Visit Blackpool

Armed Forces Week

Armed Forces Week, taking place from the 19-25 June, is Blackpool's opportunity to say thank you to our heroes.

To mark the national event, we are welcoming serving military personnel, veterans and cadets with a wide range of activities targeted at them and their families, as well as the many thousands of people visiting Blackpool.

Armed Forces Week Flag Raising

19 June 2023
Time: 10:30
Location: Blackpool Town Hall, Talbot Square, Blackpool
Blackpool Armed forces week officially begins with the raising of the Armed Forces Day Flag above the Town Hall.

Marton Institute

21 June 2023
Time: 18:00 -23:30
Location: Marton Institute, oxford Square
A celebration of Britain’s Armed Forces will take place at the Marton Institute. Live entertainment, music, bingo, a raffle, and a hot pot supper will be provided at this free to attend event.

Coral Island Armed Forces Day  

22 June 2023
Location: The Buccaneer, Coral Island
Tickets: Booking is required, and a fully-refundable deposit of £5 to secure a place call 01253 922182
As part of Armed Forces Day 2023, Coral Island will be putting on its annual event for veterans from the UK’s Armed Forces on Thursday 22 June, with a complimentary two-course carvery, The Buccaneer’s a full three-meat carvery, and a seasonal dessert, and a drink upon arrival.
The Royal British Legion Riders will also be here on the day, displaying their motorbikes and helping to make collections around Coral Island.
We would like to extend an invitation to any serving Armed Forces personnel, veterans, and Armed Forces families, and especially to the younger veterans.
It is expected to be a popular event, so booking is required, and a fully-refundable deposit of £5 to secure a place, which can be done by calling 01253 922182. Deposits will be returned on the day.

We hope that you will all come and join us in showing support to our brave servicemen and women this June and that our invited Armed Forces personnel and veterans enjoy our complimentary hospitality as a token of our gratitude for the work they have done for the UK. We hope that you will all come and join us in showing support to our brave servicemen and women this June and that our invited Armed Forces personnel and veterans enjoy our complimentary hospitality as a token of our gratitude for the work they have done for the UK.

Fylde Memorial Arboretum

23 June 2023
Time: 11:00 – 12:30
Location: Millennium Grove, Moor Park Avenue, Blackpool, FY2 0LY
Founded by Don Aiken, a D-Day Veteran and located in the fields next to Moor park school, the Fylde Memorial Arboretum stands as an area of remembrance that provides the service associations, and the people of Blackpool and the Fylde, a place of peace and beauty in which to remember their fallen comrades and loved ones. 
Post service there will be the unveiling of a seafarers memorial to which all are welcome.
As part of Blackpool Armed Forces week, the Fylde Ex-Service Liaison Committee will host a service of dedication at the centre of the Memorial Arboretum's Glade area.

National Armed Forces Day

24 June 2023
Time: 10:00–16:00
Location: Hangar 42 Spitfire Visitor Centre, Blackpool Airport, Squires Gate Lane, FY4 2QY
Tickets: FREE
for serving members of the UK Armed Forces and Veterans and their family members upon production of ID such as MOD 90, Veterans badge etc. (Max 4 per party).  All other tickets are £7.00 Adults, Children 6-16 £4.00, age 5 and under Free.

Once again, Blackpool's Armed Forces Day event will take place at Blackpool Airport, partnering with the Spitfire Visitor Centre, Hangar 42.

There will be a range of activities and displays taking place at the Airport to commemorate the vital role that the UK Armed Forces have played in the past, are currently taking part in and their potential roles in the future. 

Outdoor displays include:

  • Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment – 4th Battalio
  • Royal Navy 
  • Veterans Living History Museum
  • Lancashire Fire and Rescue
  • Military Vehicles

The Spitfire Visitor Centre this year focuses on the Royal Air Force in World War Two and the vital part played by Groundcrews and Aircrews serving at RAF Squires Gate.

The team of volunteers will bring to life the realities of wartime Blackpool and the sacrifices made by the Blackpool’s residents, in supporting the War effort, in the local Aircraft factories and across the resort.

Additional Charges apply to Cockpit Access photos and virtual reality experiences.

Conditions:  NO PETS ALLOWED, NO VIDEO RECORDERS/Filming & NO BACK PACKS or similar items permitted.
Free Car Parking on site and Disabled facilities in H42.

Sunday Morning Service & Parade

25 June 2023
Time: Assemble from 10:30 Service 11:00 Parade approx 11:30
Location: Blackpool Cenotaph/Promenade
Blackpool comes together to honour and unite Britain’s Armed Forces past, present and future in an emotional and fitting tribute to the Armed Forces Past, Present and Future.
Attending the service will be veteran’s associations, cadets, serving military as well as their friends, families and associates. Everyone is welcome to the service of appreciation that takes place within the grounds of Blackpool grade II listed War Memorial.
Following the service, Blackpool invites members of the Armed Forces, veterans and cadets to join in the military parade. Friends, family and members of the general public are invited to line the route, cheer and wave their Union Flags.
Those wanting to lay wreaths may do so after the service.

Please note that there will be live filming and photography at this event. Any pictures provided maybe used by VisitBlackpool for promotional purposes. If you do not wish to be included, please contact VisitBlackpool Web Team

Armed Forces Covenant

The Armed Forces Covenant is a promise by the nation that those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, should be treated fairly and should not face disadvantages when seeking to access public or private goods and services in the UK.

The Covenant is a voluntary pledge. Organisations may choose to sign up in order to demonstrate their support for the Armed Forces Community and for the principles of the Covenant. All organisations – public, private or voluntary and small, medium or large – are welcome to sign the Covenant.”

Organisations can sign up here.

Step back in time

Did you know Blackpool maintained its tourism offer throughout World War Two and gave many holidaymakers, and soldiers on leave, a chance to temporarily escape and forget the horrors of war? The town also had two operational RAF airfields and even manufactured bomber aircraft.

Heritage Blackpool has been working closely with Blackpool Gazette, a local newspaper which has been delivering and reporting on life and events in Blackpool for over 100 years, to archive important moments in history for us to view in years to come.

In 2020, Blackpool Gazette kindly provided more than 120 digitised images of Blackpool during WW2 from their archive – and you can view them for free! These photos offer a glimpse into the past to see how the UK’s most loved seaside resort played a crucial role throughout the war. Discover Blackpool’s war-time history here.

How can children get involved?

There are plenty of opportunities for children to learn all about World War I and World War II. We have uploaded some colouring sheets below which are a useful way to introduce the importance of veterans and our Armed Forces to your little one. All you need to do is download and print. Happy colouring!
Spitfire Colouring Sheet  Hurricane Colouring Sheet  Lancaster Colouring Sheet