Sure, the Eiffel Tower you can eat gourmet food whilst looking out across the European horizon but Blackpool Tower offers a circus
(Image: James Maloney/Lancs Live)
Blackpool has been slapped in the middle of a list of 50 places deemed the worst to live in England – we have eight reasons why that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The seaside resort is synonymous with nostalgia and variety, and is the home of some of Lancashire’s most iconic landmarks. It is responsible for attracting millions of tourists every summer with a long list of things to do and see.
So when LancsLive saw that 105,598 people participated in the iLiveHere vote that saw Blackpool placed 23rd on the Top 50 Worst Places to Live in England 2023, we knew we had to take matters into our own hands. We have made our own list of the eight reasons why Blackpool is the best place to live in England.
1. Blackpool Tower
Some would argue Blackpool Tower is the humble sister of the Eiffel Tower. We would agree and to that not only is it the trademark stamp of the town, it’s a worldwide treasure offering more than meets the eye.
Sure, in the Eiffel Tower you can eat gourmet food whilst looking out across the European horizon but Blackpool Tower offers a circus. And a slightly scary viewpoint cross the sea and of course, the world renowned Tower Ballroom.
If seeing the Tower Ballroom featuring on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing wasn’t enough to put Blackpool on the map then perhaps its £1.1million floor made up of 30,602 individual blocks of oak, mahogany and walnut and its Italian hand-cut crystal chandelier will be.
Sit in your car, walk along the promenade or cycle your way down Blackpool’s strip during the winter and you’ll be surrounding by the glitzy, bright and impressive illuminations. The annual light display on Blackpool’s famous Golden Mile draws in millions every year to soak in the delights of the six-mile illuminations.
The illuminations have been a fixture on the Promenade and Golden Mile since 1879. There’s nothing better than bundling up in hats, scarves, coats and glove and walking along the lit up streets passing countless street vendors along the way.
Sure, the beach can get a bad rep for the state of the water and the murky sandy sludge but ask any kid what they think of Blackpool beach and they’ll tell you it’s better than going on holiday. In the olden days, Blackpool beach was the perfect spot for donkey rides on the sand, hiring out a deck chair to sunbathe and eating copious amounts of ice cream in the sun.
Fast forward to today and that exactly the same thing people travel from near and far to do. A day on Blackpool beach is a day to relax and have fun. And with such a vast expanse of sand split into three sections, you’ll not struggle to find a spot to eat your ice cream on.
4. Blackpool Pier(s)
Not one, not two, but three piers. North Pier, Central Pier and South Pier all have their own offerings but each is full of pure Blackpool novelty.
North Pier, built in the 1860s, is the oldest and longest of the three. Walk along the stretch of wooden flooring and you’ll eventually end up at Bloom Bar, one of Blackpool’s popular drinking spots to sip a cocktail or two whilst staring out to sea.
Central Pier is at the heart of the Blackpool coastline and has some of the bigger attractions like Blackpool wheel amusements, games and rides. It too has it’s own bar, The Terrace Bar which overlooks the beautiful Irish Sea.
Oozing with history, Blackpool’s South Pier was once known as the Victoria Pier it opened in 1893 and was renamed South Pier in 1930.
5. Pleasure Beach
For one of the worst places in England Blackpool is clearly doing something right, as it has the UK’s tallest rollercoaster inside it’s incredible theme park.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach has something for everybody – even the little ones. The ride that forever changed the skyline of Blackpool, The BIG One was constructed in 1994
Standing 235ft above Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the iconic structure was the tallest, fastest and steepest steel rollercoaster in the UK.
6. Ice cream shops
These aren’t just any ice cream shops, these are ice cream shops that have stood the test of time for generations.
Notarianni Ices is a name known well by many who have grown up in and around the seaside town. Hundreds of customers flock to get a taste of the authentic ice cream each summer. It began all the way back in 1928, when owner, Luigi Notarianni opened up the first parlour on Central Promenade after emigrating to the UK in the early 20th century.
Manfredi is a little family run ice-cream shop which has been serving its traditional Italian recipe since 1911. Located on the corner of Red Bank Road in Bispham, the recipe has been in their family ever since.
7. Golden Mile attractions
It’s incredibly rare to get multiple arcades, a Sea Life Centre, Madame Tussauds, famous Tarot card readers and countless souvenir shops all on the same stretch of road.
But that’s exactly what you get on The Golden Mile. The stretch emerged in the late 19th Century after small-time amusement operators, fortune tellers, phrenologists and oyster bars set up in the front gardens of boarding houses to take advantage of passing trade.
What once was the town’s hotspot for sideshow attractions is now an equally lively amusement spot with arcades like Coral Island, and many of the world famous Merlin attractions.
Blackpool is one of the only towns in the county to have a tram system. Until the early 1960s Blackpool had a number of inland routes running on Whitegate Drive, Lytham Road and Dickson Road, plus routes on Talbot Road and Central Drive that closed in the 1930s.
And hope for a project sparked as Blackpool prepared to launch its first extension to the tramway in 100 years with the opening of the section linking North Pier with North Station this year. Not only are the tram links used for transportation up and down the promenade, but the town also features a tram parade.
When new European-style trams were brought into service on the seafront route in 2012, a number of older trams were retained and thanks to an army of volunteers have been brought back into regular use. They now form one of the finest heritage fleets in the world.
- 13:48, 12 FEB 2023