Things to Do in Aintree, Merseyside

things to do in Aintree

Aintree is not just home to the famous Grand National race, it is also a beautiful village with an abundance of things to do. Here are some of our favourites.

Play Texas Hold’em at a casino, sample refreshing draught or cask ales at the Ship & Mitre, or dance your night away at one of Liverpool’s most popular clubs.

Watch the Races

The eyes of the world are on Aintree this weekend as the iconic Grand National takes place, the climax to a three day festival of horse racing. The famous steeplechase is just one of a number of races held at this world famous course that attracts millions of spectators each year.

Aintree was founded by sports fanatic William Lynn in 1829 and now hosts the biggest steeplechase race in the world, as well as several other high profile National Hunt races. Some of the greatest names in horse racing have carved their name into history at Aintree, including Red Rum, Tiger Roll and L’Escargot, while this year Noble Yeats bids to become only the 10th horse to win the famous race twice.

The course has five main grandstands – the Earl of Derby, Princess Royal, Lord Sefton and the Queen Mother – with all offering different views of the action. You can eat in the restaurants in these grandstands or grab fast food from one of the many stalls around Aintree village.

Eat & Drink

Home to one of the world’s most famous horse races – The Grand National – Aintree also plays host to a range of other events throughout the year. From country days to pop concerts and Christmas parties – the hospitality on offer at Aintree is second to none.

The racecourse has two restaurants that open on any race day. If you fancy some traditional British grub then head to the Golden Miller in the Earl of Derby stand or for something more upmarket there is the Princess Royal restaurant with its fabulous view over the parade ring.

There are plenty of pubs around Aintree and the village itself is very small but there’s a couple of shopping areas where you can stock up on essentials if needed. One of the best known bars in Aintree is The Black Bull. This was once the pub of Ronnie McGuire who was a notorious character in the area and Liverpool city centre during the Merseybeat era. The name is an anagram of his nick-name – Irate Ronnie.

Visit the Equestrian Centre

For those not interested in watching the races at Aintree, the racecourse also offers an Equestrian Centre, Motor Racing Circuit and Golf Centre to keep you busy. The Equestrian Centre holds dressage and show jumping classes most weekends, with showing and camps during the summer, and it is easily transformed into a large exhibition space for events or trade shows.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink in Aintree. The Ship & Mitre pub is a popular choice, with its unique ground floor shape that resembles the prow of a boat. It serves delicious home-cooked meals and a variety of drinks, including draught ales and hand-pulled beers.

During the Grand National, the city of Liverpool buzzes with excitement and every last restaurant, bar and night club is full of race day revellers. But there is so much more to discover in this wonderful part of Merseyside. Discover Britain’s glassmaking history at the World of Glass museum, see wild animals up close at Knowsley Safari Park or visit Anthony Gormley’s unique art installation on Crosby Beach.

Visit the Motor Racing Circuit

For a brief moment each April, Liverpool’s Grand National horse race reverberates around the world. But the city of Merseyside has a lot more to offer visitors.

For example, there’s a long-established motor racing circuit at Aintree. The largely flat and featureless course was designed by Aintree owner Mirabel Topham in 1954, modelled on the Goodwood circuit, which Stirling Moss used to win his first championship in 1955.

When not staging the world’s most famous steeplechase, Aintree hosts a number of other races and events, including Old Roan Raceday in October and Becher’s Chase Day in November. Dressage and show jumping events are also held at the venue, along with golf lessons and the longest 9-hole course in the country. The site is open daily except for race days and Christmas. The name Aintree is thought to have come from the Saxon word for one tree and is a reference to a solitary oak on the edge of the village.

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