5 things to love about Blackpool
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
The world famous resort pwn still attracts hordes of holiday-makers and it has much to offer than many people realise
Reports of the death of the British seaside resort are greatly exaggerated. The pandemic was credited with reviving the domestic tourism industry, but the UK’s entertainment capital has always maintained its appeal. Blackpool attracts a huge range of different groups and whatever first inspired them to visit, they’re all likely to find something new an unexpected when they arrive. Rowdy stag and hen parties do still come and there are plenty of places for raucous late night fun, but there’s lots more to Blackpool these days. The town centre is undergoing an extensive, and expensive, revamp which is developing new attractions, hotels and a conference centre and is ensuring the town lives up to its motto: Progress. The Showtown museum which will tell the story of the resort’s entertainment history will open in Spring 2023.
Fresh air and fun
It’s often been said that Blackpool has more tourism beds than Portugal, but then acclaimed travel writer Bill Bryson said it also has more public toilets than anywhere in Europe, it’s just that elsewhere they call them doorways. Whatever the truth behind the statistics, it is undeniable that Blackpool remains a supremely popular holiday destination. And the hordes who flock here are still enchanted by the beach, the prom, the piers and the attractions that have been exciting visitors for generations. The Illuminations (which will shine from September 2 this year) and trams are among the traditional tourist treats and the famous Pleasure Beach is full of thrilling rides and events. The Golden Mile has all the amusement arcades, chip shops, sticks of rock and candy floss you could ever want.
The art of town
Everyone has an image of Blackpool and chances are that it generally features kiss me quick hats, rollercoasters and an end of the pier show. And while those shows so still draw crowds, they are far from being the only shows in town. The glorious Grand Theatre and the neighbouring Winter Gardens have a brilliant range of plays, comedy and dance all year round. There’s a lively and burgeoning arts scene here too with, at its heart, the Grundy Gallery which has a programme of events and exhibitions showcasing its permanent collection and commissioned artworks. There’s public art on the prom and around the town centre and much of the contemporary art scene is driven by Left Coast, a programme of arts, culture and creativity that even has its own B&B, a quirky place where each room has been designed by a different artist.
- 1 22 of the best South Devon pubs with views of the coast
- 2 11 of the most Instagrammble locations in Kent
- 3 WIN a weekend escape at St. Mellion Estate, Cornwall
- 4 10 famous (and not so famous) castles in Cheshire
- 5 Win a Dunlopillo king size diamond mattress worth £2,500 from Peter Betteridge
- 6 Win a year of farm shop food from Hinchliffe's worth £500
- 7 20 of the best places to eat out in St Ives
- 8 10 of the best pubs to visit in Hampshire
- 9 Why you should move to Kirk Langley near Derby
- 10 10 reasons you should visit Canterbury
Many visitors stay close to the prom when they visit Blackpool, but those who head a little way inland find there’s plenty more to see and do. Stanley Park covers more than 300 acres has won Best UK Park twice. As well as a large play area and sports facilities, there are Italian gardens, water fountains, statues, and a Remembrance Garden. There’s also a boating lake and woodlands to explore and lots of wildlife – including resident nesting herons. And if wildlife is your thing, Blackpool Zoo is just over the road. It was opened 50 years ago, in July 1972, and is now home to more than 1500 animals and a huge range of species in spacious enclosures.
Hit the heights
The famous Tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks anywhere in the country and has looked over the resort for almost 130 years. It stands at 518ft (or 158m) and houses the ever-popular circus, and the ballroom which has always been a classy place to enjoy an afternoon of relaxed traditional entertainment. The beautifully ornate ballroom was home to Come Dancing for many years will be familiar to fans of newer, stricter, version of the show. The views from top of the Tower on a clear day are unbeatable and take in the Lake District, the Isle of Man and North Wales. And even on a murky day you’ll be able to see one of Blackpool’s more recent additions: the Comedy Carpet over the road. It’s a celebration of hundreds of the funniest jokes, shows, catchphrases and comics, many of whom performed in Blackpool.