While it might not have the same charm as its southern counterparts, Blackpool is still a hugely popular seaside destination in the UK, pulling in a whopping 13 million visitors each year.
Despite the weather up north being slightly erratic and the Irish Sea being a bit on the chilly side, the Victorian resort of Blackpool has plenty of charm.
There’s plenty to see, do and eat in Blackpool that’ll leave you feeling fulfilled with your little getaway, especially if you luck out with the weather!
Blackpool caters for everyone – from people on a tight budget to those who are looking for 5-star luxury – there’s somewhere to suit every pocket.
You can bag yourself a cheap break by staying in a little bed and breakfast or a local hotel like the Claremont Hotel or The Royal Carlton Hotel. Or if you fancy something a little bit different that’ll be fun for the kids, then why not look at a campsite or caravan park?
For those of you who want to splash the cash a bit further then you’re in luck. There are some lovely hotels dotted around Blackpool – our favourites include the boutique feel, Number One South Beach and the Imperial Hotel, which sits right on the promenade, boasting spectacular views over the beach.
Visit the famous Blackpool Tower – it would be sacrilege to travel all the way to Blackpool and not take a trip up the iconic Blackpool Tower. Not just any tower, the Blackpool Tower has seven separate offerings, meaning you could make a full day of your visit. From experiencing the craziness of the Tower Circus, catching the sights of Blackpool from 518ft at the Tower Eye, witnessing the town’s dark and riotous park at the Tower Dungeon or taking a whirl on the dancefloor of the famous Tower Ballroom, there’s so much to do and they’re all open seven days a week.
Basque in the sun on Blackpool beach – like the Blackpool Tower, you simply couldn’t visit Blackpool without checking out the beach. After all, that’s why a lot of people make the trek. From the long stretch of sand, the bustling piers to the numerous attractions set back from it, it’s no wonder the place is such a hotspot on a summer’s day.
Seek the thrills at Blackpool Pleasure Beach – overtaking the likes of Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Chessington, the Pleasure Beach has gained the title of the UK’s most ride-intensive amusement park. Perfect for a fun-filled family day out or a group of thrill-seekers looking to get the ride of their life, Pleasure Beach caters for everyone and is even rather affordable at just £28 for an adult when booked online.
Become a giant at Blackpool Model Village and Gardens – make your way around one of the 100s of creative miniature village scenes, as you stroll around the beautiful gardens. This enchanting attraction is set into more than 2.5 acres of stunningly beautiful landscaped gardens that lead you around the handcrafted models.
Go for a bounce at the Ascent Trampoline Park – who doesn’t love a trampoline park? Well, this trampoline park doesn’t just have trampolines, it has so much more. Head into their caving system, try your luck on the Ninja Assault Course or see if you can make your way to the top of the climbing wall. There’s plenty of activities to get stuck into, you’re guaranteed to leave with achy muscles from all the fun you’ve been getting up to.
Catch a show – Blackpool has a great scene for shows and they come in all varieties; from dance shows to musicals and plays, there’s something for everyone. What’s more, the city is home to some stunning venues steeped in history and heritage. Marvel at the beautiful architecture of The Grand Theatre, book one of the many West End shows at the famous Winter Gardens Opera House, or check out Viva Blackpool, home to some of Blackpool’s sensational shows and cabaret performances.
Visit the arcades – wasting a couple of hours in an arcade is quintessentially British and is a must-do for anyone visiting Blackpool. Relive your youth with a tub full of 2p and 10p coins and see what you can win. The Winter Gardens arcade is the perfect spot to entertain yourself for hours with plenty of laughs to be had as you try and beat each other on the games and see who can win that all-important cuddly toy from the claw.
Explore the promenade – yes, it might be better in the day, frolicking in the Irish Sea and soaking in the sun on the sand, but the promenade at night is still a great place to be. There are lots of things for kids to get involved in, arcades to spend your change in and even a pier to stroll along that has plenty of rides, attractions, shows and food and drink options too.
Paint the town red – if you fancy a bit of a night on the town then there’s plenty of options to help you along the way. For cocktails and amazing views you should head to the Bar 360 at the very top of the Blackpool Tower. Or if you fancy something closer to land with a bit of noise then check out the Blue Room. They have a great music scene that features a whole host of local talent that’ll have your toes tapping in no time. For a fully-fledged night out, your number one stop should be Funny Girls; with its colourful and all-inclusive atmosphere, you’re bound to have a night to remember.
See the Blackpool Illuminations – it depends on the time of year you’re visiting Blackpool, but if your heading there in autumn, the Blackpool Illuminations simply cannot be missed. Take a walk along the promenade and take in the six miles of illuminations. Or if you’d rather, become part of the illuminations by hopping on one of the illuminated tram tours that’ll take you down the whole length of the illumination trail, saving your feet from a walk that could take you a good few hours.
The Beach House Bistro – set on the beachfront, the Beach House Bistro delivers some of the finest seas views in the whole of Blackpool and is made even better with its option of al-fresco dining in the summer months. Not only is the view great, but the food’s not too bad either, serving up wholesome dishes with a Mediterranean feel, alongside local favourites. What’s more, from Thursday through to Sunday you can enjoy live music from talented local musicians to help enhance the ambience.
Blackpool Tower Ballroom – we’ve seen it on Strictly for years, but did you know you can actually have afternoon tea on the dancefloor. Even better, once you’ve polished off your scones and jam, you can put on your dancing shoes to show off your signature dance moves.
The Cottage – you can’t visit the seaside without having at least one portion of fish and chips. And where better to sample Blackpool’s goods then the most famous fish and chip shop in the city. It’s so good, The Cottage features in Rick Stein’s ‘Seafood Lovers Guide’ and we all know he knows his fish.
Kwizeen – this lovely restaurant focuses on delivering food that is simple, fresh, locally sourced (to within 30 miles!) and has big, bold flavours. Their menu blends British classics and Mediterranean flavours to create mouth-watering dishes that’ll make you want to book in for a second and third visit.
The Bank Bar & Grill – relatively new to Blackpool, it has definitely created a stir in the city’s culinary scene. Offering a wide selection of food options – from brunch to evening dining – The Bank Bar & Grill’s menu is complemented by their extensive range of cocktails and even a gin bar.
So, there you have it…all the best things to do when you visit Blackpool in one place! We hope you’ll have a fun-filled stay whilst you’re visiting. Enjoy!
If you’re planning a road trip to Blackpool and are on a tight budget, have a look at our guide to planning a road trip on a budget. You never know, it might give you a few tips on how you can save a bit of cash to spend when you arrive.