Our favourite things to do in Blackpool
Blackpool is the spiritual home of the staycation. Throughout the year, people flock from far and wide to sample what this seaside favourite has in its locker.
The town is awash with things to do, adding more than a hint of variety to any break. From beaches to aquariums, parks to trams, you won’t be short of something to grab your attention in this gem of the North West. There are so many attractions within walking distance of each other, meaning an action-packed day is always on the cards. Regardless of where you go, you’re never too far from the world-famous tower, undoubtedly one of the UK’s most iconic landmarks. Find out more about our favourite things to do in Blackpool in this fun-filled article.
The beach is a fitting way to kick off this list of things to do in Blackpool. One of the jewels in the crown of the town, the sand stretches for an incredible seven miles through the centre and out to the suburbs. There are three massive piers to be explored along its course, with the northern offering having grade II listed status to its name. Built in 1863, it hosts amusements, fantastic food and theatre that has played host to many a famous name.
Its southern sibling is a brilliant place for all the family, resembling a mini-theme park that stretches into the Irish Sea. The sand is generous at high tide, and vast when the sea heads out. Donkey rides and deckchairs decorate the terrain, and the promenade offers easy access to the rest of Blackpool’s sites.
Blackpool Tower stands spectacularly over the horizon, regardless of where you find yourself in the town. Open to the public since 1894, it was previously the tallest structure in the whole Commonwealth of Nations and has drawn inevitable comparisons with the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The tower has a wide range of things to do, hosting the iconic Tower Ballroom, home to decades’ worth of stellar shows. In recently years, it’s perhaps best known as the location for themed weeks of the ever popular Strictly Come Dancing. The tower’s circus is also world-famous, playing host to punters since the early 1900s.
There’s also a crazy golf course, and the frightfully entertaining Blackpool Dungeon. No visit to the tower is complete without heading for its summit. Known as the Blackpool Tower Eye, the 120-metre height it reaches is unrivalled in North West England. There are incredible views of the coast and its surroundings from the top, representing one of the greatest vantage points in the entire country.
SEA LIFE Blackpool
Worthy of its own feature, SEA LIFE is one of the best things to do in Blackpool. It gives visitors a chance to get closer than ever to the creatures that inhabit our seas, with creatures ranging from the recognisable to the curious and incredible. You’ll discover an amazing underwater world within reaching distance of our Blackpool caravan parks and all the other sights that make this town so special.
More than 1,000 different fish species call the aquarium home, originating from all four corners of the world. Flashlight fish, Leopard Eels, Fuzzy Dwarf Lionfish, Brittle Stars and Spider Crabs are just some of the fascinating aqua species here. Consistently rated as one the go-to places for families, you’ll get close to the action with a walk-through underwater tunnel that runs beneath tropical reefs. There is an opportunity to see the animals be fed, and the centre even runs sleepover nights.
Stanley Park sits about a 20-minute walk from Blackpool’s famous promenade. Also accessible by car, there is handy free onsite car park welcoming visitors every day of the week. Designed and built in the 1920s by Thomas Mawson, it’s a grade II-listed site and is part of the Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. It’s a great place for a walk, with a clock tower in the centre of the park a common meeting place for loved ones.
The Italian Gardens are one of the star attractions, neighbours with a hireable boating lake and an outdoor amphitheatre. These components combine to offer an experience that is a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the often immensely busy seafront. The park is also a sporting haven. Tennis courts, an athletics arena, and a cricket ground join grass that is ideal for a kickabout or a few games of your own. Blackpool Sports Centre added to the action in the 1990s, boasting a climbing wall, all-weather football pitches and several netball courts.
No visit to Blackpool is complete without a ride on one of the town’s world-famous trams. Ultra-modern carriages join a loveable fleet of restored stock to host the UK’s oldest surviving transport mode of its kind, and for a time one of the country’s few tramways. The tracks date back to 1885 and is one of the only sites in the world that uses double decker trams. Often associated with the history books, their top deck is the place to be to take in all the sights and sounds of Blackpool.
The line itself runs along 11 miles of coast and is the best way for a day out along the Lancashire coast. From Starr Gate in the south all the way up to Fleetwood’s Ferry stop, 61 stops each offer something a little different. Select a few to disembark from and you’ll be able to see even more of this great area of North West England.
Blackpool Zoo is another inland adventure and can easily be tied in with a visit to the town’s park. It’s one of the popular things to do in Blackpool, winning multiple awards across the years. 37 acres of English parkland are home to a whole host of animals from around the world.
You’ll find the only gorillas in North West England here and the Sea Lion display is an experience that will live long in the memory. Over 1,000 animals are looked after by the zookeepers, with everything from giraffes to zebras being looked after. There is also a cute miniature railway onsite, and cafés and restaurants make this viable for a long day out. Close encounters with animals, incredible facilities and friendly staff make this a must-visit attraction.