circuits of the course.

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AINTREE COURSE GUIDE

From Start to Finish: The Complete Aintree Course Guide

Aintree has been the home of the Grand National since its first running in 1839, and although a version of the race took place in years before this, 1839 is the accepted date of the official commencement of The Grand National.

Since those early days, the course and fences have undergone many changes. Most recently, the wooden stakes at the core of the fences have been replaced with flexible plastic to reduce the risk of horses and jockeys getting injured.

In addition, as of Grand National 2024, all fences will have foam and rubber toe boards.

As of 2024, the Grand National will be initiated by a standing start, rather than the horses walking into the tape. 

The first fence will also be moved 60 yards closer to the starting point of the Grand National.

These changes haven’t affected the essence of the race, which still remains one of the toughest tests for horses and riders in the world.

34 horses line up at the starting tape, and around 60% of the entrants will not complete the race, which is four and a half miles long and has 30 fences to jump.

Aintree

Aintree is the home of the Grand National, and apart from a couple of years during the First World War, the race has always taken place at the course, which is located just five miles from the centre of Liverpool.

The good news is that it is well served by public transport and a train station, the course is modern and offers a wide range of facilities. The Grand National is just one of many race meetings that take place during the National Hunt season, although not all meetings and races are run over the National course.

Getting to Aintree is very easy from all parts of the United Kingdom. Liverpool has excellent rail links and motorway access and is served by John Lennon Airport. Queues on the day of the Grand National can build up on the roads surrounding the course, but this is to be expected for such a popular sporting occasion. Around 70,000 racing fans will watch the race live, making it one of the biggest sporting events on the calendar.

Course

The Grand National course is 4 miles and 4 furlongs long. The horses encounter 16 different fences with varying degrees of height and width. Runners and riders must navigate two circuits of the course (missing out on fences 15 & 16 on the second circuit) before turning for the home straight, which is the longest run-in of any UK racecourse.

WHERE TO BUY GRAND NATIONAL TICKETS?

RacingBreaks.com offers a variety of experiences for the Grand National, scheduled for Thursday 10th - Saturday 12th April 2025. As Europe's largest racing travel company, they provide a comprehensive package including tickets, hotel accommodation, and return transfers to the racecourse.

Payment and Booking

  • You can secure your booking with a low initial deposit of £25 per person.
  • A further deposit of £75 per person is due two months after your initial booking.
  • The final balance is due by 31st January 2024.

Ticket Options

  • Festival Zone: Included as standard, this pass gives you access to world-class racing, live music, and the Aintree Parade Ring.
  • Lord Sefton Terrace: Upgrade available. Provides great views and access to multiple areas including the Red Rum Garden.
  • Princess Royal Roof: Offers the best views of the action and access to a dedicated bar.
  • Lord Sefton Seated: A dedicated outdoor seat close to the course.

Hospitality Options

  • Papillon Restaurant: £485 per person. Includes a champagne reception, a four-course à la carte lunch, and afternoon tea.
  • Sunloch Package: £470 per person. Offers a vibrant atmosphere and a four-course meal.
  • McCoys: £195 per person. Situated in the heart of the racecourse, it provides magnificent views of the course.

Hotel Experiences

  • Central Liverpool: One-night bed & breakfast accommodation at the Leonardo Hotel Liverpool, with prices starting from £189 per person.
  • Chester Experience: Stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Chester, with prices starting from £149 per person.

Additional Information

  • Transfers to and from the racecourse are included in most packages.
  • There is no official dress code, but smart attire is preferable.

For more details and to book your experience, you can visit their official website.

FAMOUS FENCES

Few races can claim to have famous fences, maybe with the exception of the infamous ‘Taxis' fence in the Velká Pardubická, no other race can rival the Grand National for fearsome jumps.

Of the 16 fences which make up the National course six of the jumps have become famous in their own right. Becher’s Brook, Valentines’ Brook, The Chair, Canal Turn and Foinavon are names which are known throughout the world. These fences are woven into the very fabric of the Grand National race.

BECHER'S BROOK

Becher's Brook serves as the 6th and 22nd fence in the Grand National, standing at 4ft 10 inches. Notorious for its 10-inch drop on the landing side, jockeys liken it to "jumping off the edge of the world." Named after Captain Martin Becher, a Grand National pioneer who fell and took refuge in the brook to avoid injury, the fence has a fearsome reputation.

VALENTINE'S BROOK

Valentine's Brook, the 9th and 25th fence in the Grand National, is named after a horse that seemingly jumped it backwards in 1840—likely a pirouette that gave that impression. Similar to Becher's Brook but less severe, it accounts for about 2% of all race fallers.

THE CHAIR

At 5ft 3in, The Chair (fence 15) is the Grand National's tallest fence, featuring a 6ft ditch on the takeoff side and a landing side 6 inches higher. Though generally navigable, it has been fatal for two jockeys: Joseph Wynne in 1862 and George Ede in 1872. Originally called the Monument Jump, it's one of only two fences jumped just once in the race.

FOINAVON

One of the smaller fences in the race, Foinavon is named after the 100/1 shot who avoided a mass pile-up here in 1967 and went on to win the race. Officially fence 7 & 23, Foinavon is just 4ft 6in and apart from 1967 rarely does this fence trouble the jockeys. It accounts for just 2% of fallers.

CANAL TURN

The Canal Turn has been the scene of many a pile-ups over the years. Horses that refuse to jump this fence can interfere with other runners. Any jockey who decides to cut the corner also runs the risk of sliding out of the saddle. Before the First World War it was not uncommon for loose horses to continue straight ahead after the jump and end up in the Leeds and Liverpool Canal!

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New customers only. Register with SUMMER50 between 31/05/24 – 14/07/24. First bet £10+ at Evens (2.0)+ on Sports within 7 days to get 3 x £10 in Sports Free Bets & 2 x £10 in Acca Free Bets within 10 hours of settlement. 7-day expiry. Eligibility & payment exclusions apply. Full T&Cs apply. begambleaware.org. #ad. Please bet responsibly.

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