The Course Tour will run each day of The Randox Health Grand National Festival, starting at 11.10am on Grand Opening Day (Thursday), 10.40am on Ladies’ Day (Friday) and 10.10am on Grand National Day (Saturday).
Each tour will take approximately 30 – 40 minutes depending on how busy the Course is. Please note that customers will not be able to leave the minibus whilst on the tour.
The Racemakers are there to help you enjoy your day and will give you as much information as possible, however due to timings, this is not a in-depth guided, historical tour but more of an opportunity to see the iconic fences prior to racing!
To allow as many people to enjoy the minibus tour as possible, there is no advanced booking system and this will be offered on a first come, first served basis. Be aware that there may be queues and we cannot guarantee that large parties can all be on the same minibus. It is advised that you make your way to the start point as early as possible to secure a place.
The Course Tour is absolutely FREE, however donations will kindly be accepted on the day for The Jockey Club’s own charity, Racing Welfare.
What time is the Course Tour running?
The first buggy tour will begin at 11.10am on Grand Opening Day, 10.40am on Ladies’ Day and 10.10am on Grand National Day , with the last tour running no later than 12.45pm, as all customers need be on the grandstand side of the course by 1.20pm, ahead of racing.
Where do I pick up a minibus tour?
The start point for the tour is in the centre of the course. If accessing from the Grandstand side, you will see the archway located near the Princess Royal stand. If entering the course from Melling Road, via the internal shuttle bus, you will pass the start point on your way to the grandstands.
What happens on the minibus tour?
Please make your way to the start point where you will be welcomed by one of our friendly Racemakers. You will need to register to take the Course Tour and in return, you will be given an enamel souvenir badge. You will then be assigned your ticket and time-slot for the tour. The minibus will only leave when it is full. If a minibus is not available when you arrive, you will be advised of the waiting times by the Racemaker.
Once on the minibus, you will be driven around the tour with your Racemaker who will give you a few facts along the way. You will be driving slowly past the main fences so you can see them; however you will not be allowed to alight from the minibus during the tour.
Please note that this is not a full, historical guided tour but more of an opportunity to see the fences prior to racing. Due to the size and scale of the Festival, we cannot offer personal guided tours during the event.
Which fences will I see on the Course Tour?
You will be driven past the majority of the fences, however the ones covered on the tour will be:
The Open Ditch – fence 3 & 19
Becher’s Brook – fence 6 & 22
Foinavon – fence 7 & 23
Canal Turn – fence 8 & 24
Valentine’s Brook – fence 9 & 25
On the route back to the starting point, you will pass The Chair (fence 15) and The Water Jump (fence 16) however due to their location there may be a limited view from the minibus.
In the event of severe wind and rain, the minibus tours may be cancelled at short notice. However they will continue to run if there is light rain, as long as the driving conditions are reasonable. It is advisable to bring a coat or jacket with you.
Who is the minibus tour suitable for?
This is suitable for all customers who can make their way to the start point in the centre of the Course. You will not alight from the minibus during the tour and will be driven for the duration of it.
I would like to walk the course, can I still do that?
Yes, it’s still possible to walk the Course. Make sure you download The Jockey Club App, available on both Apple and Android devices. If you register with us at the start point, you will still receive an enamel course tour souvenir badge.
See how the iconic Grand National fences are built in this video.