The Grand National: All you need to know

The Grand National is the most valuable National Hunt horse race, with prize money of nearly £1 million. It’s estimated that over 500 million people in 140 countries watch the Grand National on TV, but why see it from your sofa, when you can watch from the stands? Book a room in one of our Liverpool hotels and spend the weekend, from 4th April until 6th, at Aintree Racecourse. Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of the stay.

 

Grand Opening Day (Thursday 4th April)

This day isn’t just about the horses. It’s also about a spectacular opening ceremony, which, this year, will even include a performance from The Saturdays. There’ll be all sorts of things to keep the whole family amused, including a demonstration from the world famous parachute team, the Red Devils, and a show by MD Productions, the dance group who won Britain’s Got Talent. And don’t miss the John Smith’s Aintree Hurdle Race too, which has been moved from its usual Sunday spot, and has a hefty prize fund of 200,000.

 

Lady’s Day (Friday 5th April)

Friday at the Grand National is all about the girls, and what they’re wearing. Parade around in your finest attire, and the most outlandish hat to be in with a chance of winning the coveted “Most Stylish Race-goer  award. And even if you’re not in the running, the day is a great opportunity for people watching and style spotting. It’s not only for girls either – what man wouldn’t want to find himself surrounded by super stylish looking women?

 

Grand National Day (Saturday 6th April)

The last day of the Grand National is the big one, and the one when it’s really time to place your bets. Watch the wonderful opening event with a military band and a parade of previous champions, and prepare to watch the world’s greatest steeple chase. Then, watch the winner proudly walk in front of the cheering crowd to the winner’s enclosure. It really is a fantastic day, especially if you put your money in the right place.

 

For a special treat

If you’re going to make a weekend of it, why not treat yourself to a bit of luxury while you’re watching the races? If you’ve got cash to splash, there are private boxes in all the best locations around the track. But otherwise, you can make a booking at one of the excellent restaurants, some of which even have the best views of the course, and dine in style while you’re there.

 

After the Grand National

If you’ve made your way to Liverpool for the weekend, don’t let Sunday go to waste. Instead, use it to explore the rest of the city. While Beatles fans can get the chance to learn all about the history of the band at The Beatles Story Museum and see where they grew up, history buffs can explore the story of the city’s port at the brilliant Merseyside Maritime Museum. If the weather’s nice, you can visit the beautiful beaches to the North of the city around Formby Point and go to Pierhead to get the ferry across the Mersey.

Horse racing