Saturday, 21 January 2012

Blackpool, Northern England, UK, April 2011!

Jewel of the North, Hen party destination and home to 'The Big One' - Blackpool. Our good friend Blakeley left us to start a new life in Australia last year (and the one whose wedding we will be attending in Thailand later this year) and before she left we decided to have an impromptu hen party weekend in Blackpool with just the 3 of us. We road-tripped via Manchester and it took about 7 hours from London.

There are a couple of reasons why you should go to Blackpool:
1) It is entertainment central - whatever time of the year
2) It has Blackpool Pleasure Beach (we would say the best value theme park in the UK)
3) Blackpool illuminations
4) It has a lot of sandy beach
5) More random events than your average seaside resort including: Carnival Ball Burlesque, Comedy Carpet, Showzam....if you want to read more about these check out

Our trip was in April 2011 - make sure if you are going at a peak time you book your accommodation, we stayed at a B&B and managed to get a room for all 3 of us. It was a couple of streets away from the Pleasure Beach but as we arrived in the evening Sarah thought it was only fair to introduce Laura and Blakeley (also an American) to the British delight of traditional Fish & Chips, complete with wooden forks!
Giving the Yanks some Northern culture
The next day we took on the Pleasure Beach - if you check online they do A LOT of offers including half price tickets - the great thing about the Pleasure Beach is that it is jam-packed, and we mean roller-coasters winding around each other kind of packed, and more rides that we could get around in one day. The amount and diversity of rides means that the queues are limited and there is something for everyone.
Just a few of the rides behind the girls!
The Americans were somewhat shocked by the age of some of the rides and the 'lack' of safety harnesses. In particular the Steeplechase....if you have never ridden a horse I would imagine this is a little bit like that. For safety there is a strap across you lap but as you are suspended on a horse, that's on a bar, that's 10ft in the air it doesn't feel quite enough - especially as you take the corners!
There are too many awesome rides to list here but here are some of our favourite pre, during and post ride shots.

If you go to the Pleasure Beach DO NOT leave without trying the Big One - you'll get the best view of Blackpool from the top! It's the tallest and fastest roller-coaster in the UK and it is AMAZING!

There is also great nightlife in Blackpool; they don't attract the hen parties for no reason! We aren't normally leading the way on nights out that include cheap drinks, cheesy music and fighting for dance floor space but we hit the town (dressed appropriately) and had a GREAT night. The nice thing was everyone was friendly and in the cafe where we had our late-night snacks we made a few new 'friends'.

On our last day we played mini-golf in the beautiful sunshine before strolling along the beach. There has been SO much regeneration in the area that it doesn't look anything like it did 10 years ago. Well, you still have Blackpool tower and the other traditional sights but it is SO much cleaner and everything has been modernised. They even have Nandos :)

If you head to Blackpool after 31st August you will be treated to the best light display in the country. This year (2012) will celebrate the Centenary of illuminations. Here's some facts about the lights!

  • The Illuminations started with a display of eight arc lamps back in 1879.
  • The event was so innovative it even preceded Thomas Edison’s patent of the humble electric light bulb which didn’t arrive until the following year.
  • In 1879 the Illuminations were described as artificial sunshine and 100,000 people came to see this first great light show.
  • The equipment weighs more than 711,000 kilograms which is equivalent to 350 Blackpool trams.
  • There are over a million lamps in the display.
  • In 1939 the lights were erected but never switched on because of the outbreak of war.
  • In the 1960's electronic controllers were pioneered in the Illuminations. Rope light or "linear light" as it was originally known was also pioneered here.
  • Cable and wiring in the display stretches more than 200 miles.
  • The Illuminations cost £2.2 million to stage.
  • The equipment itself is worth about £10 million. 
  • Wind turbines at the Solarium on New South Promenade contributed to powering the llluminations for the first time in 2004.
  • In 2002 the display included a world’s first in exterior LED technology.
  • Altogether 65,000 staff hours are used on maintenance, preparation, erection, operation and - finally - dismantling the features, fixtures and fittings.
You must have a ride on the Blackpool trams too. As Blackpool is laid out along a seafront (known as the Golden Mile, but its actually over 3 miles) there is a lot of walking so we would advise using the trams. The trams have 'killed' a few Coronation Street (a UK soap) characters in their time but ultimately they are fun, (safe), unique and you can't miss them. And don't forget to see the pier if you want to get a full view of the promenade.

It doesn't matter how old you are or how many times you've been to the seaside Blackpool is well worth a visit - any time of the year!

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Lots of Love, Sarah & Laura xoxo


  1. Aaaaw, looks like you had a fabulous time!

  2. Looks like you girls had a great time! But I must say blackpool has never been a place I've wanted to go.. & not sure I ever will. Rides scare me.. & that horse ride what th hell??? lol

    But yay for fish & chips!

    M x

  3. Looks like you had sooooo much fun
    I used to go to b'pool quite often when I was first coming out.... Is that huge gay club still there...Flamingo's? How aout the Flying Handbag and Lucy's Bar?
    I once went all the way to Blackpool to buy diva Crazy eh? Xx

  4. You had obviously had a great time in Blackpool. Thanks for sharing the pictures and the videos. Have you tried the spa hotels Blackpool? They said they have great ones in there.


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