In this Blog we’ve gone a bit random and asked round a few friends what they think tourists do in Blackpool which they wouldn’t. We’re talking ‘in the main’ here, there will alway be exceptions to the rule but we think, the vast majority of people brought up as a Blackpool local, wouldn’t generally do most off this list.
Let us know what you think in the comments below or on our social media. Are we waaayyyyy off the mark with some of these? What have we missed? Always, likes shares, comments and haters are all loved 🙂 Hope you enjoy this more light hearted view of the town and living as a Blackpool local 🙂
1. Buy anything off someone stopping them along the promenade / in the street.
Be it ‘charity’ joke book (of which 1% of the £3 goes to charity), be it ‘charity wrist band’ (usually off some random charity never heard of before…..for the same reason as before), be it ‘lucky heather’(which invariably is not heather, it’s just a bit of dried statis ….. though they don’t seem to like that when you point it out, hence I’ve been cursed 10 times!), we don’t tend to buy things off street sellers!!
There are a couple of exceptions though that said, in years gone by, when gas lighters got to 12 for a pound, I know my mum was snapping them up like nobodies business!! We do need to point out that during the illuminations, there are official merchandise vendors selling over priced flashing lights etc, there are also a lot of ‘unofficial ones’…. Make sure you know who you’re buying off…. or buy some from a shop before you come and save ££’s. I also wanted a ‘Mr Wiggly’ from the guy who used to stand behind the tower selling what looked like stuffed football socks on sticks, but alas, another childhood dream left unfulfilled!!
One other ‘street purchase’ we tend to steer clear of is ‘pub and club priority entry cards’ which tend to have ‘exclusive offers’ like ‘jump the queue’ ….. at places you know are always dead anyway, or ‘get in for £1 after 9pm’…. When that’s just the normal entry cost. End of the day, the pubs and bars in Blackpool want your business, it’s a competitive market in Blackpool, if there’s too long a queue, move on.
2. Buy Rock
…..…and its not because we’re sick of having it for breakfast as children 😉 Although available all over the town (can’t count the number of ‘Blackpool’s number 1 rock stores’ there are in Blackpool to be honest), its something of a novelty item people take home with them and get sick of before chucking in the bin…. Sandgrownuns (what they call people born and bred in Blackpool) rarely, if ever buy rock….. and when they do, it’s normally for someone else as a gift. (he says as he starts tucking into a piece) 😉
3. Wear fancy dress on a night out
Go out on a night in Blackpool and you’ll see an assortment of people dressed up as anything from playing cards, um-pa-lumpas, naughty nurses, vicars and …err… ladies of the night…. and everything in between. It’s so common that locals don’t bat a eyelid at walking down the street and seeing some poor soul cling filmed to a lamp post and as such, rarely dress up in fancy dress for a night on the town (football matching is another matter …..) 🙂
4. Pay full price to do anything touristy
All the main attractions in Blackpool either offer permanent locals discounts or have certain weekends where they have cheap deals. There are also plenty of discount vouchers you stumble across being a local which you just tuck away until needed. There are a lot of places in Blackpool which the Council either own or have a large stake in, they always try to accommodate cheap deals for locals (which is fair when you think about it, there needs to be an up side to living in a town flooded with visitors in the summer and living in a ghost town in winter!). Sandcastle and the Tower are two places the council offer locals decent discounts but the Zoo also offers cheaper locals passes and the majority of locals visiting the pleasure beach, will either go for a ‘cheap weekend’ where prices are reduced at the start / end of the season, or make sure they book in advance.
5. Drive the full length of the illuminations during ‘peak’ season and hours
Why would you? Moving 3 miles an hour along the promenade with kids fighting in the back?? No thank you! We either a) Zoom down them during the weeks before official switch on (they test the lights so have them on before the official switch on) or B) get a tram down to the big displays in Bispham, walk back to the tower, watch ‘light pool’ (the illuminations display projected on the side of the tower), then jump back on the tram south to where the car is, if you time it right you could get in the world fireworks championship as part of the walk. Easy and stress free 🙂
6. Go swimming in the sea after a night out
May seem to go without saying but as a local, you are brought up respecting the sea. Exposure every year to stories of people drowning after entering the sea for a bet / to show off, drill it into you to be respectful…… just don’t do it, the sea off Blackpool can be ferocious.
7. Go on a Landau ride
There’s very few people born in Blackpool we know that have ever actually taken a ride in a landau, this may be simply because they’ve always been a feature of the town growing up so don’t have that ‘wow’ factor about them a lot of visitors to the town will get seeing one for the first time ……or they’re just too expensive to justify. They are pretty expensive to be honest for what you get (about £20/25 for a trip between piers I think last time I enquired) and have had some negative publicity in recent years regarding over charging tourist (they are hackney licenced cabs officially). Insider knowledge – if you can convince the landau drivers you’re local, you can get up to a fiver discount!
There’s been an explosion in ‘cinderella’ style Landaus over the past few years to the extent where the beautiful traditional landaus are now becoming a rarity and more special if anything – if you get one, we’d try and get one of those….. though many of you with ‘little princesses’ may get overruled! 🙂
8. Buy fish and chips from just ‘anywhere’
We’ve started pulling together info on this for another Blog, not sure whether to release details on a weekly basis then do an ‘end summary’ but end of the day…..you can get some really good fish and chips in Blackpool…… but you can also get some terrible ones!! I once heard a story from an ex bouncer, where a fish and chip shop he knew used to roll up napkins, put them in batter and deep fry them for anyone coming out of pubs worse for wear and ordering. Not sure how true that was but always made me a bit wary when ordering any food after a night out and as such, there’s only a limited number of outlets we’d buy from.
9. Spend a day at the beach between the piers.
I’ve touched on this in a different blog but the Fylde coast is over 13 miles long, …. So why would you restrict yourself to an area just a few miles of that? Only advantage of going to the tourist hot spot beach area is there are amenities readily available (which the locals may not need as they can go to the loo before setting off or risk they have to nip back home) though with a bit of prep, tourists can also manage on the quieter areas of the beach. (see earlier blog – best things in Blackpool are free’ for some further info on this).
10. Go to see a clairvoyant down the prom / on the pier / anywhere in town really…..
….even if its ‘£5 for both palms today only’!! (The sign says that everyday by the way and has for years! 🙂
Is it that locals are non-believers? Are locals all very religious types that don’t want to upset the spirt world? …….no, like a lot of things locals don’t do in Blackpool, its simply because we’ve grown up with fortune tellers being part of life so don’t have that curiosity factor about them to entice us in, I mean, I met one once that said I’d die whilst writing a blog but that’s not hap……………………………………………………………………..
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Any locals reading and can add to our list?