Category Archives: Blackpool Tourism

North Yorkshire town just over an hour from Blackpool rated UK’s ‘best staycation destination’ for 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The town of Settle has been rated as having the best Airbnb accommodation in the UK, beating the likes of The Cotswolds and the Isle of Skye, according to new data from Airbnb.

Described as a “a land of peaks, dales, caves and waterfalls with a bustling, traditional market town at its heart” by Visit Settle, the town ranked highest in a recent study of Airbnb accommodation, based on customer reviews.

Settle has 416 Airbnb properties available for hire, which have been reviewed more than 30,000 times, according to data gathered by property experts Homedit.com. Homedit.com created an index, looking into the number of Airbnbs, the average person capacity, the number of reviews, weighted average rating, and the Bayesian average rating.

Tripadviser lists Ingleborough, Stainforth Force, Hoffmann Kiln, The Listening Gallery and The Courtyard as some of the best things to do in and around Settle.

Settle, North Yorkshire.

Settle, North Yorkshire.

Settle, North Yorkshire.

Settle, North Yorkshire.

Blackpool Air Show programme is being put together ahead of the August event, the first since the coronavirus lockdowns

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool Air Show is all set for take off as organisers confirmed today they are working on the programme.

The event is back after an absence of two years and the aerial entertainment is set for the weekend of August 13 and 14.

The event is one of the one of the biggest on the resort calendar and attracts up to 100,000 visitors.

But coronavirus restrictions over the past two years have forced its cancellation.

The Red Arrows pictured in 2018

The Red Arrows pictured in 2018

The event regularly sees some of the world’s finest military and civilian aircraft performing high over the iconic seafront.

The Red Arrows have been regulars in recent years, although the RAF display team has yet to confirm its 2022 schedule on its website.

Other attractions have included the RAF Battle of Britain Flight with its Lancaster bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane, wing walk daredevils and an RAF Typhoon display.

While the roster of display acts which will be taking part in 2022 is yet to be announced, hopes are high for some high profile acts.

A Second World War vintage Mustang fighter

A Second World War vintage Mustang fighter

A Visit Blackpool spokesperson said: “After a two-year absence, we are eagerly looking forward to bringing back one of Blackpool’s most spectacular free events.

“We are working on the programme and hope to announce the planes that will be taking part over the coming weeks.

“The Blackpool Air Show is always one of the highlights of the summer and we have been keen to get the 2022 dates in the calendar as soon as possible so that visitors can book ahead.

“After almost two years of disruption to our major events programme, we are confident that 2022 will see a return to a full programme of our traditional events, with some exciting new ones to be announced in the months ahead.”

The Battle of Britain Flight's Lancaster bomber over North Pier inn Blackpool for the air show

The Battle of Britain Flight’s Lancaster bomber over North Pier in Blackpool for the air show

For information on Blackpool’s shows, events and attractions, visit www.visitblackpool.com.

 

Tasty treat for trade in store as St Annes Gin and Food Festival returns

Home | Blackpool Gazette

The dates have been confirmed for the return of the St Annes Christmas Market – but there’s another tasty treat in store ahead of that.

 

April will see the return of the St Annes Gin and Food Festival, last staged in 2018 and set to make its comeback to The Square the weekend before Easter, April 9 and 10.

Like the Christmas Market, which made a highly-successful debut in Ashton Gardens last month, attracting 14,000 people, it will be organised, with support from Fylde and St Annes Town Councils, by the St Annes Enterprise Partnership (STEP), whose chairman, Veli Kirk, is relishing both events.

“The plan is to make the Gin and Food Festival even bigger and better than before,” he said. “There will be two sessions of gin tasting on the Saturday, one in the afternoon and the other in the evening, held in a marquee in the car park, with the adjoining carpark and square featuring pop up food and drink stalls.

Crowds at the St Annes Gin and Food Festival when it was last held in 2018

Crowds at the St Annes Gin and Food Festival when it was last held in 2018

 

“We hope to expand that event along Garden Street to create a festive funnel into the Square,” added Veli. “There’s much more time available to plan this year, so we hope to work with local businesses to tie-in with their late night opening, encouraging even more footfall into the town.”

Fylde Council leader Coun Karen Buckley said: “The feedback on the Christmas market was overwhelmingly positive from businesses and residents and I’m delighted that this has encouraged STEP to be ambitious with their plans, not only to run a repeat of that but to add in the Gin and Food Festival in April.

“Events such as these bring the town alive, attract newcomers, and showcase what’s on offer. I have no doubt the stalls will be booked up fast and am pleased to hear that local businesses will be prioritised. I wish the organisers well and look forward to working with STEP in 2022.”

 

 

Lancashire’s vast new coastal holiday park with 495 lodges, a golf course and four-storey hotel

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Plans have finally been approved by Fylde Council

 

A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck
A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck

A £35m development with a hotel, golf course and hundreds of holiday lodges is coming to Fylde.

The major development will also feature a leisure centre with a swimming pool built off Garstang Road in Larbreck, around two miles from Poulton-le-Fylde.

Named Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village, the development is designed to become a “major tourist destination” and is expected to create 85 full-time equivalent jobs and add up to £2.5m each year to the local economy.

After years of planning and discussions, the scheme from north Lancashire-based Pure Leisure Group has finally been approved by Fylde Council.

The plan includes up to 495 holiday lodges, a four-storey hotel with more than 100 bedrooms, a leisure facility, greenkeepers building and store, and a 9-hole executive golf course with practice facilities.

According to the application, “the proposed development aims to provide high quality facilities and holiday lodges whilst ensuring the scheme fits suitably within its context”.

A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck
A golf, hotel, leisure and holiday development is coming to Larbreck

The Pure Leisure Group (PLG) is owned by leisure entrepreneur John Morphet and already operates 12 holiday lodge and caravan parks across the UK. Aimed towards the higher end luxury market, the parks are mainly focussed around leisure facilities, however some, such as Tydd St Giles Golf and Country Club in the Cambridgeshire Fens, focus around golf courses.

In addition to its UK operations PLG also owns and operates the world class golf and beach resort ‘Royal Westmoreland’ in St James, Barbados. These developments have been used as a design guide for the proposals of Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village.

A detached two storey leisure facility will be included within the proposals and include fitness, swimming and leisure facilities with associated changing rooms and viewing platforms, as well as a restaurant/café, bar area and small convenience store.

The leisure facility will also contain an area with internal golfing facilities including simulator bays, putting greens and a pro-golf shop as well as a clubhouse with externally accessible changing rooms and an assigned café/clubhouse area targeting mostly the golfers and students using the other proposed facilities.

The hotel block will be located directly adjacent to the leisure facility and will also offer a restaurant/dining area, kitchen and bar. It is intended that the close proximity of both the hotel

and leisure facility will provide easy access for the guests to share the leisure and other facilities that are provided

The proposals include a main car parking area located at the site entrance and a smaller car park towards the front of the hotel providing a total no. 260 car parking spaces with associated disabled and staff spaces.

An additional 32 car parking spaces have also been provided for the greenkeepers building and store directly in front of both buildings and separated from the main car park area. More informal car parking would also be provided at each lodge.

The proposed leisure centre and hotel at Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village
The proposed leisure centre and hotel at Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village

Westenborg Golf Design was commissioned to advise on the layout of the golf facility having previously worked on projects including Dun Laoghaire, Dooks, Blainroe and Cork in Ireland and Rockliffe Hall, Wychwood Park, Southport & Ainsdale and Moor Park in England.

The company has also been involved in new and renovation projects in Spain, Portugal, Hong Kong, China and Brazil.

It suggested creating an “executive” sized nine hole golf course as the best option based on the space available, to allow people to play in less time, and to be accessible to juniors and beginners. It also considered the other nearby facilities before deciding its recommendation.

An executive golf course is a mixture of full-length golf holes but with a higher proportion of par 3 holes than a full-sized course.

Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village will be built on land off Garstang Road
Larbreck Golf and Leisure Village will be built on land off Garstang Road

Near the first hole, around 100-metres from the hotel and leisure complex, will be a large putting green and bunker/chipping green which is described as a “Himalayan” feature and based on a similar facility at St Andrew’s in Scotland.

The application concluded: “Development of the site for the new holiday lodges, hotel and leisure facility would contribute to achieving the following aims:

“ • Achieves an efficient layout resulting in an economical use of land to satisfy an identified need.

“ • Will result in a well-planned development which will be easily absorbed into its immediate context.

“ • Will enhance tourism and leisure facilities to the locality.

“ • Has been designed to function well and has considered the opportunities available for maintaining the character and quality of the area as well as addressing any constraints.”

 

 

How 2022 could see a major comeback for Lancashire’s seaside resorts including Blackpool and Morecambe

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Major investment could transform towns as more people stay in the UK

 

Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower

Lancashire’s seaside resorts are hoping the post-pandemic period can provide a much-needed boost as more and more people in the UK stay for holidays.

Restrictions on travel last year saw many of those who would usually fly abroad look closer to home and enjoy breaks across the UK.

For businesses, a continuation of that trend could prove vital after the losses felt during the pandemic.

Some evidence of that is already being seen as Blackpool enjoyed a thriving Christmas period packed with events and seasonal attractions.

Director of StayBlackpool, Ian White, told LancsLive: “As a Blackpool Hotelier and Director of the Hotel Association StayBlackpool, I am delighted at the way the extended season has brought so many people to town. The buzz around town, especially on the prom, has been extremely positive.

“It has been heartwarming to see and hear so much positive feedback on social media platforms and from StayBlackpool members. Blackpool Council and so many businesses have excelled during this period, going above and beyond at so many levels, creating a winter season to remember for all the right reasons.

“It is great to know the extended Illuminations and so much more will return during the winter 2022. Lots of positive lessons have been learned during a period of so much uncertainty and various challenges, giving the certainty this coming winter will be much bigger and better.”

Blackpool looking stunning in the sunshine.
Blackpool looking stunning in the sunshine. (Image: Lancs Live)

Evidence to back up those anecdotal feelings was seen in the results of the first weeks of the Blackpool Illuminations as it enjoyed an extended run compared to previous years,

Public donations to the Lights and use of car parks have both increased, according to a council report, following the move to keep the display shining until January 3.

The report says: “Over the first two weeks of November (when the Illuminations would normally be switched off), parking patronage was almost double the level seen in the same period in 2019.

“The anecdotal evidence from accommodation businesses (both in the self-catering and serviced sectors) is that the high level of bookings over the remainder of this year has been fuelled by the extension of the Illuminations and greatly-enhanced Christmas offer.

“During those first two weeks of the extended Illuminations season, there was a significant increase in public donations at the collection points at the southern and northern gateways on the Promenade.

“As a result, by mid-November, the total public donations had reached more than £105,000, ahead of the previous four years.”

Evidence of recovery is supported by think tank Centre For Cities whose research measuring high street footfall shows so far this year, Blackpool has the highest level of recovery in the UK at 114 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

Work has also begun in anticipation of a £4.5m cash injection for the Illuminations, while seven projects are earmarked to benefit from a share of a £39.5m Town Deal – the largest award in the UK – from the Government’s £3.6bn Town’s Fund.

Elsewhere in the county, council bosses hope significant investment in Morecambe can see the resort enjoy a more prosperous future. Like seaside towns up and down the country, Morecambe’s heyday occurred before the advent of cheap foreign holidays and the battle to restore its fortunes has been a long and difficult one.

But a number of large scale initiatives, notably the Eden Project North, could bring a major economic boost and with it an increase in jobs and a regenerative effect on the surrounding area.

Eden Project North proposals
Eden Project North proposals

Councillor Caroline Jackson, leader of Lancaster City Council, said: “The city council is committed to the future of Morecambe, its residents and businesses, and making it an even better place to live, work and visit. Like many seaside towns it has been buffeted by economic downturns but has always fought hard to retain its jobs and workplaces.

“Our whole-hearted support and financial investment in bringing Eden Project North to the town is a prime example of our commitment, but there are many more.

“Over more than twenty years, tens of millions of pounds have been invested in the town, including the purchase of properties in multiple occupation to remodel them into family homes and enhancing residential areas to encourage people to live and invest in its future.

“The council recently led the successful £10 million project to improve the sea defences, which protects homes and businesses from coastal flooding and last year the council purchased the neglected former Frontierland site. This will be developed through new partnerships with entrepreneurs eager to invest in the town.

“Over the last few years we have also supported the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust to secure and deliver over £1 million of grant funded capital works. We are continuing this support as they work towards a five-year plan to become a major music venue in the North West through an ambitious multi-million pound grant funded investment.

“There is still much to do but working in partnership with our Morecambe community and others we will address the challenges that remain. Morecambe is a town on the cusp of a renaissance and the city council is fully committed to its regeneration.”

Morecambe seafront
Morecambe seafront

Other potential projects include the revival of Morecambe Illuminations to keep visitors coming to town out of the summer season.

Meanwhile, Lytham St Annes is also set for significant changes with Building Design Partnership Ltd (BDP) recently appointed to help design its long-term regeneration.

Fylde Council leader Cllr Karen Buckley hopes the ambitious plans will help the town adapt to the post-pandemic reality and bring in Government funding.

The masterplan project will use comprehensive evidence and commercial potential assessments to create a blueprint for future development. It is focused primarily on St Annes’ town centre and island site and is expected to be completed by April ready for a submission for the Round 2 of the government’s Levelling up Funding Programme.

Cllr Buckley said: “Our ambition to regenerate and revitalise St Annes Town Centre and Island site has taken a major step forward with the appointment of BDP. It is over 20 years now since the start of the last main refurbishment works in St Annes and whilst shopping and leisure habits have changed gradually over time, they have been singularly transformed over the last 18 months due to the Covid pandemic.

“I am looking forward to a blueprint fit for the future with full input from the town, its representatives and residents, and an exciting vision that will lever in much-needed Government funds.”

Lytham windmill along the promenade Image: Ronald Saunders
Lytham windmill along the promenade Image: Ronald Saunders

The BDP added: “St Annes is a classic ‘bucket and spade’ seaside town, loved by visitors who return time after time. We’re looking forward to working with the council and the community to attract further investment, to address the challenges of the changing nature of high streets and to explore new opportunities linked to the enduring appeal of living, working and enjoying time off by the sea.”

The development of the Masterplan includes funding from Lancashire County Council’s £12.8m Economic Recovery Growth Fund, which supports projects to help local economies to bounce back from the impacts of Covid-19.

The aim is to kickstart the development of transformational schemes that will make a major economic recovery contribution and create jobs in parts of Lancashire which have been hardest hit, stimulating growth and unlocking further investment.

County Councillor Aidy Riggott, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Growth, said: “Lancashire’s tourism sector has been significantly affected by Covid, but we recognise that there are some great opportunities to help to create an improved and diverse offer. The aim of our fund is to support the development of exciting new schemes in our communities such as in St Annes.

“Attracting more people into the town brings money into the local economy and creates new jobs, spreading the benefits to other parts of Lancashire.”

 

 

Blackpool New Year’s Eve fireworks: Where to park and what time to arrive

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Here is all you need to know about Blackpool’s New Year’s Eve fireworks event

 

Fireworks will light up Blackpool this New Year's Eve

Fireworks will light up Blackpool this New Year’s Eve (Image: Blackpool Council)

If you’re looking for a way to celebrate the end of 2021, look no further.

Blackpool’s New Year’s Eve firework event is set to go ahead as planned – despite other displays, such as the traditional fireworks in London, being cancelled.

This comes as the Government held off from imposing new Covid-19 restrictions in England until the New Year.

And Blackpool’s tourism chiefs have vowed to go ahead with their plans to end the year with a bang.

A council spokesperson said it felt it was safe to go ahead as the display is aimed at families rather than those pouring out of pubs at midnight.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “It’s the perfect way for families to come out and celebrate the start of a new year in one of the country’s most iconic outdoor settings.”

Here is all you need to know for those attending:

What time to arrive

The free family event takes place at 5pm on New Year’s Eve (December 31).

It’ll take place at the Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland.

What to expect

The fireworks will be launched from the beach in front of the Tower to create a stunning finale to end the year.

Visitors will also be able to admire the Illuminations which have been extended until January 3.

People will also still be able to enjoy the Christmas By The Sea Village, supported by Northern Rail, which includes a free synthetic ice skating rink with 40-minute sessions available daily from noon until 8pm until January 3 and no booking required.

The village also includes the Star Flyer ride, a forest of twinkling Christmas trees, log cabins serving a range of food, drink, gifts and souvenirs, light installations including a giant illuminated bauble, tram rides and regular artificial snowfalls to create s full alpine experience.

The Winter Gardens is also home to a range of Bavarian-style market stalls, funfair rides and entertainment suitable for all ages.

Where to park

Visitors to Blackpool can park on the majority of council-owned car parks for £1 for three hours using the PayByPhone app.

Alternatively, if you plan to travel by bus or tram into the Town Centre, Blackpool Transport are running a £2.50 return ticket promotional offer on the Blackpool Transport App.

Both offers will run until January 3.

For more details, click here.

 

 

 

The Lancashire town named as one of UK’s coastal hotspots

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The town on the Fylde Coast was named fourth in the list while Southport, which borders Lancashire and Merseyside, came sixth

 

Blackpool is one of the most in-demand coastal locations, according to Rightmove
Blackpool is one of the most in-demand coastal locations, according to Rightmove (Image: Bpl Bible/LancsLive)

Blackpool is in demand.

The seaside town on the Fylde Coast has been named one of the most in-demand coastal hotspots in the UK, coming in fourth on the top 10 list.

After months of working from home and the appeal of sea air, the beach on your doorstep and the sound of the waves crashing on the shore has seen a growth in people’s desire to move to the coast.

Three towns on the south coast – Bournemouth, Southampton and Brighton – take the top spots ahead of Blackpool, with Southport which borders Merseyside and Lancashire, sixth on the list compiled by Rightmove.

According to Rightmove, the average asking price for a home in Blackpool is £137,301, with that sum leaping 8% compared to 2020.

There’s currently a wide range of houses available for home-hunters in the town famous for its Tower, illuminations, three piers and miles of sandy beaches.

From first time buyers, people looking for a second holiday property or retirement home, whatever the budget, Blackpool has something to offer, including this stunning four bedroom period detached home, on the market for £895,000.

For a closer look at houses currently on sale in Blackpool, click here

Meanwhile, Southport has seen a 5% increase in the asking price in 2021 (£215,838) versus the 2020 figure.

The 10 most in-demand coastal hotspots this year

1, Bournemouth

2,Southampton

3, Brighton

4, Blackpool

5, Poole, Dorset

6, Southport

7, Eastbourne

8, Worthing

9, Hastings

10, Weston-Super-Mare

 

 

Blackpool fireworks display to go ahead on New Year’s Eve

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Blackpool’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display will go ahead as planned after the Government held off from imposing new Covid-19 restrictions in England.

 

While other displays, such as the traditional fireworks in London, have already been cancelled, tourism chiefs in the resort are going ahead with their plans.

The free family event takes place at 5pm on New Year’s Eve at the Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland.

A council spokesperson said it was felt it was safe to go ahead as the display is aimed at families rather than those pouring out of pubs at midnight.

Blackpool's New Year's Eve fireworks display is still on - picture Greg Wolstenholme Photography for VisitBlackpool

Blackpool’s New Year’s Eve fireworks display is still on – picture Greg Wolstenholme Photography for VisitBlackpool

The fireworks will be launched from the beach in front of the Tower to create a stunning finale to end the year, which has also seen the Illuminations extended until January 3.

VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “It’s the perfect way for families to come out and celebrate the start of a new year in one of the country’s most iconic outdoor settings.”

People will also still be able to enjoy the Christmas By The Sea Village, supported by Northern Rail, which includes a free synthetic ice skating rink with 40-minute sessions available daily from noon until 8pm until January 3 and no booking required.

The village also includes the Star Flyer ride, a forest of twinkling Christmas trees, log cabins serving a range of food, drink, gifts and souvenirs, light installations including a giant illuminated bauble, tram rides and regular artificial snowfalls to create s full alpine experience.

The Winter Gardens is also home to a range of Bavarian-style market stalls, funfair rides and entertainment suitable for all ages.

Visitors to Blackpool can park on the majority of council-owned car parks for £1 for three hours using the PayByPhone app.

 

 

New Year’s Eve in Lancashire 2021: Best events, fireworks displays and parties to celebrate the start of 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

There’s no doubt 2021 has been another challenging year, so what better way to say “good riddance” than a New Year’s Eve celebration and with it – hopes of a brighter and better 2022.

 

Here are some of the planned events taking place across Lancashire on New Year’s Eve …

New Year’s Eve Masquerade Ball – Bell & Bottle, Blackpool Road – Preston

Click here for details.

Are you heading out this New Year's Eve?

Are you heading out this New Year’s Eve?

New Year’s Eve Northern Soul and Motown Party – Blackpool Winter Gardens

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Family Party – Blackpool Winter Gardens

Click here for details.

Put on your dancing shoes

Put on your dancing shoes

The Minstrel New Years Eve Party – Chorley

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner Party – Imperial Banqueting – Preston

Click here for details.

Say goodbye to another tough year!

Say goodbye to another tough year!

Blackpool New Years Eve Fireworks – Comedy Carpet, Tower Festival Headland, Promenade – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Ceilidh – The Centre @ Halton, Low Road, Halton – Lancaster

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party @ Hobbit Hill – Stonyhurst – Clitheroe

Click here for details.

James Bond 007 Party New Year’s Eve – Queen’s Square – Poulton-le-Fylde

Click here for details.

A Very Goth New Year’s Eve with The Gothmariner – The Alhambra Theatre – Morecambe

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – The Talbot – Euxton

Click here for details.

Sapphires New Year’s Eve Show and Celebrations – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Rose & Crown – Chorley

Click here for details.

Blou Presents New Year’s Eve – Riva Showbar – Preston

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Funny Girls – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Hoggs N Heifers – Lancaster

Click here for details.

Ska Face – Station Pub and Grill – Lytham

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – The New Philly Family Bar – Blackpool

Click here for details.

Best Western Higher Trapp Country House Hotel New Year’s Eve Party – Simonstone – Burnley

Click here for details.

Parkfield Labour Club – live music with Flash Floods – Ashton-on-Ribble – Preston

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve at The Showboat – Ma Kellys Showboat & Uncle Tom’s Sports Bar – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Party – Charnock Richard Football Club – Chorley

Click here for details.

Rivington Brewing Co Present New Years Eve On The Farm – Chorley

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Warhol Ball – Revolution Blackpool – Blackpool

Click here for details.

New Year’s Eve Family Party – Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa – Blackburn

Click here for details.

 

 

Blackpool Destination Guide 2022

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Blackpool has unveiled a spectacular programme of events, shows and attractions for the coming year as it looks to build on the staycation boom of 2021.

 

The resort’s 2022 Destination Guide showcases a brand new family attraction, the return of major events including the two-day Air Show, a vast range of top-quality shows and entertainment, and a two-month extension of the annual Illuminations season.

The guide, illustrated with stunning photography, also celebrates a very special milestone – the 50th anniversary of Blackpool Zoo – as well as featuring an extensive range of hotel and guest accommodation to suit all pockets.

Highlights within the 88-page glossy publication include:

What’s Hot: A taste of things to come with the opening of a new £1m Peter Rabbit-themed attraction on the Golden Mile; the reimagining of the award-winning Valhalla thrill ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; and the opening of a new £28m conference and exhibition centre alongside the famous Winter Gardens.

World Class Events: A sneak peek at the resort’s multi-million pound events programme including some established favourites such as Pride, Air Show Weekend, Rebellion Punk Festival, Ride The Lights, World Fireworks, Lightpool Festival, Illuminations Switch-On weekend and Christmas By The Sea. And there’s a promise of more special events still to be announced.

Curtain Up: A chance to book ahead for a brilliant line-up of shows at venues including the Opera House, Grand Theatre and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Shows already announced include The Osmonds, A New Musical; The Cher Show; Jersey Boys; Dream Girls The Musical; Strictly Ballroom The Musical; Gangsta Granny and Rapture, a brand new production on ice.

Child’s Play: A bucket and spade list of kid-friendly things to do in Blackpool including family attractions such as Sandcastle Waterpark, the Blackpool Tower Circus, three piers, donkey rides, Marvel superheroes – and not forgetting the miles of glorious beaches.

Insta-worthy Locations: A visitors’ guide to how to create the best photographic memories of a trip to Blackpool. Images of our glorious sunsets over the Irish Sea are definitely high on the list of favourites!

A Taste Of The Good Life: Whether it’s award-winning restaurants, lavish tasting menus or good old-fashioned fish and chips eaten al fresco, the guide gives an at-a-glance look at the best places to eat and drink both on the Promenade and off the beaten track.

Baywatch, Blackpool-style: Spotlight on our Beach Patrol team who work tirelessly, around the clock, 365 days a year, to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who flock to our beaches every year.

Access All Areas: A visitor guide to how Blackpool rolls out the welcome mat to make the resort accessible for everyone whether people have physical, sensory, mental health or learning difficulties.

Check Out, Check In: A must-have guide to Blackpool’s diverse accommodation ranging from traditional guest house to luxury hotel, from budget bolthole to boutique chic – there is something to suit all tastes and pockets and all carrying the Blackpool seal of approval.

The 2022 guide also provides a wealth of information on how to get around the resort as well as highlighting some of the many initiatives that are already in place to create an eco-friendly environment.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This past year has seen a remarkable recovery as we emerged from the Government’s COVID roadmap.

“It has been heartening to see the sheer number of visitors who have come here these past few months, some of whom have either never been before or not for many years.

“Now we have to build on that success. Blackpool is a place that never stands still and that is clearly illustrated by the extent of what is already planned and on offer for 2022.

“We pride ourselves on being the ultimate family resort and the new guide shows the sheer scale of shows, attractions and free events already lined up for the year ahead.”

To view the guide online and order your copy, please head to visitblackpool.com/guide

 

 

 

Fylde Coast Radio On Blackpool’s Golden Mile

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The famous Golden Mile on Blackpool seafront is filled with the sounds of Christmas – and it’s all thanks to a team of local presenters.

Main image for Fylde Coast Radio article

Fylde Coast Radio and some of its team of more than 40 presenters have been stationed on the Comedy Carpet every night since the Illuminations were switched on in early September.

They are now an integral part of the Christmas By The Sea village which sits in the shadow of The Blackpool Tower and includes a free skating rink, light projections, snowfalls, log cabins, a forest of illuminated trees and Magical Express tram rides.

The team are in the village every night from 5pm until 10pm until Monday 3 January, entertaining the crowds, taking dedications and creating some very festive singalong moments!

The local presenters include Lindsey Notts, Jason Alan, Spencer Shackleton, Anthony Mason, Anton Kay, Norman Sane, Mighty Mike Brailsford, Don K, and Rockman Jay Jackson.

A VisitBlackpool spokesperson said: “Fylde Coast Radio have added an extra dimension to the Illuminations season and particularly so since the opening of our Christmas By The Sea village where they have brought the sounds of the festive season to the promenade.

“It all makes for a wonderful family atmosphere in a unique seafront location.

This year has seen Blackpool’s most ambitious winter offer with the creation of the Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland.

Alongside the village is the Star Flyer, Europe’s largest aerial ride and a short distance away is the Winter Gardens Wonderland with indoor and outdoor festive market stalls, virtual reality experiences, and funfair rides.

The Christmas programme is complemented by the extended Illuminations season which sees the famous lights shining every night until January 3. On selected dates throughout the period, a number of the resort’s major attractions will be open.

The resort will also be inviting families to say “goodbye” to 2021 and get ready to say “hello” to 2022 with a celebratory fireworks display that will take place late afternoon on the Tower Festival Headland on New Year’s Eve.

The free fireworks display, which will be launched around 5pm on December 31 from the beach in front of The Blackpool Tower, will create a stunning finale to end the year.

Note: Parts of the Christmas season and fireworks display are weather-dependent. Check out the visitblackpool.com website for updates.

New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks and some elements of Christmas By The Sea are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

 

 

 

Blackpool unveils amazing programme of events, attractions and shows for 2022

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Resort promises something for everyone with a fun filled year ahead

 

Blackpool has unveiled a spectacular programme of events, shows and attractions for the coming year as it looks to build on the staycation boom of 2021.

The resort’s 2022 Destination Guide showcases a brand new family attraction, the return of major events including the two-day Air Show, a vast range of top-quality shows and entertainment, and a two-month extension of the annual Illuminations season.

The guide, illustrated with stunning photography, also celebrates a very special milestone – the 50th anniversary of Blackpool Zoo – as well as featuring an extensive range of hotel and guest accommodation to suit all pockets.

Valhalla

Valhalla

Highlights within the 88-page glossy publication include:

What’s Hot: A taste of things to come with the opening of a new £1m Peter Rabbit-themed attraction on the Golden Mile; the reimagining of the award-winning Valhalla thrill ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach; and the opening of a new £28m conference and exhibition centre alongside the famous Winter Gardens.

World Class Events: A sneak peek at the resort’s multi-million pound events programme including some established favourites such as Pride, Air Show Weekend, Rebellion Punk Festival, Ride The Lights, World Fireworks, Lightpool Festival, Illuminations Switch-On weekend and Christmas By The Sea. And there’s a promise of more special events still to be announced.

Curtain Up: A chance to book ahead for a brilliant line-up of shows at venues including the Opera House, Grand Theatre and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Shows already announced include The Osmonds, A New Musical; The Cher Show; Jersey Boys; Dream Girls The Musical; Strictly Ballroom The Musical; Gangsta Granny and Rapture, a brand new production on ice.

Dream Girls

Dream Girls

Child’s Play: A bucket and spade list of kid-friendly things to do in Blackpool including family attractions such as Sandcastle Waterpark, the Blackpool Tower Circus, three piers, donkey rides, Marvel superheroes – and not forgetting the miles of glorious beaches.

Insta-worthy Locations: A visitors’ guide to how to create the best photographic memories of a trip to Blackpool. Images of our glorious sunsets over the Irish Sea are definitely high on the list of favourites!

A Taste Of The Good Life: Whether it’s award-winning restaurants, lavish tasting menus or good old-fashioned fish and chips eaten al fresco, the guide gives an at-a-glance look at the best places to eat and drink both on the Promenade and off the beaten track.

Baywatch, Blackpool-style: Spotlight on our Beach Patrol team who work tirelessly, around the clock, 365 days a year, to protect the hundreds of thousands of people who flock to our beaches every year.

Peter Rabbit-themed attraction

Peter Rabbit-themed attraction

Access All Areas: A visitor guide to how Blackpool rolls out the welcome mat to make the resort accessible for everyone whether people have physical, sensory, mental health or learning difficulties.

Check Out, Check In: A must-have guide to Blackpool’s diverse accommodation ranging from traditional guest house to luxury hotel, from budget bolt hole to boutique chic – there is something to suit all tastes and pockets and all carrying the Blackpool seal of approval.

The 2022 guide also provides a wealth of information on how to get around the resort as well as highlighting some of the many initiatives that are already in place to create an eco-friendly environment.

Coun Lynn Williams, leader of Blackpool Council, said: “This past year has seen a remarkable recovery as we emerged from the Government’s Covid roadmap. It has been heartening to

see the sheer number of visitors who have come here these past few months, some of whom have either never been before or not for many years.

“Now we have to build on that success. Blackpool is a place that never stands still and that is clearly illustrated by the extent of what is already planned and on offer for 2022.

“We pride ourselves on being the ultimate family resort and the new guide shows the sheer scale of shows, attractions and free events already lined up for the year ahead.”

To view the guide online and order your copy, please head to visitblackpool.com/guide

 

 

 

Showtown Receives Special Grant

Free coach parking for MAMMA MIA! in Blackpool - Coach Tours UK

Showtown are excited to share the news that our fundraising charity, Blackpool Museum Trust, have received a grant for almost £120k from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.

Main image for Showtown Receives Special Grant article

The grant will support key senior staff roles for Showtown that are vital to the museum’s development.  Without these key people, the museum would not be possible.

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation aims to improve our natural world, secure a fairer future and strengthen the bonds in communities across the UK.  The Foundation help to unlock change by contributing everything they can alongside people and organisations with brilliant ideas who share their goals.

The Foundation is one of the largest independent grant-makers in the UK.  In 2020, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation provided, £53.5m in grant funding towards work in support of their aims and their emergency response to COVID.  The Foundation also have a £45 million allocation to social investment for organisations with the aim of creating social impact.

One of Blackpool Museum Trust’s main objectives is to develop a museum that will deliver community, cultural and economic regeneration in Blackpool.  With the support of funders like Esmée Fairbairn Foundation we are one step closer to fulfilling these objectives.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Esmée Fairbairn Foundation for all their support with the project.

Find out more about the foundation here.

 

 

 

Blackpool’s Ride The Lights returns for Christmas edition

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Its back for a special performance to mark Christmas 2021

 

Ride the Lights

One of Blackpool’s most popular free events is coming back for Christmas.

The annual Ride The Lights event, which usually takes place at the end of August ahead of the Illuminations Switch-On, will see a special repeat performance on Sunday, December 5.

Ride The Christmas Lights will give cyclists of all ages a chance to ride along a traffic-free promenade beneath the famous Illuminations. It will start at 4pm in the afternoon and finish at 8pm, when the Promenade will be reopened to traffic.

Riders are encouraged to decorate their bikes with colourful lights and lanterns to add to the festive atmosphere!

The event is part of a spectacular programme of events and entertainment being staged in Blackpool during November and December.

It includes a Christmas By The Sea village on the Tower Festival Headland with a free-to-use skating rink, magical forest, log cabins, artificial snowfalls, light installations and themed projection shows.

Alongside the village is the Star Flyer, Europe’s largest aerial ride and a short distance away is the Winter Gardens Wonderland with indoor and outdoor festive market stalls, virtual reality experiences, and funfair rides.

The Christmas programme is complemented by an extended Illuminations season which sees the famous lights shining every night until January 3. On selected dates throughout the period, many of the resort’s major attractions will be open.

The resort will also be inviting families to say “goodbye” to 2021 and get ready to say “hello” to 2022 with a celebratory fireworks display that will take place late afternoon on the Tower Festival Headland on New Year’s Eve.

The free fireworks display, which will be launched around 5pm on December 31 from the beach in front of The Blackpool Tower, will create a stunning finale to end the year.

Cllr Lynn Williams, Leader of Blackpool Council, said: “Ride The Christmas Lights event will provide a unique opportunity for families to cycle along a traffic-free promenade and experience everything that Blackpool is offering for this festive season. Our Christmas By The Sea village is already proving a huge success with residents and visitors, and it is truly heart-warming to see so many people getting into the Christmas spirit.

“By staging the Ride The Christmas Lights and Family Fireworks in the afternoon and early evening, we hope it will give the whole family an opportunity to come out and celebrate together.”

Both Ride The Christmas Lights and New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks are weather-dependent. 

Ride The Christmas Lights, New Year’s Eve Family Fireworks and some elements of Christmas By The Sea are part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

 

 

 

 

Still no holiday flights despite new era at Blackpool Airport

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Opportunities to expand operations at Blackpool Airport are being sought – but will not include holiday flights.

 

That was the message from Blackpool Council leader Coun Lynn Williams in response to questions about the future of the Squires Gate hub, which is at the start of a new era in its development.

Earlier this month operating licences were transferred to the council , which owns the airport, by the Civil Aviation Authority enabling arm’s length company Blackpool Airport Operations Limited (BAOL) to take over its day to day running.

Coun Bradley Mitchell told a meeting of the full council this was “brilliant news”, and also welcomed moves by the government to halve air passenger duty on domestic flights “making regional airports competitive again.”

Blackpool Airport

Blackpool Airport

He added: “These developments provide brilliant opportunities for our airport, so with that in mind what conversations, if any, have you had with commercial airlines about bringing in commercial passenger flights to get Blackpool flying again?”

Council leader Coun Lynn Williams said investment was being made at the airport, including the appointment of a new managing director who is due to be unveiled in the new year.

But she said: “There is not going to be a reopening to commercial airlines.

“Luton Council was advised by their auditors to sell their airport because it was such a financial risk.

“Unless someone is going to come along and foot the bill of £2m a year losses, and that was pre-pandemic, it’s unworkable and we aren’t going to put the council at financial risk.”

In recent times the council has invested nearly £2m in the upgrade and maintenance of essential infrastructure at the airport, with further significant investment planned.

The airport, which was bought by the council from Balfour Beatty in September 2017 for £4.25m after it had been temporarily closed due to mounting debts, had been run most recently by Stratford-based Regional and City Airports, which owns four airports of its own and had the licences to run two others, including Blackpool.

 

 

Blackpool, Lancashire and Lake District staycation demand surges

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

The most sought after staycation spots in the UK for 2022 have been revealed

 

Blackpool looking stunning in the sunshine
Blackpool looking stunning in the sunshine

Lancashire is now one of the most sought after staycation hotspots in the UK for next year, according to new data.

The county, which is home to popular destinations like Blackpool and Morecambe, saw a 60% surge in searches for 2022 holidays while the Lake District also experienced a 56% increase.

During the coronavirus pandemic, many people have had their holiday plans scuppered by travel restrictions and the ‘red list’, opting for a UK getaway instead.

And according to Parkdean Resorts, people have fallen in love with local beauty spots, with more and more searches for a summer staycation right here in the UK.

Cornwall remains the most in-demand holiday destination, with searches up by two thirds for 2022 getaways.

Lancashire took the second spot on the podium as a popular choice in 2022, with searches up 60 per cent.

Gemma J never leaves Lancs without a visit to the West Lancs Railway – a charity run site open to the public on Sundays from Easter through summer until October.

West Lancs Railway makes for a fun family trip out
West Lancs Railway makes for a fun family trip out

She said in a 2Chill recommendation: “You can enjoy a steam train ride along the narrow-gauge track on a short run of about 400m from Becconsall station through woodland between the village and the Douglas river to Delph station.

“The journey is about five minutes each way and you get to see the engines up close. After your ride, there is a tearoom serving up cafeterias of coffee, homemade cakes and of course cream teas – a lovely pot of tea and fruit scones with jam and cream.”

The Lake District did make the top three destinations for British holidaymakers, thanks to the activities on offer at the picturesque national park.

Among the attractions in Cumbria is the Derwent Pencil Museum– arguably one of the most unusual museums in the country.

Gareth Butterfield described it as a ‘fascinating’ trip, writing: “Who’d have thought a collection of pencils – which includes the world’s oldest pencil and the world’s longest – would be an entertaining day out for a family.

 

 

MP calls for change to Fylde coast train services which could make all the difference to passengers

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Fylde MP Mark Menzies has called on rail operator Northern to improve Sunday services on the South Fylde line.

 

Northern currently operates a two-hourly service on the route between Preston and Blackpool South on Sundays.

Mr Menzies is currently campaigning for a passing loop on the line which would allow a half-hourly service and believes a boost to Sunday services would send a message about the importance of the line.

He said: “When the pandemic hit I think everyone could understand reducing timetables, to make best use of the staff available.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies at St Annes station on the South Fylde Line.

Fylde MP Mark Menzies at St Annes station on the South Fylde Line.

“We are now seeing an increase in passengers, particularly leisure travellers. Other lines have got their full Sunday service back but South Fylde lags behind.

More frequent train services on South Fylde Line a step closer

“Without regular trains there is no incentive for people to leave their cars at home and use public transport instead.

“A train every two hours is not enough.”

Mr Menzies continues to work with Blackpool South MP Scott Benton, Fylde Council, Lancashire County Council, Network Rail, Northern and Community Rail Lancashire on a plan to double the number of trains the line can accommodate every day.

A passing loop at Ansdell and Fairhaven is seen as the best option to deliver a half-hourly service to and from Preston and a first business case will soon be submitted to the Department for Transport.

Mr Menzies said: “Scott Benton and I secured funding through the Resorting Your Railway Fund and I’m pleased to see work progressing.

“The passing loop is vital to encouraging passenger growth, giving better connections and a more frequent and reliable service for people living in Lytham, Ansdell, Fairhaven and St Annes.

“There is clearly a strong case and Ministers are looking forward to hearing more about what is proposed.”

Mr Menzies is keen to explore further options to make the line greener and to improve passenger appeal.

He said: “The trains on this route are the oldest Northern operates.

“With brand new electric rolling stock running into Blackpool North we are left with noisy diesel trains, built in the 1980s and reaching the end of their service life.

“I’m keen to explore options for cleaner alternatives which are better for passengers and for the planet.”

It is thanks to our loyal readers that we can continue to provide the trusted news, analysis and insight that matters to you. For unlimited access to our unrivalled local reporting, you can take out a subscription here and help support the work of our dedicated team of reporters.

 

 

Blackpool Christmas light switch-on and ice rink move confirmed

LancsLive - Latest news, sport, business and more from Lancashire

Blackpool BID has teamed up with Visit Blackpool, Blackpool Promotions and Blackpool Council

 

Blackpool Tower in Blackpool
Blackpool Tower in Blackpool

Blackpool’s Tower Festival Headland will host the launch of festive celebrations in the town centre this year – meaning a traditional Christmas lights switch on will not be held in St John’s Square.

Instead there will be a launch event on Friday November 19 for winter attractions on the Promenade in front of the Tower including a festive village, log cabins, light shows, illuminated Christmas trees and a skating rink.

The Christmas lights will come on at the same time.

Michael Williams, chairman of the Blackpool BID (Business Improvement District) said it had been decided to hold the launch event at the headland this year.

This was partly due to log cabins also being installed in St John’s Square for a Christmas market meaning there would not be room for the usual stage required for a switch-on ceremony.

This year’s display will include three Christmas trees around the town centre – with the return of a 40ft tall tree in St John’s Square despite it being blown down in high winds last year, and trees in Bickerstaffe Square and outside the Town Hall.

Mr Williams said Blackpool BID had teamed up with Visit Blackpool, Blackpool Promotions and Blackpool Council “to create a fantastic festive offer.”

He said: “A synthetic ice rink is offering free skating and will be the centre piece of the festive village on the Tower Festival Headland which will include festive shopping and refreshments.”

The BID has contributed financially to the Christmas lights and towards discounted town centre parking for shoppers.

The offer of three hours parking for £1 on selected council car parks will also launch on November 19.

From December 9 to January 3, the Winter Gardens will also host a Bavarian-style Christmas market with themed stalls, fairground rides, live entertainment and Santa’s grotto.

Blackpool’s last festive town centre launch in in 2019 saw Gogglebox star and television presenter Scarlett Moffat switch on the Christmas lights.

 

 

Houghton Weavers hit Blackpool for festive weekend at Imperial Hotel: here’s the dates and times and how you can get hold of tickets for the Christmas shows

Home | Blackpool Gazette

Lancashire folk band The Houghton Weavers hope to bring some early Christmas cheer to the resort as part of their North West festive tour.

 

Houghton Weavers announce Blackpool dates for festive north west shows

Houghton Weavers announce Blackpool dates for festive north west shows

The group, who have been entertaining for 45 years, will host a Keep Folk Smiling weekend at the Imperial Hotel, on the Promenade at Blackpool, on Friday, November 26 to Sunday, November 28.

Weaver Steve Millington said: “This is when we really get to know our local fans.

“We are so looking forward to meeting everyone again after not having a Christmas tour last year because of lockdown.”

The group includes David Littler and Jim Berry, brother of longtime Weavers’ singer Tony Berry who died from cancer in 2019.

They are joined on this tour by Tony Johnston of the Fivepenny Piece and special guests.

Steve added: “Like everyone else, we’re looking forward to Christmas and all theher Christmas.

“We have never taken ourselves too seriously. We just offer a good old sing-along, humour and fun for all the family.

“We love being in Blackpool -our fans there are so warm and welcoming – and they know how to have a good time.

“We’ll be doing all the usual festive favourites like Let it Snow plus others that people love like Bless Your Whiskers Fat

For more details on the band’s performance, see www.houghtonweavers.com.

 

 

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Fleetwood!

Home | Blackpool Gazette

For the first time ever there will be two days of family festive fun in Fleetwood with the town getting ready to host the first Fleetwood Christmas Festival Weekend.

 

Fleetwood will be switched on in style this year

Fleetwood will be switched on in style this year

Organisers of the spectacle promise a true festive extravaganza filled with exciting events, live performances and plenty of activities.

Wyre Council, in partnership with Fleetwood Town Council and the Festive Lights Committee are hosting a variety of festive celebrations across the town.

It is due to take place on Saturday November 27 and Sunday November 28, when residents and visitors will be able to experience all the magic of the season across three locations in Fleetwood.

In the Marine Hall and gardens there will be a magical Festive Fayre starting each day from 10am, featuring delicious festive food and drinks, Christmas crafts and gifts for festive shopping.

There will be a festive funfair, Christmas-themed walkabout theatre acts, live singing, competitions and lots more to experience.

The event will close at 4pm so that families can get ready for the annual Festive Lantern Parade which starts at 5pm on 27 November, from Fisherman’s Walk/Ash Street and arriving back at Marine Hall at 6pm for the incredible Festive Lights switch on event.

These events are free to enter with free parking available.

There will also be festive activities at Fleetwood Market on Saturday November 27, where visitors can buy lots of Christmas gifts and experience a wonderful winter wonderland with a huge interactive snow globe, for special family photos.

Traditional Victorian Carol singers performing delightful festive hymns throughout the day as well as the Harmony and Health singers performing all the Christmas classics you love! Fleetwood Market is open from 9am until 4.30pm.

There will be a free heritage bus service running every 20 minutes from 10am until 4pm on Saturday November 27between Fleetwood Market and Marine Hall making it easier for people to visit both venues and experience the magical festive fun.

The Mount Pavilion, meanwhile, will undergo a true festive transformation to become Santa’s Grotto on Sunday November 28 from 10.30am until 3.30pm.

Santa is flying in with his reindeer and his excitable elves to provide an incredible experience for all the little ones excited to meet Santa in his home for the season.

Tickets are only £5 and all children will receive a special gift from the big man himself.

The tickets will be available to purchase from 10am on November 11 onwards.

Visit the Box Office at Marine Hall or call 01253 887693 between 10am and 3pm Monday to Friday.

Coun Lynne Bowen, leisure, health and community engagement portfolio holder said: ““We are beyond excited to host Fleetwood Christmas Festival Weekend this year, with the events and activities scheduled set to be a real festive delight for everyone in the town.

“The Festive Lights events are always a joyous occasion and with lots of additional exciting activities organised for everyone to enjoy, Fleetwood Christmas Festival Weekend is sure to be a weekend to remember and a chance to create some magical memories for our residents and visitors to the town.

“We are pleased to be able to organise such an amazing array of festive fun, with the weekend offering everyone a real chance to get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy the most magical season of the year.”

These events are funded by Wyre Council and the ERDF Welcome Back Fund in partnership with Fleetwood Town Council and the Festive Lights Committee.