Cycling Along Blackpool’s Seafront

Blackpool, occasionally referred to as the “Las Vegas of Lancashire” doesn’t always do it for me. I fear I’m turning into my mother. I remember childhood holidays in the Lake District with the odd day out in Blackpool when my mother would sigh and compare the resort unfavourably to those misty lakes and mountains. How could that be, my childhood self wondered in amazement, firmly of the belief nowhere was better than this. Fast forward a significant number of years and the roles have been completely reversed. Son adores Blackpool – the buzz and bawdiness and just everything about this iconic resort, now I’m the weird oldie who pines for lakes and mountains.

07.05.02 - Blackpool

07.27.10 - Blackpool

To be fair Blackpool during the daytime involves honest family fun with ice-creams, arcades and donkey rides on the beach. The evenings see it colonised by raucous stag and hen parties and are to be avoided in my opinion. Brash, bawdy but also fun – that’s what this place is all about. We visit once a year, this time we brought our bikes.

07.05.03 - Blackpool

Cycling along the promenade following its £250 million regeneration turned out to be a great day. Flat, wide, traffic free with a view of all the attractions along the way – this was my kind of cycling. After a short stop to watch the Big One – the massive steel roller coaster plunge down its 250 feet drop, we carried on, the screaming of those onboard still ringing in our ears.

07.27.02 - Blackpool

Son voted to stop at each of the three piers – we agreed. South Pier was first – the “youngest” of the three and originally called Victoria Pier after the queen. There are lots of amusement rides, it was noisy and hectic and we didn’t hang around for too long. Long enough though to watch two crazy people pay to be catapulted out over the sea.

07.05.07 - Blackpool

07.05.06 - Blackpool

We had another brief stop at Central Pier – it has more of the same, but we did pause for significantly longer outside Blackpool Tower. On the pavement there is a vast “newspaper” full of saucy seaside jokes – some child friendly, others geared more towards the grown-ups but all very funny. Much chuckling from us.

07.05.15 - Blackpool

07.05.16 - Blackpool

07.05.09 - Blackpool

Last but not least was North Pier – originally designed for genteel relaxation and for the Victorians to stroll and take in the sea views. It is still that way today – quiet and with great views over the Irish Sea if you walk to the end. This is my favourite pier and Son’s least favourite. I like the quiet and genteel. He prefers the brash and bawdy.

07.05.19 - Blackpool

07.05.18 - Blackpool

07.05.17 - Blackpool

We cycled beyond the limits of Blackpool along a sea path to the next town of Cleveleys. Gorgeous views of the sea and rocks on the way but road works scuppered us reaching our end destination so we turned and rode back along a higher path to Blackpool again.

07.05.24 - Blackpool

07.05.25 - BlackpoolAll that exercise creates seriously healthy appetites – nothing better to sort that out than fish and chips, eaten perched on the sea wall. After that we had one last thing to do – a donkey ride along the beach. Thus came the end to what turned out to be (despite my scepticism) a perfect day out by the sea.

07.27.48 - Donkey ride07.05.08 - Blackpool

43 thoughts on “Cycling Along Blackpool’s Seafront

  1. Blackpool is also a childhood holiday spot for me. I’ve gone back to it at various points in my life and you’re right, it totally does change: I remember going for my 23rd birthday and just feeling a bit depressed because everyone was drunk and drowning their sorrows what with the low economy. Your pictures look so good though and it’s great to see all of the renovations! Makes me want to go back again because I just love the ballroom so much: that’s my favourite 🙂

    • I love the ballroom too – it’s amazing but the last couple of times we went to Blackpool it was shut for a private function!! How bad is that – serious disappointment all round. They’ve done such a great job repairing and renovating the promenade, we actually had a superb day out!

  2. I visited for half a day once when I was about 20 and had a boyfriend who lived in Lancashire. I enjoyed it but have never felt the need to rush back. Your pictures are lovely, but I’m with your mother – the Lake District every time!

  3. I love the “buzz and bawdiness” line–that feels pretty true to me. Still, certain days are made for that, right–and sounds like you had a great outing. All in all, though, I’m also a Lake District girl.

    • I grew up in a quiet village, now live in the city so totally get where you’re coming from Amanda! I suppose for us it is nice to escape to the peace and quiet but I can definitely imagine craving excitement!!

  4. Looks like a beautiful day with a great bike path. The tower sticking out of a beach scene is very different but very cool, as is the picture of horseback riding on the beach. Looks like a very relaxing day.

    • The bike path was fantastic – smooth and flat, that always works for me!! So much to see as well, we had a lovely day out. The tower is Blackpool’s version of the Eiffel Tower – we’ve been to the top of it in the past – great views from quite a different perspective!

  5. We went to Blackpool to see the lights but we arrived too late! It was mid-December and most were turned off. And the tower was closed due to high winds. But I enjoyed our brief visit.

    • The lights can be really good (but very busy), think they finish around November time – shame you didn’t see them. Sounded like you had quite different weather to the day we visited Ana – definitely wouldn’t fancy a trip up the tower in high winds!!

  6. Was there for the Illuminations 25 years ago with my kids and a Lancashire cousin and her kids. She wasn’t thrilled, but we were. I think the whole town, and the lights have had a makeover since then, so I’d like to go again. Thanks for sharing.

    • The illuminations are pretty cool I think. We’ve been a few times and really enjoyed that. They’ve done heaps of work on the promenade and seafront – it looks really great and is perfect for walking or cycling. Hopefully you’ll get back sometime!

  7. Haven’t been there since the mid 1980s when we went on a sixth form trip after school to the Pleasure Beach and the teachers just dumped us and went down the pub. Never mind the roller coaster, the coach ride from Yorkshire across the Penines had me throwing up before I even got there. The illuminations were good though, at least I thought so at the time!

  8. All your wonderful pictures take me back to my childhood. I haven’t been to Blackpool since I was very little and it’s somewhere I keep mentioning for my hubby to take us when we visit his relatives in Manchester. I think he’s the same as you though, he thinks of it as a bit tacky. But cycling along the front, eating icecream and reading saucy jokes sounds like a great day out to me! Perhaps this summer I can persuade him!

    • It was a great fun family day out – you can hire bikes as well if you don’t bring your own and there are various places you can leave them afterwards on the promenade. The jokes are great too!!

  9. What a great day 🙂 I’ll definitely put it on my UK travel “to do” list — especially the fish and chips. Love the photo of you and Son. Best wishes!

  10. I don’t think I’ve ever been to Blackpool myself Joy. Growing up in Yorkshire we went to places like Filey and Bridlington – it’s funny but even after so many years reading your post made me think back of my days at the British seaside I want to go and eat fish and chips now down by the sea! Love the fact that you like the genteel end of town and your son likes the more brash part! I’d be exactly the same as you! Now I’m going back to doing all the kids’ outings again with my little granddaughter- we went to one of those indoor play centres with tunnels and climbing frames everywhere this week and it was far too noisy for me! Hope you’ve had a good week and wishing you a lovely weekend 🙂

    • Blackpool is one of those love it or hate it places Rosemary – I’m somewhere in the middle I think. Hard not to have a good time there though, especially when my Son loves it all so much and with our bikes we got to cover quite a lot of ground so that was good. I love Filey but haven’t been to Bridlington. We went on a couple of family holidays to Filey and once to Whitby – definitely on my list to bring my Son there sometime, I loved it there and want to revisit the Abbey and the Dracula connection. You can’t beat fish and chips by the seaside!! Hope your weekend is relaxing too – keep out of those play areas – how well I remember all that noise!!

      • It would have been fun cycling around! Whitby is one of my favourite places – the walk up to the Abbey is well worth it up all the steps!! Not planning on going to any play areas this weekend but we are off to the zoo on Sunday! Hope you have a lovely weekend too 🙂

  11. haha, I’ve never heard about the Las Vegas of Lancashire 😀 At first sights, it’s not the kind of destination that would attract me, but I must say the picture you took with your son is hilarious !!! 😀 just for that picture, I may visit 😀

  12. My first experience of an amusement pier (NZ doesn’t have them) was at Brighton a couple of years ago. While it’s not my idea of fun and relaxation!, it was still interesting to see and photograph and for that reason I think I’d probably go and have a look at Blackpool if the opportunity ever presents.

  13. Ah, nostalgia…I haven’t been to Blackpool since I was a young child, and I didn’t think I wanted to go back ever, really, but this post makes me think I should take my kids next time we visit the UK!

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