Blackpool has many attractions, but to me the best is that it is by the sea. We picked a n evening that was cold and wet, and yet the views over the water were quite spectacular. Add to that the illuminationns and crowds of people enjoying themselves and it is a brilliant place to spend a few hours. And although it is not my idea of an ideal place for a longer holiday, it stll attracts large numbers of holidaymakers who thrive on the buzz of the place. Here are some photos from our visit in November.
A PROMENADE walk in the pouring rain sounds as though it should dampen the enthusiasm of the most die-hard Blackpool visitor. But locals are not fooled because it really is one of the best ways of seeing Britain’s biggest and brightest light show.
During what in other towns would become just another depressing downpour, here on the Fylde Coast, the lamps and festoons form a sensational carpet of shimmering reflections along the six-mile route of the Illuminations.
You can always take a tram to enjoy the spectacle but many visitors tour the Lights by road, travelling south to north. Some beat the peak midweek and even journey in the other direction, starting at Bispham and ending at the St Annes boundary.
Here’s the glittering line-up for the 2003 grand tour:
Blackpool Illuminations are already out of this world as alien space ships form a WELCOME ARCH, zapping out a greeting to all who begin their promenade trip from Starr Gate in South Shore.
This year the illuminations will run 29 August-2 November 2003.
Everyone should see the Illuminations at some point in their lives. This 8 mile display of lights is a wonderful sight for everyone and anyone - each year there are more than 500 scenic displays and features - some are set pieces and others are strung out across the Promenade.
The best way to see the Illuminations is from the top of a tram and sit at the front if you can. The display starts and ends at Bispham in the north or Starr Gate in the south.
The lights are always switched on at the start of September by a well known star - past stars have included the Bee Gees, Robbie Williams, Alan Carr, Kermit the Frog and even Red Rum the famous horse!
The lights are switched off in early November and are totally free to see although there are charity collections along the route.
The first display of lights took place in 1912 when Princess Louise opened Queens Promenade and it grew from then on. The Illuminations now only use green electricity from renewable resources, comprising wind power, small-scale hydropower and Biogas.
You can catch a Blackpool tour bus from Pontins to see the illuminations. It’s usually a double Decker, but I don’t sit upstairs as it usually too windy & cold. What the driver will do is go thorough the back streets of Blackpool & return back along side the illuminations; you will be also given a commentary. The illuminations have been going since 1912; The Lights are about six miles in length & go from Starr Gate (near the Pleasure Beach) down to Bispham. The cost of all this lighting is two million pounds.
Some of the displays are U.F.O’s which flash lights across the road, there are also words near mermaids saying ‘siren’. There’s also spinning discs, Egyptian tombs with door that flies open, smiling faces & pictures from nursery rhymes. There’s also a big silver ball along the seafront which rotates constantly & coloured lights shine on it making patterns. There are rocks along the promenade which have coloured lights in them which change; these would look nice in my garden.
Back in Victorian times, Blackpool was the first town in the country to 'go electric'. A century later, the resort's love affair with light endures. Every autumn, when other seaside resorts close down, Blackpool becomes a blaze of coloured lights with "the greatest free show on earth" - Blackpool Illuminations. Fibre optics and computer control have brought a new dimension to Britain's biggest tourist attraction. The display stretches along Blackpool's famous seafront for over five miles transforming the Promenade into a wonderland of colour.
Each year spectacular new sections are added to the display. It's Britain's favourite autumn break, so take a trip to Blackpool lights. It's nicer with the lights on!
2005 - 2nd September to 6th November.
2006 - 1st September to 5th November.
Blackpool Illumination was first started in 1879 and has become somewhat of a tradition. The lights go from stargate (lytham st annes) all the way to Bispham. The lights start in September and you can see them right through until November. On opening weekend there are also firework displays and usually now a days a cellebrity does the big switchon. The illumination have went a long way since the started with only 8 lamps making up the very first display. There are even some of blackpools trams which are kitted out for illumination usually a train and a rocket.
Blackpool was the first town in the country during the Victorian times to have electricity. And now over a century later Blackpools Illuminations are very popular. They usually start towards the end August/beginning September, and are usually switched on each year by a celebrity. The lights festoon the whole of the promenade for a distance of over 5 miles. The trams are bedecked in lights and the tower of course is dazzling with lights and lazer beams sweeping across the town. You can either drive through the lights, but this takes quite a long time, as you have to join the queue of traffic at the southern end of Blackpool, and the journey through the whole of the lights display can take a few hours. Or you can walk or catch a tram. There is no charge for the illuminations, but volunteers do collect donations and the money goes to charity.This year 2004 is the celebration of 125 years