Why You Should Spend A Weekend In Blackpool

weekend in blackpool

You have probably heard of the Northern seaside town of Blackpool for one of two reasons: the Blackpool tower; home to the famous ballroom that hosts events such as Strictly Come Dancing, or the Blackpool “lights”; the vegas-style illuminations which light up the Blackpool coast every winter. Okay, lets be honest, there might be a third reason. You might of heard of it as being a cheap-as-chips holiday destination full of hen and stag parties. I had heard of all three, and so was rather intrigued and a dash apprehensive to spend a weekend in Blackpool to see what it really is all about.

We were invited to explore all the sights Blackpool has to offer by small B&B The Melville Hotel. Attracted by the short distance it takes to get there from Cheshire up the M6, along with the vast amount of things to do in one small town (you need to think about these things when you’re 8 months pregnant!), we happily accepted. Getting there was easy, as was finding the hotel right in the centre of town, next to a new and shiny shopping centre, under the shadow of the impressively tall Blackpool Tower.

weekend in blackpool

weekend in blackpool

Unfortunately for us, on the same day we had planned to arrive in Blackpool so had the troublesome storm Ophelia. We checked in, popped for a quick bite to eat, and decided on the best plan of action for the rest of our day with Ophelia now to navigate around. The high winds meant that sadly the Blackpool Tower was closed for the entire time we were there, and so we were unable to visit the top. The guys at the Tower told us that last time there had been high winds they had people trapped up at the top for 19 hours. They didn’t want to risk it and at 8 months pregnant neither did I!

We were however pleasantly surprised with the sheer amount of things to do indoors (that didn’t involve alcohol!) despite the storm. Families with young kids take note: this could be the perfect weekend away for you!

weekend in Blackpool

weekend in blackpool

The Best Things To Do In Blackpool

I was impressed with the amount of activities to do in Blackpool, and having lived in London the prices were also really impressive! For small budgets it is a perfect destination, with all attractions being purse-friendly and within a very short walking distance from one another. The Melville Hotel offered the perfect location for a base, and we were able to pop back to the hotel whenever we needed to easily throughout our day. This would be incredible for families with young kids, as you could do a whole host of fun things but never be further than a five minute walk back to the hotel for nap time, snack time or nappy changes!

Blackpool Tower Eye

The Merlin-owned Blackpool Tower offers several separate attractions, making it perfect for spending a few hours. The Tower Eye, which was closed due to storm when we visited, is the attraction at the very top offering views of the coast and a 4D cinema experience.

The Blackpool Tower Ballroom

At just over £3 to visit the Ballroom when you buy your ticket there, it is a real must. The ballroom itself dates back to 1894 and is exquisite. They do offer a full afternoon tea for £50 for two people, but if you are on a budget I recommend just buying a cup of tea and a piece of cake at their cafe for significantly less money but for a similar experience.

weekend in blackpool

The Blackpool Dungeon

I am a big fan of the Merlin Dungeons attractions, and love the London Dungeon. I would definitely recommend the Blackpool Dungeon as a fun attraction for most ages, and it’s location right at the bottom of the tower makes it really accessible.

The Illuminations

The most popular thing to do, and a must see, is the illuminations. Instead of driving down the Golden Mile to see all the lights I recommend taking one of the illuminated trams which is a low cost, easy option. To use the trams, you can purchase either a single ticket which will allow you to travel all the way along the Golden Mile and then back, or a day ticket which allows you to jump on and off throughout the day. This option is a good one if you want to visit the pleasure beach as well.

weekend in Blackpool

Image via liverpoolecho.co.uk

Madame Tussauds

Another Merlin attraction for all ages, the Blackpool Madame Tussauds is full of popular Television personalities and celebs and is perfect for a rainy afternoon activity. As with all Merlin attractions (aside from the ballroom which isn’t expensive anyway) always buy your tickets online for a considerable reduction and less queue time.

The Grand

This venue hosts some impressive shows. Book your tickets at the Visitor Centre rather than the box office for a cheaper deal.

Coral Island Arcade

It wouldn’t be a trip to Blackpool without a go on the slot machines! To be honest, the Coral Island arcade was really fun and lively, and we spent about thirty minutes playing a few fun games. This one is in walking distance of everything, and just across the road from the tower.

weekend in blackpool

weekend in blackpool

weekend in blackpool

Viva Vegas Blackpool

This show venue Viva Vegas is a great spot for catching live entertainment, magic shows, and comedy evenings. The tickets are pretty cheap, and they have a show and dine ticket option.

Illuminasia

An indoor light show which is inside the Winter Gardens, this attraction is perfect for families with kids and rainy days. It is on for most of the rest of October and some of November, so be sure to check before you go. We paid just £5 entry, and it was fun for a quick stroll around.

weekend in blackpool

RNLI centre & shop

Right on the sea front opposite the tower is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution base and shop. If you don’t know much about what they do, it is definitely worth ten minutes of your time to pop in and take a look. They have a great shop too and offer some lovely merchandise.

The Pleasure Beach

I have been to the amusement park years ago, and it wasn’t on our list of things to do this time. If you like rides and amusements, it is a cheap thing to do. They have an impressive roller coaster which gives great views of the coast (if roller coasters are your thing!).

weekend in blackpool

Where To Eat

If you love junk food and American style diners, then you will be pretty happy with the choices in Blackpool. Again for small budgets it ticks all the boxes, with quick and easy bites being readily available.

Burgers and Shakes

For a quick burger or shake, we loved Pastels. I can imagine this place getting pretty full once the pubs close. They have a huge selection of shakes, including alcoholic ones, and make yummy burgers and hotdogs which you order at the counter. Vegetarians: they also offer a vegetarian burger which sounds delicious.

weekend in Blackpool

Fish & Chips

Being in a traditional British seaside town, you have to have fish and chips on the seafront! The best is Yorkshire Fisheries on Topping Street.

Beachside Dining

Beach Side Bistro is a lovely beachy cafe style restaurant that feels more Ibiza than Blackpool. With pizzas, sushi, and delicious cocktails, it is a great place for either date night or the family.

All American Diner

We were really impressed with the fun American-style Viva Vegas Diner. It is the perfect place to take kids, with their retro car booths, and they have some delicious things on the menu. Try the mac & cheese and the BBQ ribs!

weekend in blackpool

weekend in blackpool

Where We Stayed

Our trip to Blackpool was kindly sponsored by The Melville Hotel on Adelaide Street. As I mentioned, the hotel was really in the best location for a weekend of activities. There is a large car park just up the street which offers 48 hours secure parking for £15. The hotel itself is dated, but very clean and with comfortable beds and really friendly, helpful staff. The best thing about the hotel was the amazing full English breakfast served in the pleasant dining room each morning. We were fuelled up for the day, and the American loved his experience of a traditional full English.

weekend in blackpool

weekend in blackpool

If you are looking for a budget getaway in Northern England with lots to do in a small area, I really recommend a weekend in Blackpool. Book your stay at the Melville hotel for a convenient and comfortable stay, and enjoy an easy, accessible, and low-budget weekend without the stress of an airport!

*Our trip was kindly sponsored by The Melville Hotel. No experiences were sponsored and all views remain my own. To view my disclosure and privacy policy please click here

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  • Michelle Chumbley

    I went to Blackpool once as a kid! I think I remember that arcade. Looks so fun!

    • It really was fun. I can see how kids love it 🙂

  • I went to Blackpool a few times when I was a kid and have really fond memories of the place – I think it’s time I went back!

    • I think you might be pleasantly surprised!

  • Hannah Rollings

    My hometown is 10minutes to the south of Blackpool… I have a love/hate relationship with that place. I feel like it’s bounced back a bit after being on the major decline for so long, with the introduction of cheap flights to Southern Europe. It’s not a place with a tonne of class, but there’s certainly loads to do! Thanks for bringing attention to this little weird and wonderful corner of the world 🙂

    • Definitely – I can see how there have been massive improvements recently, such as the shiny new shopping centre which now acts as a centre for the town. I was pleasantly surprised!

  • Anisa Alhilali

    My husband being English had told me about Blackpool and not good things. I am still intrigued though especially since it is so cheap and looks like so many fun things to do. Maybe I will use your post to help convince him

    • I had heard the same things, and was so intrigued to see what it was actually like. There are so many things for families to do I think it opens up a whole new side that is actually really fun. Maybe you should try and convince him 😉

  • Loved it “cheap as chips” is perfect for a staycation and I have many English friends who adore Blackpool particularly when they have kids. I think it’s all part of the British heritage from back in the day when no one could afford to go abroad and everyone liked to go to the seaside – the bucket and pail brigade my mum and dad used to call it. It’s time we started celebrating these types of places instead of running them down.

    • Exactly! I totally agree. It is such a hassle free place to take your kids, without worrying about airports and transfers. I was really impressed with the accessibility of all the attractions and things to do.