Since the famous Blackpool illuminations have just been switched on by comedian Alan Carr, some of you may be planning a trip to Lancashire to see the lights.
Guest blogger and author Linda Jones joins us to tell us about some of the delights she and her family have enjoyed on their trips to Blackpool. Linda runs the family travel website Have a Lovely Time , which features holiday and activity reviews by parents, for parents.
Here are some of the things Linda recommends to ensure you have a lovely time in Blackpool:
- The circus
The whole spectacle is quite a show with lots of excitement and sharp intakes of breath from the audience thanks to the feats on display. This is a marvellous celebration of variety and talent from all around the world and has been going much longer than Simon Cowell.
- The Pleasure Beach - the rides and the ice shows
Our favourite rides are the Derby Racers and the Flying Machines. The ice shows are something else. Ever since Dancing on Ice has been on, they have boasted some of the stars of the programme and next month, a previous winner will be no doubt packing the place.
- The Tower, especially its ballroom
Now The Tower is pricey to get into so we haven't gone every time. But the circus is included and that's amazing. There's also good fun entertainment to be had on other levels. Our favourite, after the circus is the ballroom. We like to sit and watch the world go by, marvelling at the couples in their finery as they take to the floor, enjoy a cream tea or listen to the organist. Sometimes we have caught a show put on by a local stage school, which has been a nice surprise or taken to the dancefloor ourselves.
- The Illuminations
If you've heard Blackpool called the Vegas of the North, then this is why! The almost six miles of lights are said to attract more than three million people a year. I hope they all like chips. Be prepared for your journey to take ages if you are going by car and don't expect to be able to hop on a tram on your first go at night. Funnily enough some of those other three million people seem to have the same idea.
- The Sandcastle
We have been known to spend the best part of the day here. I'm including it as my daughters love it, especially the impressive collection of daredevil features and slides.
- The Piers
Oh my what happy memories we have of Blackpool's piers. We once saw The Krankies and Stu Francis in a show, along with a reincarnation of Bucks Fizz. Yes this is a happy memory in case you are wondering. It was just after Janette recovered from a fall from a beanstalk and she started the show on a motorised scooter.
Hailed as an icon by many, and arguably still best known for seeing off Coronation Street baddie Alan Bradley, the trams are a wonderful and nostalgic part of any stay in Blackpool.
- The Imperial Hotel
It's a lovely grand hotel, with excellent service. Adding to the excitement last time we stayed were Britain's Got Talent auditions which coincided with our stay. We suggested our children went in as a cutesy girl group but they were having none of it.
- Bed and breakfasts
Blackpool landladies are the stuff of legend. Unfortunately the Economy sausage, bacon and warm orange juice served straight from a box on a communal table we experienced are not. But still we loved them - the B&Bs, not the gristle. The carpet may have been older than me, and Shake and Vaced within an inch of its life, but the parrot in the lounge who could say: "Hello Darlin'" more than made up for it.
- Louis Tussauds
One of my first memories is of my nan shrieking 'heavenly Godfathers' as a fake spider landed on her in this much maligned waxworks show. These days it's best known for how hilarious its dummies are to some. Got to be worth a look!
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