It is best known as the site of Aintree Racecourse, which since the 19th century has staged the Grand National horse race. During the 1950s and '60s, there was also a three-mile-long motor racing circuit on the site, which used the same grandstands as the horse race. A shorter form of the racing circuit is still used for various events, although car racing ceased in 1982.
The name Aintree, thought to be of Saxon origin, means "one tree" or "tree standing alone." In 1999, the parish council decided to revert back to its original name of Aintree Village; this request was granted by Sefton Council. Local legend held that a tree on Bull Bridge Lane, one of the oldest parts of the village, was "the Ain tree"; sadly, it had to be cut down in 2004 because the tree had become diseased.
The village itself has two primary schools, Aintree Davenhill and the split site, Holy Rosary; five churches, St. Giles (Anglican), Holy Rosary (Roman Catholic), Old Roan Methodist Church, Old Roan Baptist Church (which meets in Davenhill School), and Aintree Village Family Church (a Baptist church, meeting at St. Giles Church); two small local shopping areas (on Altway and at the Old Roan); and three public houses, the Blue Anchor (which backs onto the Leeds and Liverpool Canal), the Village Inn (formerly the Valentine, named after a fence on the racecourse), and the Old Roan, which gives its name to a railway station in the village. The village also has a public library. A retail park along Ormskirk Road on former industrial land has brought a significant number of major out-of-town shops to the area.
Aintree Davenhill Primary School has a large field with a metal building that was built in the 1950's. The building was going to be a hospital building, but was turned into a school. The classrooms are along corridors that were originally going to be hospital wards.
Holy Rosary Primary School has a small field and uses other fields for events, such as their Sports Day. The building was built in the 1970s and 1980s.
Unusual for racecourses or circuits, the site of Aintree Racecourse is split by Melling Road; Grand Prix cars (and Grand National horses) have to cross the (closed) public road twice on each trip.
The main road from Liverpool to Aintree is the A59 (known as Ormskirk Road as it passes through Aintree). The M57, M58, A59, and A5036 meet at a complex junction called Switch Island, between Aintree and Maghull.
The village is closer to Old Roan railway station, although Aintree railway station is convenient for the racecourse, both on the Merseyrail Northern Line's Ormskirk branch, with regular service between Liverpool Central and Ormskirk.
In the past, it was also served by Aintree Central railway station on the North Liverpool Extension Line, located behind Aintree railway station. The North Mersey Branch also runs through, close to the station, and had Aintree Racecourse railway station.
Bus services through the village itself are regular: a bus every 20 minutes to Liverpool runs through the village, while various other routes to Liverpool and destinations to the north—including Maghull, Ormskirk, and Southport—stop near the Old Roan.
The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs through the village.