Things to do in Blackpool

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor

World famous for the Illuminations, Blackpool Tower and the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool is one of the country’s most iconic seaside resorts. The town became synonymous with fun during the late 19th century thanks to its concentration of amusements, fortune tellers and oyster bars along the seafront Promenade’s ‘Golden Mile’. This reputation continued into the 20th century as holidaymakers, stars and even royalty flocked to Blackpool, attracted by the glitz and glamour provided by venues such as the Winter Gardens, the Grand Theatre and the Blackpool Tower Ballroom. Today’s visitors can enjoy shows in these same spaces, walk the prom and play the arcades on one of the town’s over three hundred year-old piers, all while enjoying ice cream or seaside fish and chips from family-run vendors that have been operating for generations.

In addition to its heritage, Blackpool offers visitors a unique cultural experience too. Take a stroll along the seafront to see The Great Promenade Show, an artwork trail along the South Promenade, and The Comedy Carpet, sitting in the shadow of the Tower. Contemporary art fans should make their way to the Grundy Art Gallery for new work curated with an eye on Blackpool’s place in popular culture, while Abingdon Studios provides working artists with space to experiment and exhibit. Organisations such as LeftCoast and Aunty Social focus on community, art and cultural projects, working to produce festivals, artwork and hubs of activity for residents and tourists. There’s also the beginnings of a new coffee culture spearheaded by the likes of celebrated café-cum-gallery HIVE and plant-based specialists Upside Down, while Waterloo Music Bar is a proper grassroots gig venue where you can find musicians, new and established, honing their craft.

Our top picks

Mythic Coast Artwork Trail

Mythic Coast Artwork Trail, Mythic Coast Artwork Trail, Cleveleys, Lancashire, FY5 1LB - Visit now

The Mythic Coast Artwork Trail is a collection of outdoor sculptures that take inspiration from a children’s book: The Sea Swallow. Characters and motifs from the book are represented in a collection of artworks by North West artist Stephen Broadbent, which range along the Cleveleys seafront and lift the story from the pages, onto the shore.

The Mythic Coast Artwork Trail

Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Blackpool Pleasure Beach, 525 Ocean Blvd,, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY4 1EZ - Visit now

Located on the seafront, opposite South Pier,  the landmark Blackpool Pleasure Beach is home to over 125 rides and attractions, perfect for a family-friendly day out whilst also remaining  a place of pilgrimage for serious adrenaline junkies.

The Comedy Carpet

The Comedy Carpet, Tower Festival Headland, Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1NE - Visit now

Sitting in the shadow of Blackpool Tower, the Comedy Carpet remains one of the largest pieces of public art ever commissioned in the UK, coined the ‘horizontal Angel of the North’- a must visit spot.

The Comedy Carpet
Creative Tourist

Upside Down Coffee

Upside Down Coffee, 28 Edward Street, Blackpool, FY1 1BA - Visit now

Located on Edward street, Upside down Coffee has three primary focuses: coffee, food and plants. The vegetarian menu and low waste policy combined with the light space  and luxuriant greenery  allows for a fresh modern environment, perfect for those seeking all the benefits of outdoor space, with the comfort of the indoors.

Upside Down Blackpool
Courtesy of Upside Down Coffee

Yorkshire Fisheries

Yorkshire Fisheries, 14 - 18 Topping Street, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 3AQ - Visit now

This family owned, award winning fishery is famously known for its king-sized cod and mouth-watering homemade pies. Yorkshire fisheries offers daily freshly sourced haddock along with the finest chipped potatoes of the season along with a traditional selection of sauces and sides.

Yorkshire Fisheries
Courtesy of Yorkshire Fisheries

Blackpool North Pier

Blackpool North Pier, North Pier Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 1NE - Visit now

The oldest and longest of Blackpool’s three Victorian-era piers, Visitors can catch a show in the historic North Pier Theatre, enjoy a tipple whilst listening to the organist in The Sunset Lounge — classified as Blackpool’s largest beer garden — or play the machines in the pier’s amusement arcade.

Creative Tourist

Blackpool Tower

Blackpool Tower, The Blackpool Tower, The Promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, FY1 4BJ - Visit now

One of the countries most well-known seaside landmarks housing the world famous ballroom, the Tower Circus and the other myriad family-friendly attractions. As if that wasn’t enough, families can also enjoy dinosaur mini-golf, the gruesome Blackpool Tower Dungeon and The Fifth Floor — a new attraction featuring a family bar, a circus-themed arcade and 8K virtual reality roller coaster.

Walks in Blackpool
Courtesy of The Blackpool Tower

More Lancashire events

Two men stand at railings with blue sky behind. Both are wearing sunglasses and one is leaning forward with his head under the top railing and laughing.
LiteratureLancashire
Morecambe Poetry Festival 2024 at various venues

Our Tourist Telescope is set on the coast – more specifically, Morecambe Poetry Festival, back for a third year with an impressive line-up now spread over two venues: the wonderful Winter Gardens and upstairs at The King’s Arms.

from £65.00

Where to go in Lancashire

Winckley Square
Lancashire
Park
Winckley Square

Hosting a variety of year-round events, from guided walks to jazz evenings, Winckley Square is a Georgian square packed with history in Preston city centre.

Friargate
Lancashire
Shop
Friargate

With an array of independent shops and places to eat and drink, including a number of contemporary pubs and bars, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Avenham and Miller Parks
Lancashire
Park
Avenham and Miller Parks

Located in the heart of Preston, Avenham and Miller Parks are among the finest examples of traditional Victorian parkland in the North West.

Blackburn
Music venue
The Exchange, Blackburn

Dating back to 1865 when it opened as one of four exchange halls in the country, The Exchange is an iconic Blackburn venue

Lancashire
Music venue
The Platform

Music, comedy, dance, drama and children’s shows in an Edwardian railway station, opposite The Midland Hotel.

Lancashire
Gallery
The Crescent Gallery

Morecambe gallery which showcases and sells contemporary works, often by artists from the area, which are varied and beautiful.

Lancashire
Gallery
Edgelands Gallery

Edgelands Gallery in Morecambe is a beautiful studio and gallery, regularly displaying high quality artwork.

Lancashire
Restaurant
The White Swan
at Fence

The White Swan at Fence is a gastro-pub with much to brag about. Delicious drinks and fantastic food has got this pub a Michelin Star.

Lancashire
Restaurant
Bootleg Social

The live-music venue and bar is a hidden gem, standing out against the technicolour nightlife of Blackpool with its own understated edge.

Lancashire Visitor Guides

Records and Relics frontage
Shopping in Lancashire

Our guide to the best shops in Lancashire, including independents and markets in Blackpool, Lancaster, Morecambe, Burnley and Blackburn.

Northcote
Food and Drink in Lancashire

Our guide to food and drink in Lancashire, featuring restaurants and bars in Lancaster, Morecambe, Blackburn, Burnley and Blackpool.

Castle View
Hotels in Lancashire

Our guide to the best hotels in Lancashire, including Lancaster, Morecambe, Blackburn, Burnley and Blackpool.

Walks in Blackpool
Walks in Blackpool

A round-up of the best walks in Blackpool, including the sights of the promenade and nearby country walks.

Walks in Blackburn & Burnley
Walks in Blackburn & Burnley

An inspired array of walks and cultural spaces to hike, saunter or work your way through, featuring wild landscape and stately halls alike.

Pillock at Contact
Spotlight on

Fringe Theatre in Manchester and the North

Check out our top picks of shows previewing in the North West before heading to Edinburgh Fringe Festival later in the summer.

Take me there

Culture Guides

Rebecca Watson author photo
Literature Events in Manchester and the North

In between working out, then working through, your holiday reading pile this summer, find inspiration for your next bookish acquisitions from our selection of live events and exhibitions.