Blackpool is a beautiful coastal town in Lancashire in the North West of England. It is known for its golden sandy beaches, Pleasure Beach amusement park and the imposing Blackpool Tower.
With its retro amusement parks, dazzling lights and grandiose wooden rollercoaster and theme park, this once small seaside town was transformed into the prospering holiday destination of choice in the 19th century.
There are plenty of fun things to do in Blackpool, whether you’re looking for a fun day out with the family, a romantic getaway with your partner or a rumbustious stag weekend filled with parties and celebrations.
Millions of tourists flock to Blackpool in the summer months, splattering the fine, golden beaches with parasols and windbreaks, and filling the promenade and attractions with vibrant personalities and characters.
The Irish Sea may be o the chilly side and the weather a little temperamental, but this has never got in the way of the typical British holidaymaker flooding this colourful beach town with flocks of people.
In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the best things to do in Blackpool and the best things to see during your visit here.
The History of Blackpool
Blackpool is a historic seaside town in the northwest of England. Records show that there was human activity in the Blackpool area as far back as the Bronze Age.
The town itself dates back to the 11th century, when it was founded as a fishing village, and when it was also known as “Black Poole”. The name referred to a dark-coloured pool or creek that was located near the town centre.
Over time, the name was shortened to “Blackpool”, and in the centuries that followed, Blackpool made its fortunes in the textile trade, being the central hub of Lancashire’s then-thriving textile industry.
At a similar time in the 19th century, it became a popular destination for tourists as it transformed its mass appeal by catering to holidaymakers with its coastal attractions and prospering seafront location.
Today, Blackpool is known for its extensive coastline, its three piers, its iconic iron Tower and Pleasure Beach. The town also has a thriving nightlife scene, with numerous bars, clubs, hotels, and restaurants, and is truly a unique and historic seaside town with something for everyone to enjoy.
Blackpool continues to be a popular tourist destination and is firmly established as one of England’s most iconic seaside towns.
Best Things To Do In Blackpool, UK
1. Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Blackpool Pleasure Beach is still one of the most iconic theme parks in the country and regularly makes the top 20 theme parks list in the world.
It has been ran by the same family since it first opened its doors in 1896 with its rides breaking numerous UK and world records ever since.
There are currently over 125 rides and attractions at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, making it the perfect day out for families, couples and groups of friends.
Some of the most popular rides include The Big One (more on this next), Valhalla, Infusion, Wallace & Gromit’s Thrill-O-Matic.
Revolution was Europe’s first inverting rollercoaster made from steel and The Grand National is still one of just 3 Mobius loop rollercoasters in the world.
Then there is Nickelodeon Land, the UK’s only Nick-themed area which is perfect for the kids (or big kids) with its Spongebob Squarepants ride, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Ride and the brand new Adventure Land.
Adults and children of any age are going to love Blackpool Pleasure Beach and is well-deserving of its top spot in this “best things to do In Blackpool” travel guide.
How To Get Here: 525 Ocean Blvd, Blackpool FY4 1EZ
2. The Big One
The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is one of the most popular roller coasters in the UK, and arguable the world.
It’s famous for being the once tallest and fastest roller coaster in Europe, and it’s known for thrilling its riders since its doors opened.
The Big One has been breaking records since it opened in 1994, and it’s still one of the most sought-after roller coasters in the world for thrill-seekers.
Visitors can experience speeds of up to 74 mph from its first big drop at 62m. It’s so high that they had to install flashing beacons at the top of its big drops as a signal to planes landing and taking off from Blackpool airport just 1 mile down the road.
The Big One is definitely for the adrenaline-junkers and thrill-seekers out there, and you can’t pass up the chance to ride this one whilst visiting Blackpool.
3. Blackpool Beach
Blackpool beach is one of the most popular beaches in the United Kingdom, with it recently being awarded its own Blue Flag award. You would never have known it had a hygiene problem in the late 20th century, but today it is nothing short of immaculate.
It’s a wide, golden sand beach stretching for 7 miles end to end and is well known for its lively atmosphere during the summer months.
In typical English seaside fashion, you’ll find colourful deckchairs speckled across the beach, as well as the traditional ice cream vans and donkey rides for the kids.
The beach is also a great place to people-watch, as it is often crowded with vacationers from all over the world.
Blackpool beach is home to plenty of famous landmarks, such as the Blackpool Tower and the Pleasure Beach amusement park, and as a result, it is no surprise that this place is a favourite destination for both locals and tourists alike.
4. Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in England and is one of the first things you will see when visiting Blackpool.
The tower was built in 1894 and at 158m, it was the tallest man-made structure in the world at the time, a title it held for just over a year until Eiffel Tower was completed.
Nowadays, Blackpool Tower is still one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, with over two million visitors every year.
The tower is home to a number of different attractions, such as the Blackpool Tower Ballroom, The Blackpool Tower Circus, The Blackpool Tower Dungeon and Blackpool Tower Eye (more details coming up).
You’ll find different shops and restaurants located within the tower too making it a great attraction to see to break up your day [hopefully] soaking up the sun on the beach.
Blackpool Tower is definitely one of the best things to see in Blackpool and should not be missed off your list when visiting this iconic seaside town.
Insider Tip – You can buy tickets for a lot of the attractions from the official websites, but a lot of the time they are actually cheaper if you buy them from GetYourGuide
How To Get Here: The Blackpool Tower, Promenade
Check out my other UK city travel guides…
5. The Blackpool Tower Dungeon
The Blackpool Tower Dungeon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lancashire, and is perfect for those who are looking for a bit of history and scares!
The dungeon is situated in the basement of The Blackpool Tower and first opened to the public in 2014.
The dungeon takes you on a journey through 1000 years of Lancashire’s dark past, with live actors, special effects and plenty of scares along the way!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Blackpool that are suitable for the whole family, then the Blackpool Tower Dungeon is definitely worth a visit.
Get the cheapest tickets from GetYourGuide
How To Get Here: The Blackpool Tower, Promenade
6. The Blackpool Tower Circus
The Blackpool Tower Circus is one of the most iconic circuses in the world and has been entertaining visitors to Blackpool since 1894.
The circus is located within The Blackpool Tower and hosts a number of different shows throughout the year, with something to suit all ages.
Some of the popular acts that have graced the stage over the years include The Great Wallendas, The Flying Coulonces and Bello Nock.
If you’re looking for exciting, on-the-edge-of-your-seat things to do in Blackpool that are suitable for the whole family, then a visit to The Blackpool Tower Circus is a must.
Tickets can be bought from the official website or GetYourGuide.
How To Get Here: The Blackpool Tower, Promenade
7. Blackpool Grand Theatre
The Blackpool Grand Theatre is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the town and has been entertaining visitors for over 130 years.
The theatre first opened its doors in 1894 and has since hosted a number of famous performers, such as Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, The Beatles, Judy Garland and The Rolling Stones.
The theatre has traditional neo-Baroque architecture, with ornate styles, opulent decor, grand ceilings and overhanging balconies.
Today, the theatre is still one of the most popular venues around, offering a wide range of shows and events. It also makes for a great date night and a fun thing to do in Blackpool for couples.
It also has excellent facilities, including a large auditorium, a bar, and a restaurant. Whether you’re looking for a night of entertainment or a historical venue to explore, Blackpool Grand Theatre is well worth a visit.
How To Get Here: 33 Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HT
8. The Winter Gardens
The Winter Gardens Opera House in Blackpool is one of the most iconic and beloved venues in the UK. First opening its doors in 1878, the Opera House has hosted some of the biggest names in music, theatre, and dance over the years.
The Winter Gardens is home to a variety of shows and events, ranging from musicals and opera to comedy and dance. What’s more, the venue also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, such as the famed Blackpool Illuminations.
Today, it remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in Blackpool, thanks to its stunning architecture and fascinating history.
The Opera House is located in the heart of Blackpool’s promenade, making it impossible to miss. It’s a true sight to behold, with its retro-ornate exterior and beautiful interior.
Visitors can explore the different levels of the venue, including the grand auditorium where many memorable performances have taken place. The Opera House is a must-visit for anyone visiting Blackpool.
How To Get Here: 97 Church St, Blackpool FY1 1HL
9. Sandcastle Waterpark
If you’re looking for an exciting day out, look no further than Sandcastle Waterpark in Blackpool.
With 18 different water slides and counting, it’s got enough going on here to keep the kids (and adults) entertained all day long.
From the adrenaline-pumping Aztec Falls to the heart-racing Thunderfalls, there’s plenty to keep all the thrill-seekers going.
The indoor waterpark is completely enclosed, maintaining a tropical 84°F inside and is a great place to visit in Blackpool all year round.
For the smaller kids, there is the Shimmering Shallows, and the Sea Breeze Spa for the adults and parents, featuring a sauna, steam room, aromatherapy room and heated foot spas.
Not bad right.
How To Get Here: Promenade, Blackpool FY4 1BB
10. Blackpool Zoo
Nestled in 32 acres of beautiful parkland, Blackpool Zoo is one of the top things to do in Blackpool.
The zoo is home to over 500 different animals, from lions and tigers to gorillas and chimpanzees. There’s also a Reptile House, Penguin Pool, Butterfly House, and Aquarium for you to explore.
The most recent addition is Project Elephant, which happens to be the zoo’s biggest investment in its 45-year history. It’s a huge enclosure housing several elephants, where they seem to be happy roaming around free inside.
One of the most popular attractions at Blackpool Zoo is the daily animal shows, where you can see some of the most popular animals in action.
The zoo also has a number of dining options, from light snacks to hot meals, so you can refuel after a day of exploring.
Blackpool Zoo is a great day out for the whole family and is one of the most popular things to do in Blackpool with kids.
- Adults – £22.99
- Concessions – £20.99
- Children (3-15) – £17.99
- Children under 3 go free
How To Get Here: E Park Dr, Blackpool FY3 8PP
11. Blackpool’s North Pier
The most northern of the three seaside piers in Blackpool, UK is the North Pier. It was built in the 1860s and is also the longest and oldest of the three.
The North Pier in Blackpool is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK. The pier opened in 1863 and was the first seaside pier in the country.
It was originally built as a landing stage for boats, but it soon became a popular destination for visitors to the seaside town with its traditional seaside attractions and stunning views of the Lancashire coastline.
The pier’s Indian Pavilion was rtransformed into a Art Deco theatre after a fire in 1938, and has seen many of the top classical British entertainers perform here, such as Morecambe and Wise and Bruce Forsyth.
Today, the pier is still a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It features an amusement park, a theatre, and a variety of shops and restaurants.
The pier is also home to Blackpool’s famous Illuminations, which attract millions of visitors each year, as well as a retro arcade which dates back to the 1960s for a real sense of how visitors used to have fun here.
The North Pier is an essential part of Blackpool’s history and remains one of the town’s most popular visitor attractions.
How To Get Here: North Pier Promenade, Blackpool FY1 1NE
12. Blackpool’s Central Pier
The Central Pier is one of the most popular places to visit in Blackpool, Lancashire.
The pier was built in 1864 and was originally used as a landing stage for steamships. In 1894, the pier was extended and a dance hall was built for the local town to come and enjoy.
The pier became a major entertainment venue in the early 20th century, with a variety of shows and attractions and rides, including a roller skating rink, a Ferris wheel, haunted house.
At the end of the pier, you’ll find a number of free shows, from a science show, ventriloquists and dance competitions, making it a fun thing to do in Blackpool for free and with the little ones.
The pier is an essential part of Blackpool’s vibrant tourism industry, also hosting a number of events throughout the year. Central pier – not to be missed, so get it on your Blackpool travel itinerary!
How To Get Here: Promenade, Blackpool FY1 5BB
13. Blackpool Tramway
These iconic trams have called Blackpool their home since 1885 and are now a staple part of the town.
The trams run along the 11-mile long promenade, from Starr Gate in the south all the way to Fleetwood in the north.
There are a total of 16 different trams that you can take a ride on, with each one having its own unique name and history.
The most famous tram is undoubtedly the “Balloon Car”, which was first introduced in 1933 and can carry up to 72 passengers.
If you want to take a ride on one of these iconic trams, then you can buy a ticket on board from the conductors. Adult single tickets are £2.10 but if you want to use them for the day, then you’re better off getting a 24hr ticket for £6.
14. Stanley Park
Stanley Park is one of Blackpool’s hidden gems, serving up a little bit of tranquillity from the sparkling promenade and bustling beachfront.
The park is huge, covering over 260 acres, and is home to a number of different beautifully themed gardens, a kids adventure playground, BMX track, and a particularly tasteful art-deco café.
You will also find a boating lake with a historic bandstand and amphitheatre to the side, oozing with Neoclassical tones and style.
The park is also home to the Blackpool Model Village, which is well worth a visit. The model village depicts different scenes from around Blackpool, with over 50 models in total (more on this next).
It’s a great place to take a break from the hustle and bustle of Blackpool town centre and is one of the best things to do in Blackpool for couples or families with kids.
How To Get Here: W Park Dr, Blackpool FY3 9HU
15. Blackpool Model Village
The Blackpool Model Village is a popular tourist attraction located in Stanley Park covering a huge 2.5 acres of model villages
The model village depicts different scenes from around Blackpool, with over 50 models in total and hundreds of village scenes depicted in great detail. The models are all to scale and are made from a variety of materials, including concrete, wood, plastic and metal.
The model village is open all year round and is a great place to visit in Blackpool with kids, as there are also a number of rides and attractions located nearby.
If you’re looking for things to do in Blackpool that are a little bit different, then this one is definitely worth a visit.
How To Get Here: W Park Dr, Blackpool FY3 9HU
16. Sea Life Blackpool
Located in the heart of Blackpool’s seafront, Sea Life brings this popular brand to the coast of bustling holiday destination.
The aquarium is home to over 2,500 different marine animals, including sharks, stingrays, turtles and seahorses.
Immerse yourself in the mystic and elegant underwater world of the stingrays in Stingray Adventure.
Meet the stunning Honeycomb Whiptail Rays, Blue Spotted Stingrays and Zebra Sharks as you explore the tropical reef through submerged tunnels
You will also find a number of interactive exhibits, where you can touch and feed the animals.
Sea Life Blackpool is a great place to visit with kids, as there are also a number of educational talks and shows that take place throughout the day.
How To Get Here: Sea Life, Promenade, Blackpool FY1 5AA
17. Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Blackpool
In the heart of Blackpool’s famous seafront lies Madame Tussauds Wax Works. It’s a cool and quirky place to see in Blackpool whilst you’re here, with uncanny and lifelike models made entirely from wax.
The museum first opened its doors in 1995 and is home to a number of wax figures from some of the biggest celebrities in the world, including Lady Gaga, David Beckham, The Queen and even Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
You can also find a number of interactive exhibits, such as the chance to pose with a wax figure of your favourite celebrity or take part in a game show.
Madame Tussauds is great fun for all the family and is one of the best things to do in Blackpool if you’re looking for a unique experience.
Entrance Cost: £17.50 from the official website site or £15.50 from GetYourGuide
How To Get Here: 89 Promenade, Lancashire FY1 5AA
18. Blackpool Illuminations
The Blackpool Illuminations are commonly known as the “best free light show in the world”, and if you’re around Blackpool from the start of September until the 2nd of January, then you’re in luck (Check the switch on times here)
The traditions begun in 1879 when eight arc lamps were installed along the Promenade. Since then, they’ve become world-famous and attract visitors from all over to see the six-mile stretch of coastline lit up with colourful lights.
There are now over one million bulbs used in the display and it costs around £500,000 per year to run.
The Illuminations are a spectacular display of lights, lasers and illuminated figures that line the whole length of the promenade.
Each year, there is a different theme to the light show, with past themes including “Cirque Du Soleil”, “The Beatles” and even “Britain’s Got Talent”.
In addition to the lights, there are also a number of firework displays and light shows that take place along the promenade, making this one of the best things to do in Blackpool at night.
19. Ascent Trampoline Park
The Ascent Trampoline Park in Blackpool is a high-energy trampoline park that’s perfect for the whole family. It’s a new 140,000 square foot facility, just a 12-minute drive from the North Pier.
Take a plunge into this park’s lively, action-packed playground, full of thrills and excitement and guaranteed to leave the kids wanting to come back.
Frolic with your friends on the Ninja Assault Course and Gladiator Pit or experience the floating sensation when you land on the UK’s biggest airbag.
Ascent Trampoline Park is the perfect place in Blackpool to visit with kids, or if you want to settle the worn-out kids in bed early for a night of peace and quiet!
How To Get Here: A, Prestige House, Cornford Rd, Blackpool FY4 4QQ