What’s not to love about Blackpool? It’s the town that brings a smile to the faces of anyone, at it’s mere mention. Blackpool is a seaside town with a heart that beats as vibrantly in the depths of winter to the height of summer – the ultimate destination for a holiday, short-break or day out all seasons round, a place ready to blow the cobwebs away and lift spirits at the bleakest of times. This is a place for frolicking fun and fabulous scenery – a hub for Great Scenic Journeys.
Try as hard as you might but you’ll struggle to find a multi modal half day scenic combo of bus, ferry, tram in the UK. Blackpool is the place to be, though, for a triangular tour that is surprisingly underrated as the thrill a minute, bright lights of the promenade and iconic tower are left behind, along with the comedy capers of Ma Kellys Showbar which is open all hours, churning out cheesy music.
The award winning Blackpool Transport delivers the perfect experience that combines eclectic capers with becalming scenery. The iconic Tower, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, used to be the home for a menagerie of unusual animals that up until 1990 performed in the Blackpool Tower Circus. The current circus acts don’t involve animals anymore, but there’s oddities and eccentricities in abundance during the current shows at this incredible location. Meanwhile, not far down the coastline, Blackpool Pleasure Beach, a vintage amusement park, is the venue for the world’s oldest operating roller coaster, the ‘Big Dipper,’ dating back to 1923. As if all these fun-filled quirks, weren’t enough, there’s also the “Blackpool Illuminations” which entails over a million bulbs, illuminating the Promenade annually—a spectacle that’s visible from space, adding a touch of cosmic quirkiness to this lively British seaside destination. The lights will be shining bright up until 1st January 2024.
Escapism for a calmer experience is possible, though and the 2C bus from Blackpool Transport is the passage out of this eclectic town. The journey admittedly doesn’t have a scenic variant until it is past the suburbs and big hospital, but it’s well worth being patient as there are soon fabulous views atop the bus of the sprawling skyline as it promises with each passing stop to get more picturesque.
The contrast though is soon apparent as plush Poulton appears and its lovely parks and beautiful St. Chad’s Church which soon give way to winding country lanes and a scenic view on Shard Bridge over the expansive River Wyre, before passing through the delightful village of Hambleton. The destination is Knott End and the stop is a few yards from the ferry which crosses the Wyre Estuary. Artist LS Lowry had close links to Knott End and there is a sculpture to the great man.
There’s a nice walk alongside the golf course which is on the banks of the estuary or maybe a pint or two in the pleasant Bourne Arms.
The ferry runs every 30 minutes and crosses over to Fleetwood in blissful serenity. It’s the gateway to some retail therapy at the chic Fleetwood Affinity Designer Outlet maybe followed by some culture at the Fleetwood Museum. If it is matchday, maybe check out a game at Fleetwood Town, who ply their trade in League 1. They were the club that unearthed title winning ex England star Jamie Vardy! There’s a couple of cracking home games coming up for Fleetwood – on 21st October they host Lincoln City, then on 1st November, it’s the big local derby, when Blackpool pick up their buckets and spades and get on the tram for the short journey for what must be the biggest game of the season so far for both teams!
Then it’s on the slick and sleek Tramway all the way back towards Blackpool as it runs it’s course along the breezy seafront with the different seasons or time of day creating a unique atmosphere on the waves as they draw in. The town hosted the world’s first electric tramway in 1885 and there are heritage tram tours aplenty throughout the year.
A stop off at Anchorsholme Park for some pitch and putt or skating at Subzero ice rink in Cleverley is highly recommended. For those interested in art and culture, a visit to the Mythic Coast Artwork is a must. This outdoor sculpture trail showcases captivating art installations depicting mythical creatures and stories, providing a unique and artistic experience. Clever folk will visit Cleveleys Market and sniff out a bargain or simply enjoy browsing for souvenirs, local crafts, and fresh produce. Be sure to visit the Cleveleys Beach, a sandy expanse perfect for sunbathing, picnics, and beach games. The Cleveleys Coastal Path offers a scenic route for walking or cycling, allowing you to discover the beauty of the coastline at your own pace. Additionally, the Thornton Little Theatre hosts various performances, adding a touch of entertainment to your trip.
Blackpool awaits and the tram sails down the seafront, stopping off at the countless attractions, including Madame Tussauds, The Sealife Centre and the many noisy pubs, piers and clubs.
The tram also stops beside the world renowned Pleasure Beach funfair with its crazy roller coasters and much more! It’s the ultimate contrast to the paradisiacal solitude and tranquillity of Knott End, where all that can be heard is the occasional shout of ‘fore’ from the golf course and the gentle sound of the waves splashing but seldom crashing against the banks of the Estuary.
With the famous illuminations, which entails over a million bulbs, set to light up this fun-packed town, by day this multi-modal extravaganza to Knott End is the perfect opening act before the sun sets and the incredible colourful masterpiece dominates the skyline.
This really is the ultimate round trip of fascinating contrasts. Variety is the spice of life and Blackpool Transport serves up a real treat for Great Scenic Journeys fans!
To find out more about these great routes click here: