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What’s Blackpool Like – Blackpool’s a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast in North West England. Located on the Irish Sea, between Wyre and Ribble estuaries. With an approximate population of 139,000 people.

The promenade, Blackpool, Lancashire, England, ca. 1898

Blackpool Promenade between 1890 and 1900. By Detroit Publishing Co., under license from Photoglob Zürich [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the mid-18th century Blackpool became the go to place to travel to in England – hitting the coast in the summer to improve your well-being and showing off your status. Visitors where attracted to Blackpool’s stunning 7-mile sandy beach now accessible by a new private road, built by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton 6th Baronet (1728–1795, a British politician who sat in the House of Commons for 25 years from 1768 to 1795). Stagecoaches ran to Blackpool from Manchester, and in addition from Halifax in 1782. In the early 19th century, Henry Banks and his son-in-law John Cocker established new buildings in Blackpool so many that the population grew by 500% from under 500 in 1801 to over 2,500 in 1851. St John’s Church in Blackpool became consecrated in 1821.


What’s Blackpool Like – Growth

Blackpool got notoriety as a major centre of tourism when in 1840 a railway was built connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. This addition made it easier and cheaper for tourism visitors to reach the great seaside town of Blackpool. This in turn triggering an influx of settlers, by 1876 Blackpool became a borough, governed by its own town council. By 1881, Blackpool was a booming resort, population 14,000 and a promenade complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, fish-and-chip shops and of course the addition of Blackpool’s iconic Grand Theatre in 1894. With a population of 47,000 by 1901, Blackpool was cemented as “the archetypal British seaside resort”. Nothing was going to stop Blackpool’s growth, by 1951 it had reached a population of 147,000.


What’s Blackpool Like – Today

Blackpool’s urban fabric and economy remains relatively undiversified, and firmly rooted in the tourism sector, and towns seafront continues to attract millions of visitors every year. Most recent numbers say an incredible 18million. With its sandy beaches, major attractions and landmarks include Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, Blackpool Zoo, Sandcastle Water Park, and the Grand Theatre, and who can forget the UK’s only surviving first-generation tramway.

Blackpool illuminations were first switched on in 1912. They were put on hold during the First World War but were switched on again in 1925.The first Blackpool Carnival was held in 1923. Stanley Park opened in 1926. Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks opened in 1929.

Today Blackpool is, of course, a thriving resort with many attractions. Blackpool Zoo opened in 1972. The Hounds Hill Centre opened in 1980. The Sandcastle opened in 1986. Blackpool Sea Life Centre opened in 1990.

Blackpool’s Cultural Sector has grown and diversified, cultural heritage includes not only Blackpool’s Grand Theatre but the Grundy Art Gallery, Roberts Oyster Rooms, the Town Hall, Imperial Hotel, Pleasure Beach and more. More modern additions have included over the years Sand Sea Spray a graff art outdoor exhibition, Street Art, Concerts including Elton John, Will Smith, Britney and not forgetting the incredible Light Switch On by some of the biggest TV, Film, Music and Stage stars of all time.

15 miles (24 km) northwest of Preston

27 miles (43 km) north of Liverpool,

28 miles (45 km) northwest of Bolton

40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester


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