10 Great Reasons to Visit Blackpool
Why visit Blackpool? And what is there for a family to do in this Lancashire seaside town? Well for starters, Blackpool is a holiday resort that knows what it is, and generally delivers what it promises on budget. It’s a ‘marmite’ kind of place that splits opinion down the middle; some love it and others hate it. But whichever camp you fall into you’ll find something to amuse your family. What to do in Blackpool? Read on…
What is Blackpool?
Blackpool is a seaside town in Lancashire that was a national treasure until the foreign package holiday took off, half a century ago. These days Blackpool is still many things that people love about the seaside. It’s a bucket and spade. It’s fish and chips on a tray. It’s a slow waltz to a Wurlitzer. It’s bingo in your B&B. It’s a glitter ball on a neon prom. And it is beautiful, horizon grabbing bay. There was £100m in investment a while back and a report by The Guardian says it’s weathered the recession. It is not without its social problems. If you want a luxury, sun filled holiday you might want to book something else. But if you and the family are up for some old fashioned, seaside fun, then it’s definitely worth a visit.
Why go to Blackpool?
Why go to Blackpool? For a start it’s great value for money. Accommodation is cheap and plentiful. You can still play the penny machines for the price it says on the tin. You can say many things about Blackpool, and many people do. It may not be to your taste. It may not have the sun. Subtlety is not its thing. It is overrun by stags and hens. But it lets you put your hand in your pocket without wincing. And there’s a lot for a family to do.
What to do in Blackpool
So if you’ve got a head for heights, can stomach a rollercoaster, fancy fish and chips or just want a traditional British seaside experience, here are ten top ideas for what to do in Blackpool, each a great reason to visit.
1 The Blackpool Big Ticket
The Blackpool Big Ticket is a seven attraction pass that gives you entry to the Blackpool Tower Dungeon, Madame Tussauds, The Tower Circus, Jungle Jims, Sea Life, The Blackpool Tower Eye and the Ballroom. While the ticket price may seem a lot to fork out in one go (£89.45 adult, £71 child on the day but only £46 per adult, £33.50 child, £8.95 toddler if you book online), especially if you are a larger family, there are so many things to do on this tour of Blackpool’s Merlin attractions that it will last you a week if you take your time. It’s also valid for ninety days; so you can always come back if you run out of time or energy. Visit Blackpool also offers other seasonal resort passes giving entry to multiple attractions at a discount. If you pop into the Tourist Information on the prom staff can advise on passes and what to do Blackpool.
2 Blackpool Tower Dungeon
This is as much fun as I’ve ever had in a dark space with my kids in tow and a torturer just round the corner. And it’s one of the best attractions I’ve visited in a while. From the moment you enter the lift and are carried down to the maze of gloomy passageways, human actors entertain you with blood and guts, pestilence and plague and a large helping of humour. The Blackpool Dungeon is also an education into the past of Lancashire; a county that hosted its fair share of darkness, from the hanging of the Pendle Witches, to Viking attacks and Black Death.
3 Blackpool Tower Ballroom
I love Blackpool Tower. I love everything about it, from how it looks at night all lit up, to the view from the top. I love the fact that once upon a time its visionary mayor went to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris and thought it would be appropriate to stick a copy of it on the prom in a British northern town. And partly funded it with his own money! If you do one thing when you visit Blackpool, you should visit the ballroom. It takes you straight back into another time, and I’m convinced it slows down the heartbeat. The sound of the organ, the old couples dancing, the afternoon teas, the nostalgic tunes and the well preserved grandeur of the space (famous for providing the venue for Strictly Come Dancing specials) all add to the atmosphere. If I come back to this planet I want to be the organist in Blackpool Tower.
4 The Tower Circus
My nieces have been entertained by Mooky the clown at The Tower Circus every year since they were born. I was therefore expecting Mooky the clown to be far funnier than he was. If I’m honest, I found this circus a bit rough around the edges. The acrobats fell off the trapezes (thankfully onto a safety net.) There was one trick that they tried three times to pull off and had to abandon. And the finale was two pole dancers standing awkwardly while the crew pointlessly flooded the stage. (Did someone pull the plug out in the aquarium?) But wow, what a space this is. The tiny stalls, the traditional ring, the red drapes, the live band, the excitement of the kids creates such an electric and intimate setting that you can easily forgive a few bad jokes and a slip up or two. They used to keep the elephants backstage and I keep trying to imagine that entry and exit! The Blackpool Tower Circus is not something you’ll see anywhere else and whiles away an afternoon very pleasantly when you visit Blackpool. But get there early as the stalls soon fill up.
5 The Blackpool Tower Eye
I’ve done the Skywalk a couple of times, and it always makes me deliciously dizzy. While the Blackpool Tower Eye doesn’t have the iconic views of London, it still has that head-spinning sense of being on top of the world. You can see for miles. The kids enjoyed the 4D film, although it’s little more than an (admittedly inspiring) promo for the city.