The world-famous Grand National is located at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in North West England. Opened in 1935, The Grand National was Europe’s first twin-track racing coaster, a true classic high speed, racing wooden roller coaster suitable for all thrill-seekers.
The Grand National at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Designed and constructed in 1935 by Charles Paige, The Grand National is one of only three surviving wooden Möbius Loop roller coasters in the world. In April 2019 the ride was designated as a Grade II listed building. The ride is themed on the famous Grand National horserace with elements giving reference to the race scattered throughout the ride.
Grand National Statistics
Top Speed – 64km/h 40mph
Original Cost – £35k est
Est Cost Today – £2.5m
Length – 3302ft 1006m (6604ft 2012m due to the Möbius Loop layout)
Height – 62ft 19m
Manufacturer – Charles Paige
Type – Wooden Racing
Lift/Launch – Chain Lift
Inversions – 0
G-Force – 3.2
Trains – 4
Passengers per Train – 18
Ride Duration – 2m 20s
Theme Park – Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Year Opened – 1935
Grand National Merchandise
Check out this awesome t-shirt and other Grand National related merchandise available from Redbubble.
The Grand National Horserace
The Grand National replicates the thrills of the famous horserace with the same name by having two roller coaster trains race each other side by side. The wooden racing coaster has elements of the rides theming mimicking features of the world-famous horse race. At the top of the chain lift hill, the trains pass under the ‘They’re Off’ sign and during the ride, they race through ‘Becher’s Brook’, ‘Valentines’ and ‘Canal Turn’ before returning to the ‘Winning Post’.
Observant riders will have noticed that you board the Grand National roller coaster train on the opposite track to where you exit. Many riders are mystified as to how this happens, as at no point during the ride is there any obvious points where the tracks crossover. This is down to the track being a Möbius Loop and not a twin-track as it may initially appear. A Möbius Loop roller coaster consists of a single track with the ride’s station being the halfway point. So after giving passengers one ride, each train has only completed half a circuit and has ended up back at the station on the other side of the boarding platform. This gives riders the illusion that the trains have magically swapped sides.
And They’re Off
The Grand National is a famous wooden racing roller coaster, as you reach the top of the chain lift hill there is a sign which prominently states ‘They’re Off’. Despite temperatures of just 10c, on March 2nd 2019 this sign had a whole different meaning when 195 people rode the Grand National completely starkers to set the Guinness world record for the “most naked riders on a theme park ride“. The cheeky stunt, part of British Naturism’s annual trip to Blackpool, broke the previous record set in 2010 when 102 people rode the Green Scream at Adventure Island in Southend without any clothes.
UK Roller Coaster Rides
If you enjoyed reading about The Grand National at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, you may also be interested in these other Roller Coasters located at Theme Parks across the UK.
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