When you think of traditional British seaside holidays, Blackpool is likely in the top three on your list. The seaside town has one foot in the 21st century, and the other firmly rooted in Victorian England. In fact, even your grandparents or great-grandparents will probably recall seaside holidays in Blackpool.
Blackpool is loveably rough around the edges. For a place to enjoy the passing sun, complain about the seagulls, and chow down on some sweet rock candy – look no further.
But what are the best things to do in Blackpool? How should you spend your visit? Here are ten tried-and-tested attractions for your Blackpool itinerary.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Adrenaline lovers, stop by the Blackpool Pleasure Beach. The Pleasure Beach is one of England’s most famous amusement parks and has been running since 1896!
Visit Nickelodeon Land, with PAW Patrol and Spongebob-themed rides (amongst many others). Or, head straight to the Pleasure Beach rollercoasters.
For the steel-nerved, you can tackle the UK’s tallest rollercoaster, aptly named ‘The Big One’. The Big One is 235ft tall and reaches speeds of 85mph during the 3-minute ride experience. Of course, you can also choose water rides like Valhalla for added risk. I won’t guarantee you’ll stay dry!
Ticket prices vary per day, so I’ve compiled data from Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s 2022 rates into a table below.
Six miles of Blackpool Promenade are illuminated by light shows and festive lit-up decorations every year. The Blackpool Illuminations attract crowds of guests and typically run over four months.
To see the illuminations, you’ll have to visit Blackpool at night. You can choose to drive the stretch and explore the illuminations by car, catch a (usually decorated) tram, or leisurely walk along the Promenade.
If you want to avoid the crowds, skip visiting on a Saturday and instead visit mid-week. The traffic is usually quieter driving from the North to South of the Promenade, although people are catching on to this trick!
In 2022/3, the Blackpool Illuminations are running from the 2nd of September until the 2nd of January. To visit is free, so it makes for a budget-friendly activity in Blackpool!
You’ll spot Blackpool Tower instantly. The red metal structure was built in 1891 and was once the tallest in the UK. However, the 158-metre tower is no longer a record-breaking height by modern standards.
Still, Blackpool Tower is a beloved British landmark and a great place to enjoy views over Blackpool and the coastline. To access the Tower Eye floor with an extra 4D experience costs £16.50 per adult and £15 for children aged 3 to 14 years old.
The views from the Tower Eye make it one of the best things to do in Blackpool, despite quite high entrance prices.
Catch a tram along Blackpool Promenade
If you prefer to keep your toes on the ground, catch a tram along the Promenade for an equally scenic experience. Blackpool trams are somewhat iconic and look like extremely unsteady, flimsy double-decker buses. For a vintage transportation experience, catching a tram is one of the cheapest and most cheerful things to do in Blackpool.
The tram line follows the beachfront and only costs £2.60 for adults on a single journey, or £4.50 for a return trip. Child fares are even more reasonable, at only £1.30 for a single journey. And, if your dog is accompanying you, they won’t be excluded from the fun. Canine passengers are welcomed with a Rover24 pass, entitling them to 24 hours of unlimited travelling for only £1.
SEALIFE is commercialised and very touristy. However, Blackpool specialises in cheesy, gimmicky attractions – so why not indulge at least once? SEALIFE is a great rainy day attraction and is well-suited to families or a fun date activity for couples.
There’s a glass ocean tunnel, a rockpool section, and even an area dedicated to rainforest creatures. You’ll spot stingrays, jellyfish, piranhas, and amphibians like Poison Dart Frogs.
For added excitement, book a turtle feeding experience for £30. Or, take to the water for £120 per person and go snorkelling with SEALIFE’s resident sharks!
Standard online tickets cost £15.90 per adult, which is quite reasonable since you can spend over half a day in SEALIFE. It may be gimmicky, but it is definitely good fun!
Visit the Sandcastle Waterpark
Blackpool has collected a few titles for its attractions over the years. The Sandcastle Waterpark is no anomaly, coined as the UK’s largest indoor waterpark.
If the sea is too cold to enjoy or you’d just prefer to ride slides instead of swimming, the Sandcastle Waterpark is a great option. You can ride the Masterblaster (the World’s first uphill water rollercoaster), experience a vertical drop on Sidewinder, or book a private hot tub in the VIP Cabanas.
You can easily spend half a day at the Sandcastle Waterpark. There is a café by the side of the rides, slides, and pools, so you can purchase lunch and snacks throughout your visit.
I’ve compiled a table with their 2022 rates below.
|Under 3 years||3-7 years old||8-10 years old||Adult (11+)||Senior (60+)|
|Ticket Price (£)||Free||12||18||22||12|
Ride the Ferris Wheel on Central Pier
Riding the Central Pier Ferris Wheel is one of my top recommendations of things to do in Blackpool. You can enter the Central Pier for free, although you’ll have to purchase tokens to exchange for rides. The Ferris Wheel costs four tokens, which you can purchase from the Ticket Booths.
At 108ft tall, you reach a considerable height on the Ferris Wheel – especially considering you are already elevated from the beach on the pier. From your squeaking, swaying perch, you can admire views over Blackpool Beach and the Promenade while exposed to all the elements.
Riding the Ferris Wheel is particularly impressive at night when you can look down on the illuminations and hectic colours and action of the other rides below.
Catch a show at the Comedy Station Comedy Club
Who doesn’t love a bit of comedy? And, since the town is prone to wet English weather, I want to provide plenty of rain-friendly things to do in Blackpool.
Comedy Station specialises in hosting stand-up events, and you can catch weekly Friday and Saturday night shows. Standard entry tickets cost £15.50 – a small price to pay for an evening of entertainment in my opinion. The weekend shows run from 7 pm until 11 pm, so you get a good deal for your money.
Try your luck at the arcade games in Coral Island
Think Las Vegas but family-friendly and in drizzly Lancashire. Coral Island is a pirate-themed indoor amusement centre with a casino, penny machines, and arcade games. Better still? It is free to enter.
Apart from the Penny Falls 2p machines, you can try virtual reality gaming and even air hockey. For a fun, light-hearted way to spend a few hours, Coral Island is one of the best things to do in Blackpool.
There is also a pirate-themed food court where kids eat free, which is worth considering if you are visiting Blackpool as a family.
Visit Yorkshire Fisheries and dine in with fish and chips
Speaking of food, who could leave Blackpool without tasting fish and chips? Stop by Yorkshire Fisheries, the oldest chip shop in Blackpool, for the perfect English dish. Potatoes might not still be delivered via horse and cart, but the shop remains a much-loved casual restaurant in Blackpool.
You can choose to dine-in or takeaway and eat your fish and chips along the Promenade. Just be warned, the seagulls are hovering for a chance to steal the first meal they see!
Blackpool is full of character and ruffled British charm. If you have any more recommendations of things to do in Blackpool, drop your suggestions in the comments below.