Wednesday, 29 October 2014


Youngest son had advised us he was coming to London to attend a wedding and asked if we’d like to meet for a day.  We; of course; agreed and asked what he would like to do.  “Well I haven’t seen Cornwall!” 

Somehow we couldn’t see ourselves going to Cornwall for a day in autumn!  “Where else would you like to go?”  “I haven’t seen Blackpool!”   It wasn’t on our bucket list, but then there are obviously thousands of people who do like to go. I collected a rental car from Enterprise in the morning and we all headed north.  The journey took longer than anticipate.  Apparently Liverpool and Blackpool aren’t the same place!  OK, my excuse is that one of the disadvantages of using a satnav is you only get to see a very small portion of your overall journey!  Anyway, suffice to say we reached Blackpool around 1.00pm.  I know we had turned our clocks back one hour in the last couple of days but I hadn’t realised that going to Blackpool meant it needed to be turned back another 40 years.  The beach looked grimey and the sea was grey.  The waterfront was crowded with amusement arcades full of chinese made junk. 

Blackpool has its own version of the Venetian Gondola.

There must have been at least two dozen of these going up and down the foreshore.  My assumption Is the following is a Blackpool pimpmobile.

I don’t believe I have sufficient courage to be seen in one….. unless blind drunk!

The most dominating feature in the town is the tower.  Opened in 1891 after the mayor had visited the grand exhibition in Paris and had seen the Eiffel Tower.

Whilst it is open to the public you can see it’s currently under restoration. Daniel and I made a bad decision and decided to go to the top.  To my surprise there was a long queue at the ticket office.  Eventually we purchased tickets and walked to the fourth floor where we discovered another queue for the lifts.  After 15 minutes the queue reached a board announcing from this point it was 60 minutes to the lift.  We had made a serious error in judgement and they had our money.  Reader you might be forgiven for thinking Blackpool Tower is owned by an American entertainment company because from this point onwards there were various stops where the queue was distracted from the waiting.  It also enabled crowd control by breaking the queue into groups.  I hated the waiting.

Eventually we reached the top.  The lift opens out onto a foyer with a glass floor which you can see in the photo below.  Not knowing where they had purchased the glass (China?), what thickness and how it was secured I sensibly refused to join the masses who walked out onto it!

There were two higher levels open to the public but they were only accessible via a spiral staircase.  I noticed only 25-30% of the visitors bothered to access these top two levels.

Some nice original ironwork.

Daniel starts back down to the main viewing level.

Trying to find something to eat proved to be somewhat of a disaster.  Daniel wanted a restaurant that served a nice fish dish.  However the whole area was 90% fish and chips with the remainder being kebabs or hamburgers.  In the end we went into the Wetherspoons on the beach front only to discover their menu was also mostly fast food.

I wouldn’t want you to think I have nothing positive to write about Blackpool.  I did gain the impression that Blackpool was attempting to reinvent itself and throw off its past as a cheap holiday destination.  But I think it’s going to take some time.

You might have expected the journey home to have been quicker, but we got ourselves caught up in two separate traffic jams.  The last was a major one on the M6 which had us stuck in a queue for 40 minutes before being diverted onto secondary roads. Canals are so much easier.  It was a long day!


Ade said...

ooch Tom I don't think I'd ever contemplate going there!
Been better off heading to Cornwall and making a night of it!
Eden Project maybe!


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Anyone who goes to Blackpool (or Skegness, or Margate, or .. etc) expecting culture, gourmet cooking and fine wines is bonkers... :o))

Lisa said...

Oh dear oh dear,
I guess next visit by Daniel you'd better take firm control of destination choosing, David and I aren't laughing at all, not at al funny that you go around the corner in the queue to discover the company have you by the short and curlies.
A nice fish restaurant in Blackpool hahahahahahaha, not at all funny.
Take him to Birmingham next, I can recommend five pubs off the beaten track with "Bloody Fantastic" beer
Lisa xxx

Tom and Jan said...

I work on the principle that everyone is entitled to ONE mistake! Unfortunately he has already been to Birmingham (twice).

Tom and Jan said...

I had more than a slight suspicion that Blackpool might not be what he was expecting!

Tom and Jan said...

Cornwall in autumn is better?

Ade said...

Cornwall has some great coast walks what ever the weather and though I've never been the Eden Project looks very good. So Cornwall in winter gets my vote!
Good post and informative to all joking aside.

Lisa said...

Ade kids you not.
We are heading to visiting Cornwall in November. Heaps of stuff to do there and great food. The Tate at St Ives, Lands End and the Lizard all great places to visit. Gales and storms all add to it.

Tom and Jan said...

something about mad dogs and englishmen comes to mind. You must be into extreme holidays! :-)