Lancashire’s best and worst seaside towns ranked, according to Which?

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Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe and nearby Southport all featuring in the bottom 15 of resorts ranked by consumer group Which?

Blackpool beach
Blackpool beach (Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Lancashire’s seaside towns are some of the most popular attractions in the UK, with Blackpool, Fleetwood and Morecambe set to become big hotspots for staycation tourists this summer

However, according to a new poll released last week, it seems the county’s seaside holiday destinations aren’t as well-loved as we might have thought.

Consumer magazine Which? has just published its annual survey into the best seaside towns across the UK.

Each resort was ranked on a scale of 1-to-5 stars for the quality of the beach, local attractions, scenery, peace and quiet and value for money.

The survey was compiled with the contributions of over 4,000 visitors over the past year and each town was also given a metacritic-style aggregated customer score.

With just under 100 seaside spots ranked across the UK, a few of Lancashire’s big names underperformed, with the public not being especially kind.

Coming top of the chart was Bamburgh in Northumberland, which was praised for its “epic” scenery with Bamburgh Castle looming above the golden sands.

However, none of Lancashire’s seaside locations made it anywhere near the top 10, let alone the pinnacle of the top 5.

Blackpool, Fleetwood, Morecambe and even nearby Southport all featuring in the bottom 15 of resorts ranked.

Blackpool scored just 1 out of 5 for its scenery and peace and quiet, although it did gain 4 out of 5 for its range of attractions and 3 out of 5 for its beach.

Morecambe recorded 3 out of 5’s for both scenery and peace and quiet but just 1 out of 5 for attractions.

Fleetwood featured on the list but no star ratings were provided for each section.

Southport meanwhile recorded 2 out of 5’s in four areas with a 3 out of 5 for peace and quiet.

Rory Boland, editor of Which? Travel, said: “The results of our survey show that bigger is rarely better, with smaller, less crowded resorts taking the top spots over better-known destinations.”

What do you think? Which beach will you be heading to this year? Have your say in the comments.

The 20 worst seaside resorts according to Which?

1 Skegness, Lincolnshire – 48 points

2 Weston-super-Mare, Somerset – 55

3 Ilfracombe, Devon – 56

4 Margate, Kent – 57

5 Lowestoft, Suffolk – 57

=6 Worthing, West Sussex – 58

=6 Morecombe, Lancashire – 58

=6 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk – 58

=6 Colwyn Bay – 58

=6 Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset – 58

=7 Fleetwood, Lancashire – 59

=7 Blackpool, Lancashire – 59

=8 Southport, Merseyside – 60

=8 Newquay, Cornwall – 60

=8 New Brighton, Merseyside – 60

9 Bridlington, East Yorkshire – 61

10 Littlehampton, West Sussex – 62

11 Hunstanton, Norfolk – 63

=12 Ramsgate, Kent – 64

=12 Folkestone, Kent – 64

The 20 best seaside resorts in the UK

1 Bamburgh, Northumberland – 85 points

= 2 Dartmouth, Devon – 84

= 2 Tynemouth, Northumberland -84

3 St Andrews, Fife, Scotland – 83

4 Aberaeron, Ceredigion, Wales – 82

5 North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland – 81

6 Rye, East Sussex – 81

7 Filey, North Yorkshire – 80

=8 Southwold, Suffolk – 80

=8 St Davids, Pembrokeshire, Wales – 80

=8 Swanage, Dorset – 80

= 9 Beer, Devon – 79

=9 Conwy, Conwy – 79

=9 Criccieth, Gwynedd – 79

=9 Sidmouth, Devon – 79

=9 Tenby, Pembrokeshire – 79

= 10 Aldeburgh, Suffolk -78

= 10 Megavissey, Cornwall – 78

=10 Saltburn-by-the-sea, North Yorkshire – 78

=10 Ventnor, Isle of Wight – 78


Gogglebox’ Sophie and Pete Sandiford popularity compared to the rest of the cast

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Siblings Pete and Sophie Sandiford from Blackpool are firm favourites on the show.

Sophie and Pete Sandiford from Gogglebox
Sophie and Pete Sandiford from Gogglebox (Image: Channel 4)

We all have our favourites when it comes to Gogglebox.

And with the Channel 4 show featuring two of our own from Lancashire, it’s not hard to see why they’d be up there on our list.

The entire cast has been ranked by viewers, from the least to most popular.

However some fans have taken issue with the judgements, as the ranking is proving pretty controversial.

The hilarious show airs each Friday night on Channel 4 at 9pm, as the cast give their verdict on the weekly telly.

Siblings Pete and Sophie Sandiford from Blackpool are firm favourites on the show.

Eleven families were ranked by viewers of the sofa favourite, which airs each Friday night on Channel 4 at 9pm, reports Birmingham Live.

Now, it is worth noting, before we continue, that only 11 families were ranked – so if your favourite is a secondary cast member who does not feature regularly, they may not appear below.

It is also worth noting this is not the opinion of Reach PLC, but instead, based on votes from viewers who regularly tune in.

11. The Vens

Mica, boyfriend Marcus and her two daughters Sachelle and Shuggy first joined the show in 2018.

The south Londoners joined Gogglebox in series 11 and were ranked last in the vote last year, but we reckon they’ve surely jumped a few places this season.

The pair feature regularly – and have us chuckling with their brilliant chemistry.

10. The Michaels

Controversially to some, the Brighton family ranked higher than Mica and Marcus.

The Michael family had a brief break during their stint on the show but are now back all together.

Dad Andrew, mum Carolyne and son Louis are among the family members to feature.

Louis’ sister Alex appeared as well, as has her twin Catheryne.

9. Stephen Webb

Daniel Lustig and Stepehn Webb (Image: Channel 4)

Stephen Webb has featured alongside his husband Daniel, his former flatmate Chris and his mum ever since series one.

He is the longest serving cast member.

Recently, he thrilled people with his dramatic new hairstyle.

And he also birthed the meme ‘yeah, but not a terrorist, Chris’.

8. Dave and Shirley

Ah, the Welsh couple have stolen our hearts ever since their debut.

Welsh couple Dave and Shirley have been married for 40 years and have two children together.

They joined the show in 2015.

7. Ellie and Izzy

Gogglebox sisters Ellie and Izzi
Gogglebox sisters Ellie and Izzi (Image: Instagram)

This is massively controversial.

They are a popular pair and regularly amuse viewers with their back and forth banter and obsession with food.

They both have thousands of followers on social media.

But the pair only rank seventh.

6. Mary and Marina

OAPs Mary and Marina are both in their 80s and live in a retirement home together in Bristol.

They have become popular for their sense of humour and frank comments about men and relationships, while often getting distracted talking about their love lives.

5. The Siddiquis

If we’re honest, the Siddiqui family would be our number one.

The East Midlands family are brilliant – and their chemistry is undeniable.

The close knit family always entertain us with their brilliant takes.

4. The Malones

The Malones and their dogs are one of the show’s biggest families (Image: Channel 4)

The Malone family have lost a member for the current series, with Tom Jr stepping away.

But that has not stopped them regularly featuring.

Since joining the show back in series four, the Malone family are known for blunt, no-nonsense remarks, enviable snack selection and their adorable dogs who aren’t camera shy.

3. Giles and Mary

Giles and Mary – or ‘Nutty’, as her husband calls her – are well known in the Gogglebox fan circles.

The couple’s home and sense of style is instantly recognisable, particularly Mary’s botanical armchair which matches the wallpaper.

2. Pete and Sophie

We expected Pete and Sophie to finish first and second – and so it proved.

The Blackpool duo are a close knit pair of siblings, with Sophie losing her job last year and being supported by viewers.

Pete, meanwhile, is set to get married and become a dad.

The duo are the envy of the nation with their mug collection.

1. Jenny and Lee

Gogglebox stars Jenny and Lee (Image: Channel 4)

Jenny’s AC12 notes during Line of Duty won the hearts of the nation – and were enough to seal first spot.

The pals met in a pub where Jenny was the landlady and Lee was a regular.

They share a Twitter account which has amassed more than 129,000 followers and shows the comical friends sharing their exploits outside of filming.


Linda Nolan told she had cancer hours before brave pantomime performance

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“I was dressed as the Wicked Queen so it was a bit of a worry for them when I walked in!”

Linda was first diagnosed in 2006
Linda was first diagnosed in 2006

Linda Nolan was told she had cancer after a matinee panto show before bravely going back to work in the evening.

The 62-year-old, who continues to fight the disease, ­received her diagnosis while dressed as the Wicked Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Five days later, she was arranging her mastectomy.

Linda, raised in Blackpool and later found fame with her sisters in 1970s group The Nolans, told ­radio host Andy Jaye how she hid her fears from her co-stars and the audience.

She said: “I was in Belfast doing pantomime and I had to go for my results in ­between shows on the Friday.

“I was dressed as the Wicked Queen so it was a bit of a worry for them when I walked in!

“I was told then it was breast cancer. It was stage three, and I’d have to have a mastectomy and chemotherapy.

“I remember as he [the doctor] was saying these things, I’m looking down on him. The minute he said the word ‘cancer’, it was as if I’d left the room.

“My ­husband Brian was there and he was going greyer by the second. In fact, they had to give him water and not me. He was so devastated.

“He said to me when we got outside – and I obviously cried – ‘Shall I call them and tell them you can’t come in for the second show?’

“And I said, ‘No, we’ve got two nights left, nobody can really do the part I am doing because they don’t do understudies in panto, and it won’t make any difference to the diagnosis’.

“I said, ‘The only thing is, you cannot be standing in the wings ­because if I see you, it will be like a reality check and I will cry’.

“So I went and did the last three shows and we had a party after the one on Saturday.

“By the Thursday, I had an appointment to have the mastectomy.

“It was three days before my birthday.”

Linda – who has recently written a book called Stronger Together with her sister Anne, who also has cancer – was first diagnosed with the disease in 2006.

The following year she lost her husband to skin cancer.

After a fall in 2017, Linda discovered her cancer had spread to her pelvis, before learning it was in her liver last year.

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens reopening date confirmed after months of closure

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The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme

Winter Gardens Blackpool
Winter Gardens Blackpool (Image: Submitted)

Blackpool’s Winter Gardens is set to welcome visitors once more as preparations get underway to reopen its doors.

Plans have been revealed for the reopening, which has been confirmed to take place on Monday (May 17).

It means the public will be able to enjoy the iconic building once more, after months of lockdown restrictions which left the building closed since the November lockdown.

The Box Office and Mazzei Cafe are set to reopen on Monday, along with The Old Victoria Bar featuring live entertainment daily.

Bosses have also confirmed that live socially distanced events will return from May 30 including comedy, live music, family shows and more, while venue tours will return from June 1.

The Winter Gardens has developed a new socially distanced spring programme featuring a wide range of events including family favourites the Twirlywoo’s and Alice in Wonderland.

A range of live comedy events are set to be held from May 30, including Jongulers presenting Laugh Out Loud which will feature Shaun Williamson, Bobby Davro and Billy Pearce, followed in June by Britain’s Got Talent winner Jon Courtenay with his first live appearance since being crowned champion.

The Old Victoria Bar, formally Gillow’s, will feature live entertainment throughout the day and will offer a wide selection of drinks and classic pub food.

Over in the Mazzei Café, packages including afternoon tea are available to pre-book on the venue’s website.

Closed for more than 12-months, a Box Office counter service reopens from 11am on Monday, allowing customers to book in person. The box office will be open daily from 11am – 3pm.

Bosses have confirmed that there will be a return to capacity events in-line with the governments roadmap from June.

To mark this, there will be the return of Blackpool Rocks, Strictly Come Dancing The Professionals, Classic Northern Soul Night, Six The Musical and more.

Michael Williams, Managing Director, said: “It will be a huge relief to reopen the doors and welcome people back inside the Winter Gardens Blackpool, after a most challenging 12 months. Everyone at the venue has worked tirelessly to open at the earliest opportunity with a fantastic programme of live events.

“I believe that Blackpool is set for a bumper summer and we are ready to play an integral role in welcoming visitors safely from across the UK and play our part in the recovery of tourism in Blackpool.”

The Winter Gardens has been awarded the Visit England “We’re good to go” Industry Standard. This confirms that the Winter Gardens Blackpool meets the Government and Public Health Guidance on COVID-19 measures being in place to ensure a safe visit for guests.

The venue also has its own ‘Safe and Sound’ campaign in place which will see the introduction of a wide range of new policies to ensure the safety of its guests.

The new ‘Safe and Sound’ plans include the limiting of capacity with unoccupied seating between groups, temperature checks on arrival and contactless experiences amongst a range of new and enhanced policies.

Here is exactly what you can expect s the Winter Gardens reopens its doors:

Mazzei Café

The Mazzei Café will reopen on Monday, May 17 from 11am – 3pm.

Thereafter open daily excluding Monday and Fridays until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Afternoon Tea is available to pre order now.

Box Office

Counter service from the Church Street box office returns from Monday, May 17.

Open 7-days from 11am until 3pm.

The Old Victoria Bar

The Old Victoria Bar will reopen on Saturday, May 22 from 11am featuring live entertainment throughout the day.

Thereafter open weekends until June 21 when it will be open 7-days a week.

Socially Distanced events

A wide range of Live socially distanced events return from May 30 including comedy, family shows and live music all adhering to all government guidelines including social distancing.

For further information, tickets and to make bookings or reservations visit

Blackpool Winter Gardens vaccine hub to close during the summer

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Around 28,000 vaccinations have been carried out at the Winter Gardens.

A waiting area at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool
A waiting area at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool

Medics plan to close the Winter Gardens as a mass vaccination hub during the summer as more of the population receive their Covid jab.

The centre, which opened in January, is expected to shut at the end of July with the hub at Blackpool Victoria Hospital remaining as the town’s mass vaccination site.

By then it is expected all adults will have had a vaccine.

Jane Scattergood, Covid-19 Vaccination Director for Lancashire and South Cumbria said: “Alongside the NHS, staff and volunteers at Blackpool Winter Gardens have played a pivotal role in vaccinating tens of thousands of people in our community.

“From the end of July, those eligible will be able to get their lifesaving Covid jab from other sites in the area including the local hospital hub, their GP practice or community pharmacy.”

So far around 28,000 vaccinations have been carried out at the Winter Gardens.

Nicki Latham, deputy chief executive at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, told a meeting of the board the vaccination programme had been a great success, including in prompting more people to want to work for the NHS.

She said: “As a region we are quite a way ahead of other regions in our implementation of this.

“We did experience a shortage of supply but we are now back up to speed on that as we go forward.

“We are going to stand down the Winter Gardens but we are going to continue with the Trust as a hub.

“That hub will be for both staff and citizens, and not all Trusts have been as flexible so again we have a positive by being so flexible around that.

“A number of the vaccinators that went to the Winter Gardens have really got the NHS bug, whether they are retire and returnees, or they are new people coming into the NHS.

“So we have had quite a substantial interest around training as health care assistants and wanting to come and work in the Trust.”

Ms Latham added the whole adult population was expected to have received a vaccination by July 31, with over 50s likely to be invited for a third jab in September.

In the longer term, this could become ‘business as usual’, with the prospect of Covid and flu jabs being administered together, led by GP practices.

Lancashire cases show no drop with one area still recording much higher numbers

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Blackburn with Darwen has seen the biggest increase again with 26 new cases

Blackburn from above
Blackburn from above

Lancashire has recorded 73 new cases of Covid-19 for the second day running.

According to Public Health Figures released today (May 9), more than a third were found in Blackburn with Darwen.

Hyndburn, which still has the highest rate in England but is now seeing that number come down quickly, recorded a further four cases.

Preston, which recently saw a prison outbreak, recorded just one new case.

Not one area reported zero cases.

Government data up to May 6 also shows that of the 52,403,417 jabs given in the UK so far, 35,188,981 were first doses and 17,214,436 were second doses.

Daily cases of Covid confirmed in every Lancashire borough as of Sunday, May 9

The data below includes the total number of cases and overall infection rate for each area since the pandemic began. Many of these cases will no longer be active.

Blackburn with Darwen: 18,341 (+26) 12,252.2 per 100,000

Blackpool: 9,261 (+8) 6,641.3 per 100,000

Burnley: 9,964 (6) 11,205.6 per 100,000

Chorley: 7,975 (+4) 6,746.1 per 100,000

Fylde: 4,804 (+1) 5,947 per 100,000

Hyndburn: 8,015 (+4) 9,889.8 per 100,000

Lancaster: 9,506 (+6) 6,509.3 per 100,000

Pendle: 9,709 (+7) 10,540.4 per 100,000

Preston: 13,948 (+1) 9,744.6 per 100,000

Ribble Valley: 4,602 (+1) 7,558.1 per 100,000

Rossendale: 6,124 (+1) 8,567.2 per 100,000

South Ribble: 8,156 (+3) 7,361.8 per 100,000

West Lancashire: 8,950 (+3) 7,829.9 per 100,000

Wyre: 6,685 (+2) 5,963.9per 100,000

Place Northwest | Blackpool Decides On The Controversial Sale Of Stanley Park


Place Northwest | Blackpool Decides On The Controversial Sale Of Stanley Park

Blackpool Park Golf Club - Experience true parkland golf in the heart of  Blackpool

The 18-hole golf course and club were founded in 1926

The council will decide on Wednesday whether or not part of the Stanley Park Golf Club will be sold to the leisure operator United Kingdom Adventure Parks after a previous disposal approval decision was overturned.

UKAP plans to build an outlet for Adrenalin World. An entertainment center brand run by mogul tennis player David Lloyd and 250 cabins in part of the land currently occupied by the golf course.

The development would result in the 18-hole golf course founded in 1926 being cut in half.

Blackpool Council executive voted in July to sell 39 acres to UKAP, a subsidiary of real estate investor Holmes Investment Properties.

Cllr Neal Brooks was in favor of land clearance at the time, but warned that the Council could be viewed as “bad guys” by some members of the public in taking this step.

Brooks argued that the local council had “propped up” the golf course for years and that redevelopment of the land would provide an opportunity to advance a “viable endeavor” on the property.

At a meeting of Blackpool’s tourism, business and Communities Audit Committee Following the initial approval of the land sale earlier this summer, it was decided that the plans had been “poorly consulted” and that the Executive Committee had failed to address concerns from residents.

Committee chairman Martin Mitchell said: “I am not convinced that the executive branch has taken all relevant arguments into account. If [the decision] Referring to the full council will allow all issues to be fully considered. “

A decision to sell the property will be voted on by all of Blackpool’s 42 councilors this week. A petition against the sale of the property received 8,000 signatures but was ignored by the council last year.

Liverpool-based architect Ryder Architecture and Manchester-based consultancy Hydrock, along with planning consultant Iceni Projects, are on the project team for the proposed leisure program.

UKAP is expected to sign a lease between 99 and 125 years, according to the head of the Regeneration Council.

The Seaside Council Has Raised Concerns About Street Lighting In Blackpool


Beadnell Town Council joined the AONB partnership on the Northumberland Coast to raise concerns about the proposed lighting at The Kilns, a 45-house development in the village.

Cllr Jen Hall said, “It would be a shame if you look up at the beach and it’s like Blackpool staring at you from Swinhoe Road.”

Cllr John Rhind added, “For the people who buy these houses, presumably with the intention of enjoying a rural setting, the last thing they want is to be lit like a Christmas tree.”

Construction of a 45 home development from Bondgate Homes in Beadnell is underway.

Cllr Guy Renner-Thompson said he had received complaints about mud on the west end of Swinhoe Road caused by construction site traffic. It was raised with Northumberland Estates.

The local council also contacted the owner of a property on Harbor Road after residents raised concerns.

“They will be building, but not immediately as they are considering submitting new plans for the property,” reported Chairman, Cllr Alison Nation. “They will shortly be erecting boards as fences in front of the construction and securing the site.”

She revealed that the owners are open to the idea of ​​a community project to cancel boarding. A local organization has contacted us and will contact the owner.

Plans for a drinking water fountain next to the public toilets on the beach have been postponed due to concerns about value for money.

Cllr Adrian Baker said, “When we started we managed to get a £ 2,000 grant towards the cost of the fountain and we received an offer from the county council to mount it on the toilet wall and use the water supply. In terms of installation, it would likely cost us another £ 500 to £ 600. We got to the point where those £ 600 were over £ 4,000. “

New letters are to be sent to vacation owners who are looking for donations. Last year over 2,000 pounds were collected.

NEWS The Blackpool Comic, Who Wrote His Own Sitcom, Starred In It And Remembered His Lines Without A Script …


Last week we remembered Harry Korris’ Happidrome show, which the comedian put on as a summer show sketch in the 1930s.

From this he developed a radio series that ran for seven years from 1941. In 1943 there was also a film version.

Unfortunately, a little gremlin was active on the page last week and implemented the captions. Today we put Harry back in history with this “at home” Gazette photo with his wife, Connie.

Harry (1891-1971) lived at Squires Gate for nearly 40 years, first on Dunes Avenue and then on Lytham Road.

So what was the second radio sitcom that originated in Blackpool?

It was Club Night, written by and with Dave Morris (1896-1960), whose Blackpool appearances lasted 40 years and who lived in Duchess Drive, North Shore, for more than 20 years.

Coun Mrs. Constance May Korris and husband Harry Korris

Dave had starred in Blackpool for ten consecutive summer seasons before Club Night first aired in the fall of 1950.

The story of how the show came about was told on the Gazette’s radio column in the spring of 1950.

Dave had had a drink with BBC’s Robert Stead in the Dress Circle Bar at Blackpool’s Palace Theater, a popular hangout for performers, producers, and Manchester radio guys.

The conversation was put through to the Gazette, probably by Dave.

“There doesn’t seem to be anything new under the sun. What we need in broadcast are new ideas, ”said Stead.

“How about a workers club on the radio?” answered Dave.

“Look at the characters that you have. There’s the little guy with the chickens; the brave who always drinks drinks; the eternal grouser and wise man, that’s me. “

Dave explained, “The main topics of conversation are beer, racing and soccer until someone gets a brainwave and starts politics. It would be good down-to-earth fun. “

“But who is going to write such a script?” asked Mr. Stead.

And he put himself in the spotlight as treasurer and loud Mr. Know All from the club. Like its other characters, it was a clubland stereotype.

There was a steward, played by Billy Smith quoting the rules, and the Wacker, played by Liverpool’s comic Fred Ferris, who was in and out of the club forever and asked, “As’ ee am in?” That was just a way to include yourself in a round of drinks.

There was the boring Army veteran, Pongo, first played by the show’s producer, Ronnie Taylor, and the disrespectful (to Dave) Snuffy Hargreaves, played by Frank Bass.

Then there was Cedric, the little man in the bowler hat, meek and gentle, who didn’t touch alcohol, part of who gave Joe Gladwin the character around which the comedy joke began.

The Gazette article had revealed to readers who did not already know that Dave was almost blind and had a unique arrangement with the BBC. He didn’t have to read from a script when it aired: “I write my own material and can remember it – usually,” he told the newspaper’s radio columnist.

“I had to get permission from the BBC high-ups. From their point of view, that’s quite a risk. “Next week: The radio and stage success of Club Night – and the reason Dave didn’t attend the Royal Variety Performance at the Opera House in 1955.

Blackpool Rock Gin: The story behind the seaside inspired drink enjoyed by Jean-Christophe Novelli

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Blackpool Rock Gin expertly distilled and handcrafted in Lancashire and can be found in many of the resort’s bars, pubs and restaurants

Blackpool Rock Gin is inspired by the seaside
Blackpool Rock Gin is inspired by the seaside (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

Blackpool Rock Gin has become a well-loved brand not only in the town’s local bars, pubs and restaurants but also in other parts of the UK and further afield.

The truly Lancashire gin is the only one of its kind to actually use its product, i.e. a stick of Blackpool Rock, within the drink and not simply use flavouring as is with the case with many other flavoured gins.

The idea for the pink gin came about around three years ago by founders Simon, now aged 48, and Jay now aged 37.

Simon, born on the Fylde coast, has spent over 30 years in the drinks industry supporting national and international gin brands and distillers achieving many multiple international awards.

Jay, who lives in Lytham St Annes with his young family, is a design expert with his own marketing and web design agency.

He supports many local businesses across the North West working predominantly in the hospitality space.

The original Blackpool Rock Gin along side the 125th Limited Edition bottle
The original Blackpool Rock Gin along side the 125th Limited Edition bottle (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

One evening the pair were out drinking gin on a terrace in Lytham discussing life when the idea was born.

Jay said: “Simon asked me how work was going, and I basically said I was fed up with making successful brands and products for people.

“Simon, as ex senior manager of one of the largest distilleries in Europe, had said that people had kept asking him to create his own gin. At the time gin had really taken off and the industry was booming so we got to thinking of what we could do ourselves.

“Blackpool really enjoys its nostalgia so we immediately thought of Blackpool Rock. We also wanted to do something no one else had done too and actually have the real product in the drink.

“From that point we set about trying to make that happen.”

"Seaside poster" for Blackpool Rock Gin
“Seaside poster” for Blackpool Rock Gin (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

The two were to find out that the unique process this involves would be much more complicated than trying to dissolve a stick of rock within the gin.

They therefore enlisted the help of one of the oldest Blackpool rock factories in the town.

After much fine filtering and technical wizardry the results that came was a lovely, subtle sweet, original pink gin.

The drink is now expertly distilled and hand crafted using 10 premium botanicals and the base gin is made to the London dry standard and the single sourced spirit is produced in Lancashire.

Truly a craft gin, the pair painstakingly hand label and bottle every gin themselves.

Blackpool Rock Gin is a true Lancashire gin
Blackpool Rock Gin is a true Lancashire gin (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

Jay said: “There is sometimes a concern that because Blackpool Rock is used it’s going to really sweet almost like a liqueur.

“It’s very subtle however – if you mix it with lemonade it really brings out the sweetness and if you mix it with tonic it tastes truly like a dry gin.

“There can be a little bit of stuffiness within the gin world and we don’t really enter competitions. Simon has done all that and, given his expertise, he says with all honesty that this gin is one of the best he’s ever produced.

“As someone from Lytham I know sometimes there can be a little bit of snobbery towards Blackpool too however we know how great and unique the town is.

“The Blackpool community is like no other and the support we’ve had from locals and businesses has been overwhelming.

“Some gin makers have all kinds of funding to help them make their products however we have created and nurtured this ourselves without any support.

Jay (left) and Simon (right) with Jean-Christophe Novelli
Jay (left) and Simon (right) with Jean-Christophe Novelli (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

The collaboration between the two local lads is why the pink gin has proved so successful.

Simon is responsible for making the gin and handcrafts each and every batch himself and Jay brings the creative side to the business which is everything from the label on the bottle to the website.

As part of the original marketing of the gin, and inspired by the seaside, the pair managed to source some original Blackpool deck chairs and re-upholstered them in the brands colours to take pictures.

Since the offset the gin makers have set out to challenge the regular outlook of a start-up gin business and created a contemporary spirit that was fun and approachable that would bring new drinkers into the gin category.

In order to do this, Jay has always kept his finger on the pulse by keeping up with the latest trends, events and venues so the drink can be enjoyed by a full spectrum of visitors.

A fan of Star Wars, he didn’t miss a opportunity to mark May 4th this week by decanting his pink gin into a Storm Trooper bottle his nephew bought him – which made for a striking picture.

So much so the pair have been inundated with questions asking who designed the bottle. Although Jay didn’t, it would be something he’d love to do if it was made possible.

To celebrate 125 years of incredible innovation in the town and the birthday of Blackpool Pleasure beach, Blackpool Rock Gin also launched its ‘Limited Edition 125 Years London Dry Gin’ made from the premium 10 botanical base recipe.

Blackpool Rock Gin marked May 4 by decanting its product into a Storm Trooper bottle

Blackpool Rock Gin marked May 4 by decanting its product into a Storm Trooper bottle (Image: Blackpool Rock Gin)

This limited edition has 125 numbered bottles which have been designed and produced in its inaugural year.

Showcasing the true heart of Blackpool Rock gin, this version highlights the wonderful single source British spirit and the fantastic botanicals within it.

The original pink gin has found its way to places like Scotland and Brighton and even Jean-Christophe Novelli has enjoyed a tipple.

The recent pandemic has proved difficult, as it has for so many other businesses, however there are exciting new plans in place for the Blackpool gin including working with the team at Blackpool Rocks for their Blackpool Rock Returns event.

As always, Jay and Simon also have ideas for Blackpool inspired products to come and plans for tasting events.

For more information, please visit the Blackpool Rock Gin website here.