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Things to do in Blackpool, England

Updated on August 27, 2015

Blackpool is a large seaside resort located on the Fylde Coast and is home to some top UK attractions.

A markerBlackpool -
Blackpool, UK
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A trip Down Memory Lane

Although today Blackpool is a modern Seaside resort it still holds some of its early charm, with its three piers and of course its most famous land mark the Tower.

From the minute you hit the sea front you see a mix of old and new sitting side by side. This is prominent in and around the Pleasure Beach which itself mixes old rides with new more technologically advanced ones. Just opposite you will find the Sandcastle sat next to the south pier. The pier may be old but it holds some newer attractions and Sandcastle is a very modern indoor fun pool.

Photos from my family album. Top left will be over 25 years old. Ones on the right may be from late seventies/ early eighties and were taken at the top of the tower. View of Winter Gardens taken from top of tower.
Photos from my family album. Top left will be over 25 years old. Ones on the right may be from late seventies/ early eighties and were taken at the top of the tower. View of Winter Gardens taken from top of tower.

Traveling north you will come to the Central Pier again mixing old with the new. It is here we start our walk down the Golden Mile, the 1.6 mile of Promenade that runs from here to the North Pier. On the landward side opposite the Pier you will find the Madame Tussauds Waxworks which is full of wax models of Celebrities old and new. Moving north again Moving north again you will now be entering the main sea front area where most of the arcades and attractions are.

After passing the Sea Life Center and a few of the large arcades, one of which is run by the Silcock Leisure Group who also have the arcade at the entrance to Southport's Pier.

Continuing North you will soon be upon the most famous of Blackpool's attractions, Blackpool Tower. Built in the late 1800's and modeled on the Eiffel Tower. It is built on the site of Dr. Cocker's Aquarium, Aviary and Menagerie. The Aquarium stayed until 20010 when a new modern attraction was installed.

It's North again for one final time. This time it's back to the seaward side of the prom where you will find the oldest and most upmarket of the Piers. The North Pier even predates the Tower by 30 plus years.

Attractions

This time we will start at the North end and work our way South before heading inland.

Blackpool from Above
Blackpool from Above
Modern Blackpool Tram
Modern Blackpool Tram

The Golden Mile

As I mentioned above the Golden Mile is the stretch of Promenade that runs between the three Piers. It is actually 1.6 miles in length and has most of Blackpool's Sea Front attractions along its length. It has some great sand on which to relax and play.

It is also the place to be after sunset during September and October as it is lit up with light displays that draw in the crowds.

A great way to get about along the Sea Front, is to jump on one of the trams that frequents the Tramway along the Promenade. They are a great attraction in themselves. The Tramway has been transporting tourists along Blackpool's sea front and beyond for over 100 years. The trams have been replaced with modern stock in the last few years. However a small number of Heritage Trams still run the line between the Pleasure Beach and Bispham.

Location's of some of the main Golden Mile attractions

show route and directions
A markerNorth Pier -
Blackpool FY1 1NE, UK
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B markerBlackpool Tower -
The Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 4BJ, UK
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C markersea life center, blackpool -
SEA LIFE Blackpool, Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 5AA, UK
get directions

D markermadame tussauds, blackpool -
Madame Tussauds Blackpool, 87-89 Promenade, Blackpool FY1 5AA, UK
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E markercentral pier, blackpool -
Central Pier, Promenade, Blackpool FY1, UK
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F markersandcastle blackpool -
Sandcastle Waterpark, South Beach, Blackpool FY4 1BB, UK
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G markerblackpool pleasure beach -
Blackpool Pleasure Beach, 525 Ocean Blvd, Blackpool, Lancashire FY4 1EZ, UK
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Blackpool's North Pier
Blackpool's North Pier

The North Pier

This is the First place of interest at the north end of the Golden Mile. It is as I've already mentioned the oldest not only of the piers but of the surviving attractions along this 1.6 mile stretch of coast.

Originally built in the 1860's as an extension to the Promenade, the Pier later became a Pleasure Pier for the Upper Classes. Today it is open to all and will take you back to the heyday of Blackpool if you let it. The pier celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2013.

It was the only pier to charge for admission. This ensured that its clientèle were of the higher classes. It was also the place where Harry Corbett bought his original Sooty puppet

As you take a walk along the boards take a look in the little shops and stalls for souvenirs. Spend some time relaxing on the Sun Lounge and have a drink in the Victorian Tea Rooms. The why not take a ride on the Carousel if your looking for a bit of fun.

There are also a great choice of shows in a choice of venues on the pier throughout the year. It has a great theater as well as a show bar and it is worth checking out whats on during your stay.

Blackpool Tower

Originally Opened in 1894 Blackpool tower rises 158.12m into the sky and is Grade 1 listed.

The Tower construction is not original as it had to be replaced in the 1920's.There had been talk at the time of demolishing it, however they did not and the rebuilding of the tower has in the years since proven to be the right choice.

Over the years the Tower has seen attractions come and go but some have stayed and passed the test of time..

The first attraction to be located on the site was an Aquarium and Menagerie which predated the Tower by 20 years. The Aquarium was still an attraction in the towers building up until 2010 when it was removed to make way for a more modern attraction.

The Tower is in the middle of a renovation project that should be completed by 2015.

Today the Tower is run by the Merlin Group who also run Madame Tussauds and the Dungeons.

Pricing

Back when it first opened it cost sixpence to enter the tower and sixpence each for the circus and trip to the top. To day with more attractions to keep you and your family busy for hours it costs a little more.

There are different prices Dependant on what you want to do in the tower. So if you do not wish to visit part of the tower you don't have to pay for it. There is a great value Online bookable ticket that allows you to visit all the Tower attractions as well as Tussauds and the Sea Life Center. This ticket costs £45 Online but £92.95 if tickets are purchaced individually on the door.

Today's Attractions

The Blackpool Tower Dungeon

Located in the depths of Blackpool Tower this educationally entertaining attraction with its amazing drop ride will have you scared silly.

Take a 60 minute trip through Blackpool's past and experience the best bits of Lancashire's history.

Circus

First opened in 1894 it has never missed a season and is one of only 4 Circus left that can lower their floor and fill the ring with water. It is this unique feature that makes for a spectacular finally.

Its most famous Clown was Charlie Cairoli who made his debut in 1939 just as war broke out. Today the Circus is run by the Endresz family. However it nearly closed in 1990 as the owners were looking to replace it with a more modern attraction. Again the right thing was done and the circus stayed to entertain a new generation.

The shows are a great experience for the whole family.

Ballroom

The Ballroom with its Wurlitzer Organ is used as a special location for the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing. It is a great place for everyone even if your not into dancing.

Jungle Jim's

A great place for the kids to let off steam the Jungle Jim's indoor playground will keep them entertained for hours. You may have trouble getting them to leave.

Tower Eye and 4D cinema experience

The tower top has seen many changes over the years and its newest incarnation gives visitors one of the best ever views of Blackpool and the 30 plus miles around it.

The new 4D cinema give visitors a unique vision of Blackpool using images, sound, smells and even a wind machine.

The Comedy Carpet

This out door attraction is situated opposite the Tower just south of the North Pier. It is a fun art installation that will get you laughing. There are some great quotes from some of the best comedians and comedy shows. Take a little time to read the quotes and even sit for a while.

Coral Island

This is one of the big arcades and is situated a little south of the tower. It is themed like a pirates cave hideout. There is a licensed restaurant and lots of great slot and arcade machines..

Sea Life Center

Take a walk through the sea and learn about the creatures that inhabit the undersea world.

Check the website for feeding times as this is the best and most interesting time to visit.

Attractions

Rockpool

Get hands on with a crab and starfish. Handle creatures in a safe environment and learn interesting facts from the experts.

Shorline

Quayside

Victorian Pier

Kingdom of Seahorses

Reef Explorer

The Rainforest

Pirate Cove

Ocean Tunnel

Turtle Shelter

Pirate Adventure Golf

Fancy a game then why not pick up a club and try for a hole in one.

Children's Activities Area

A place for the kids to enjoy and the adults to unwind.

Madame Tussauds

Formally known as Louis Tussaud's this attraction was set up by Louis Tussaud, grandson of the creator of the Madame Tussaud's waxworks. The two were originally separate businesses but since the acquisition of Madame Tussaud's by the Merlin Group and there involvement with Blackpool council the attraction has been taken under the Madame Tussaud's banner.

Ever wished you could see your favorite actor of sports star up close?

Well they may not be real but Madame Tussaud's Waxworks are the next best thing. They are life like in most cases and Ogre like in at least one.

Visiting Multiple Attractions

Why not visit the Waxworks, Sea Life Center and Tower during your visit. Book your tickers online for all three attractions at the link below the Tower information and you could save upto 50% on on the door prices. Plus the ticket is Valid for up to 90 days.*

*See Terms and Conditions on page.

Central Pier

The middle Pier is a family fun Pier with amusements, game stalls and a fairground. It is a traditional fun fair suspended over the water.

The Rides

Big Wheel

A great way to get a look at the Golden Mile and on a clear day you can see as far as the Southport Coast.

Crazy Frogs

Dodgems

Driving and crashing fun.


Extreme

Waltzers

Time to get dizzy


Childrens


Mini Miami

A mini version of of Extreme


Formula 1000

Carousel

Mini Wheel

Flying Jets

Helter Skelter

Jumping Star

South Pier

The South Pier like the Central one is a family fun pier with rides for all the family.

The Sandcastle

The Sandcastle Water Park is an indoor pool complex with slides, a lazy river and other great water based fun.

Pleasure Beach

The Pleasure Beach is home to the Big One which when first opened was the tallest coaster in the world and the fastest in Europe. It is still the tallest in the UK.

The Park has seen many changes over the years and a few caused by fires.

Main Article

Blackpool Illuminations

Main Inland Attractions

Blackpool is not all about the Golden Mile, its attractions and its Beaches. There is lots more to Blackpool than that.

show route and directions
A markerBlackpool Tower -
The Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire FY1 4BJ, UK
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B markerGrand Theater, Blackpool -
Grand Theatre, Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT, UK
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C markerWinter Gardens, Blackpool -
Winter Gardens, Blackpool FY1, UK
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Town Center

Just a short walk from the Tower and the North Shore is the resorts main shopping Hub. It is also the location of the Grand Theater and Winter Gardens.

Further Inland

show route and directions
A markerStanley Park, West Park Drive, Blackpool -
Stanley Park, West Park Drive, Blackpool FY3 9HU, UK
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B markerBlackpool Model village -
Blackpool Model Village, East Park Drive, Blackpool FY3 9RB, UK
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C markerBlackpool Zoo -
Blackpool Zoo, East Park Drive, Blackpool, Lancashire FY3 8PP, UK
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D markerMarton Mere -
Marton Mere, Blackpool, UK
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One of the Rose Gardens
One of the Rose Gardens
Blackpool's Model Village
Blackpool's Model Village

Stanley Park and Zoo

Just over a mile from the Sea Front is Stanly Park. It is the location of a lovely 1920's Park, the local Athletics track and sports center, Blackpool Model Village and Blackpool Zoo.

Stanley Park

The park was created in the 1926 is separated into 4 quarters. It is geared towards sport and recreation with lots of sports facilities on site.

The Northern Quarter

The Northern Quarter is home to Stanley Park Golf Course and Blackpool Park Golf Club. The 18 hole course was designed by Alister MacKenzie, one of the most famous Golf course designers.

This part of the Park also contains six Bowling Greens and a Rose Garden.

The Eastern Quarter

The Eastern Quarter contains a large lake which is home to many different water birds. You can hire boats and spend some time on the water or sit in the amphitheatre and listen to bands playing on the band stand. There is another Rose Garden in this part of the Park and if you are looking for some fun why not try your hand at a little Crazy Golf.

The Southern Quarter

This part of the park is home to the Model Village, and the Skate Park. It also houses the Tennis Courts and Astro Pitches and a children's play area.

Model Village

The model village has recently been hit with storm damage. However it will hopefully reopen soon. Created in 1972 this lovely model village depicts British life.

The Western Quarter

Home to the Leisure Center, Athletics Track, 5,000 seater Cricket Ground and Putting Green.

Blackpool Zoo

Situated East of Stanley Park, Blackpool Zoo's 32 Acres are home to more than 1,500 animals.

Main Article

Marton Mere

Siuated just south of the Stanley Park area is Marton Mere. This body of water is an important site for Birds, Dragonflies and Orchids.

Saving Money In The Resort

Earlier in the article I mentioned about the Merlin Entertainment Pass that can save you money on their attractions if you buy Online before you go. But this is not the only option when you are looking to save money on your stay.

The Blackpool Resort Pass

This pass gives you access to lots of great attractions, Shows and Transport.

Holidaying in Blackpool on a Budget


An article with some great ideas for those of you who want to do Blackpool without spending a fortune.

When to Visit

The best time to Visit Blackpool is not during the Summer like most other English resorts. It is actually during September and October when the Illuminations are turned on. You will find that most of the resorts attractions are open throughout this time. The only problem is that it is a very busy time at the resort and the Prom gets very congested with Illumination traffic after sunset.

The Illumination video is a 2 minute snippet of a journey that actually took an hour. (It normally takes under 10 minutes to travel the length of the prom on a normal day.) In fact it will take you just over an hour and a half to do the journey on foot.

Illuminations 2014

The 2014 Illuminations run from Friday 29th August through to October.

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    • brutishspoon profile image
      Author

      Amy 3 years ago from Darlington, England

      the old pictures don't do it justice. It is a marvel of late 19th / early 20th century engineering. I was fascinated by it the first time I saw it 30 years ago. I would have been 3 at the time. The best time to see it is just after sun set in September/ October when it is lit up during the illuminations.

      It is England's answer to the Eiffel Tower and was build after some people from Blackpool had gone over and seen it. The Building makes it Unique and the Circus is a must see show for all the family. It has been a few years since I had the pleasure of having a good look around. A friend and her partner worked there at the time and I went to surprise them.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      Hum, interesting... it must be an amazing tower

    • brutishspoon profile image
      Author

      Amy 3 years ago from Darlington, England

      It was just how my Gran would refer to it.

      It has in the past been known as the Blackpool Eiffel Tower, Tower World.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      You are welcome brutishspoon . Do you know how Our Tower was named?

      I cannot wait for your updates.

    • brutishspoon profile image
      Author

      Amy 3 years ago from Darlington, England

      Thank you for your comment mecheshier. Blackpool for me has always been a destination of choice. It holds allot of great memories, especially the tower which my Gran used to call Our Tower. I'm going to add more attractions to the guide over the next few days as well and do other Hubs on the rest of the area.

      Thanks for visiting and please do take a trip to Blackpool as there is lots to do for everyone.

    • mecheshier profile image

      mecheshier 3 years ago

      What a fabulous post. I love your ideas. I have never been to Blackpool, but your article sure makes me want to visit soon. Voted up!