The Grand National at Aintree is the biggest event on the National Hunt calendar, with more than 150,000 people turning up each year to watch forty horses compete for the most coveted prize.

If you’re thinking of attending Aintree this year, follow this expert Grand National advice to ensure you can truly make the most of this unique experience.

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Getting there

Knowing how you’re getting there is the first stage of the journey. The best way to get to Aintree on a race day is by train. Trains run every seven and a half minutes from Liverpool Central Station, which is just a short walk from Liverpool Lime Street.

If you are driving, parking needs to be booked in advance as spaces are limited on-site. Car parks are clearly signposted from the entrance.

If you want more advice about how to plan ahead for your day at the races, take a look at our guide for getting organised for the Grand National.

What to take

There are several things you might want to consider taking to make your day more enjoyable. Most vital is your racecard, as this tells you everything you need to know in order to place your bets. Racecards are £2.50 purchased in advance or £3 on the day.

Binoculars are handy if you want to catch more of the action as you will only be able to see part of the course even in prime viewing spots. You might also want to take your camera.

What to wear

While there is no official dress code at Aintree throughout the year, on Grand National day entry will not be permitted to anyone wearing sports clothes or in fancy dress. Most people choose to dress smartly, in suits for the men and formal dresses for the ladies. Hats are optional but can be seen frequently.

Ladies in the know who want to team their outfit with heels pack a pair of ballet pumps or flip-flops for later in the day, when sore or tired feet can put a dampener on the experience.

Place your bets

A day at the races wouldn’t be the same without having a flutter and the Grand National attracts more bets than any other race each season.

Head to the trackside bookmaker kiosks at least ten minutes before race time to place your bets then make sure you have a good viewing area. Don’t forget to keep your betting slip safe in case your selection proves to be a winner.

Getting home

The crowds on Grand National day at Aintree are huge, so be prepared for what could be a long wait at the exit. If you do travel by train on pre-booked tickets, give yourself plenty of time to get to the station. Hopefully you’ll have some winnings to count to help you pass the time!

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The Grand National is a thrilling day out, and to ensure you have the time of your life there are a few essential things to consider on the day. With a racecard in hand and the appropriate outfit, you can make this experience one to remember.