‘Only 5’ we hear you cry… well, of course there are more than 5 reasons to visit Blackpool, but we do have a life outside of BLOG writing and to list them all could take us through to retirement….. so we think these 5 are good enough reasons on their own.
Probably the biggest lure to Blackpool (historically at least) is the seaside. Miles and miles of sandy beaches stretch along the Fylde Coast from Lytham all the way to Fleetwood and on a sunny day, close your eyes and you could be anywhere in the world.
Whilst the access to shops, toilets and other amenities around central Blackpool is appealing, this is also the area every man and his dog want to camp (…well, dogs aren’t allowed on central beach in summer but you get my drift).
We’d suggest putting in a little prep – picnic maybe, toilet break on the way… and settle yourself down further north up the coast or around the Starr Gate area so you can get a bit of space, peace and tranquility. Listening to the sea just isn’t as relaxing when you have semi feral kids running past screaming or a chip wrapper blows into your face (please use the bin or take your rubbish home) pursued by a hungry seagull or two.
Beach day is covered in one of our early BLOGs, ‘the best things in Blackpool are free’ have a read as to how we’d ‘do’ a Beach day.
We did a little poll on social media for people to vote on what their favourite thing about Blackpool and was surprised when ‘piers’ beat the Pleasure Beach and even the pride of Blackpool… the Tower!!! …but given the choice of 3 piers, each offering something different from the others, perhaps with hindsight, its not that surprising!
North Pier is the ideal place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the promenade. Staying true to its origins, the pier isn’t as ‘busy’ as the others and is ideal to sit and watch the world go by with plenty of seating available away from the attractions.
The Carousel on the pier is probably our favourite bit, a lovely old fashioned ride to watch (and apparently unusual as it goes anti clockwise unlike most other… not sure how true that is). Add to this the fabulous refurbished BLOOM bar (used to be known as the Carousel bar) and the Gardens outdoor seating area (ex-Sunset Lounge) with live music often on, plus of course The Joe Longthorne theatre, you could easily spend a chilled out day on this pier alone!
Central Pier has a bit of a different vibe than North but only a ten minute (slow) walk away. Home to the iconic big wheel – a must when in town to get fab views of the promenade, Central Pier hosts numerous rides and arcades and is of course, home to the ever popular Kings and Queens show.
Central Pier also hosts Pirates Bay family bar, which is a great place to head with the kids to give you break from entertaining them. The bar has various acts on and children’s entertainment and the decor is all pirate themed for your little sea dogs to enjoy!!
South Pier has a similar feel about it to Central Pier with a number of rides for the kids (and adults to enjoy). Bumper cars are particularly popular and for those of you a bit more adrenalin driven, there is ‘adrenaline zone’ with some pretty scary attractions chucking you way up into the air or out across the sea. Anyone tried?
They’re not called ‘the greatest light show on earth’ for no reason you know! Stretching for miles along the promenade from Starr Gate (near where you come off the motorway) all the way past the Tower and onto Bispham, the lights are incredibly popular and draw visitors from all over the country (if not world) every year (you’ll think ‘world’ if you’ve ever been stuck in a queue of traffic waiting to join!!).
Highlight of the Illuminations has to be the tableau at the Bispham end of the promenade – these are big lights displays you are intended to walk through (takes about 20 minutes depending how long you watch for) and the Lightpool display on the side of the tower is also for us, another highlight – a display projected on the side of the tower you need to stand an watch to get the full effect.
We did a blog on how we best do the illuminations ourselves…. without sitting in traffic for hours, have a read here.
4. The Blackpool Tower
World iconic and the pride of the town, the Blackpool Tower is a truly great landmark that sets Blackpool apart from other seaside towns.
Being more than just a landmark, the venue itself houses the world famous ballroom, cited as being the ‘home’ of ballroom dancing, the fabulous Tower Dungeons, the Tower Eye and not forgetting, the fabulous Tower Circus….and of course….. the views from the top are spectacular.
There are naturally also bars and plenty of places to eat inside, entry to the tower itself is free so a must do on any visit.
On the outside, recent renovations to the lighting provides an impressive display on the tower itself, often changing colours to raise awareness of various charities or in remembrance or even just a special occasion and the council has done some brilliant work restoring the building brick work to its former glory after years of neglect.
…but above all that, how many people has it entertained on their trip to Blackpool playing ’50p for the first that spots the tower’?
5. The Winter Gardens.
Come on…. who hasn’t got memories of seeing an act in the Winder Gardens? Acting as host to numerous concerts, plays, shows and events throughout the year, the Winter Gardens is often the reason people visit Blackpool in its own right.
The complex, currently being extended to include a conference centre, has a rich history of celebrity running through it’s veins, who is the most famous person you’ve seen perform? We’d go Bob Dylan! (he was terrible incidentally!!).
Playing host yearly to the world match play darts, dance festivals, rebellion rock festival to the more serene pigeon fanciers show (which gets more people than you’d believe!!), the venues flexibility to accommodate is it’s great strength and draws all walks of life to Blackpool.
When no major shows or events are taking place, a wander through the building is a great place to stop and have a coffee or even a full meal in the restaurant, or maybe have a couple of drinks in the Old Vic bar (renamed 2021 but basically the same venue as its always been) and watch the singers on every afternoon or the fabulous Pineapple Jack at a weekend.
5. Stanley Park.
The locals of Blackpool are proud beyond words of Stanley Park…. and rightly so….. it’s won numerous awards over the years and is a lovely park to visit!
It’s located outside the centre of the town, we’d say probably half hour walk to be safe but it does have regular bus routes to it and would be pretty cheap to get to in a cab ………with the added bonus that it’s beside other favourite Blackpool attractions, the Zoo and Model Village!
Grade II listed Stanley Park consists of everything you’d expect to find in a decent park, a lovely lake to wander round, beautiful gardens, a great art deco cafe, miniature golf and of course sporting facilities including bike tracks, skating ramps and even a 400 metre running track. Full of history and wonderful sights and sounds, if you’ve come to Blackpool and want to unwind, it’s a great choice!
You can read more about the Park here at the ‘friends of’ page or why not watch our Youtube tour below?
So, for what its worth these are our top 5 reasons to visit Blackpool, always contentious as opinions vary but what’s your top 5 reasons to visit?
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If you’re looking for something different to read about Blackpool, how about ‘Top 6 free things to do in Blackpool’?