It’s known the world-over for its beaches and numerous attractions, but did you know Blackpool has another wow factor – its stunning architecture and heritage features.
Here are just some of the things you should check out during your visit:
The Grand Theatre
Frequently hailed as one of the most beautiful theatres in the land, the Grade II listed venue was designed by Frank Matcham and built for £20,000 in just seven months between December 1893 and July 1894. The ornate auditorium with its double-curved balconies and ornate, Baroque style, will simply take your breath away. Check out the year-round programme of shows and entertainment.
The Winter Gardens
Where to begin with this extraordinary “palace of entertainment” right in the heart of Blackpool town centre? The Grade II listed building, which comprises a whole range of individual venues, each with its own incredible features, is going through a sympathetic programme of refurbishment. Whether it’s the magnificence of the Grand Vestibule, Floral Hall, Opera House and Empress Ballroom, or the wonders of the Galleon Bar, Baronial Hall and Spanish Hall, prepare to be amazed! It hosts everything from world dance championships to West End musicals and shows.
The Blackpool Tower
It’s our eighth wonder of the world! One of the first entertainment venues in Blackpool, this imitation of the Eiffel Tower was built on the site of Dr Cocker’s Aquarium between 1891 and 1894. The Tower itself stands 518ft above Blackpool Prom; the opulent circus is set at basement level between the four legs of the Tower; and who wouldn’t want to step inside the incredible Blackpool Tower Ballroom? Famed for its annual appearance in Strictly, this is a venue you will never forget. The Tower is Grade I listed.
Abingdon Street Phone Kiosks
They might not have quite the entertainment value of a Tardis, but this row of cast iron phone booths are just about as British as it gets! They are situated outside the former Post Office on Abingdon Street in the town centre and are Grade II listed.
The Imperial Hotel
This landmark seafront hotel is one of the grand old dames of the Promenade. The 19th century hotel reflects the opulence and glamour of the resort’s Victorian heyday. Over the years it has welcome a host of royalty, politicians, statesmen and stars of stage and screen.
Central Library/Grundy Art Gallery
The library and adjoining gallery were built more than a century ago and Grade II listed more than 30 years ago. Designed in a Baroque style, the library entrance comprises a curved colonnade of six Ionic columns. In 2010, the library was temporarily closed for a year-long renovation that cost £3m. The adjoining gallery features exhibitions throughout the year and among its collection pieces is a neon work by Tracy Emin.
The oldest and longest of Blackpool’s three piers, North Pier was completed in 1863 to the designs of Eugenius Birch. Cast iron screw piles and columns support iron girders and a 1,070ft long wooden deck jutting out into the Irish Sea. Attractions include bars, theatre, carousel and shops. It is one of the few remaining examples of Birch’s classic pier architecture and is a Grade II listed building. The pier played a starring role (along with Blackpool Tower) in Hollywood film director Tim’s Burton’s movie, Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and it is where Harry Corbett discovered his Sooty puppet!