Travel

10 things to do in Blackpool if you’re on a budget

Blackpool isn’t merely the most populous town in Lancashire; it’s also one of the true all-time great British seaside destinations, in part because there are so many things visitors can do while barely spending any money at all.  

Here are just some of the many fun Blackpool activities for the cash-conscious.  

1. Walk along the promenade  

Blackpool’s legendary seafront is far from a relic of past glory days, not least given the £100 million regeneration that it underwent back in 2011. There’s so much to see for those simply strolling down the promenade, including quirky seating and intriguing art installations.  

2. Relax on the beach  

If you fancy enjoying a British seaside holiday of the kind that some of us may have feared to have become extinct in the age of cheap international travel, you can’t do better than Blackpool. From building sandcastles and paddling in the sea to simply catching some rays while laying on a towel, there’s a lot that you can do at one of the UK’s most celebrated beaches.  

3. Feast your eyes on the Comedy Carpet  

The creation of artist Gordon Young, the Comedy Carpet is situated just across from Blackpool Tower, and pays tribute to 850 of Britain’s finest comedians and comedy writers, dating back to the early variety days. It’s completely free to enter and has been described by Visit Blackpool as “a horizontal Angel of the North” with shades of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

4. Admire Blackpool Tower  

It doesn’t cost you a thing to stand outside and gaze at Blackpool’s most instantly recognisable icon. However, you don’t necessarily have to rule out exploring inside, too, given the availability of the Blackpool BIG Ticket that enables you to enjoy no fewer than seven of the town’s biggest attractions – including the Blackpool Tower Eye, Circus, Ballroom and Dungeon – for just £46 per adult, £33.50 per child and £8.95 per toddler.  

5. Take a trip to Stanley Park  

Blackpool’s main park covers some 390 acres and offers something for everyone. Its attractions include gorgeous gardens and horticultural displays, ornamental bridges, the unique historic Art Deco Cafe, a children’s shuttle train, sports facilities, an expansive boating lake, the award-winning Blackpool Model Village and Gardens and so much more.  

6. Discover high culture at Grundy Art Gallery  

This Grade II-listed building has stood on Queen Street in the town since 1911, and continues to host an intriguing and eclectic selection of exhibitions. Shows taking place at the gallery now and over the coming months include The Way Things Are and All the World’s a Sunny Day by Roy Voss, as well as Neither Land Nor Sea: Contemporary and Historical Representations of Blackpool’s Piers 

7. Marvel at the Winter Gardens  

This large entertainment complex – for so long a venue for major political conferences, with every British Prime Minister since World War II having supposedly addressed an audience here – opened in 1878. It consists of a theatre, ballroom and conference facilities, among other venues, although you always have the option of just sitting down in the splendid Floral Hall and watching the world go by.  

8. Explore the three piers  

Blackpool is the sole British seaside resort to boast not one, or even two, but instead three piers, and you can enjoy them all without spending a thing. North Pier is the oldest, longest and plushest of the three, incorporating a small shopping arcade, tramway and even theatre, but Central Pier and South Pier also offer their own distinct attractions and charms.  

9. Challenge yourself at the arcades  

Yes, you’ll need a bit of money to sample the amusements, but you might be surprised by just how long you can make a tenner last when converted into 2p or 10p coins. With so many machines to test yourself on, you could while away many an hour in Blackpool’s assorted fine establishments.  

10. Be stunned by the Illuminations  

They’ve been described as the greatest free light show on Earth, and it’s fair to say that the Illuminations have etched themselves into Blackpool and British folklore since they were first shown in 1879, some 12 months before Thomas Edison even patented the electric light bulb. In 2018, the traditional festoons and tableaux will be shining from 31st August to 4th November.  

The above activities and attractions show that you can thoroughly enjoy yourself in this Lancashire resort without having to reach for your wallet too often.  

That principle very much extends to the overnight accommodation available, with there being many fine and affordable B&B choices in Blackpool that can be booked through Toprooms and other leading hotel booking sites.  

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