5 ways to attend the Grand National in style

The Grand National needs little introduction. One of the biggest single betting events in sport, it is also one of the most famous horse races in the world – a handicap steeplechase that’s been running since 1839. Held at Aintree, Liverpool, UK, this year the highlight of the National Hunt calendar has a new sponsor, Crabbies, and the race enjoys a 7-figure prize fund of £1,000,000 for the first time in its 167-year history.


Are you heading to the meeting this year?  Whether you’re in the winner’s enclosure or watching at home, visit the Racing Post for all live information on the Grand National 2014. If you want to be there and soak up the atmosphere in style, then read on to learn more about you can enjoy the big day in the ultimate luxury.

Know what to wear for the big day

Before the big race day, it’s important to be well versed in what to wear. Aintree Racecourse has a strict dress code, where smart casual to formal is encouraged and preferred, while sports clothing is not allowed and elegant hats are optional, which are often sought by the many ladies attending Ladies Day on Friday 4th April 2014.

Ladies Day

Arrive by helicopter

Beat the crowds and enjoy a peaceful and stress-free arrival. Atlas Helicopters will fly you directly to the racecourse where you will witness the extravagance of the Grand National in all its glory from up in the sky. You get to choose a pick-up point of your choosing for the most efficient, luxurious and magical way to start the day trackside.

Reserve a table

With nine restaurants to choose from sprawled around the course, you are somewhat spoilt for choice at Aintree. For the ultimate dining experience, book a table at the Princess Royal Restaurant on the fourth floor of the Princess Royal Stand. Not only will you enjoy a fantastic three course meal and afternoon tea, but you will also be treated to one of the best vantage points to watch all the horse racing action, including a view over the winning post.

Hire a private box

If you’re travelling with a group of friends or entertaining clients, consider hiring a private box in Aintree’s exclusive Amberleigh House, a new, purpose-built facility that overlooks the daily competitors charge into the finish line. Depending on the package you choose, this will also give you access to the Winner’s Enclosure.

Grand National

Make a long weekend of it

Why not stay a while? The Grand National isn’t the only thing happening in Liverpool as it is a fantastic city to explore and has a number of sound hotels. Alternatively, venture across to the Wirral and stay at the five star Hillbark Hotel with its triple AA rosette restaurant and luxurious spa, not to mention the nearby Royal Liverpool Golf Club, host of this year’s Open Championship.

Comments (15)

  1. Jempi says:

    How can someone not love this article :)
    Arriving in style, enjoying the event in style and leave in style…that’s the way we like it!
    This event is quite similar but a lot bigger than “Waregem Koerse” in Belgium.

  2. Lee Briggs says:

    I’ve seen this race a couple of times on TV but never thought about how to attend. Arriving by helicopter would be a bit embarrassing if you were turned away because you were not attired properly.
    I attended a similar event called the Virginia Gold Cup with a company I was working for a few years ago. The rules of attire were not as strict but the ladies did wear the big hats.
    There was a big steeplechase type race, but there was no betting, so what’s the point?

  3. When I was growing up we would attend the “hunt” in New Jersey. It was a very chichi event with tailgating and lots of champagne. Everyone would wear big hats and plaid. Bets would be placed and if I close my eyes, I can hear the trumpet announcing the beginning of the race. Although no one arrived by helicopter, your coverage of the Grand National reminded me of a luxe event I haven’t thought of for a long time. Thank you for that.

  4. Karen Warren says:

    I love going to the races, but I’ve never thought about going to the National. I’ll be watching it from a distance though!

  5. I was there today for Ladies Day, or more accurately I passed it today and tried to give it as wide a berth as possible (which is difficult when you live close and need to get into town). You should write another post of how NOT to arrive in style, and add “turn up on a very packed train with hardly any clothes on, absolutely **** drunk at 12.00 pm and then promptly throwing up everywhere” as number one! With capitals! Not as glamorous as people think! ;D

  6. Manouk says:

    Wow, what an event! I don’t have much experience with horse racing, but I once went to the Ascot races. I wonder if it’s similar in atmoshpere :)?

  7. Noel says:

    I’ve never been to this but I think with all the right essentials of these suggestions above, you would have a fabulous experience and in grand style.

  8. Angela says:

    I am not big into horse racing, but it is something I would like to do. Sounds like an amazing experience.

  9. Of course I always had a flutter on Grand National Day when I lived in England but very rarely did I even place, that’s probably the toughest horse race to gamble on because there is so much luck involved! Even getting those horses around Aintree is a challenge.

    I think these suggestions would be the ultimate luxury day out for the Grand National but let’s be honest, it’s only once a year and many folks go all out for this event. It really is like the Kentucky Derby here in the States (gosh I sound American, you wouldn’t think I was British) but I would go as far to say even grander than the US version.

  10. Samantha says:

    Arriving by helicopter? Yes please! I’d love to wear a floppy ridiculous hat and be encouraged to do so ha!

  11. Jon says:

    I once went to the races in a small town in New Zealand – there wasn’t a lot of style on show there and definitely no helicopters!

  12. Fie says:

    Woaw, it sounds so amazing, I like the formal part of a raceday, dog racing is just not as glamorous as horse races :)

  13. Great photos! I totally love horse races, specially when it comes to placing a bet on the winner haha

    Looking forward to reading more amazing adventures!

  14. Erin says:

    I am so impressed with this post. Very thorough and informative coverage of the event and its related activities. It was honestly nothing I normally think of attending but you have me intrigued.

  15. Ashley and Alex says:

    What a classy event! With my love of fancy hats I guess we have to go now. But to be fair I probably won’t know how to act since the closest Alex and I have come to the horse races is the dollar day races at golden gate fields, $1 beers, $1 entrance and $1 hot dogs. Not quite the same level…

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