Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK

Blackpool

Britain’s biggest, brashest and most famous resort manages to be both saucy and sophisticated – and offers one heck of a surprise for first-time and regular visitors alike. Many of the attractions are so well known they hardly need enumerating –­ seven miles of wide sandy beach, an iconic tower to rival Eiffel’s in Paris, Europe’s best collection of thrill-rides at the Pleasure Beach, a trio of classic Victorian piers and the autumn-night spectacle that is the Illuminations. But Blackpool has more to it than mere resort antics, from chic boutique accommodation to Edwardian dance halls, and fine art to fine dining. Whether it’s a ride on a vintage seafront tram, oysters and champagne under the amusement park’s original Big Dipper or a day with the family in Britain’s largest indoor water park, there’s always something exciting to do. And when night falls, there’s no mistaking the unique Blackpool vibe – raucous and racy, yes indeed, but also fun and flamboyant, as befits the UK’s most boisterous resort.

History

Blackpool has been a summer retreat since the eighteenth century, but it was the mass industrialisation of the north – and the coming of the railway in the mid-nineteenth century – that turned it into the resort we see today. As the workforce of entire Scottish or Lancashire towns began arriving en masse for their annual summer holiday, the resort started building things for them to do – grand, opulent things, like the Tower and Winter Gardens, with a tram system to connect it all together, and fantasy lights in the sky (the Illuminations, first lit in 1879) to entice them all over again once the summer was over. In many ways, classic Blackpool still clings to its strong Victorian and Edwardian heritage, though the current authorities are keen to oversee a contemporary makeover for the resort – the revamped seafront prom, a new tram system, state-of-the-art attractions and more boutique accommodation are all part of their vision, though to many visitors Blackpool will always be the Golden Mile, fish and chips, candyfloss, cheesy souvenirs and amusement arcades.

Blackpool tower see do buildings monuments large large

Blackpool

Britain’s biggest, brashest, most famous resort is simultaneously saucy and sophisticated
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