Blackpool has it all
For generations, Blackpool has been a famous seaside destination, after originally becoming fashionable in the 18th century.
Back in the day, tourists from across the country would enjoy a horse ride along the promenade, stroll along the long stretch of beaches and paddle in the sea. During the Industrial Revolution, many flocked to the coasts for the health benefits of fresh sea air.
Whilst it’s often referred to as ‘sunny Blackpool’, you can’t always count on the British weather! But, you can still enjoy the historical attractions of this world-famous seaside town. Here’s a brief history of some of Blackpool’s top attractions.
Let’s start with the iconic Blackpool Tower, a staple visit for any trip to the sunny seaside town – and at a staggering 518 tall, you can’t miss it! It recently celebrated its 125th birthday, having opened in 1894. It was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Visitors would pay sixpence for a ride in the lifts to the top, to appreciate the views over Blackpool and the Fylde Coast.
It’s also home to the famous ballroom (a favourite of Strictly Come Dancing), the circus, and the Blackpool Tower Eye. Whether you’re taking in the incredible architecture or enjoying afternoon tea, it’s definitely an experience not to miss.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Full of excitement, adrenaline and thrills, Blackpool’s amusement park first opened in 1896. One of the oldest attractions, Sir Hiram Maxim’s Captive Flying Machines, is still in operation today! In 1907, the first wooden roller coaster, The Scenic Railway, was opened.
Over the years, countless holidaymakers have flocked to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, as the park continued to expand and grow.
It’s home to several world-famous and record-breaking rides, like The Big One, which was the tallest and fastest in the world when it opened in 1994.
In a bid to extend the seaside resorts appeal and tourism season, an annual light festival was born in 1879. By 1912, the display had displays similar to the ones today, marking the resort’s first royal visit.
Visitors could take a stroll down the promenade and take in the brightly coloured displays, and from 1932 would marvel at the animated boards from North Shore to Bispham.
The Winter Gardens
Since the venue opened in 1878, the Winter Gardens has seen many stars take to the stage to perform. Floral Hall features a striking glass roof and in 1889, the first Opera House was planned by Frank Matcham, a famous theatre architect. When the Empress Ballroom opened in 1896, it was one of the largest ballrooms in the world.
From the iconic Blackpool Dance Festival to a Royal Variety Performance in 1955, this entertainment venue is home to a rich history and continues to host popular events today!
The GRAND Theatre
The historic Grade II listed Grand Theatre is a family favourite, and is home to a variety of shows like dance, comedy and drama. Built in 1894, the theatre opened just two months after the Tower, at a cost of £20,000. It’s often referred to as ‘Matcham’s Masterpiece’, having been designed by Victorian architect Frank Matcham. Throughout its star-studded history, the Grand Theatre has been cherished by many and restored by loyal fans for generations to come.
great plans for blackpool
The coastal resort has come a long way since holidaymakers first visited, though you can still have a traditional ride along the promenade on a horse-drawn carriage!
In the past few years, Blackpool has seen many exciting developments:
- Tramway extension to Blackpool North train station
- Electrification of the railway, linking Blackpool directly to London
- Opening of Icon, a new £16m double-launch roller coaster
- Better streets project, aimed at improving the look of the town
And there’s more to come in the future, with the £300m Blackpool Central leisure development aimed at bringing world-class attractions to the town. It includes the UK’s first flying theatre, a multi-media exhibition and a virtual reality experience.
Blackpool’s first museum is set to open in 2021 inside the new Sands Venue Resort Hotel, one of the many new hotels being built in the area.
All these fantastic regeneration projects are set to improve Blackpool’s attractions and put it back on the map as a family favourite destination.