Blackpool’s brash and shameless attitude to fun has kept it popular with the British public for over a hundred years. It is the UK’s most visited beach resort, with more than 10 million visitors every year, and it offers a riot of lights and fireworks, bars and arcades, roller coasters and theme parks, cafes and hotels.
In Blackpool there is always something to do – a new ride to try or new show to visit. It is this constant willingness to embrace new entertainment, and an ability to adapt to changing times that has kept Blackpool popular all these years (not forgetting the seventeen miles of glorious beaches), whilst other seaside resorts have come and gone.
Blackpool has always ridden its luck. From the moment in 1846 when the Poulton to Blackpool railway line was opened, there has been an ever increasing stream of visitors who have fed the town’s growth, as businessmen and entrepreneurs began to develop ever more elaborate entertainment and build ever increasing numbers of hotels in Blackpool town centre.
This was helped by the closure of nearby Lancashire cotton mills for one week every year to check the machines. Known as ‘wakes weeks’ and with every mill agreeing to close on a different week, the result was a constant and reliable tourism industry for Blackpool hotels and businesses. Add to this Blackpool’s innovative use of electricity, (becoming the first town in the world to have electric street lighting in 1879) and the town was set fair.
These lights and the electric ‘illuminations’ which they spawned reinforced Blackpool’s leisure reputation until by 1930 the town was welcoming over seven million visitors a year. The ‘illuminations’ grew in fame every year, and Blackpool grew with them.
These days, Blackpool is still famous for the tower and illuminations but now there is so much more. No matter which hotel in Blackpool you choose, you are never more than a few yards away from some type of crazy entertainment, from the classic British donkey ride all the way up to some of the world’s best roller coasters.
From the trams to the piers and from the Ferris wheel to the Pleasure Beach Park to the entertainment centre at the Winter Gardens, there is excitement everywhere. For something a bit more relaxing there are of course the beaches, but also on offer are trips to the historic grade II listed Stanley Park, Blackpool Zoo, Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks and many other attractions that will keep even the most demanding visitor entertained.
Add to that the constant buzz of festivals throughout the year from Blackpool Dance Festival to the Gay Pride Celebration to the Rebellion Punk festival and it quickly becomes clear that Blackpool has something for everyone.