There's more to Blackpool than the Blackpool Illuminations

7 surprising things you might not know about Blackpool

Posted on by Christine Felton

The seaside town of Blackpool has many different reputations, with some thinking it a relic of faded Victorian seaside glamour and others seeing it as a hub of family entertainment.  We all know about the resorts famous attractions, from the world-famous Blackpool illuminations, Tower Ballroom and Pleasure Beach to fish and chips, pier and Blackpool rock, but dig a little deeper and you’ll discover a world of fascinating facts.

Here are 7 things you might not know about Blackpool, some of which may surprise you:

  1. There are famous (and fun!) sand dunes just 20 minutes away. Blackpool itself might have 7 miles of glorious beaches, perfect for playing and picnicking on a single parents holiday in the school half term, but it can’t compete with the famous sand dunes at Lytham St Annes. Just 20 minutes drive away, the sand dunes are also a rich wildlife habitat.


  1. Its Tramway network is 130 years old. The fantastically nostalgic tramway in Blackpool is one of the oldest electric lines in the world, dating back to 1885. Before it was modernised in 2012, it was the last surviving first-generation tramway in the UK. However, it still runs a heritage service between March and November, so there’s still a chance to hop aboard and step back in time.


  1. The Blackpool Illuminations were once opened by a horse. The Blackpool illuminations, one of the main reasons why people visit Blackpool, are traditionally opened by a celebrity figure. Back in 1977, no other than the famous racehorse Red Rum did the honours, and also opened The Steeplechase rollercoaster.


  1. It has over 30 listed buildings. The town of Blackpool is known for its historic Victorian architecture, but not many people know that there are so many listed buildings – including the magnificent Winter Gardens and the Baroque-style Grand Theatre.


  1. It has a museum of oddities, including a portrait of Princess Diana made of thousands of pennies. If you like a taste of the weird and wonderful on your half term holidays, the unique Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum and it’s ‘odditorium’ is a must-visit.


  1. You can see up to 70 miles of panoramic views from the Blackpool Tower Eye. At the very top of the tower is the highest observation deck in the North West, with amazing views of Bowland and the Lake District, as well as Liverpool and the Isle of Man on a clear day.


  1. It takes seven years to re-paint the Tower, and an escapologist once got married hanging from the side. Not that you’ll be trying any of these rather risky activities on your single parents holiday to Blackpool (or at least we hope not!), but it’s fascinating to know that maintenance teams spend up to seven years giving the famous Blackpool Tower a fresh lick of paint, and that in 1985 escapologist Karl Bartoni and his bride tied the knot while suspended in a cage off the side of the tower – that’s one way to make your big day memorable!

To delve a bit deeper into the hidden gems of Blackpool, or simply to enjoy its many popular attractions, from pier to water parks, rollercoasters to zoos – join our single parents holiday to Blackpool in the October school holidays.

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