“Candy Floss And Bar Fights
-Blackpool through the eyes of Daniel Postlethwaite
Blackpool. Stepping off the train onto the platform you are greeted by the salty sea side air. There is something very pleasing I feel about the smell of the sea, knowing that not far away is one of the most powerful forces in the world. The ocean.
For those of you who don’t know, Blackpool is a sea side town in the North-West of England, in the county of Lancashire. It is quite a famous town having TV shows filmed there, producing quite a few celebrities and being a very popular tourist attraction. It is probably most famous for the huge construction looming over the sea front. Blackpool Tower. On a clear day you can see this from miles away. It thrusts 518 feet 9 inches into the local skyline. The Tower is situated atop a building that contains numerous attractions, from a children’s play area to the aquarium, providing lots of entertainment for all ages.
The shoreline of Blackpool is taken up by three piers; North, Central and South. The piers stick out into the ocean like the hands of a dying man, trying to drag himself to safety. At the entrance to all three piers an arcade awaits, drawing in the down and outs of the surrounding areas. Unless it is tourist season of course then you get the tourists AND the down and outs. Each pier has numerous attractions, like a Ferris Wheel and bars for example clinging to them like the barnacles that adorn the foundations of the piers.
During my trip to Blackpool the main attraction I visited was the Sealife Centre. It was quite pricey, being eleven pound and seventy nine pence for a student. But I think it is definitely worth the money. We were in there for a good few hours, distracted by all the nice features. You could watch the fish being for fed at certain times of the day for example. My favourite part was the massive tank at the end. You are greeted by a huge glass screen looking into an immense tank with a mock shipwreck at the bottom. Then you walk through a tunnel which allows you to walk through the tank and see the sharks swimming around you. It was very peaceful. It was very peaceful in there.
Blackpool isn’t all about the sea-side. It isn’t just about ice cream. It isn’t just about the candy floss.
There are numerous bars, nightclubs and lap dancing bars dotted around Blackpool in the town centre and also in the outskirts. If you stray too far from the town centre you will find a selection of brothels and prostitutes. Blackpool’s own little red light district. There are a selection of nightclubs to choose from, the ones I have tried out are Flares and Che Bar. Flares is an 80’s bar, and one of the best places I have ever partied. Lit up dance floor, changing colours whilst you are boogying away. There is a lot on offer, from cocktails to just your average pint of lager. In Che Bar this is more of a modern club playing your average dance music, remixes of already terrible songs, or the new club anthem hits.
Blackpool is currently undergoing a major regeneration project to drag its sorry self back to the top of peoples list of places they want to go on holiday. It has just refurbished the Houndshill Shopping Centre, and there is lots of work being done to the sea front. Strengthening the defences whilst making it look nice, fancy and modern. They are also implementing what they are calling, drum roll please. Wireless Blackpool. Catchy isn’t it? As the name suggests they are trying to make the majority of the town centre Wireless, meaning you can connect your fancy Wi-Fi gadgets up the World Wide Web. This will be totally free, but to access all of the internet you have to pick up a “Wireless Blackpool Voucher”, these will be free of charge once implemented and available in shops bearing the Wireless Blackpool logo.
If you like the sound of free things, there is lots to do and see in Blackpool that won’t cost you a penny. To demonstrate this I picked up a leaflet in the tourist information centre entitled “5 things to do for free in Blackpool.” Here is the list;
Brilliance Sound & Light Show, this is part of the £3.5m Regeneration by Light scheme, it consists of six arches that are each capable of producing a sound and light show. Along with this there are 30 new high-tech lighting columns.
Next on the list is Stanley Park which is a 390 acre “masterpiece of landscape design”. I visited this and it is truly breath taking, there is a lake in its centre where you can hire boats to take out on it. The boats you can hire are Row, Motor and Pedal boats.
The next free thing you can experience on your trip to Blackpool is the Grundy Art Gallery, which features a programme of contemporary visual art exhibitions.
The Spanish Steps are fourth of the list of five. These are part of the new regenerated sea front defences and they let your walk onto the beach.
Last but not least is The Great Promenade Art Show, this includes ten pieces of public art that were created by established and emerging artists. These pieces of art stretch for two kilometres along the new promenade. They go from Starr Gate, the end of the famous tram line, to the Sandcastle Waterpark previously mentioned.
So as you can see there is quite a lot to do here in Blackpool but there are much better resorts out there. Don’t get me wrong I can see the appeal of going to Blackpool, especially during the height of the summer as it can be quite fun but it isn’t somewhere I personally would make a point of going more than once. It’s all just candy floss and bar fights.”