Blackpool is one of the largest towns in North West England and for 150 years its name has been synonymous with lively seaside holidays. In 1879 it became the first town in the world to have electric street lighting and the results of its pioneering use of electricity can still be seen today in its famous trams and of course the Illuminations which take place annually from the the last Friday in August to the first Sunday in November.
Few resorts anywhere in the world can rival Blackpool. The world famous Tower, modelled on the Eiffel Tower in Paris, is 158m high and has an extensive entertainment complex at its base including the Tower Ballroom. The magnificent Grand Theatre offers an eclectic mix of drama, dance, opera, ballet and comedy including a yearly Pantomime. The Winter Gardens includes the Opera House (one of the largest theatres in Europe), Pavilion Theatre and Empress Ballroom. There are three piers, miles of golden sands, the spectacular Pleasure Beach with its breathtaking 'white knuckle' rides, atmospheric trams, horse drawn carriages, Punch and Judy shows, Sealife Centre, Madame Tussaud's Waxworks, a Zoo Park, an Art Gallery - Blackpool has them all!
Whatever you choose to do by day, make sure to save some energy for the evening and sample the terrific summer shows, lively bars and pubs, for it is at night that Blackpool really stands out as the most exciting of all Britain's resorts.
Inland from the promenade, Blackpool boasts a good range of shops as well as traditional hostelries and quality restaurants. Much of the town centre has now been pedestrianised and the indoor shopping centre at Hounds' Hill is centrally situated for those looking for a little retail therapy. There is also a range of indoor markets to be found dotted around town.
Beach and Gardens
Blackpool's beaches are clean, safe and ideal for bathing. Wander along three miles of golden sands, or visit one of Blackpool's three piers. Blackpool's North Pier offers big name entertainment, whilst the South Pier has giant sculptures and other eye-catching artwork. Central Pier is geared towards families with a range of amusements, fairground rides and family friendly showbars. Visitors wishing to escape the buzz of the seafront should head to Stanley Park, which is designed around a central Italian garden and boasts an 18 hole golf course, 5,000 seat cricket ground and large lake.
Activities and Attractions
Tourist Information Tel:01253 478222
Blackpool Pleasure Beach Tel:0870 444 5566
Over 42 acres of stalls, side shows and rides from traditional merry-go-rounds to thrilling white-knuckle rollercoasters.
Madame Tussaud's Waxworks Tel:01253 625953
Five floors of life size models including themes such as 'Rock & Pop', 'Hollywood' and 'Royalty'. Visitors can also see how the models are created in the workshop.
Sea Life Centre Tel:01253 621258
Experience close encounters with an amazing array of marine and freshwater creatures, including rays, seahorses and Europe's largest collection of sharks.
Blackpool Zoo Tel:01253 830 830
Award-winning attraction which provides a home for 1,500 animals from around the world.
Blackpool Tower Tel:01253 622242
Home to a range of attractions including the world-famous Ballroom with its mighty Wurlitzer organ and the Jurassic 3D Cinema.
Blackpool Grand Theatre Box Office Tel:01253 290111
Designed in 1894, the 1,100 seat theatre presents a wide range of performing arts, from opera and ballet to stand-up comedy.
Grundy Art Gallery Tel:01253 478170
A beautiful Edwardian style art gallery with exhibitions including historical, modern and contemporary art.
The Sandcastle Tel:01253 343602
The UK's largest indoor waterpark, with spectacular slides, flumes and wavepools.
Blackpool Illuminations Tel:01253 478222
From September to early November, Blackpool stages the greatest free light show on earth with hundreds of illuminated displays decorating the promenade.
Tower Circus Tel:01253 292029
The award-winning circus has been entertaining audiences for over a century.
Blackpool Dance Festival Tel:01253 625252
Running for more than 80 years, the festival attracts dancers from all over the world.
Blackpool Air Show takes place in August and includes a display by the world famous Red Arrows. This event is free of charge.
Blackpool Winter Gardens Tel:01253 625252
Europe's second largest theatre complex consists of 12 self-contained venues which offer a range of year round events and productions.
World Fireworks Championships Firework manufacturers from all over the world try to outdo each other with stunning pyrotechnic displays.
Fylde Folk Festival is a spectacular presentation of song and dance, held in the first week of September.
For a comprehensive programme of events see: www.visitblackpool.com
Places of Interest
Southport is the perfect destination for a day out, with beautiful beaches, outstanding shops and a mouth-watering array of restaurants.
Lytham-St Annes In complete contrast to its lively neighbour, Lytham-St Annes offers a beautifully restored Victorian pier, peaceful parks, tranquil gardens, half-timbered houses and a unique air of traditionalism. There are facilities for tennis and bowls at Lowther Gardens, plus the internationally famous golf links.
Ribble Valley consists of some of the loveliest countryside in the north west, dotted with historic towns and villages such as award-winning Chipping, with its 17th century school and almshouses and the ancient riverside village of Ribchester, with its Roman remains and artefacts.
Skipton is a magnificent historic town, with good shopping and one of the best preserved medieval castles in the country.
Clitheroe is an ancient market town in the heart of Lancashire. The 12th century castle is one of the oldest buildings in the county and its keep believed to be the second smallest in Britain. Clitheroe is also well known for its plethora of specialist shops and thrice-weekly markets which have taken place since Norman times.
Lancaster has a superbly preserved medieval castle where visitors can learn about the prisoners who were held there and the regime under which they lived. There is excellent shopping in the town centre and plenty of friendly pubs and cafés.
Cleveleys is situated a few miles along the coast from Blackpool and though smaller and more compact than its neightbour it offers visitors a wealth of seaside attractions. Its brand new, award winning promenade sits alongside miles of golden sands and there is a wealth of shops, pavement cafés and an attractive seafront park.
Fleetwood is unique in that it is the only town in Britain with three lighthouses, two of which are still operational. Other attractions include Fleetwood Museum and a popular market, one of the oldest in Lancashire.
Preston is set in the heart of Lancashire and is the Uk's newest city. Its modern, vibrant facade is backed by a history spanning almost a thousand years, which is evident in its hundreds of Grade I and Grade II listed buildings and numerous museums. Home to a modern university, diverse arts scene, excellent choice of pubs and restaurants and superb shopping, the city appeals to people of all ages.
Forest of Bowland offers a diverse range of attractions. Beacon Fell Visitor's Centre offers relaxing walks and nature trails, or drop in to one of Bowland's many pubs or village cafés for a refreshing drink.