Shopping in Blackpool
Though Blackpool is celebrated for its award-winning attractions, it still offers a great selection of shopping centres, stores and markets to please visitors. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in the city centre, Freeport shopping complex is also close by. It offers 45 outlets selling fashion, lifestyle, homeware and beauty products. However, it’s perhaps better known for the jaw-dropping discounts it offers on famous brands.
Houndshill Shopping Centre: Located in the heart of Blackpool, Houndshill is open 7 days a week. The lower mall offers all your favourite high-street brands including H&M, Boots, New Look and Debenhams. The upper mall provides a varied food court for hungry shoppers to take advantage of.
Abingdon Street Market: This market is a particular favourite with residents. You’ll meet plenty of experienced vendors selling veg, meat, cheese, pies, cakes and flowers. That’s not all, the market also offers leather goods, costumes, perfume, books and even a pet store.
The Regent: This Grade II listed building is quite the hidden gem for shoppers. Once a cinema, The Regent is now home to antiques, crafts, collectables and plenty of vintage/retro clothing.
Things to do in Blackpool
This famous seaside town will certainly keep you busy, with plenty of attractions for every season. On a warm summer's day, head to Blackpool Pleasure Beach and test your nerve on the coasters. You’ll also be able to explore Blackpool’s beaches or the north, south and centre piers, which offer a host of family rides. For those cooler winter days, hang out with the celebrities at Madame Tussauds, or visit the world famous Blackpool Tower.
Blackpool Pleasure Beach: The Pleasure Beach has been voted one of the best theme parks in the UK, and should definitely not be missed. It has much to offer, with visitors enjoying the UK’s only Nickelodeon land, the world’s first Wallace & Gromit ride and the UK’s tallest roller-coaster (warning: at 65m, The Big One is not for the faint hearted).
Blackpool Tower: Why not embark on a fun-filled adventure to the top of the tower? You’ll pass through the 4D cinema, the Tower Dungeon, the Circus, Jungle Jim’s and, most famously, the Tower Ballroom which has hosted the likes of Strictly Come Dancing. Top off your visit with a trip up to the Tower Eye. At 158m, The Eye is the highest observation deck in the North West and offers stunning views across the Irish Sea.
- Blackpool Zoo: You’ll spot orangutans, big cats, giraffes, elephants, wolves, wallabies, gorillas, zebras and slithering snakes. If mammals of the prehistoric variety are more to your taste, the zoo also boasts a Dinosaur Safari. Animal experiences are available if you want to try your hand at being a keeper for the day – and even feed a tiger!
Eating and drinking in Blackpool
Whether you wander along the seafront with a fish & chips in tow, or sample something a little more lavish - such as afternoon tea at the Tower Ballroom - Blackpool is sure to leave you full and satisfied. For the true experience, enjoy some Blackpool rock or fudge on the pier. If you venture a little further out of Blackpool, you’ll find plenty of Michelin star spots in the Lancashire countryside. Cartford Inn is a firm favourite amongst North West foodies, offering classic dishes with innovative twists.
Quilligan’s Café Bar: This charming café really is one of the best in Blackpool, famous for serving up a hearty breakfast and some of the best fish and chips around. Find yourself a spot by the window and watch the world go by.
McHalls Bistro: You can expect fine British food at McHalls. This family friendly spot prides itself on providing first-class service, imaginative dishes and locally sourced ingredients. We’d recommend ordering the succulent roasted leg of lamb for your main course – you certainly will not be disappointed.
- Theatre Bar & Gourmet Burger Restaurant: This popular spot is celebrated for its cheap eats and lively bar scene, as you can enjoy a bite and a drink before a night at the theatre. Their sweet potato fries are to die for, and a real must to complement your juicy burger.
Culture and nightlife in Blackpool
Blackpool is truly bursting with culture, history and heritage. During your stay, you’ll be able to enjoy live performances at the Victorian Grand Theatre (including opera, ballet and comedy), or view something a little more contemporary, such as the world’s largest outdoor mirrorball found on the seafront. When it comes to the evening, there are plenty of bars by the seaside to enjoy. These include Flamingo Club, Scrooge’s Wine Bar, Blackpool’s Bavarian Bier Keller and the ever-popular Funny Girls.
The Winter Gardens: As one of the UK’s biggest theatres, Winter Gardens has an impressive 3,000 seat capacity, where acts such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan and Tom Jones have all graced the stage. The theatre has also played host to the 2009 Royal Variety Performance, so you can be assured that this venue is fit for royalty.
Grundy Art Gallery: The Grundy prides itself on inspiring visitors through its varied and thought-provoking exhibits - many of which explore pop culture through the medium of contemporary art.
- The Blackpool Tower Circus: Step right up and be amazed by the enchanting acts that come together to form the Blackpool Circus. Resident clowns Mooky and Mr Boo’s lead the show, offering plenty of comedic value between the jaw-dropping acts.