Brash, bold yet brilliantly fun, Blackpool is an affordable and compact seaside city, home to a fantastic range of bars, restaurants and clubs. Famous for its Pleasure Beach, this traditional British coastal resort also boasts a university, meaning a lively nightlife scene can be found. It’s even been dubbed Britain’s most popular resort since the 1800s, nice one!
With trendy bars, huge clubs and more restaurants than you could possibly want, Blackpool has something for every occasion, age, style and budget. Favoured amongst large groups, the drinks here are super cheap and getting around the city is equally reasonable. In true British style, Blackpool’s weather is unpredictable but there’s plenty of things to do if the weather’s not on your side.
Explore the City
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Home to a golden mile of piers, multiple amusement arcades and fresh fish and chip shops, to experience the true taste of Blackpool, you’ve got to head to the Pleasure Beach. Situated along the Fylde Coast, this amusement park will guarantee a good time (hangover permitting) and for those looking for a less stomach churning experience, walking along the english coast is sure to blow away any cobwebs.
Sandcastle Waterpark is the UK’s biggest indoor waterpark and thrill seekers won’t be disappointed. Boasting more than 18 slides, there’s something for everyone plus there’s an additional 4 slides, purely for those daredevils. Hold on as you complete 360° loops and back-to-back turns in Montazooma and are you brave enough for a pitch-black descent in Aztec Falls?
Separate the scaredy-cats from the group as you explore Blackpool’s hidden dungeons. Learn about the country’s hidden past as you listen to spooky tales and jaw-dropping facts. But don’t forget to watch your back. Located in central Blackpool, there’s also lots of pubs nearby for those who chicken out.
City Explorer Treasure Hunt
Get to know the city like never before with your very own City Treasure Hunt. Put your brains to the test as you race around Blackpool, competing in fun quizzes and challenging tasks as you go. Discover fun facts and hidden landmarks along the way and a few of the games can even be completed from the comfort of a pub!
There’s a huge variety of clubs, pubs and bars in Blackpool, suiting a whole host of musical tastes. Ideal for large groups, you can expect massive clubs, cocktail bars and popular sports bars, which are all within easy walking distance from one another, making it the perfect location for a bar crawl.
If you want to plan the ultimate evening activity, head to the North Shore where you’ll find Funny Girls - a burlesque and cabaret showbar which guarantees a good time. Internationally acclaimed and with an extensive drinks list, your evening in Blackpool is just about to get started.
For a night on the clubbing scene, check out Club Domain. As one of the area’s biggest clubs, it boasts 6 spaces for different music styles, an outdoor terrace and VIP area. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the drinks list and incredible interiors will definitely leave you satisfied.
Known as Blackpool’s No.1 party venue, The Flagship is not only free to get into, but is also home to resident DJ’s playing a range of music as well as live sport showings. Plus, inside you’ll find a Kraken Cocktail Bar with cocktails from just £4.95.
From Revolution to Walkabout, Blackpool has its fair share of chain bars which are perfect for large groups. There’s also a number of Yates’ and Wetherspoons bars, popular with those looking for some cheap drinks in relaxed environments.
Eat like a local
Eating in Blackpool isn’t just about fish and chips - although there is plenty of that if you’re looking for it. This popular resort has a huge variety of places to eat, whatever you budget or taste you’re sure to find something that all your mates will love.
Fish and Chips
As you’d expect with any British seaside resort, Blackpool does fish and chips well. Traditional fish shops line the golden mile but for something a little different, head to Harry Ramsdens for a classic seafood inspired meal.
Cafes and Tearooms
Catch up with friends over some homemade cake and ice cream. Alternatively, why not arrange afternoon tea as you recover from the night before? Sundaes Ice Cream Parlour offers over 24 different flavours, Peggy’s Snack Bar is one of the largest of its kind in Blackpool and for al a carte food at cafe prices, head to Quilligans Cafe Bar.
Restaurants ideal for groups
As one of the UK’s party capitals, restaurants in Blackpool are used to catering for big groups and there’s constantly new eating places popping up around the centre. For something exotic, head to Las Iguanas. For a traditional chinese, it’s got to be Michael Wan’s Mandarin, and for a classic american diner experience, head to VIVA Vegas Diner.
Places to stay
Blackpool has a wide range of accommodation including hotels, hostels and apartments. Ideally located after a long day, many also offer double and triple rooms which can work out cheaper for big groups.
Your weekend in the 'Vegas of the North'
Blackpool was originally a seaside destination that only the rich could afford to visit, but these days it’s better known as the unofficial capital for stag weekends, with its famous Pleasure Beach, beachfront prom, pier and plethora of drinking holes attracting crowds from far and wide.
First-time visitors to Blackpool might get a shock when they see a tram rattling by. As one of only a handful of UK cities with trams still operating, it’s a novel way to get around. It is just one of Blackpool’s nods to its history as a traditional seaside town, with donkey rides, candy floss, bawdy entertainers and the distinctive Victorian beachfront buildings all harking back to a bygone era. But Blackpool’s heyday is far from over, with plenty of more modern pursuits on offer too, while the array of nightspots will ensure a wild weekend that is bang up to date.
Blackpool at a glance:
- Home to the iconic Blackpool Tower and known for its traditional seaside entertainment
- One of the UK’s top destinations for stag getaways, with a wide array of clubs, bars and gentlemen's entertainment
- Blackpool Pleasure Beach promises thrills and spills for visitors of all ages
- Bustling with popular tourist attractions, including Blackpool Zoo, Madame Tussauds and the retro pier
Blackpool Pleasure Beach – high octane thrills and spills beside the seaside
The first thing people think of when they think of Blackpool is the tower. The second is the Pleasure Beach. Located in South Shore, Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach is a one-stop shop for thrill seekers. Hundreds of rides, shows, shops and restaurants are packed into this huge space right on the seafront.
Blackpool Promenade – enjoy a stroll along Blackpool’s famous coastline
Split into three distinct areas, South Shore, Central and North Shore, Blackpool Promenade is the city’s main tourist hub. North Shore is the most historic part, with many of its structures virtually unchanged since Victorian times, and is where the main shops and restaurants can be found. South Shore contains most of the nightlife, and is home to the theme park.
Best bars and pubs in Blackpool:
Roxy’s, Queen Street
Roxy’s has a fantastic atmosphere thanks to larger-than-life drag queen DJ Roxy and her equally enthusiastic pals. Although drinks can be a little pricey, it’s definitely the best place to be for a memorable night out.
Beach House, The Promenade
A bistro and bar with outside seating for you can to take in the sweeping sea views. It’s a little expensive but worth it for the cocktails and wine menu alone. A trendy bar that would suit stags looking to party in style.
Central Pier Showbar, Central Pier
As the name suggests, Central Pier Showbar puts on regular shows so there’s an entry fee on the door. Expect live celebrity impersonators entertaining the masses as well as very cheap drinks to help you get in the party mood.
Merrie England Bar, North Pier
The Merrie England bar is home to resident comedian Joey Blower and he’s reputedly not for the faint of heart. It’s loud and boisterous, with cheap drinks and resident DJs on either side of the comedy set. It’s old school entertainment but well loved by tourists and locals alike.
Revolution, Market Street
Part of the popular Revolution chain of bars across the UK and always a hit with those looking to add a touch of style to their night out. Offers some great deals on cocktails and shots, making it ideal for getting the party started.
Kaos Bar, Queen Street
Kaos is often touted as the perfect ‘halfway’ place – somewhere you go right in the middle of your night out as it’s near a lot of other bars. Resident DJs keep the atmosphere pumping long into the night.
The Mitre Pub, West Street
Landlady and Blackpool-born Kerry has been drinking at The Mitre ever since she was legally allowed to. When she took over some years later, The Mitre was still as popular as ever with a wide selection of ales and a friendly, homely air. All pub crawls should stop here.
The Albert & The Lion, Bank Hey Street
Another pub belonging to the Wetherspoon’s pub chain, this has made our list because of its incredibly cheap food and drink, making it an excellent starting point. It’s more of a family friendly venue in the daytime though, so best to wait until the evening if you’re feeling boisterous.
Scruffy Murphy’s, Corporation Street
Scruffy Murphy’s is quite popular with families but don’t let that put you off. It’s a great place to start your party as it’s in a superb location, the drinks are good and staff welcome you with open arms.
Best clubs in Blackpool:
Club Domain, The Promenade
There are several rooms in Club Domain each with their own DJ so it’s a great option for groups with varied music tastes. It’s very popular, especially with the younger crowd.
Home & HQ, Talbot Road
Two clubs under one roof. Rumours plays mainly chart music, whilst below in the basement, Hush is devoted to R’n’B. A generous helping of offers on drinks also mean that these two are often packed out with revellers.
The Tache, Corporation Street
The Tache is a hugely popular rock club near the North Pier. Live bands get the audience going with floor-shaking rock songs. You have to pay on the door to get in, but drinks are relatively cheap with even cheaper drinks deals every Thursday.
Walkabout, Queen Street
This Aussie-themed party has kept crowds entertained in Blackpool for many a year. Great for booze, food and live sport by day while it transforms into a fun-filled nightclub with shameless party tunes by night.
Food: eat like a local:
Terra Nostra on Red Bank Road is an up-market restaurant serving Italian and Sardinian cuisine.
Over on Squires Gate Ambrosini's is another Italian restaurant popular with tourists and locals, not to mention family friendly too. Book a table in advance as it does get busy, or alternatively order food to takeaway if you need to eat on the move or are in self-catering accommodation.
Starving tourists longing for home cooked British food should check out McHalls Bistro, a small restaurant that has one of the best chocolate brownie desserts around.
No visit to a seaside resort would be complete without an obligatory stop at the local chippie, and Bentley’s Fish and Chip Shop on Bond Street is a Blackpool favourite. Large portions are compulsory here.
Michael Wan's Mandarin Cantonese Restaurant on Clifton Street is close to Blackpool Tower and popular with big groups.
Cedars, conveniently located on Cedar Square, offers a great menu for a reasonable price. The owners are friendly and their full breakfast or posh cheese on toast comes highly recommended for the morning after the night before.
The Litten Tree over on Queen Street is a smart looking pub by night, but their all-day breakfast and pub grub menu is an essential hangover remedy for the morning after.
The best view of the city:
For the best photos of Blackpool you should be heading up to the top of Blackpool Tower. On a clear day it’s possible to see a huge part of North West England.
Blackpool’s tram system stops frequently on the seafront with easy access to most areas in the town. It’s good value for money as travelling a few stops can cost as little as £1. Designated drivers will find plenty of car parking in and around the city but take care and plan ahead if you’re driving as some car parks can charge a lot if you’re staying overnight.