Blackpool is a classic destination for family holidays with its famous Tower and Promenade as well as seven miles of award-winning golden beaches, with over 12 million visitors each year, it’s Britain's number one seaside retreat.
Many come for the two largest attractions, the Pleasure Beach and Blackpool Tower. However, the town is home to many other attractions including three piers, an array of amusement arcades, a pedestrian promenade, as well as vibrant nightlife. From thrills and family-friendly entertainment to historic gems, beautiful gardens, illuminations and white-knuckle rides, there's always something new to discover in Blackpool. Take a look at our Haven-approved recommendations to help you find your feet and discover the best place to visit in Blackpool.
The Pleasure Beach
Many people consider Blackpool Pleasure Beach to be Britain's largest fair. The park began its life as a Victorian funfair with just a single ride on the sands of Blackpool’s beach. It wasn’t until the 1930s that some permanent buildings arrived, some of which can still be seen to this day as stylish period examples of Art Deco architecture.
The amusement park now has eleven rides including the “Roller Coaster” which originally gave the rides their name. In recent times however, this ride has been eclipsed by larger and more adrenaline-inducing coasters, such as the White Tower and Big Dipper. Yet these pale in comparison with Britain's tallest roller coaster ride ‘The Big One’ which towers over the rest at 200 feet high. The sight of it is sure to raise a few hairs!
Thrill seekers will also be eager to hop on The Master Blaster, Britain's longest indoor rollercoaster. With over 125 rides and amusements in total, even those who are scared of rollercoasters are sure to find something to enjoy at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. To avoid disappointment, make sure to check the park’s opening hours prior to visiting as they have been reduced in recent years.
The Three Piers
Blackpool has a whacking three separate piers to visit, the most of any British resort. The North Pier is the oldest, largest and most laid back of the three piers in Blackpool, it has retained its Victorian charm and is now a free-to-enter sun trap perfect for relaxing and catching some rays.
The central pier features a giant ferris wheel ride that offers views over the town, the British seaside classics of dodgems and scaled-down versions of the classic rides for little adventurers, and a much-celebrated bar and beer garden at the pier’s end. The South Pier is the liveliest of all three with an array of more modern rides including a log flume ride.
At over five hundred feet tall, Blackpool Tower is one of the most iconic sights in northern England. A Victorian imitation of the Eiffel Tower, the structure gives visitors excellent views over the city around it much like its French counterpart. Having said that, Blackpool Tower is more than just a photo opportunity. The tower plays host to concerts, a circus, and many celebrity events. Located between the north and middle piers, the tower is an unmissable stop on your Blackpool itinerary.
On entering the tower, visitors climb through seven levels of engrossing attractions, including an aquarium, a circus, the ‘bug zone’, and a ballroom, before going up in a glass elevator to the sky walk and observation deck. While it is a must for visitors, the tower can get busy in the tourist season, so our Haven tip is to avoid peak times.
The Model Village
Featuring hundreds of creative village scenes brought to life to spark your imagination, Blackpool Model Village takes visitors into a mind-bending world in miniature. From Scottish Castles, protected by ranks of Guardsmen to a quaint Cornish fishing village, you'll find an incredible attention to detail, as well as an oasis of peace and tranquillity away from the crowds of Blackpool centre. Marvel at the many hand-crafted models and figures that represent life's rich tapestry and step back in time to those bygone days when life moved at a slower pace. From the painstakingly rendered thatched cottages, to the Tudor village whose diminutive residents are enjoying a cricket match on the village green, it’s hard not to be impressed at the level of detail.
Kids and grownups alike can enjoy a wander around the beautiful gardens with dozens of quirky and imaginative displays in one of the most unique places to visit in Blackpool. Many new buildings are added yearly, so no two visits to Blackpool Model Village are ever quite the same.
Over a thousand birds and beasts, as well as 32 acres of parkland, with classic woodland, lakes, and waterfalls, await your discovery at Blackpool Zoo. The close encounters with animals afforded by Blackpool Zoo are a big part of the park's ethos and really set it apart from other zoos along with its excellent facilities for less able visitors and younger guests.
Blackpool Zoo is home to the only gorillas in the north-west and boasts one of the best sea lion displays in the UK. Add to those wonders, Project Elephant Base Camp, then put it all into 37 acres of beautiful, traditional English parkland and you have the hidden gem that is Blackpool Zoo, one of the best places to visit in Blackpool and the perfect attraction for the whole family to enjoy together.
Slightly inland lies the Marton Mere nature reserve, a tranquil space on the edge of Blackpool which is ripe for exploration. The nature reserve also gives its name to our nearby Haven park, one of the best holiday parks in the UK.
Guests can explore the park on a Segway, try their hand at Archery, get creative in our Pic 'n' Paint sessions, or hit the pool for some aquatic fun. From dragonflies to orchids, visitor can enjoy the site via a series of designated footpaths and bird hides and in the winter you might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a long-eared owl!