One Day in : Blackpool

Penny W-TStarred Page By Penny W-T, 4th Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>England>The Northwest

Blackpool is well known as one of England’s seaside venues. It developed as the holiday destination of England back in 1846 when the advent of the railways brought the workers of the industrial towns inland,to ‘take the air’. Its three piers have been beautifully maintained in their Victorian splendor. So step back in time, yet still be very firmly in the 21st century. There is a lot to see and do – so join me on a whirlwind tour . . . . . . .

What can Blackpool offer the Visitor?

Blackpool is one of the major tourism venues in England that is well known to visitors from all over the UK and even the world. It is one of these locations that markets itself as a tourism town, rather than a series of attractions for the visitor.
Its beach stretches for 6 miles and its three piers have the usual seaside attractions, with each one having its own theatre. The town’s famous Illuminations run from September to early November each year, when a five mile stretch of the Promenade is transformed with glittering displays of tableaux and strings of coloured lights.

Trams

The trams that run along the promenade frontage are the last of their kind in England. They are reminders of the Victorian heydays of the town and this is the last surviving commercial tramway in Britain. The network runs the full length of the Promenade. During the annual Illuminations, the trams are decorated externally and lit up as part of the displays – space rockets, river boats, old fashioned American trains etc. So as we only have a day to see the town, the best start would be to jump on a tram and tour the promenade from one end to the other. This will allow us to see exactly what this area has to offer.

The Golden Mile

The town is best known for its Golden Mile of funfair attractions on the South Shore. This main promenade between the piers is an area full of activity. Along a mile or so stretch of this frontage you will find an array of games arcades, bingo halls, and a sweet rock making company where you can watch the famous Blackpool rock being made. Not only sticks of rock but other sweet novelties with an array of fruit – bananas, oranges, strawberries – and huge multi-coloured lollipops. A brief stop here if there is a demonstration in progress, is a must.
Other frontages open into souvenir bazaars selling trinkets, postcards, canned drinks and confectionery. There are cafes and fast food outlets – burgers, curry, fish and chips, ice-cream. This is a stretch of ‘shopping paradise’ where almost anything can be found. But perhaps this area should be left until later, when the main attractions have been visited, as there are two major venues that can easily fill our day.

The Tower Complex

Blackpool Tower has been a landmark on this coast for many decades. It has a height of 518 ft and has seven levels inside that are accessible to the visitor, all of them offering different activities for their entertainment.
The Tower is relatively expensive to enter, because it sees itself as an all day entertainment venue as there is so much to see and do. Make sure that you maximize your visit here. Make a plan – either start at the top and work your way down, or do the reverse.
The most famous feature of the inside of the Tower is the Ballroom. This room is enormous and can hold on average, 2000 people. There is a very large area of dance floor where people can spend the afternoons and evenings dancing to the music provided by the organist on the Wurlitzer.

The Wurlitzer Organ

The Wurlitzer is the most famous organ in the world. It is set at the front of the Ballroom on a high stage where everyone can see it. The organ is set on a platform so that when it is time for the organists to change over, the platform, and the organ, descend out of sight and the organists change over. The organ then rises back into position. During the early part of the day there are often organ recitals where visitors can sit and listen to the wonderful sound of this instrument. There are possibly only six such organs now in use in England.

As Blackpool is a seaside venue, you really need to have a look into the Aquaria on the ground floor area of the Tower. It comprises 21 tanks with various types of sea creatures. The main attraction is the enormous tank with the turtles. There are seven different turtle species here, and turtles are known as one of the longest living reptiles. They are possibly one of the last species of dinosaur type reptiles still remaining (together with the crocodile).

Know your future

Blackpool Tower is well known for its resident clairvoyant/palmist/crystal gazer, who is here to advise you on your future. If this is an interest, then see if you can book a ‘reading’ here. The area is full of photographs of famous people who have had their future told by the clairvoyant. The clairvoyant is usually equally famous, as there are two or three families who over the years have become renowned fairground ‘fortune tellers’ with each generation having another equally gifted person to carry on the family traditions. It is interesting to see the wide spectrum of personalities who obviously think that finding out what their future holds for their careers is important enough to visit the clairvoyant. Most major seaside venues in England have a resident clairvoyant, as many people are interested, in a light hearted way, to find out what the future holds for them. Perhaps a visit here would be beneficial before you consider the next thing to do here at the Tower. . .

Top of the Tower

A lift is provided for all the brave people who want to go to the top of the tower. When you step from the lift you are 380ft above the ground. The viewpoint here indicates just what you can see from each angle of the balcony out over the town. From this level there are three more levels of the tower that can be accessed, with finally a set of spiral stairs to take the adventurous right to the top. There is a shop at this level where you can be issued with a certificate saying you reached the top of the tower. From this very highest point you can see out across all six miles of Blackpool’s beaches. You have to be either very fit, very young, very brave or very reckless (possibly all four!) to attempt the final stage of steps to the pinnacle. After this visit, find a promenade side café, and rest your feet whilst refreshing yourself for the next part of the day.

The Pleasure Beach

Situated on the South Shore, this is one of the major visitor attractions in the town. It is a magnificent ‘white knuckle rides’ theme park, with on average, 140 things to see and do. Entry to the park is free, which encourages people to come in and look around. Rides can then be paid for in cash, or a Rides Ticket can be purchased from the booking office. There are many amusements and rides to tempt the visitor as they explore the park. The main ‘fast rides’ are The Big One, Avalanche, roller Coaster, Monorail and Carousel. These have all been well planned from the safety angles. There are ‘limiters’ on most of the rides, ranging from various minimum height scales for the younger park visitor, to health restrictions on some of the fast rides, relating to heart problems, mobility problems or other disabling conditions.

Exploring the Park . . . . the rides . . .

The park covers a wide area and walking around to the rides can be quite lengthy. However, there is a little train travelling all around the Pleasure Beach perimeter to a central station in the park. It leaves every few minutes and visitors can relax and ride around the park to see where the main rides are that they want to try. At some points along the pathways there are short cuts with footbridges covering some areas.
At this venue, considering we only have a day here, there will have to be choices made – which of the daily shows do we want to see, and how much time do we want to explore the ‘rides’?
The Big Dipper is the original rollercoaster ride invented for the Pleasure Beach which was erected in 1923. It was one of the first ‘white knuckle’ rides, if not the first. Some of the other rides that have been in operation over the last few years include: The Avalanche, The Log Flume, The Grand National, Revolution, The Wild Mouse, The Space Invader, Steeplechase and The Whip. This was one of the oldest flat rides in the park and was built around 1921. At the time it cost £4,700 to build. There is now only one operating in Europe although there are a few still operating in America. However, The Magic Carousel is perhaps the oldest of the ‘rides’ here. Manufactured in Coney Island, New York, in 1910 this was imported for use here at the Pleasure Beach where it operated until 1968. In 1989 it was restored and re-opened at the Pleasure Beach.

. . . . the shows

The shows presented at the Pleasure Beach are always the highest quality of shows you could find anywhere. There are on average, three to four shows presented every day.
The Circus opens every year from July to November and has daily shows with Matinee shows on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The arena holds 1000 people and a variety of entertainment is included, with clowns, trapeze artists, acrobats and even some animals.
Then, in the Paradise Room you will find a big name entertainer whose show is open for six days each week. There are usually matinee shows on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
If you like water shows, then make sure that high diving show is on your list. There are usually four events a day. It has an amazing assortment of stunts, ending with a fire show.
Then of course, there is the Ice Show. The Ice Dome has ice skating facilities for the youngsters and there is also a daily show which is outstanding for its costume designs.
Of course, the Pleasure Beach is open well into the evening, so you can stretch your day out to the extent where your energy is exhausted!

Things to Remember

If you come at the right time of year, these are the memories to take home with you.
One thing is sure, you will be tired and ready for your bed after this day out, and you will know that a further day some time in the future will be necessary, and, being Blackpool, there will always be new things to see and do every time you make a visit.

Tags

Blackpool, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, England, Promenade Trams, Seaside Holidays, The Golden Mile, Tourism

Meet the author

author avatar Penny W-T
Published articles on education themes, travel, history and writing techniques. Written a book on WW1 - Gallipoli, and travel books. Run a marketing network for small businesses.

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Comments

author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
4th Jun 2013 (#)

One seldom thinks of "the beach" when they think of a holiday in England. Thanks for this great tourist information on Blackpool

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Jun 2013 (#)

we have lots of beautiful beaches in England...just another across the Atlantic myths like the ones about our food that fabulous beaches and cuisine do not exist...perhaps we want to hide them from noisy visitors from abroad.....

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author avatar Penny W-T
5th Jun 2013 (#)

That is because we have so many historic buildings that are the targets for holidays that our beaches and green wide open spaces are not even considered - even by our Tourist boards - when encouraging visitors from overseas.

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author avatar cnwriter..carolina
4th Jun 2013 (#)

golly me Penny so much has changed there since I went for holidays with my Mum and Dad and sisters so long ago...but it is a great read and I thank you...

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author avatar Penny W-T
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you CNW. I agree, we do have some wonderful beaches and peaceful green spaces - and our food ? Well we have such a rich and diverse choice of ethnic food options, that it should appeal to all!

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author avatar Mariah
5th Jun 2013 (#)

eeeee by gum Penny Luv.
you can't beat a good day trip 't' Blackpool lol
Really bright and inviting page
you've got the lot in there, great images too.
Thanks Penny enjoyed this one.
Mariah

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author avatar Penny W-T
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Mariah. I fancied a virtual holiday this week, so watch out for today's 'trip'

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author avatar Delicia Powers
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Wonderful pages and a place of great memories for when my children where little and a day at the Blackpool was indeed magical...:0)

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author avatar Penny W-T
5th Jun 2013 (#)

Thank you Delicai, It seemed to have revived memories for a few people already

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
5th Jun 2013 (#)

You've done a great job of making Blackpool sound really nice, Penny.
Personally I would never go there, preferring something a little less noisy.

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author avatar Penny W-T
5th Jun 2013 (#)

I know what you mean Eileen, but for one day, it can be very interesting.

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author avatar Eileen Ward Birch
5th Jun 2013 (#)

there are good bits. Stanley park and the miniature village. There used to be a zoo.
the crazy golf at Starr Gate is good.

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