The North West Of England – 1: Blackpool

The Dolphin's BrainStarred Page By The Dolphin's Brain, 2nd Oct 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>England>The Northwest

This is one of a series of articles about the top left-hand corner of England with suggestions on where to go, what to see and, possibly, what to avoid! From Cheshire to Cumbria, encompassing Merseyside, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, the area has rolling fields, big cities, sweeping bays and majestic lakes. This could be a long project!

It's Not Exactly Paris But .....

The British seaside became a traditional holiday destination for the working classes in the nineteenth century, when the ability to travel further afield, particularly by rail, brought the coast that much closer to the grimy, industrial centres of Britain’s major towns and cities, particularly in the north. Prior to that, taking a break by the sea was very much an elite occupation as the fashionable and well-to-do swapped Cheltenham for Brighton, for example.

Blackpool quickly took its place as a major holiday centre and has remained a significant destination to the modern day. The Tower, scene of the occasional Strictly Come Dancing ‘special’, is its most famous landmark and was opened to the public in 1894. Although inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it is not a free-standing tower as it has a building underneath its iron frame. It currently houses the aforementioned ballroom, a circus and the Tower Dungeon amongst other attractions. The Tower’s own web site contains the details necessary for planning your visit to this iconic landmark. No trip to Blackpool is complete without at least taking a close-up peek!

Pier Pleasure

There are a few ‘essentials’ or ‘must see’ attractions at the typical seaside resort, and a walk along the pier is one of them. Blackpool has three; they all offer different experiences.

The South Pier has a variety of rides and promotes itself as being as being the ideal place for thrill-seekers with its ‘Adrenalin Zone’. There is a separate web site for that specific area which gives you a good idea of what to expect and links to You Tube videos of the rides. As the main attractions are £15 per person per ride, take plenty of cash!

The North Pier couldn’t be more different as it provides a much more sedate experience. It houses a theatre, Victorian tea rooms, shops, a Venetian Carousel, a bar and an evening club style venue. If being flung around at an excessively high G-force is not your thing, you could do worse then head north and leave the South Pier's high-octane style to those with a hardier constitution!

The Central Pier, pictured above, is probably the most traditional of the three. It sports typical fairground rides like the Waltzer and dodgem cars as well as Blackpool’s Big Wheel. Perhaps less sophisticated than the North Pier and definitely less focussed on extreme rides than the South, Central Pier is the place to head to if you want to experience a typical English seaside pier.

High Rollers

Of course, Blackpool’s main ride-based attraction is Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It provides a multitude of ‘thrill rides’ such as the Grand National - a side-by-side double roller-coaster – and the UK’s tallest and fastest, The Big One. With other, more family-friendly rides and Nickelodeon Land, there really is something for everyone. At the height of summer, the Pleasure Beach is one of the busiest parts of Blackpool still and a ‘must-visit’ on all but the shortest of stays.

Waxing Lyrical

Blackpool has a wide variety of other attractions. There is a branch of Madame Tussaud’s waxworks, situated on the sea front not far from the Central Pier, the largest indoor water park in the country (Sandcastle), a Sea Life Centre and a Jungle Jim’s.

There are also lots of fish and chip shops!!

In the autumn, Blackpool is transformed by its Illuminations, a spectacle that has been at the centre of the town’s holiday experience since the nineteenth century. They still attract 3 million visitors a year alone, significantly assisting the town’s economy. 2013 sees the lights go on for longer than ever, finishing on 10th November. As the nights get longer and winter draws closer, so the lights get switched on earlier in the day. The web site has a separate page detailing these times. Other destinations may have lights, but only Blackpool has the Illuminations!

Blackpool Gives You Wings

Like many seaside towns, Blackpool has seen better days and there is a certain faded quality to the landscape. Nevertheless, even this brief article demonstrates that it can still provide plenty of traditional charm and a variety of ways of being entertained.

If none of the above tickles your fancy then there is something else Blackpool can offer - sand, sea and wildlife. One thing is for sure, you will never be lonely as the company of Common and Herring Gulls is constant!

© The Dolphin’s Brain 2013


Adrenalin Zone, Big Wheel, Blackpool, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, Carousel, Central Pier, Eiffel Tower, England, Gulls, Jungle Jims, Madame Tussauds, North Pier, North West, Paris, Sandcastle Water Park, Sea Life, Seaside, South Pier, The Big One, The Grand National, Tower

Meet the author

author avatar The Dolphin's Brain
I am a mixed bag of lawyer, vegan, environmentalist and sports nut and my writing is likely to be passionate, of-the-moment articles on a wide variety of topics. I also write the occasional poem!

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author avatar Lady Aiyanna
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Been there, its a beautiful place. None the less, Fish and Chips is something I enjoyed in the UK....

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author avatar The Dolphin's Brain
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Many thanks for your comment! Hope you took the opportunity to read my other posts on diverse topics!!

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Oct 2013 (#)

So well written detailing all the charms of the place, thank you - siva

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author avatar Mike Robbers
5th Oct 2013 (#)

Seems as a nice destination. Thank you for this well written article and the series would be most interesting!

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