Weekend Away: Blackpool


Going with the principle that it is better late than never, I thought I’d finally write up a lil summin about my recent weekend away. I say recent, it was probably about month ago but with different projects on the go (more on them later) I’ve only just found time for getting back the blogging mojo.

I’m not going to lie, I was excited about this weekend away… right until the night before. Then the nerves kicked in; because going on dates is all well good, but almost 3 complete days with a person is another kettle of fish, right?

Despite being a northerner, I’d never really done the whole Blackpool thing. I’d been to a disappointing firework display (read about that here) and probably been driven through the illuminations a few times without paying much attention to the actual place.

We set off and the Friday, with the sun beating down and managed to get all the way there without getting lost. Easily pleased, me. We stayed at the Sea Crest B&B which was near the front, but fair enough away that you didn’t get all the noise. The only thing I could fault was the décor… a portrait of babies (complete in bumble bee outfits) above the bed seemed a bit weird. On a mucky weekend, who wants the potential consequences staring you in the face?

After leaving the car on a side street, just round the corner from the guesthouse (though I am led to believe there is secure parking just across the road) we set off up to the front. Stopping to play a game of mini golf, one of the first attractions we came across on our way to the front – it is safe to say that all the PE lessons forced upon me at school are yet to take effect. A thirteen hole course took over an hour, and a lot of fishing small balls out of ponds.

In my naive little mind, going up Blackpool tower was just that. You went up the tower, stood on the glass floor then went back down again. But oh how times have changed. There is now (I say now, but to be honest I’m not sure when it began) a 4d tour (you can see the official write up here, if you fancy it). Arriving at the Tower, we were called from the waiting room into an auditorium, and instructed to pick up a pair of 3d glasses en route. The room looked at first glance, like a cinema without chairs, just a selection of metal rows to lean against. The film was a 3d tour of Blackpool taking you back in time, on the wings of a seagull and past various landmarks. The defining aspect of the show had to be the special effects however, as I soon discovered nothing can make me jump more than a blast of cold air up cropped t-shirt.

After the show we ventured up the Tower and on to the famous glass floor. As it was sunny, we also went up two floors further, the clear day meant it was possible to see for miles, the auntie in me noticing all the Balamory type houses. You’ve got to hand it to CBBC there, my niece might nearly be a teenager, but bloody Balamory sticks in the brain.

The rest of the weekend was spent at old-school attractions, arcades and shopping. In an age where most of our entertainment/engagement comes from being online it feels good to get back to some ol’ fashioned fun. With enough 2p machine’s to remind you of a simpler time and a few more grown up games there was a reason for everyone to win a misshaped keyring. The shopping centre includes all the main high-street shops, with little independents selling the sort of tea-towels you feel obliged to get that one older relative.  I feel like I should give a shout out to Bella Italia on Church Street, we went there on chance and I am so glad we did. After dining at the Deansgate branch, I thought I wasn’t a fan of this chain of restaurants. The service was always poor and the food was normally rushed – this little hunk of a place has totally changed my mind though. If it weren’t for the fact I’d have to drink-drive home, I think I’d be there every day enjoying caramelised onion garlic bread and Bellini’s. It’s too late to start worrying about a bikini body now, right guys?

So, I guess this is the question it boils down to: Would I recommend Blackpool as a weekend away?

Surprisingly yes. I say surprisingly because it’s not on my normal list of destinations. I think like most English resorts the weather would play a major part in how much you enjoyed your stay, but you can’t hold the town responsible for that. The mixture of arcades, fun fairs and the Big Wheel (well worth a ride) make you feel as though you could possibly be back in the 1950’s. It makes you wished you’d packed a big midi-skirt for when he kisses you as the Big Wheel stops at the top.