Blackpool

Reputed to be Britain’s most popular holiday resort, Blackpool is situated on the north-west coast of England; its coastline borders the Irish Sea.  There is a lot to see and do in Blackpool.  It’s one of those places that we used to go as children and is still a great place to visit now.

Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower

The Tower

The famous Blackpool Tower was opened to the public in 1894.  The mayor of Blackpool, John Bickerstaff, owned a hotel in Blackpool, on the Golden Mile.  He went to Paris, with his family, saw the Eiffel Tower and decided he wanted one too.  The rest, as they say, is history.  It stands 518 feet tall (well, 518’ 9” to be exact), contains 2493 tons of steel and 93 tons of cast iron.

The Tower is more than just a tower.  It has a ballroom, a dungeon, a circus and an eye.  The “Eye” is a fabulous lift ride to the top of the tower, and then an observation platform with floor to ceiling glass.  In fact, a bit like the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon, you can walk out over the glass.  It gives you a fabulous view of Blackpool, as well as Manchester, East Lancashire and the Isle of Man.

The Dungeon is similar to the London Dungeon, with actors depicting some of the less pleasant things that have happened in Blackpool, including things like torture chambers and old fashioned courts where it is debatable whether the punishment fitted the crime.  The Ballroom is usually open daily, from 10am to 4pm, and is something that really shouldn’t be missed.  You can dance to the music of a Wurlitzer Organ in a spectacular setting, or, if you prefer, you can take afternoon tea and watch others dance.  You don’t have to be the greatest dancer in the world; this is not Dancing with the Stars.

Blackpool Beach

Work has started on a new seafront at Blackpool, but even without it, the beaches at Blackpool are truly wonderful.  The sand stretches out in front of you for as far as you can see.  You can just sit and gaze, or walk along the beach (do it barefoot, it’s very good for your feet).  Just enjoy it.

Blackpool Illuminations

The Blackpool Illuminations are renowned throughout the UK.  The lights first went on in Blackpool in 1879 – eight lamps lit up the Promenade, and were described as “artificial sunshine.”  Back in the day, the lights went out when the tide came in because water leaked into the wiring.  Apart from that, the lights are switched on every year, and have been ever since, except during the First and Second World Wars.

The lights are switched on every fall, and the show lasts for two months.  It is said to be the greatest free show on Earth.  The lights show ranges from fibre optics to searchlights, lasers and ordinary light bulbs.  And for those concerned about the environment, wind turbines now contribute to powering the display.  The use of low-voltage lamps and the latest technology has almost halved electricity consumption in recent years.

If you are looking for a long break in Blackpool on a budget then then visit our site for the best hotels in Blackpool. It’s true that Blackpool  is one of the best resorts to visit in the UK and it is as popular now as it ever was!

Blackpool Tower photo by Dave Green