Blackpool – 12 top things to see and do

Getting there:

By car:  Blackpool has a motorway link direct to the centre of the resort – take the M6 to Junction 32 and the M55 will lead you there.

By train: The town has 3 railway stations, Blackpool North, Blackpool South and Blackpool Pleasure Beach.  With direct services from London Euston, Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh to nearby Preston, it’s then just a short connecting journey to the resort.

Suggested activities:

1. Take the lift to the top of Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower and the beach
Blackpool Tower and the beach

The famous Blackpool Tower rises to a height of 158m (518 feet).  It was constructed in 1894 and inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris but differs as the base of this tower is hidden by a red brick, three storey building.  It’s home to a circus and the famous Tower Ballroom with its Wurlitzer organ.

Festival Place and Blackpool Tower
Festival Place and Blackpool Tower

Tickets can be purchased covering some or all of the Tower attractions and are 20% cheaper if pre-booked online.  Taking the lift to the top on a clear day is an absolute must.  Included in the ticket price is a short film about the history of the tower and the resort.  On entering the 4D theatre pick up a pair of 3D glasses and stand on one of the raised platforms ready for the performance to begin.

Views from the top of Blackpool Tower
Views from the top of Blackpool Tower

After enjoying the 4D cinema experience take the lift to the tower top. Watch cars and buildings decrease in apparent size through the steel girders as you ascend to the indoor viewing platform which is now known as the Blackpool Eye.  If you have a good head for heights you can take ‘The Walk of Faith’, a 5cm glass floor running along the western edge of the tower.  Blackpool Tower

2. Laze on a deckchair on North Pier

Take a stroll along North Pier, the oldest of Blackpool’s three piers which first opened in 1863 as a 500m pleasure pier with a landing jetty.  There’s no charge to wander along this English Heritage listed wooden pier jutting out over the town’s Blue Flag beach into the Irish Sea.  Along there, you’ll find bars, an ice cream parlour, a theatre and amusement arcades for traditional seaside fun plus lots of traditional deckchairs for a relaxing afternoon in the sun.  Blackpool Piers

North Pier, Blackpool
North Pier, Blackpool

3. Take a ride on a heritage tram

Heritage tram, Blackpool seafront
Heritage tram, Blackpool seafront

Heritage trams are frequently brought out of their tram sheds to evoke memories of times gone by. During these golden tram heritage events, it’s possible to view different generations of the Blackpool Transport fleet and take a ride on one of them along the promenade.  At all other times a modern fleet operates a frequent service along the seafront.

4. Explore marine life at the SeaLife Centre

The SeaLife Centre is located mid-way between North and Central piers.  Climb the stairs to view the tanks filled with marine life from huge sharks to small, delicate seahorses.  Walk through a concrete glass tunnel with fish swimming all around you and if you’re a thrill seeker you can enter a cage to snorkel with sharks and turtles.

Blackpool SeaLife Centre
Blackpool Sealife Centre

5. View real- life waxworks at Madame Tussaud’s

Madame Tussaud's Blackpool
Madame Tussaud’s Blackpool

Take a self guided tour around this world famous exhibition.  Start with a scale model of the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom and view the presenters Tess and Claudia looking almost as if they were real.

I'm a Celebrity at Madame Tussauds Blackpool
I’m a Celebrity at Madame Tussauds

Next, move along to the ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ gallery where you can walk along a re-created rope bridge into the bush, come face-to-face with Ant & Dec and even take part in a pretend bush tucker trial!  Madame Tussauds

Coronation Street exhibits at Madame Tussauds
Coronation Street exhibits at Madame Tussauds

6. Buy a stick of rock on the Golden Mile

Wander south along the promenade passing the famous Golden Mile with its myriad of slot machine arcades, fortune tellers, fish and chip shops and stalls selling Blackpool rock.  Tacky yes, but it’s what Blackpool is famous for.

Golden Mile, Blackpool
Golden Mile, Blackpool

7. Ride a rollercoaster at the Pleasure Beach

Facing the South Pier is the Pleasure Beach, a theme park featuring a selection of rides from roller coasters to gentler rides suitable for young children.  For the ultimate in thrills why not brave the Big One, the theme park’s tallest rollercoaster or feel the thrill of one of the world’s only twin track coasters, the Grand National.

Pleasure Beach, Blackpool
Pleasure Beach, Blackpool

8. Marvel at the art-deco Opera House & Winter Gardens

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool

The Winter Gardens complex comprises a collection of theatres, exhibition halls and a ballroom.  Constructed in 1878, visitors are welcome indoors without charge to enjoy viewing the Art Deco interior and to marvel at the elegant Empress Ballroom.

Art-Deco Hallway, Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Art-Deco Hallway, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Over the years it has hosted the conferences of all three main UK political parties and of several Trades Unions.  Its Opera House is one of the country’s largest theatres in the country, seating 3,000 people, still attracting top performers to its stage.

Morecambe & Wise sculpture, Winter Gardens, Blackpool
Morecambe & Wise sculpture, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

In the spectacular domed entrance hall view the wonderful sculpture of the iconic comedy duo, Morecambe and Wise who performed in the resort more than 1,000 times, first appearing on stage in 1941.  The statue was unveiled in 2016 to celebrate Eric and Ernie’s double act 75th anniversary.  Winter Gardens

9. Go boating in Stanley Park

The main park entrance is located on West Park Drive, a 30 minute walk from the town centre.  For visitors arriving by car, there is free parking along the entrance drive and behind the cafe further into the park.  It’s Blackpool’s largest park and has been open since 1926.  In 2019 it gained the accolade of best park in the U.K.  and its Italian Gardens and boating lake take pride of place in the centre.

Stanley Park, Blackpool
Stanley Park, Blackpool

10. Browse the town centre shops and market hall

There’s plenty of variety from the modern Hounds Hill shopping centre leading onto vibrant Church Street and to the traditional stalls inside the popular indoor Abingdon Street market hall.

Abingdon Street Market, Blackpool
Abingdon Street Market, Blackpool

11. Be dazzled at the Blackpool Illuminations

The Blackpool Illuminations is an annual lights festival which was founded in 1879.  It started life with garlands of 10,000 coloured light bulbs strung along the seafront and was such a huge success that it continued as an annual event extending the tourist season by an extra two months.

Blackpool Illuminations
Blackpool Illuminations

The Illuminations or ‘The Lights’ as they are often referred to run from late August to early November each year.  Nowadays they extend for 6 miles (10 km) and contain more than one million light bulbs.

Alice in Wonderland tableau, Blackpool Illuminations
Alice in Wonderland tableau, Blackpool Illuminations

Drive slowly through the illuminations, walk or view the extravaganza on board one of the illuminated trams which are shaped to resemble a train, a boat and a rocket.  Blackpool Illuminations

12. Explore further afield

Fleetwood

Cleveleys promenade
Cleveleys promenade

Enjoy a tram ride along the coast to Fleetwood at the end of the line, taking around 45 minutes.  The track extends for 11 miles starting from Starr Gate in the south of the town up to Fleetwood in the north.  The town lies on the Wyre estuary overlooking Morecambe Bay.  There has been a flourishing market in Fleetwood since the 1840 with both indoor and outdoor halls selling produce, clothes and almost everything else.  Take a stroll along the esplanade and venture into the seafront gardens.  For some retail therapy head to the Affinity Outlet featuring 45 stores and cafes overlooking the Marina.

St. Annes-on-Sea

The Square, St. Annes-on-Sea
The Square, St. Annes-on-Sea

A short 25 minute bus journey (11 or 11X) or car ride takes you to stylish St. Annes-on-Sea with its broad square, tree lined avenues and attractive small shops and cafes.  There’s a beautiful Victorian pier just a short walk from the town centre with a Tudor style entrance reflecting the town’s heritage and feeling of grandeur.

St Annes Pier, Blackpool
St Annes Pier

Stroll through the promenade gardens and view the Victorian bandstand and ornamental fountain, both of which have been carefully restored and are surrounded by ponds and neat flower borders.

Poulton-le-Fylde

Market Square, Poulton-le-Fylde
Market Square, Poulton-le-Fylde

An attractive small market town located just five miles from Blackpool, accessible by car or by taking the No. 2 bus. The quaint town centre is in a conservation area and its historic market place closed to traffic.

Poulton-le-Fylde town centre
Poulton-le-Fylde town centre

Visit the parish church of St. Chad’s at one end of the square, it’s churchyard is noted for its delightful springtime display of crocuses.  Pop in one of the pretty little tea shops for a bite to eat and then before leaving spend time looking in the Teanlowe indoor shopping centre with its upscale Booth’s supermarket (the north of England’s answer to Waitrose).

 

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The Boulevard Hotel Blackpool

The Blackpool Illuminations

 

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Blackpool - 12 Top Things to See & DoTravel Guide

 

53 thoughts on “Blackpool – 12 top things to see and do

  1. Pingback: Day 2. Touring the Ribble Valley – Love Travelling Blog

  2. Pingback: Vemödalen | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

  3. jasonlikestotravel

    Wonderful read, it has been such a long time since I’ve been to Blackpool but this brings back fond memories. I’ll have to try get back up there now I’m a bit older 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Not been to Blackpool for so many years but your photos make it look well worth visiting again. Love the Ant and Dec figures and that Morecambe and Wise statue is fabulous. May be a long weekend away in the Autumn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How funny Sue, many of the buildings such as the Tower haven’t changed, at least not from the exterior! The town has spent a vast amount of money in recent years making improvements with several new stylish hotels opening. Thanks for commenting and hope you are having a good week. Marion

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Looks like a lovely place to explore for the day when the weather is nice. I like that there are a variety of activities during the day and at night. The Blackpool Illuminations are neat. I can’t believe how long it extends for and that it contains more than one million light bulbs!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was definitely a clever idea all those years ago to run the illuminations every evening until early November as it still encourages visitors to visit the seaside resort even when the weather isn’t at its best. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. It’s much appreciated. Hope your week is going well. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Blackpool looks to be the perfect blend of amusement park-like fun by the Pier and old timeliness of its Old Towns (especially Poulton-le-Fylde). Looks like you could spend a whole day (if not an entire weekend) taking it all in. Thanks for sharing this gem of a place!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I had no idea there are so many amazing things to do in Blackpool, and , wow, the views from the top of Blackpool Tower are truly stunning. What a lovely place to enjoy beach vibes. Thanks for sharing and have a nice day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Blackpool strikes me as the U.K.s answer to Las Vegas or Niagara Falls. A lot of glitz and entertainment to help people forget their real lives and drop some serious coin. The small towns nearby do best by just being themselves, giving a chance for tourists to escape to a calmer place. Looks worth a visit for sure Marion. Thanks for sharing. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Blackpool is one of the country’s premier seaside resorts and with recent openings of stylish new hotels, now appeals to both the traditional holidaymaker and those wanting a more luxurious break. Thanks so much for taking an interest Allan and welcome back to the UK when it’s safe to return. Marion

      Like

  9. ThingsHelenLoves

    I love a traditional seaside resort, and although I’ve never made it to Blackpool it’s always the place I think of for a good old bucket and spade holiday. I’m sure travel restrictions this year will mean more visitors than previous years discovering Blackpool. Lovely post showcasing the variety of activities on offer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’d love to visit the one in NYC as well, the waxworks are so realistic. I’m really small too, maybe even more so than you at only 5’1” but I like being petite and am happy with that. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Aw, I really enjoyed this one. I’ve always had, correctly or not, a very romantic idea about Blackpool. It’s definitely on my list, even more so after your article. I didn’t realise they had a Madame Tussaud’s and love the statue of Eric and Ernie. I saw a statue of Eric when I visited Morecambe a few years back. Great stuff Marion!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Blackpool is a traditional seaside resort and should do very well this year with foreign holidays being off the cards for most people. It’s a great town and I believe the only other one to have a Madame Tussaud’s in the UK. I’ve also seen the Eric Morecambe statue in Morecambe and think both that one and this one in Blackpool are really lifelike. Hope you get to visit sometime Leighton, go up the tower top and take a ride on a heritage tram. Thanks for commenting. Have a good week, Marion.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. So many things to see in Blackpool! The view from the tower is stunning … and just love tram rides! This must be quite a popular destination – something to do and see for everyone!
    Lovely photo’s – I’m sure with summer in full swing in the UK, Blackpool will be a busy seaside resort!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Blackpool is a popular seaside resort and is expected to have a bumper season this year with foreign holidays being almost impossible. It will be such a relief for all those involved in hospitality up and down the country after being closed for so long. Thanks for taking an interest Corna and for your ever welcome thoughts. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

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