So, the phrase ‘Blackpool, more than just a front’ was the slogan the council used to advertise the town a good few years back and whilst is was more aimed at bringing to the town more business investment, is also stands true for the tourism industry. Think of things to do in Blackpool you think of arcades, tower, pleasure beach, pubs, bingo, trams, piers and the like…….. but dig a little deeper, and move away from the tourist hotspots, across the fylde coast and further afield, you’ll find there’s opportunities for more than your ‘standard’ seaside break.
In this Blog we’ve looked to cover off a few things you can do within 15 minutes travel of Blackpool!
Blackpool Wake Park.
Blackpool is a seaside town but compared to what you’d find in Spain or on the med, lacks many water based activities. Whether this is because of tighter health and safety rules or simply down to the unpredictability of the British weather, apart from a bit of a paddle, there’s not much to do in terms of fun on the water! …..and exception to this rule is Blackpool Wake Park.
Blackpool Wake park is located a couple of miles in land from the prom (not far form the end of Blackpool end of the M55) and offers more water based fun than you can shake a stick at! Wake boarding is of course a big draw, here you get pulled around the lake on a surf style board – it’s often used as training for Kite surfing. (If you want to see if you’d like it before committing, if the wind is blowing on the coast, head down to Star Gate or further towards St Annes and watch a few kite-surfers in action, it may make you pick up the phone and book wake boarding without hesitation!) or maybe a run around the aqua park is more your kinda fun? Want to do something a bit less energetic?? The wake park also offers stand up paddle boards and kayaking as well as open water swimming. They cater for parties and groups so if you fancy doing something different from heading to the pub on a group do, this could be your answer (or maybe a novel hangover cure before you head home?).
Prices vary depending on exactly what you want to do and they offer group discounts but as a guide, if you went on your own to do wake boarding as a beginner you’d pay £35 for half an hour, 15 minutes tuition, 15 minutes on the water, then you’d need to add on £10 for equipment hire. (Don’t forget to factor in getting there and back if you need a cab – I’m sure there’ll be public transport but its likely to be quite infrequent for someone only going for an hour end to end).
Link: Wakey Blackpool
One of the surprising things about Blackpool given the size of it is that it has an airport!! Whilst it doesn’t offer commercial flights anymore (much to the dismay of the majority of residents) it is still an active airport and offers pleasure flights from light aircraft or helicopter! You can do a fly by of the big one, the tower….. head out over the sea or even head as far north as the lake distrct! (really not far when you don’t have to go by road!).
Costs are from £149 for half an hour in a plane for one person via Flydays.
But if you are looking for a full Blackpool and the lakes experience form the air, Helivation does full hour helicopter rides for three people for £780…. which may sound like a lot but split between 3 and taking on board the fact it’s a full hour, definitely worth considering (especially as you can get to see the beautiful lake district from above!)
If water sports and flying aren’t for you, how about something a little more serine? Lytham Hall is a georgeous, historic, grade 1 listed building, located a few miles down the road from Blackpool in Lytham. We’d definitely recommend that anyone visiting Blackpool have a trip to Lytham anyway (10 minutes down the line from pleasure beach train station) but one of the hidden gems of Lytham is it’s Hall. Once home to the Clifton Family (they basically owned lytham and St Annes) it’s now held in trust and is the only Grade 1 listed Hall in Lancashire.
The Hall itself is lovely to walk around but also has extensive grounds to take in some air and beauty (dog optional!). The Hall, as well as having an on site café, garden ‘hub’ and antiques / reclamation centre also hosts specialist weekends such as cinema, classic cars, summer fairs, plays ……and loads more. The Antiques Roadshow has visited here a few times so it’s got more popular in recent years but definitely worth a visit.
St Annes Beach Huts
For a day with a difference, why not rent a beach hut in St Annes? You get a base for you and your family and friends, easy access onto the beach and ‘some stay at home’ amenities like a kettle!! (yes, we think that’s worth pointing out on its own as a big sales point!!) J …though, worth noting, they do come with loads of bits and bobs to help you through the day (microwave, cutlery, plates etc etc).
Over the years, we’ve seen beach huts all done out celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, weddings…. all sorts, they’re just a bit different and not something you’d expect a few miles away from Blackpool if all you’ve every seen is Blackpool front. How about a romantic day at the beach with a loved one?
Down side…… they don’t come cheap, cheapest we saw was to get one last minute, on the day and that was still £105.…but for a special occasion or if you’re splitting the cost or if you’re staying all day (which if we spent the money, we would!) …its worth it and works out very reasonable.
The beach huts themselves are located 10 minutes walk south of st annes centre, so pretty good location. You could nip into St Annes for food drink and anything you need quite easily. There’s also a toby carvery next door and loads of amusement and rides along the promenade just near by so no chance of kids getting bored!
St Annes Pitch and Putt
Its is pretty much what it says on the tin! There’s a pitch a putt (plus crazy golf) a few miles up the coast, on the promenade in St Annes. Its a lovely setting, on a warm sunny day when theres a lovely breeze coming in off the sea, you could feel like you’re Tiger Woods about to putt for a major (without the extramarital affairs of course!)
The pitch and put is located just 10 minutes walk south from St Annes pier, next to ‘pleasure island’ amusements. Its cheap and cheerful, last time we went we paid £5 for 18 holes plus £1 for club hire…… and also got badgered into letting the kids have a trip on the train which runs around the course for another couple fo quid!
It’s a cheap, cheerful way of using some time up and a activities all the family can engage in so gets a big thumbs up from us!
Hope you enjoyed our latest blog of things to do around Blackpool ‘off the beaten track’. What do you enjoy doing most when you visit the Fylde Coast?
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