Blackpool Winter Gardens

Tom Grieve, Cinema Editor
Blackpool Winter Gardens

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is an opulent collection of theatres, exhibitions halls, ballrooms and event spaces. A vast, Grade II-listed building dedicated to recreation and relaxation, this extravagant entertainment palace has been welcoming locals and tourists alike since it opened its doors in 1878. The years since have seen numerous additions and renovations, including the spectacular 12,500 square foot Empress Ballroom in 1896 and the current Opera House, a 3,000-capacity Art Deco wonder, opened in 1939.

Today the Opera House plays host to some of the world’s biggest touring shows, while the Ballroom is home to the Blackpool Dance Festival, professional darts tournaments and high profile conferences — and that’s not half of it. Each year, the Gardens also hosts a dizzying array of conferences, shows, public and private events spread across the original Pavillion Theatre, the 1929 Olympia exhibition hall, the Arena room, and the must-see themed Spanish, Baronial and Renaissance Halls.

This extravagant entertainment palace has been welcoming locals and tourists alike since it opened its doors in 1878

You could fill volumes with the histories of the Winter Gardens. The complex has seen everything from government requisitions during the World Wars, to visits by the Queen, speeches from Winston Churchill and a notorious concert by the Rolling Stones, the violent events of which led to the rockers being banned from performing in the town — an ordinance which was only lifted in 2008.

Interested parties can book onto one of the different tours, which whisk you off behind the scenes, through backstage and onto the boards, allowing you to relive the venue’s historic glories or marvel at the grandeur and variety of its architecture. Of course, if you’d prefer to catch a glimpse of the Winter Gardens in a less structured way, then you can always stop by for a meal or a drink — there are a number of cafes, bars and fine dining options to choose from.

97 Church StBlackpoolFY1 1HL
Visit Now

What's on near Blackpool Winter Gardens

Old Dock Tours, Liverpool

The Old Dock tour is a treat for younger and older visitors alike, fans of Liverpool’s maritime past, and anybody curious about local history.

£8.50 with concessions
Outdoor Art Club at The Whitworth

Enjoy fun and creative activities designed to encourage your little ones to play freely in the fresh air, while exploring nature and the outdoors with family and friends.

free entry
Killer Comedy Club

Killer Comedy Club showcases “the UK’s best upcoming and coming comedians” for a night of roof-raising laughs, with pop-up nights all across the North West.

from £12

Where to go near Blackpool Winter Gardens

Waterstones Leeds

Standing proudly on the busy shopping hub of Albion Street, Waterstones Leeds is a bookshop that also hosts a variety of events

Manchester Factory international Festival - People enjoying Festival Square in the city centre
Café or Coffee Shop
Factory Square

Factory Square is a huge beer garden, on the banks of the River Irwell, with top-quality drinks and street food selections.


Modern Greek Mediterranean cuisine from the team behind Tattu.

Flat Iron Leeds
Flat Iron Leeds

Relaxed restaurant in Leeds serving impressively high-quality steaks at an affordable price point.


Odioba is a new audiophile bar in Stockport, from the team behind the much-missed NAM. Coffee shop by day, bar by night.

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.