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A Blackpool travel guide – kiss-me-quick summers, Victorian seaside pastimes and warming winter illuminations

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Take a Blackpool City break in this seaside resort for English heritage with a cheeky front. Find Victorian theatres and peaceful nature reserves alongside the lively piers and Pleasure Beach. Book a Blackpool hotel to be entertained and revived in the great Lancashire outdoors.

Family fun

Hear the gasps and shrieks on the Pleasure Beach as the Big Dipper rollercoaster climbs and plummets in front of the sea. Or keep your feet on the ground with laps at The Arena ice skating rink, also on the Pleasure Beach. One of the greatest shows is free – a spectacular arrangement of multicoloured lights sparkle in the evenings when the seafront Illuminations are switched on in Autumn. Kids love spending rainy days at Blackpool Tower with its tropical aquarium tanks, alien circus acrobats and creatures leaping out of the 3D cinema screen.

Natural Blackpool

Escape the kiss-me-quick beach activities for green Blackpool. Just a mile inland from the seafront, relaxed Stanley Park has bandstand music and a boating lake. Birdwatchers spot wagtails and woodpeckers on the wetlands at Kincraig Lake Ecological Reserve in Bispham, just a mile and a half north of Blackpool. See orchids and butterflies at the Marton Mere nature reserve on the town outskirts, or scale steep climbing walls at George Bancroft Memorial Park.

Blackpool nightlife

Hedonistic Blackpool draws the party crowd to nightclubs off the Promenade, like the Syndicate superclub in the town centre and seventies disco Flares. Watch a musical or pantomime from the dress circle or sweeping balconies at the Grand Theatre. The Victorian ballrooms, theatres and arenas of the huge Winter Gardens venue fill up with audiences for West End shows, comedy nights and banquets.