Blackpool is a vibrant seaside town in North West England which is home to a wealth of unique and exciting experiences. In times gone by, the town was perhaps most well known for its annual Blackpool Illuminations light festival and extensive range of nightlife venues, but now Blackpool has many more strings to its sandy bow, and it is in fact home to a catalogue of quirky days out and off-the-beaten-track activities for a relaxing Blackpool short break – you just have to know where to look!
To begin your two days in Blackpool, there’s no better way to familiarise yourself with the town and get in the seaside spirit than by hopping on board one of Blackpool’s iconic Heritage Trams. Riding along the promenade in one of these vintage streetcars, you will be transported back into the 1930’s and can experience a nostalgic tour along 16km of Fylde coastline. There are multiple tram tour tickets available, with one round trip – the Heritage Tour – costing just £5.50 per person. More ticket options and prices can be found on the Blackpool Heritage Tram Tours website.
Travel Tip: If you’re looking to travel around Blackpool on the trams and buses all day, the Heritage Day ticket is the best value. There’s also no need to pre-book as you can buy your ticket from the driver upon boarding.
After ticking traversing the promenade on the tramway off your Blackpool bucket (and spade) list, you can hop off the tram at the Tower and head inside to the famous Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Dating back to 1894, the Ballroom holds worldwide acclaim for its ornate, palatial architecture and prestigious Wurlitzer organ, and is a magical place to indulge in a glamorous Afternoon Tea. You can take a front row seat at the dance floor’s edge and enjoy an array of toothsome treats, including traditional sandwiches, delicious cakes, and a teapots of freshly-brewed tea, all accompanied by enchanting Wurlitzer organ music and dancing couples. You could even follow in Strictly Come Dancing’s footsteps and take a twirl around the sprung dance floor yourself!
There are also plenty of other delights to discover in the Tower, so it’s very easy to make a day of it. From the impressive circus show, to the spooky Blackpool Tower Dungeon and the soaring views from the Tower Eye’s SkyWalk, there’s something that little bit extra for a unique short break on the North West coast. No matter which attractions you decide to visit in the Tower, you will be surrounded by the fascinating heritage of one of the UK’s most iconic and recognised landmarks.
For an alternative to visiting the Tower, there’s the town’s fun-filled theme park, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, and for those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, a trip to Blackpool Zoo is an absolute must. The Pleasure Beach is home to some of the UK’s most exciting rollercoasters such as the world-famous Pepsi Max Big One – reaching heights of 235ft, as well as the timeless wooden coasters such as the Big Dipper & Grand National. But it’s not only the rides which deserve the praise, because the park is also a great spot to enjoy some fresh seafood, anything from prawns and mussels to oysters and champagne – the Oyster Bar (located inside the Pleasure Beach) is a seafood hotspot! Meanwhile, the Zoo can be found just two miles inland from Blackpool’s Golden Mile, and there you will find Amur tigers, lions and penguins, to name but only a few of the animals which reside there. There are also daily wildlife demonstrations and talks, but it’s best to check the animal talk timetable so you can tailor your visit around the animals you’d like to see the most.
Travel Tip: To reach the Zoo from Blackpool Town Centre, you can take bus lines 15 & 16, and from the Tower there is a special Zoo Bus (line 20), both of which take around 30 minutes.
After enjoying the seaside delights of the town the day before, it’s definitely worth using your second day to head a little further afield to the beautiful Forest of Bowland. As a Designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, it’s not so secret that it’s a popular spot for walkers, nature lovers and those just looking to enjoy some everyday escapism. One popular walk in Forest of Bowland is the Bell Sykes Hay Meadow Walk which starts in the scenic village of Slaidburn; it’s a 3.3km walk which takes around two hours to complete. Slaidburn is just over an hour’s drive from Blackpool, so it’s a an easy day trip to take from the coastal town. There are, however, also plenty of other walks to suit different abilities, so it’s worth checking out the Forest of Bowland’s online map tool to plan your perfect route.
Foodie Tip: The Riverbank Tearooms is located in the centre of the village and is a cosy stop-off point for a light bite or a sweet treat after your walk – it’s worth noting that the tearoom is closed on Mondays.
Blackpool is a great base from which to explore not only the breezy Fylde Coast but also the picturesque Lake District National Park – located less than one hour’s drive away. It’s also a town which is steeped in comforting seaside nostalgia, providing a great coastal escape with its broad range of exciting attractions and generous selection of hidden gems.
Do you have any fond memories of your short break in Blackpool? Let us know your tips and experiences in the comment box below.