Blackpool isn’t just about the rides, the rock, the pubs and the tower, it’s an historic town in it’s own right with more than just the usual ‘roll off the tongue’ attractions to see, there a few hidden…. and not so hidden gems.
In this BLOG we’d like to highlight some of the ‘non mainstream’ Blackpool things to do, just some of those things you might not have heard of and want to visit or take a closer look as you’re passing.
Let us know your suggestions for things to do in Blackpool and we may just update this BLOG to include them.
Located just north of Blackpool, almost opposite the Norbrek Castle Hotel you can find the shipwreck of the Abana.
On 22 December 1894, the Norwegian ship, Abana was sailing from Liverpool to Florida but was caught up in a storm and mistook the then recently built Blackpool Tower for a lighthouse.
Abana was first seen off North Pier but by the time the lifeboat, which had to be towed by horse from Blackpool to Bispham, had been launched it had drifted to little Bispham where it was wrecked. The ship’s bell still hangs in St Andrews Church in Cleveleys.
Cleveleys Promenade (Marys Shell and the Ogre).
Moving just slightly further north of Anchorsholme shipwreck, you hit Cleveleys and their fabulous sea sculptures, Mary’s Shell and the Ogre, in fact, the promenade along Cleveleys front has a number of art installations and tells the story of the ‘sea swallow’. (the Ogres giant paddle is one of our favourites to spot but theres lots of interest to see and plenty of seats to stop and take in the views of the sea and the lake district to the north.
You can read in more depth about Cleveleys sea front here. on the official wyre council site.
Believe it or not, Blackpool is full of street art and watering around spotting it is one of our favourite things to do in Blackpool. You’re bound to have seen some if you’ve spent more than a day or two in the town. Mainly located around the town centre, the majority we’ve seen being further inland close to Blackpool North train station way – sometimes hidden away down a side alley and sometimes bold as brass covering the entire side of a building, theres no shortage.
Not 100% how up to date this is but… this site provides a map to a number of the art displays in the town.
The Great Promenade Show.
Ok…. it does look a little worse for wear and a lot of the installations simply aren’t fit for purpose anymore but….. that’s all the more reason to take a look whilst you can!!
The Great Promenade Show is located at the southern end of Blackpool, Starr Gate (you’ll have seen that as a tram destination) and runs all the way to the Sandcastle water park, opposite the Pleasure Beach.
As we type the main attraction of the show, the Mirrorball (aka They Shoot Horses Don’t They’) is out for repairs but is due back later in 2021 where we do hope, it will return to it’s former glory….. as for the others…. catch them whilst you can.
….and we do mean that….. another of our favourites when the tide is in (obviously I suppose) is the high tide organ which as the name suggested, plays musical notes, powered by the sea pushing air through various pipes up into the air. It’s not mozart but worth a listen for something different.
The high tide organ has been poorly maintain such that the artist who designed it, has asked the council to pull it down as he doesn’t think it’s safe, as reported by the Guardian.
The other installations aren’t as impressive but if you’re in town and fancy a walk, it does add some interest and features to spot and chat about.
The regent is located just ‘up the road’ (that’s, away from the sea) from the Winter Gardens. The premises has been used for a number of purposes over the years… from memory, last thing it housed was a snooker hall, but currently is home to a historic 1920’s cinema showing golden old (and not so old) classics.
…but what we like best about it is that is also houses a antique, vintage, craft and retro emporium. More stalls than you can shake a stick at, full of old delights, some of which you’d pay to see…… but entry is free, seven days a week. There’s also a small family run cafe, overlooking the road which has a good reputation and is a great place to people watch if you can get near a window.
Check out the regent website.
What have we missed? Whats your favourite ‘non mainstream’ place to visit in Blackpool? Perhaps a little cafe off the beaten track? A shop not many people know about? A little park where you can get away from the crowds? Let us know in the comments or over on social media…and don’t forget to give us a follow to get our BLOGs and VLOGS first.
If you’ve enjoyed this BLOG, perhaps you’d like to read some of our others, may we suggest ‘the ups and downs of living in Blackpool‘?
As ever, thanks for reading 🙂