Blackpool: More Than Just The Pleasure Beach
Blackpool is a popular seaside resort which lies in north-western England on the Fylde Coast of the county of Lancashire. The city was named after a drainage channel which ran over a peat bog into the sea of Blackpool, the water forming a “black pool” in the waters of the Irish Sea. The town became an independent unitary authority in 1998, and is the most visited tourist destination in England after London.
Blackpool now has a population of more than 153,500, with several ethnic groups comprising of English, Irish, Welsh, Ulster, West Indian, Indian, Pakistani, and other.
Blackpool is linked by the M55 motorway to the national motorway network. Blackpool Airport is situated only 2½ miles (4 km) from the town centre, serving regular charter and scheduled flights. Another smaller airport serves commercial flights from the Isle of Man, Belfast and Dublin. The city has 3 main train stations – North, South and Pleasure Beach. A still-surviving popular means of public transport in Blackpool is the tramway. By bus, the area is served by two main bus companies -Arriva North West Buses and Stagecoach, with frequent buses on local routes.
Reputed to be “Britain’s undisputed capital of entertainment”, Blackpool has a plethora of nightclubs, pubs, entertainment venues, and eateries that cater for every taste and every budget in every area of town. The city has more than 30 discos and night clubs, one cinema complex, four theatres, and three piers, mostly located in and around the town centre. Blackpool is also the 2nd biggest retail centre in Lancashire, and Hounds Hill, the only covered shopping centre is located in the middle of town next to the Blackpool Tower.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in Blackpool include Blackpool Zoo, home to over 1500 animals from all over the world; Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a theme park featuring the tallest rollercoaster in Europe; Winter Gardens, an entertainment and conference venue; Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks, featuring wax models of celebrities, musicians, sports personalities and the famous Chamber of Horrors; and Tower World, a large complex of leisure facilities, entertainment venues and restaurants. Tower World includes the Blackpool Tower and Circus, supposed to be Britain’s best circus, featuring ballroom dancing and an aquarium; and Tower Ballroom, an elaborately decorated dance hall and theatre famous for its Mighty Wurlitzer organ.
There are plenty of places to stay in Blackpool from the famous landladies through to plush hotels.
There are also various events and festivals in Blackpool such as Blackpool Dance Festival, annual ballroom dance competition which is world-famous; the Great Promenade Show, featuring a number of artwork along South Promenade, featuring the Blackpool High Tide Organ; Blackpool International Hair and Beauty Festival, a two day hairdressing Championships; Totally Transport, hailed as one of the North West’s biggest classic transport festivals, featuring classic buses, cars, coaches, commercial vehicles, motorbikes and trams; Lions Blackpool Carnival, a stunning carnival parade of over 1000 people, floats, vehicles, bands and dancers; Blackpool 10km Promenade Fun Run, a 10km fun run along Blackpool Promenade for professional and amateur runners in aid of local charities; and Blackpool Illuminations/Festival of Light, presenting six miles of shimmering lights, lasers and LED technology.