Blackpool's back with fun for all the family

The view from the top of the tower.

The Big One at Pleasure Beach.

The Berwick Hotel.

One of The Berwick Hotel bedrooms.

Enjoy a refreshing pint in the Rovers at Madame Tussaud's.

First published in Lifestyle
Last updated

Blackpool has always been my favourite seaside resort - I have fond memories of riding a donkey along the beach as a child, exploring the piers and being amazed by the illuminations.

It remains the perfect family holiday destination -children and adults alike can have 'slots' of fun at the arcades, stroll along the beach, eat rock and fish and chips 'til their heart's content and explore the many exciting tourist attractions.

I stayed at The Berwick Hotel, which is the official birthplace of Jaguar cars. The location of the hotel gives holidaymakers the best of both worlds - it is a quiet street to ensure a good nights sleep but the hustle and bustle of the town centre and main attractions are just a short tram ride away.

Rooms are extremely comfortable and modern with a flat screen TV, kettle, complimentary tea/coffee and toiletries and Wi-Fi access is also available. Breakfast is served from 8:30-9am, with a range of options to suit every appetite, although I highly recommend the full English to set you up for a busy day!

The hotel also has a lounge area to sit down, relax and enjoy very reasonably priced drinks – it’s not difficult to see why the hotel has won tripadvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

Owners Yvonne and Eddie were the perfect hosts, they provided a very warm welcome and were very friendly.

They are also bursting with local knowledge to ensure guests get the most from their Blackpool experience.

Room rates are available on the hotel’s website www.theberwickhotel.co.uk.

I managed to visit many of Blackpool's attractions over the weekend, including The Blackpool Tower Dungeons (www.thedungeons.com/blackpool/en/).

A friendly warning – a tour of the dungeons is not for the faint hearted. There are 10 actors that greet you (or jump out at you) as you walk through the depths of the Blackpool Tower and bring to life Lancashire’s grisly past.

The torturer was on the lookout for a volunteer to test out the tools of the trade, the plague doctor gave us a scare when he lost the leeches and the judge gave his verdict on my fellow visitor’s bizarre crimes before we were all found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to hang - with no right of appeal on the drop ride.

When you’re not wondering what will scare the living daylights out of you next, the 60-minute thrill-filled journey is a very enjoyable experience.

A less nerve-wracking attraction is The Blackpool Tower Eye (www.theblackpooltower.com). A 4D experience showcases the best of Blackpool through the eyes of a child, complete with smells and special effects, before jumping into the lift for the trip to the top of the tower.

Keen photographers will be delighted with the views on offer as they step on to the new skywalk and those who are brave enough can step on to the glass floor for a very unique viewing experience (I did but only briefly!).

After seeing the views from the top, I visited The Blackpool Ballroom (http://www.theblackpooltower.com/our-attractions/the-blackpool-tower-ballroom.aspx) and I was in awe of how beautiful it was.

I could have sat for hours and watched the couples expertly gliding across the dance floor to the sounds of the famous Wurlirzer organ. It was like a scene from Strictly Come Dancing and they were seemingly oblivious to the spectators staring on in awe.

Visitors who want to stay and admire the ballroom for longer can also enjoy afternoon tea (sandwiches and cream scones with clotted cream and jam with a freshly brewed pot of tea or coffee) or high ( sandwiches, cream scones with clotted cream and jam plus a choice of cake from the daily selection with a freshly brewed pot of tea or coffee) for a very reasonable price.

I also had hours of fun at Madame Tussaud's (www.madametussauds.com/Blackpool/) taking selfies with the likes of Cheryl Cole, Simon Cowell, Keith Lemon and Alan Carr.

Corrie fans will be pleased to know they can take a trip down the cobbles and meet the legendary Jack and Vera before enjoying a pint in the Rovers Return.

Chris Tarrant will test your wits with a game of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Jeremy Kyle is on hand to sort out any family dramas.

Sports fans (and swooning ladies) can also grab a snap with the likes of Mo Farah, Steven Gerrard and David Beckham.

The wax models are eerily lifelike and the attention to detail is incredible, it's obvious that hours of hard work went into creating them.

Visitors also have the opportunity to create a wax model of their own hand, which I tried and found to be a very strange but fun experience.

Families can purchase The Blackpool BIG Ticket for entry to the Blackpool Tower Eye, Ballroom, Circus, Dungeon, Jungle Jim's, Madame Tussauds and Sealife Centre. When purchased online adults pay £45 and children (aged three-14) pay £32.50.

Tickets can be purchased here.

I also had the chance to visit Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which is definitely a theme park that has something for everyone – from rides that will whizz you around the track, turning you upside down to the gentler rides that give you chance to regain your composure.

As you queue to ride Valhalla, signs warn you that will get wet - soaking wet - but even so I was unprepared for how soaked I would be when I stepped off! The water ride has many thrilling drops that always end up with a huge splash! I'd definitely recommend investing in a waterproof poncho before climbing aboard!

The Big One offers fantastic views of Blackpool from the nail biting height of 235ft - but only for a few seconds. You then plunge down at speeds of up to 87mph - breathtaking!

The rides in the UK's first Nickleodeon Land are more suited to younger visitors and they will also get the chance to meet favourites including Dora the Explorer, Spongebob and the Rugrats, who make guest appearances throughout the day.

When you want a rest from the thrills, there are many fairground stalls to put your skills to the test for the chance to win a prize and a wide choice of food outlets - I’d recommend the Big Pizza Kitchen, which serves all you can eat freshly baked pizzas and pastas and salad - plus all you can drink draught soft drinks.

Visitors that purchase their wristband online can save up to £14 per person and can be purchased via www.blackpoolpleasurebeach.com.

For more information about a trip to Blackpool, visit http://www.visitblackpool.com/ or http://www.blackpoolsback.com.

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