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Travel / Tours / England / Blackpool
Photos from a visit to Blackpool
  Blackpool Pleasure Beach
  Seaside and piers
  Further information


Blackpool is a town with a population of 150,000. It is located in the county of Lancashire, north of Manchester. It has been a popular seaside resort since the time of Queen Victoria: after the creation of the railways and the introduction of paid holidays many working class families started to come here (including many people who worked in the old textile mills in Lancashire). The main visitor attractions are the beach, piers, amusement park and tower.

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Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a large amusement park which is a short walk from the beach. Entry to the park is free, but you need to pay to go on the rides. You can buy a one-day pass which allows you to go on as many rides as you want, or pay for individual rides. There are over 30 different rides. The largest rollercoaster is known as The Big One (before going on this ride you should empty your pockets and take off glasses or anything else which could fall out).

Pleasure Beach entrance (at night)

The Big One is a really big one!

Up to the top ...

... and down again at 85mph!

Go up & down ...

... round and round ...

... or upside down ...

... or get wet

Sweet shops

These girls decide to take a ride ...

... into the caves of Valhalla ...

on a Viking boat

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Blackpool Tower, which opened in 1894, looks like a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It is possible to pay to go to the top of the tower for attractive views, or you can look down through the glass floor. At night it is lit up with thousands of lights.

Blackpool has a long sandy beach which attracts holidaymakers from many parts of Britain (especially from the north). Making sandcastles is a popular activity for children, who carry a plastic bucket and spade onto the beach.

You can ride a tram (streetcar) along the road which runs parallel to the beach (the route extends between Blackpool and Fleetwood). The first tram line in Blackpool opened in 1885: it was the first electric tramway in the country. The UK's other tramways were closed in the 1950's and 1960's. Although some modern trams have been introduced elsewhere, Blackpool has the last remaining example of traditional tramways.

There are three piers (structures which are built over the sea), each having cafes, amusement arcades and funfair rides. The northern pier was the first one to be opened, in 1863.

Blackpool Tower


Sandy beach

Carriage rides are available along the promenade
for adults or families

... or donkey rides along the beach
for the children

Sandcastle and pier each battle against the sea

There are amusement arcades on the piers

Queue for a flight on the Big Wheel

"Please ride me"

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A trip to a tourist resort such as Blackpool isn't complete without some souvenirs to take home to remind you of your trip or to show to your friends. Below are some of the souvenirs from this visit to Blackpool. "Kiss me quick" hats are an old tradition in popular British seaside towns. In Blackpool Pleasure Beach you can buy a photo from your ride on the Big One. On one of the piers you may be able to buy a toffee apple - this is an apple covered in a hard toffee coating. A stick of rock is a brightly-coloured mint-flavoured sweet - this kind of sweet has been sold in British seaside towns since Victorian times.

"Kiss me quick" hat

Souvenir photo from a ride on the Big One ...

... or back down on the ground

Toffee apples

A stick of Blackpool rock

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Between early September and early November you can see the famous Blackpool Illuminations (check the dates with the tourist office).

In 1879 (the year before Edison patented the light bulb) the mayor of Blackpool came up with the idea of lighting up the town to attract visitors. This proved to be a great success, and soon became an annual tradition. The main road becomes very slow-moving - people like to drive along the road to see the lights. Some trams are covered with electric bulbs and offer a special "Illuminations Tour". But you can also enjoy the lights by walking along the seafront, or by looking down from the top of the Big One!

After the sun goes down ...

... the illuminations come on

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* Visitor information
Blackpool Borough Council official tourism website:
Blackpool Pleasure Beach:
Blackpool Illuminations:
Street map:

* Independent travel to Blackpool
For train timetables and to buy a ticket online, see: Shop/Company/TheTrainline.
For coach timetables and to buy a ticket online, see: Shop/Company/NationalExpress.

* Weather/tide forecast
BBC weather forecast for Blackpool:
7-day tide timetables (HW=high water, LW=low water):

* More photos
360 degree panoramic pictures:

Lonely Planet verdict: Blackpool
"Basically, Blackpool offers little else but unadulterated fun ... Its famous 'golden mile' is packed with amusement arcades, fairground rides, fish and chip shops, pubs and bingo halls ... Blackpool is famous for its tower, its three piers, its Pleasure Beach amusement park and its Illuminations ... from early September to early November, 5 miles of the Promenade are illuminated with thousands of electric and neon lights ... "
(extracts from "Lonely Planet Great Britain - 2003 edition", used with permission)
Lonely Planet Great Britain
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: May 2009
Lonely Planet England
Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications
Date: March 2009
Other Lonely Planet publications

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Places in this region:
Manchester: Travel/Tours/England/Manchester
Liverpool: Travel/Tours/England/Liverpool
North Wales: Travel/Tours/Wales/North

Seaside resorts:
Brighton: Travel/Tours/England/Brighton
Le Touquet: Travel/Tours/France/LeTouquet
Newquay: Travel/Tours/England/Newquay
Scarborough: Travel/Tours/England/Scarborough

Home page: Home

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