Back in May, over a rather lovely bank holiday weekend, me and my little family took a spontaneous overnight trip to Blackpool. It’s been about a decade since I last visited, but I mostly remember going as a young kid to see the illuminations. In recent years, I feel like it’s had a bit of a reputation for being rough around the edges and although I was a little unsure about taking a toddler, I should NOT have worried at all.
Yep, Blackpool is full of tat. You won’t find many corners without a token plastic souvenir. And a lot of the buildings and numerous bargain-bin-type stores are not what I’d call high-end. BUT, I honestly think that’s EXACTLY where the charm lies. Modern doesn’t automatically mean better and there is a real celebratory sense of nostalgia in Blackpool that I took a genuine liking to.
I may have taken about 300 family pictures of my little girl eating sand, but for this post, here are a few of my favourite snaps of pleasant colourful cheer on our adventure, with a heads up that it’s probably going to be mostly feet selfies. #sorrynotsorry If you’re thinking Blackpool is all slot machine and pissed teenagers, think again…
Blackpool zoo was mountains of fun. The perfect size for our easily distracted 2 year old, with a good variety of animals and adorned with colourful walls for photo ops – she is my daughter after all – and animal footprints to hop along as you go. We had a fab day pretending to be monkeys, picnicking in the fallen blossom, and losing ice cream to a family of hungry seagulls.
We stayed in an incredibly cheap B&B (£40 a night), which saw 3 terraced hotels recently merged into one. The result of the merge meant that there were 3 distinctly dated designs blocked next to one another and I love that it felt like a time warp. It was wrong in all the right ways. I mean, LED strip lights had been used as part of the modernisation and I think it’s a cheerful reminder that we all have our own opinion as to what constitutes ‘trendy’. Oh, and despite the wacky carpets running right up the wall, which always makes me chuckle for some reason, I must say this place was run by some of the most accommodating hosts I’ve ever encountered. Lovely little surprise.
If you’re a fellow colour-hunter, Blackpool is a cracking place to start. Sticks of rock and neon buckets and spades line the streets. But so do brightly painted homes and classic casino carpets (which I know now from working in the flooring industry once upon a time, a busy carpet patten just helps to disguise dirt better).
You may not be a fan of casinos or arcades but let’s not forget that there is the beach! It was in fact, my little girl’s first trip to any beach and she adored every second. Splashing through the water, making sandcastles and picking her favourite seashells. We cleaned up on the Blackpool Tower promenade, which these days is completely filled with the quotes of some of the most loved TV stars. It’s just outside Blackpool Tower if you’re interested. Couldn’t resist the Eranu photo opportunity. Who else was a Shooting Stars fanatic?
I mean, we couldn’t very well go to Blackpool and not visit the tower could we? It’s like a British right of passage which I felt was necessary for my daughter to experience. What I wasn’t expecting was for the building to be so beautiful inside. Full of original restored tiles, stained glass windows and incredibly high archway ceilings, it was like stepping into the most grand period property. The views, even from the halfway point, were stunning, and if you’re brave enough, there is even a glass floor on the top viewing platform. Would you dare look down?
Isn’t it a gorgeous place? So much to see and not at all what I expected to see from my earlier memories. We’re already planning a trip back with it being so close to Manchester to get our neon fix when the infamous illuminations are set up in Winter.
I did do a vlog to capture some of our memories. Take a peek and let me know what you think – as well as kid-friendly/colourful recommendations for when we return!