Go on a weekend break the old-fashioned way, with some picture postcard fun in the UK’s most popular seaside resort
A short break in Blackpool is guaranteed to provide thrills, fun and a great value seaside escape. It’s Britain’s most popular resort, with 13 million annual visitors arriving in search of a little light entertainment and a lot of beach coastline – seven miles, to be exact. Blackpool first became a popular holiday destination during the Victorian age, when the advent of railway travel opened up Britain’s coast to city workers. But, in an age when low cost flights have made the entire world a holiday option for many, Blackpool’s appeal endures – perhaps because it guarantees a type of nostalgic British holiday that many still yearn for.
When planning your visit to Blackpool, it’s worth bearing in mind its popularity… if you’re not tied to the school holidays, then it’s best to avoid them, and if you can take a mid-week break you’ll avoid the parties of hens and stags looking to partake in some of the UK’s liveliest nightlife. Unless, of course, that’s what you’re after!
When is the best time of year to take a short break in Blackpool?
Visit in summer time and you’ll get the best of the beach. Blackpool recently won a Blue Flag gold standard for its shoreline – a global award recognising outstanding beaches for their cleanliness and safety. It’s a seven-mile stretch of sand, home to three large piers and the 158m-tall Blackpool Tower. With donkey rides, ice cream vans and plenty of arcade action, it’s an old-fashioned way to enjoy a British summer beach break. However, you won’t be the only holiday-maker on the beach. If you do want some sand to yourself, you can travel up the Lancashire coast to find quieter spots, while still staying in Blackpool and accessing all of its evening attractions.
Blackpool has invested in spectacular lightshows to extend its tourist season – the illuminations take pace from the beginning of September until early November. They have been a fixture of Blackpool recreation since 1879, when they were described as ‘artificial sunshine’. It’s a fantastic light show, consisting of lasers, neon, light bulbs, fibre optics, searchlights and floodlighting, arranged in more than 500 special scenes. If you’d like access to the Winter Gardens and Pleasure Beach but are a bit wary of the crowds, you can visit as early as March, when they open to the public.
What’s the best way to get to Blackpool?
Blackpool is easily accessible by road, rail and even sea. The M55 motorway takes you right up to the resort, and there are many coach services that take this fast route and drop you in the new Central Coach Station, from where you can walk to all of the city’s attractions. Train links are excellent – there are direct services from Blackpool North to Manchester International Airport, Manchester Piccadilly, Liverpool Lime Street and York, as well as speedy Virgin ‘Pendolino’ trains to Preston, which has direct services to many major UK cities.
What are the best beaches near Blackpool?
Four miles north of Blackpool is a smaller resort, Cleveleys. The beachfront and promenade have recently been completely renovated, and the resort is now very clean and well presented. It attracts an older visitor than Blackpool, and is good for those seeking a rummage through charity shops or a cup of tea on the beachfront. Another spot that’s close to Blackpool but much quieter is Bipsham. It has a large sandy bay and a small, rather quaint town attached. Heavy metal fans might take the walk to Heysham Head – the gravestones here were immortalised on a Black Sabbath album cover.
For a complete break from the bright lights of Blackpool, head less than five miles down the coast to pretty Lytham. Tucked between the city and the Ribble Estuary, this seaside town has a vast sandy beach, donkey rides and ice cream vans, but no fairground rides or arcades. This means lots of kids building sandcastles, but much less noise from the resort. There are also pleasant sight-seeing spots – a green windmill and a boating lake are found just behind the beach, and there’s a pretty lake at Fairhaven with rich-pickings for bird watchers. It’s a world away from the bustle of Blackpool, but close enough to drive there in just a few minutes.
This famous seaside town has something for everyone to enjoy, so why not take a look at our hotels in Blackpool and experience it for yourself.