Off the bat, it’s not the North Pier
Blackpool’s three piers are the mighty spears of the seaside town, all alike in dignity, you can spend hours walking up and down and between each one.
The three piers, North pier, Central pier and South pier, are all named based on where they stand on the seafront – but are they all so different?
We’re starting on North Pier, not out of any immediate excitement it swirls within its visitors, but to get it out of the way.
And that’s what the North Pier is all about. Yes, it’s a pier. Yes, it does the job. But when it comes to it, is doing its job enough?
As we arrived at North Pier, our first pier, I decided it was not my favourite. There’s only so many times you can say “but it does have a train” before you begin to sound like you’re trying to justify not climbing Snowdon.
To its credit, North Pier does host Blackpool’s very pretty Gin bar, Bloom, as well as a vintage carousel. But aside from those, there’s not a great deal going on.
You could sit on the train that travels to the end of the pier and back, but in comparison to its sister piers – the North Pier is as thrilling as a tin of beans.
North Pier is best suited for those wanting a quiet walk down a pier and Gin-drinkers. It is not best suited to big groups or children, unless you’re miniature train fanatics or desperate for a go on the vintage carousel.
Like anything central, Blackpool’s Central Pier is typically packed with tourists and as we made our way onto the pier we were suddenly shoulder to shoulder with crowds of people.
The pier is rammed with ticketed funfair rides where tickets can be purchased at booths located on the pier.
All rides are priced individually and are all either 2,3 or 4 tickets per rider.
You can ride anything from the dodgems to the big wheel, before working your way through two arcades and up to the Pirates Bay Family Bar where you can sit and enjoy a pint or some chips.
The Central Pier is a good pier. It’s a place where you can kill loads of time, partly just by trying to walk through the crowds, but it also offers some of the more traditional pastimes Blackpool has to offer – like palm readings, hook a duck or some photo opportunities that involve sticking your head through a painting of a pirate.
Don’t start thinking that just because Central Pier is entertaining, this obviously places it as the reigning pier – it’s not. It’s in second place though, which according to the X Factor is where you should aim to place if you want to do well.
Central Pier is ideal for families and tourists, but visitors should be prepared for its busy peak hours, especially during school holidays. If Central Pier were a chocolate bar, it would be a Crunchie – fun, but not something you’d want all the time.
You guessed it, LancsLive is officially naming Blackpool’s South Pier as the best pier in Blackpool.
By the time we made it to South Pier I was ready to throw in the towel and crown Central Pier as the best pier – how wrong we would have been.
South Pier’s only slight disadvantage is its location. It’s most convenient to Pleasure Beach but it is worth travelling to via Blackpool’s efficient tram service if you’re looking to spend some time on the seafront.
South Pier’s main pro is its space. It feels huge in comparison to its sister piers and that creates a more calming experience overall for its visitors.
It also has both of Central and North piers’ best qualities, all in one space. It has a gin bar, funfair rides and an arcade. What more could you ask for?
The pier also hosts an adrenaline zone which includes the SkyCoaster and a Reverse Bungee jump. Even if being accelerated suddenly into the sky isn’t for you, it still makes great entertainment to watch strangers get catapulted into the air and returned back to earth.