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Bold and brash, Blackpool is one of the UK’s most popular seaside resorts for good reason: it’s basically built for fun.
Blackpool holidays need no introduction (kiss-me-quick hat, anyone?). Neon lights and slots aside, there’s a lot to love about this classic resort. Visit world-class attractions, such as the Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which is home to the Big One rollercoaster, and Madame Tussauds – or embrace the traditional seaside charm that’s attracted visitors since the 18th century. Stock up on 2p coins for classic arcade games, stroll on its sandy beaches, promenade and three piers, then enjoy an ice-cream with sea views.
It may surprise you, but there’s also a clutch of cultural attractions in this northern English resort. On a Blackpool staycation, you can watch a musical in the Opera House, admire the annual Blackpool Illuminations, take a Heritage Tram Tour or chuckle as you read the catchphrases on the Comedy Carpet.
Millions of people visit Blackpool every year for a feelgood break by the sea. Whether you’re visiting for an extended break or a daytrip, you’ll be able to choose between action-packed attractions and quieter spots on the sand.
Best things to do on a weekend break
A trip to the top of Blackpool Tower is must on a weekend break in Blackpool. First opened in 1894, the tower has views out over the glittering sea from 115m (380ft) up, and you can peek down to the promenade below through its glass SkyWalk (if you’re brave enough).
When it’s sunny, take stroll down the prom from South Pier admiring the outdoor artwork of The Great Promenade Show or head to the Grade-II listed Stanley Park to wander in the Italian Garden. In the evening, book to see a comedy or musical show in the Grand Theatre.
Best things to do for families
When the sun is shining, families could happily spend the day building sandcastles on one of Blackpool’s beaches, eating ice-cream and paddling. But, English seaside breaks can’t guarantee dry weather. The kids won’t notice the rain while squealing on a rollercoaster at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, though, and can enjoy the tropical heat in the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, the Sandcastle Waterpark.
If you want to see the Blackpool Illuminations, which have twinkled along the promenade for more than 140 years, plan a family holiday in autumn and see the lights on foot rather than queuing in your car.
Best beaches in Blackpool
Blackpool’s seafront has seven miles of sand and can be split into three main sections, Blackpool North, Blackpool Central and Blackpool South. Blackpool South, near the Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park, is generally the quietest of the three. Blackpool Central, between the South and Central piers tends to be the busiest, while Blackpool North is close to Blackpool Tower.
Further afield, around six miles from the resort, you’ll find the huge, sandy St Anne’s Beach with it’s cute, for-hire beach huts. Around five miles north is Cleveleys, where you can visit the Mythic Coast artwork trail on its seafront.
Best restaurants and bars in Blackpool
If you’ve had your fill of fish and chips (if that’s even possible), and fancy a sit-down meal, head to the Bank Bar & Grill on Corporation Street. The family-run restaurant has a daily brunch menu, as well as more substantial options, such as lamb shank, pizza and pasta.
For excellent coffee and cake, sandwiches, salads or even a cocktail, try the independent coffee shop Hive on Church Street. Prefer laid-back drinking? Order a pint in 1887 The Brew Room, a brewery pub near Winter Gardens.
Best attractions in Blackpool
For an alternative view of the big attractions while you’re in Blackpool, hop aboard a Heritage Tram for a tour. You can choose between an hour-long promenade tour, a two-hour coastal tour to Fleetwood, a special ghost tram for Halloween and an Illuminations tour when the lights are on.
As well as taking in the big sights such as Blackpool Tower and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, plan a walk down one of the resort’s three piers. Dating back to 1863, North Pier is the oldest, while kids will love the iconic big wheel on Central Pier. Older children or adults can learn more about Lancashire’s past while howling with laughter in the Blackpool Tower Dungeon too.