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Blackpool Lights 2014: Tripping the Lights Fantastic in Northern England!

Blackpool Lights 2014: Tripping the Lights Fantastic in Northern England!

Aug 14th, 2014, 01:27 PM
  #41  
 
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Looking at the installations going up, it looks like going to be something special this year. They sold off some older lighting gear and replaced with new. Shortly before the official switch-on on 29th, on Tue 26th the whole promenade will be opened up to cyclists for a kind on preview on two wheels, called Ride the Lights.
http://www.visitblackpool.com/whats-...ts-2014-675180
Alec is offline  
Aug 18th, 2014, 05:53 AM
  #42  
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Ride the Lights! Great - I always walk the lights - or take the open-top tram one way south and then walk several miles back and thru the heart of the lights.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 19th, 2014, 06:30 AM
  #43  
 
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Blackpool's lived in the shadow of it's near neighbour Morecambe for a long while...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g44Ga5jM59E

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1z1kfKwuak

Morecambe, the town that time forgot about!
LancasterLad is offline  
Aug 19th, 2014, 06:29 PM
  #44  
 
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Thinking of making the trip by train from London and staying overnight some time during the last two weeks in September. Any suggestions for a pair of ancient Americans who've never been to Blackpool before?

Looking for a place to stay and the best way to get around and take photographs. We're mobile but slow and tire too easily. Comfort and convenience trump price. Can we wait until we get to London to book a hotel?
VirginiaC is offline  
Aug 19th, 2014, 08:38 PM
  #45  
 
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Trains from London Euston to Blackpool North take about 3 hours, changing at Preston. Booking in advance, you should be able to get advance fare from around £30 one-way. Go to www.virgintrains.co.uk. They will take US credit card and you can just print out your tickets with your card at fast ticket machine in Euston. If you buy Two Together railcard http://www.twotogether-railcard.co.uk/ for £30 (from Euston ticket office, with two passport photos), it will save you around £12 overall. In that case make sure you book tickets online with Two Together railcard option.

There are many hotels. I suggest you stay at least two nights. Midweek will be a lot cheaper as it's illumination time. From about £50 to £70 a night per room should be a good price to aim at. Full breakfast is usually included. There is usually plenty of choice so you can wait till you get to London, but booking now gets you the widest selection. Both Imperial and Hilton are reliable and are situated right on the promenade. Some boutiques B&Bs with high rating. Visitors who stayed there were impressed.

There are trams and buses to get around, plus taxis and landaus (horse-drawn carriages).

Official tourism site is http://www.visitblackpool.com/
Alec is offline  
Aug 20th, 2014, 03:25 AM
  #46  
 
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>>Any suggestions for a pair of ancient Americans who've never been to Blackpool before? <<

Yes - just be sure what you're letting yourself in for... There is one poster here who praises Blackpool to the skies at every opportunity (mainly self-created ones like this thread). In the interests of balance, it's not unfair to point out that Blackpool has a rather tarnished reputation these days as a tired, run-down seaside resort popularised by hordes of drunken (sometimes violent) yobs on stag/hen nights and seedy shops selling cheap booze, legal highs and sex toys.

The famous tower and the Illuminations still pull in the crowds, though not to the extent they once did when I visited Blackpool several times a year as a kid. It is worth seeing if you genuinely want to see a completely different side of Britain from the more familiar images portrayed to foreign tourists. Just don't say you weren't warned.
Gordon_R is offline  
Aug 20th, 2014, 03:39 AM
  #47  
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that Blackpool has a rather tarnished reputation these days as a tired, run-down seaside resort popularised by hordes of drunken (sometimes violent) yobs on stag/hen nights and seedy shops selling cheap booze, legal highs and sex toys.

see a completely different side of Britain from the more familiar images portrayed to foreign tourists.>

Now you see why I luv Blackpool - in many ways more the real Britain (which many upper class British types abhor) than London!
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 20th, 2014, 04:59 AM
  #48  
 
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Blackpool has changed immensely in the 10 years or so I've been living here. The Promenade has been revamped, the Tower and other attractions under new management (Merlin, owner of Madame Tussauds, Alton Tower, Warwick Castle, SeaLife Centres etc; http://www.merlinentertainments.biz/), a lot of new money has gone in and tourist industry is working hard to change the perceived image of the town to appeal to families and others wanting quality accommodation, attractions and entertainment. True, stags and hens are still here and parts of town are yet to see new investment, but it's possible to have a good time at a fraction of the cost of other UK cities. Visit Blackpool site is very good and you can plan your visit effectively.
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Aug 20th, 2014, 11:46 AM
  #49  
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Yes Blackpool Rocks and so does Blackpool rock rock. I have not had the chance to visit Blackpool in several years - but I see I need to go back - though without all the anti-social behaviours Gordon is about are gone it may not be as much fun!

I went to Southport across the water and at night it was host to zillions of younger folks out to get smashed and then parade thru the streets after chucking out hour. Seemed more like that than Blackpool did.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 20th, 2014, 02:27 PM
  #50  
 
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Think we'll give Blackpool a look. We've spent enough time in Asbury Park and Atlantic City not to be intimidated. And we've encountered hordes of drunken yobs on Cromwell Road.

It's our 20th trip to Britain in the past 40 years. Each time we've tried to visit at least one new city along with return excursions to old loves like York and cambridge. Blackpool looks like it for this trip.

Thanks for your suggestions.
VirginiaC is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 07:04 AM
  #51  
 
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Brace yourself VirginiaC - first stick to one of the poles: St Annes or Bispham and grdually work yourself in. You will be okay in the Day - when you can visit the Comedy Slabs opposite the Tower. Here you can appreciate Northern Lancashire Humour the likes of Jimmy Tarbuck, Ken Dodd, Morecambe and Wise (tee hee), George Formby, Les Dawson,Stan Laurel etc.

Typical Slab: "Tha knows, Government launched a campaign - look after yer elderly neighbour this winter. Well Im 84 and shes 80 and she hasnt been anywhere near? Not only that, the lazy cow hasnt even bothered taking in her milk for a week"

Enjoy
stevelyon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 12:04 PM
  #52  
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I love to tell my B&B ladies at breakfast when they ask the ubiquitous question 'where you off to now"?

And I tell them Blackpool (even if I'm not) and the reaction is a universal raising of eyebrows and a murmur of "oh" with a puzzled look on their face.

Yes it seems many Brits view Blackpool at a Benidorm of the north - a place where only lager louts and wild drunk gals dominate the streets - but I think that is a stereotype that if you repeat it enough folks will think it to be true.

I've spent many a night walking around 'dicey' central Blackpool- by the Tower and though there are often some drunker sailor types I never felt threatened and during the Lights at least there are many families walking around after dark or driving up and down the illuminated seaside boulevard.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater - Blackpool, warts and all is one of the most unique and interesting places in Britain - it ain't everyone's cup of tea that's for sure but to see a slice of British life and culture - well not just a slice but more the norm than many upper caste Brits would care to admit- in many ways the real Britain not normally encountered by tourists.
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Aug 21st, 2014, 10:09 PM
  #53  
 
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I can recommend The Cheers Hotel in Blackpool for a taste of a great B&B - why stay posh in Blackpool? This is where I stay. Its cheap, ultra friendly and smack in the centre. Just dont expect the Savoy - thats further down the road.
stevelyon is offline  
Aug 21st, 2014, 11:04 PM
  #54  
 
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Have a couple of nights in Lancaster...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=la...w=1024&bih=653
LancasterLad is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2014, 01:29 AM
  #55  
 
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LancasterLad, nice photos of Lancaster are you making a case for Lancaster - it aint Blackpool .... but is near Morecambe (its poor neighbour) and where you can see the statue of Eric Morecambe in famous pose (there is a statue of Les Dawson in Blackpool). Nearby is Heysham and the wonderful Sunderland Point, so Im a fan of Lancaster.

So refreshing to have a thread about Blackpool and Lancaster as opposed to people banging on monotonously about Santorini and Mykonos.
stevelyon is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2014, 03:32 AM
  #56  
 
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Stevelyon. Yep, too good an opportunity.

Any visitor to North West England with a bit of time on their side should give historic Lancaster a go. Parking is a nightmare, but visiting by train is simple.

As you've mentioned Eric Morecambe's statue, here's a few images..

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=er...w=1024&bih=653

The backdrop to the statue changes by the second, so no two photos are the same. You can even get wet and practically blown off your feet while you're posing!

A walk along the 6 mile promenade gives views as good as anywhere in the UK

The local Wetherspoons is even called after him 'The Eric Bartholomew'. If there were another 'spoons it'd probably be called The Thora Hird!

A few images of Heysham...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=he...w=1024&bih=653

Sunderland Point...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=su...w=1024&bih=653

And a few across Morecambe Bay...

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Mo...w=1024&bih=653
LancasterLad is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2014, 04:21 AM
  #57  
 
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Thanks LancasterLad
They do a fabulous tour of the castle at Halloween - because of the connection with te Pendle Witches, the only think is the guide locks you in a pitch dark dungeon for a few minutes (seems like hours) and what always runs through my mind is what if the guide is a psychopath and leaves us in there to rot?

Fabulous photos of Sunderland Point - now that place has got character.

Was Thora Hird born in Morecambe? One of Englands finest actors - no one can fail to weep buckets at her "Cracker under the Settee". To get my own back Im posting some photos of Thora Hird (God Bless Her):

https://www.google.co.uk/search?tbm=...O_s&gws_rd=ssl
stevelyon is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2014, 08:40 AM
  #58  
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Never been to Morecambe but I hear it is about as hopping a fading seaside resort as the UK has - on my 'faded seaside resorts' hit list - something about these tacky kind of tawdry laces fascinates me greatly.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2014, 10:57 AM
  #59  
 
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Indeed they do PalenQ, brings the voyeur out in all of us.

You should get hold of "Wish You were Here" - all about faded seaside resorts. Such a sad film, plays the nostalgia card but underneath that is an important film about loss and coping by being brash. A treat to watch and yet lingers in the subconscious for years.
stevelyon is offline  
Aug 22nd, 2014, 12:26 PM
  #60  
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steve - thanks for the film - something I will surely love.

Yes lingers in subconscious for years - like a trip to Margate on a Bank Holiday weekend long long ago - so many Londoner youths there getting smashed - seems to be their goal more than other countries - some gals were wearing hats that said:

"I'm a certified alcoholic - buy me a drink"

Kind of like spring break in U.S. in Florida - gals gone wild.
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