The Top 10 Things to do in Blackpool in 2017

South Pier Blackpool
Entrance to South Pier Blackpool

Blackpool is unique in UK Culture. Everyone has heard of it, everyone associates it with deckchairs rock and piers.  The town gets 13 million visitors a year so has had to grow some impressive visitor attractions to keep those people entertained whilst they are here. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do in Blackpool in 2017 in no relevant order.

Blackpool Piers

Blackpool has not 1 or 2 but 3 piers co-incidentally named for where they are located in the town. South Pier is in South Shore opposite Station Road and is a very short walk from the Sandcastle Water Park and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It is a fun place to take the kids as it has fairground, the usual slot machines and a family bar which provides family entertainment in High Season. South Pier is also home to the more ‘charged blue knuckle rides’ available on any fairground or pier in the UK. The Adrenaline Zone is home to such gravity defying rides such as the Skycoaster and Skyscreamer. Be sure to have a light lunch before you go.

Next up is Central Pier heading north along the Promenade it is about a 20 minute walk from South pier and is found opposite Chapel Street. Not to be outdone by its younger rival South Pier it also has a fairground, slot machine arcades and a family Bar. Unlike South, Central Pier also has a showbar where the excellent Kings and Queens of Rock and Roll show will return for 2017. Last but not least Central Pier has the town’s only Ferris Wheel. It stands 108ft tall and is probably more famous than you think. Up till quite recently its lighting display was used in a BBC montage shown between programs and beamed every night into Millions of homes.

Last but not least we have North Pier. This lies at the top end of the Golden Mile and about another 20 minute walk from Central Up past Blackpool Tower. As the towns oldest pier (construction started in 1862) it has a unique Victorian character. You won’t find modern fairground rides here nor acres of slot machines but in tune with the character there is a mock-up of a 19thCentury Carousel, some shops selling knick knacks and a Pirate Golf Track. This pier also boasts two entertainment venues the Merry England Showbar at the Talbot Road end and the traditional seaside theatre at the end of the pier which performs all the usual Summer Shows.

Top Tip for the Piers—Purchase Ride Tokens in advance to save money. The more you purchase the more you save.

                                                                   Sea Life Centre Blackpool

Always a favourite with Blackpool visitor’s particularly smaller children. Discover aquatic life from all parts of the World Stingrays, Sharks down to the tiny but pretty and colourful Angel Fish. Self-Guided Tours are available and expert keepers are on hand to give adhoc presentations. Sea life is of course a National brand and has sites throughout the UK and Europe. Be sure to check-out the seahorses and sea life’s special exhibits which educate about conserving life in the World Oceans.

Top Tip for the Sea-Life Centre—Ask about Ticket Options Parent and Toddler, Group Tickets ect.

 

Blackpool Zoo

We always advise our visitors to allocate a whole day to visiting the zoo and if they are coming to Blackpool in their car either doing it on the day they arrive or the day they leave the resort. The reason is Blackpool Zoo is a little bit of the usual tourist track, set inland on the site of what was Blackpool Airport back in the 1920’s. The zoo was created in 1972 on the site which is close to Stanley Park. If fact those military aficionados will notice the clever use of the old hangers incorporated into animal houses for the zoo exhibits.

Blackpool Zoo has a diverse range of exhibits from Reptiles to birds to big cats and around the zoo at various times you can look forward to instructional talks by the keepers. For those looking to visit on the zoo can be found off East Park Drive, not far from Blackpool Victoria Hospital postcode FY3 8PP.

Top Tip for Blackpool Zoo—Book Online in Advance to save £4.00 on gate prices.

Blackpool Zoo
Blackpool Zoo
The Big One Blackpool Pleasure Beach
The Big One Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Pleasure Beach Blackpool remains year after year the UK’s most visited Tourist Attraction. From it’s humble beginnings on that sands of South Shore Beach in the very late 1800’s William Bean would never have envisaged the family favourite attractions his park would become. Home to the Big One the coaster you can see from all over town and home to the traditional ‘woodies’ roller coasters such as the Grand National and a playground for the youngsters called Nickelodeonland Please Beach as something for everyone.  The first Coaster was installed on the park in 1923 and called the big dipper. 2018 will see the next grand effort and a new ride added to the Park currently only known as Construction 2018. It will be a double launch coaster which will see riders propelled forward at high speed not only at the start of the ride but also at a second point two and a half minutes into the experience. It is come years since Pleasure Beach introduced a ride on this scale and this addition is eagerly anticipated.

Top Tip for Blackpool Pleasure Beach—Purchase Unlimited Ride Wristbands Online at least 24hours in advance to save big on Gate Prices.

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a masterpiece of landscape design and historical splendor. Known as one of North West England’s finest parks the 390 acres boasts a lively blend of horticulture and recreational facilities including The Italian Gardens, The Lake where boating and fishing is permitted and the tennis, trampolines, skateboard and BMX park activities which take place throughout the summer. Stanley Park is open from dawn till dusk is close enough to incorporate a visit to both Blackpool Zoo and the local Model Village. Free Street parking is available is the streets surrounding the park or you can use the paid all day parking at the model village which borders the park and is also only a short walk from the Zoo.

Top Tip for Stanley Park—Visit on the day you leave Blackpool as it is closer to the M55 than it is to the Promenade. Park on the model village car park and consider doing the Zoo on the same day.

 

Blackpool Beaches

Are of course huge draws to Blackpool as is the newly built promenade which was updated over the course of the last 10 or so years to incorporate storm and flood defences for this part of the Lancashire Coast. It may be hard to envisage on an August Sunday afternoon with tens of thousands of people around you but the Promenade between Central and South piers used to flood quite regularly. The sea would spill over the sea wall and it would run along the road back into the storm drains to run back into the sea and happen again.  Happy to say that whilst occasionally we still get breaches of the wall in heavy storms little property damage now occurs.

Blackpool’s beaches are best enjoyed in the areas between North and South Piers. The beaches to extend further down to Lytham in the South and becomes dunes beyond Starr Gate where the trams terminate. Locals are permitted to exercise their dogs on the beach South of South Pier. North or the North pier the beaches become largely inaccessible due to the high promenade walkways, cliffs and the high tides which come up the wall. These areas are popular with local fishermen. Lifeguards in land rovers regularly patrol the area between North and South Piers and the ever popular donkeys are always to be found close to Central Pier. Be aware if you want to have a paddle and it is low tide you may have to walk up to a mile from the Promenade wall to get to the sea edge.

Top Tip for Blackpool Beaches – Wrap up Warm outside of High Summer that wind rips through you and check the tide Times. High Tide is on the Promenade Wall. Low Tide and water’s edge is half way to Ireland.

Blackpool Beach
Blackpool Beach
Blackpool Tower Eye Glass Walkway
Blackpool Tower Eye Glass Walkway

Blackpool Tower

Who hasn’t heard of Blackpool Tower? Taken over by Merlin in 2014 Blackpool Tower is now much more than a Tower. Yes you can still ride the lift to the top but these days you are expected to ‘perform the walk of faith’ over the glass floor where you can see all those ant like people on the promenade below you. Also as part of the Tower eye experience you will get the panoramic views over  the Irish Sea, NW to Cumbria and the Lake District ( on clear days you can see the Mountains of the Lake district and the huge sheds BAE use to build Royal Navy Submarines in Barrow in Furness. On especially clear days you just might catch a glimpse of the Isle of Man on the horizon if you stand on your tippy toes. After all that awesomeness you can enjoy the 4d Cinema and they may even let you keep the glasses. Also as part of the Tower experience we have the Blackpool Tower Circus which has never missed a season performing since 1894. Look out for all-time favourites Mooky the Clown and Mr Boo who have been entertaining kids for decades. (Well the characters have).

Just for the faint of hearted I will round this section of with a quick description of the third attraction in the Blackpool Tower Experience ‘The Tower Dungeon’. Every bit like the London and Paris Dungeon but scarier. This is a walk through experience where you will see, hear, touch, smell and feel things which will turn you into a gibbering wreck.  Watch out for such delights as being tried alongside the Pendle Witches , the Plague Doctor breathing all over you and maybe think about having a quick drink in the Hangman’s Tavern whilst you await the next public execution.

Top Tip for the Tower—consider purchasing the Blackpool Big Ticket which combines attraction entry and will save you money.

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom AKA Strictly Come Dancing

The Ballroom in the Blackpool Tower is without a doubt the most famous in Britain if not the World. Constructed at the same time as when the Tower was built in 1894 the Ballroom has enthralled dancers from all over the World often to live broadcasts on BBC Radio in the days before TV and live TV broadcasts after, which still happen to this very day with the annual visit of one of the BBC most popular light entertainment programs Strictly Come Dancing. Open daily for tea, cakes and dancing to the more discerning visitors who would feel out of place in the circus or in the Dungeon.

Top Tip for the Ballroom—consider purchasing the Blackpool Big Ticket which combines attraction entry and will save you money.

 

Blackpool Illuminations 2017 1st September – 5th November

Blackpool Illuminations is this town, it is what the place is known for and afford Blackpool the ability to run its season well into the Autumn, later than any other resort in the UK. It is not a well-known fact but the Illuminations (on a much less grander scale of today) actually started before the Blackpool Tower was built. In September 1879 8 dynamo powered electric machines powered by 26 Robey steam engines lit up 8 arc lamps spaced 320 yards apart along the Promenade. It was an instant hit and attracted 100,000 visitors in the first year. Important to remember back then not many homes had electric light so for the population to be able to see see a whole length of seaside promenade lit up as it was must have been truly awesome. These days the illuminations run from Starr gate up to Bispham and are a mix of the new and the old. Some firms sponsor the exhibits along their own particular frontage and up on the cliffs at Bispham you will the tableau. Alongside South Pier you will find the static exhibit designed by Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen.

Top Tip for the Illuminations – Use the Tram or walk to travel the Lights. The traffic is often gridlocked.

Blackpool Illuminations
Blackpool Illuminations
Sandcastle Waterpark
Sandcastle Waterpark

Sandcastle Waterpark

Another favourite we always recommend to guests is the Sandcastle Waterpark. Literally 5 minutes’ walk from the front door of Moorbank House the Sandcastle is on the Promenade between South Pier and the entrance/ticket office to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Described as a Tropical water wonder-world it maintains an indoor temperature of around 28 degrees centigrade all years round so if you ever wondered where that elusive British Summer went the Sandcastle captured it. As the UK’s largest indoor waterpark the Sandcastle has something for everyone with slides, tubes, wave machines, masterblasters, lazy rivers and a typhoon lagoon. Mums and dads can take advantage of the bar, spa or cook themselves off in the sauna whilst the kids are enjoying themselves riding.

Top Tip for the Sandcastle – Book Online 7 days in advance for 10% savings and for Fast Track Admission.