With the school holidays approaching with 9 whole days of entertainment needed for the children, I thought it would be a good idea to share a series of blog posts with you this week to give you some ideas for days out during half term. On Saturday I’ll be sharing my tips for surviving a bank holiday trip to the National Railway Museum in York but today I’m tackling the North West, and where better to start than Blackpool?I recently revisited the North West during the February half term and despite living, studying and working in the region for around 8 years, now that I have moved away I have returned with tourist eyes. And I could not believe what I saw – plus there’s a new attraction at the Pleasure Beach – more about that later..! Here are my highlights for a day trip to Blackpool: Traditional Seaside Fun Blackpool is the ideal place visit if you want to ensure that your children have the same experiences that you had as a youngster. Remember the donkey rides, deck chairs, ice creams and candy floss? They are all still there at Blackpool. There’s nothing better than a stroll down the promenade, listening to the seagulls squawking and eating chips wrapped in paper. Plus, you’ll be offered cheese and gravy on your chips, which is a winning combination, trust me! Blackpool is like the seaside town that time forgot and you can still pick up the traditional ‘kiss me quick’ hats and candy dummies from the kiosks along the seafront – and don’t forget to bring home a stick of Blackpool Rock!
Amusements and Entertainment You can’t miss the amusements and casinos along the Golden Mile, they are so brightly illuminated and the electronic tunes of the grabbing machines drifts across the promenade to tempt you in. It doesn’t have to be an expensive trip if you stick to the 2p machines, and you can encourage the little ones to save up their pennies for the arcades throughout the year as they look forward to their seaside holiday. For the grown-ups Blackpool is practically the Vegas of the North with casinos galore – if you want to get an idea (and some practice!) of the kind of games you’ll find in a Blackpool casino, try out Netbet Casino for inspiration and preparation. With three piers full of arcade games and slot machines you’re really spoilt for choice if your family like a good game of bingo followed by carrying a massive teddy bear (that practically needs to purchase its own tram ticket!) home.
Landmarks One of the most iconic images of Blackpool is of course the Blackpool Tower, so a trip to the seaside town wouldn’t be complete without a stop of at this famous landmark, built in 1894. Take your photos outside while enjoying all the jokes on the ‘Comedy Carpet’ (see my blog post about it here) and head inside to enjoy the circus, scary dungeons and an even scarier 518ft trip to the top. I recently visited The Blackpool Tower Ballroom and was amazed by the gorgeous architecture – why not treat yourself to afternoon tea in this famous venue while you’re there? And don’t forget that the Blackpool Pleasure Beach is also a landmark attraction. People visit from around the world to ride The Big One rollercoaster so get a wristband for all the family and enjoy a whole day at the most ride-intensive theme park in the UK. Plus the Red Arrows Skyforce – the ‘next generation of white-knuckle rides’ – has just arrived at the Pleasure Beach. The new ride opens on Bank Holiday Monday so you can be one of the first people to experience this thrilling attraction. I’ve watched a video of Skyforce online and it looks amazing! I don’t particularly remember the town being quite so vibrant, but my recent visit has proven that the years of seafront regeneration have all been worth it, as the promenade has never looked so good. The seafront attractions all seem to have been revamped or repainted and there are more artworks along the ‘Golden Mile’ than ever before. Even without the famous Illuminations, Blackpool is looking pretty darn good and is well worth a visit during the school holidays. Let me know if you take a trip to Blackpool and I’d love to hear what you get up to there – please share any tips for places to go and things to see by leaving me a comment below 🙂