Aintree Racecourse is best known for hosting the annual Grand National, the most famous horse race of the year.

The history of Aintree, however, holds much more than just one race. Over the years the venue has played host to motor-racing events, golfers, amateur flyers and much more.

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History of Aintree

The race track at Aintree was first established by local hotel-owner William Lynn in 1829. In 1836 Lynn added the first grandstand and the race that would later become the Grand National was first run over four miles, with Captain Martin Becher on The Duke winning.

The officially recognised first Grand National, known then as the Grand Liverpool Steeplechase, was held three years later in 1839, won by Jem Mason riding Lottery. 50,000 people attended the steeplechase, which was fondly dubbed ‘The Grand National’ by a journalist.

This name was made official in 1847 and the iconic race has been known this way ever since.

Motor racing at Aintree

Horse racing is not the only type of racing ever held at Aintree. From the 1950s until the early 80s, the venue was also used for motor racing and hosted the Formula One British Grand Prix five times.

Stirling Moss made history as the first British person to win the Grand Prix at Aintree in 1955.

Getting there

Aintree is easily accessible by car or public transport. Located on the A59, drivers can take the M57 or M58 from where the racecourse is clearly signposted.

There is parking on-site for 1,800 vehicles, which needs to be booked and paid for in advance for the Grand National Festival. It is also served by several bus routes from central Liverpool, and by Aintree railway station linked to Liverpool Central Station.

Events at Aintree

As well as the annual Crabbie’s Grand National Festival, Aintree hosts a number of other prestigious horse racing events throughout the season, including some evening racing in summer and the Old Roan Chase Day in October.

Outside of horse racing, Aintree can be booked as a venue for all manner of events, from weddings and Christmas parties to business conferences, all with the option to be fully catered.

For thrill-seekers, Aintree also hosts Adventure 001 flying experiences, including helicopter lessons, helicopter rides and aeroplane flying lessons on certain dates throughout the year.

There is a nine-hole golf course and thirty-bay driving range situated at Aintree, which is closed on race days but open to the public at other times with no membership fee. The Aintree Equestrian Centre offers a number of free events throughout the season including dressage and show jumping.

Book tickets

The Aintree website provides links for ticket purchase and venue booking. Tickets for the Grand National Festival are available through Viagogo and go on sale in August each year.

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The home of the Grand National, Aintree Racecourse is one of the most famous racing venues in the country, with a rich and interesting history that proves there is more to Aintree than just the race.