Spending a weekend in Blackpool

Last weekend was a special one, as we spent Friday to Sunday in one of my favourite places, Blackpool. Blackpool is one of those places that you can visit happily all year around, but in all honesty, it really comes alive once September arrives, as this is when the illuminations are turned on, and the Lancashire seaside town becomes the Las Vegas of Northern England. This post is dedicated to some of the things you can do during a weekend in Blackpool, because, once again, we had a fabulous, family time there.

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The key to Blackpool is to stay somewhere central so that you can enjoy walking around the town. We stayed at the Travelodge Southshore, which is just a short walk from the Central Promenade, and has ample parking, so you can leave the car behind and enjoy the sites on foot.

Here are some key highlights of Blackpool – Tower, Golden Mile and Beyond.

The Illuminations

The lights are what Blackpool is famous for, always unique and beautiful. This year they include a section called Ballroom Glitz, designed by Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen, as well as the beautiful sirens who are watching over the Golden Sea. On Friday nights during Illumination season you can also enjoy amazing fireworks displays that are making up the Firework Championships – we enjoyed the French display, and you can get a great viewing point from the Tower.

I'm so proud of this piccie I took!

I’m so proud of this piccie I took!

Irish Sea Sirens

Irish Sea Sirens

A Ballroom Chandalier

A Ballroom Chandelier

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The Blackpool Tower.

I am obsessed with this stunning building, and there is so much to do inside. Jungle Jims is a fantastic play area that I believe is housed in the site of the old zoo, whilst the Circus is fabulous family entertainment which I will be reviewing in a future post. Even if you are not brave enough to go right to the top, you can enjoy a coffee and views over the comedy map, or just take a peep into the Ballroom, made famous once again by Strictly Come Dancing. You can find prices and more information on the attractions here.)

Joe with Mooki and Mr Boo at the Circus

Joe with Mooki and Mr Boo at the Circus

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The Blackpool Dungeon

The Blackpool Dungeon

Brooks Collectables

Whenever we head to Blackpool, we always pay a visit to Brooks Collectables. This is a shop that will appeal to anyone with a love of popular culture, selling Star Wars, Betty Boop, Minions and Marvel Collectables amongst many more. What I really love is the Brooks Memorabilia Museum that is housed upstairs, above the shop, and is filled with so many toys from many eras, including a great range of vintage Barbie Dolls. I also love the vintage Blackpool memorabilia, some of which I can actually remember from childhood visits.

Joe and Pete at Brooks Collectables

Joe and Pete at Brooks Collectables

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Barbie Collectables at Brooks Collectables centre

Barbie Collectables at Brooks Collectables centre

Love the Elizabeth Taylor doll

Love the Elizabeth Taylor doll

Coral Island

The bright lights and bells and buzzers of the amusement arcade are all part of the Blackpool fun, and nowhere is this better illustrated than Coral Island, a huge mega-arcade with a pirates theme. It has so many games, from gambling machines to space invaders (jeez – showing my age there), as well as air hockey, the Arabian Derby and numerous grab machines. We won Anger from Inside Out which really pleased Joe, and had lots of fun on those pesky 2p machines. Coral Island also has a cafe which is great for cheap coffee and milkshakes.

Of course, there are so many other things to do – The Sea Life Centre, Madame Tussauds, the Pleasure Beach, The Sandcastle, and all those piers. A weekend simply isn’t long enough!

 

More Images from Blackpool

On the Central Pier

On the Central Pier

Amazing Bouncy Castle on the Central Pier

Amazing Bouncy Castle on the Central Pier

Joe and Pete on the Golden Mile

Joe and Pete on the Golden Mile

Minion love!

Minion love!

Look at this crazy picture of the Blackpool Tower I took from the Travelodge Window

Look at this crazy picture of the Blackpool Tower I took from the Travelodge Window

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the best things about Autumn?

As I wake up this morning there is a definite chill in the air. And although the next astronomical fall in the Western Hemisphere doesn’t officially begin until the 23rd of September, as far as I am concerned, Autumn has begun. Best Offers Bingo  recently conducted a survey asking over 1,500 people in the UK what they think the best thing about Autumn is. The answers were very mixed, with some pretty obvious ones, who doesn’t love the crunch, look and general beauty of Autumn leaves, to some less obvious – dark evenings fill me with dread, but they made the list.

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Here are the findings in full:-

Autumn Leaves
353
Snuggling Indoors
182
Crisp Air
155
Crunching Fallen Leaves
124
Wearing Warm Clothes
118
Halloween
109
Comfort Food
107
Open Fires
89
Bonfire Night
62
Dark Evenings
60
Television Shows
59
Pumpkin Spiced Latte
29
Conkers
28
Pumpkins
19
Apples
18

Now, I am not exactly an Autumn person myself, I much prefer the heat and long, lazy days of Summer. But Autumn still has it’s charm, so I decided to compile a list of my five favourite things about the season.

And here they are!

1. Fashion Week

Although I tend to decline my invites now (a bit of been there, done that, got the t-shirt syndrome), I love looking at the new collections that premiere in September, especially as they are the collections for Spring and Summer. I’m also obsessed with checking out the style of the Front Row, with Poppy Delevingne, Laura Bailey and Harley Viera Newton being my current style obsessions.

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Style Crush Poppy

 

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Style Crush Laura

 

2. Strictly Come Dancing Comes back

Yes! My favourite series returns, complete with all the glamour, the glitter, the sequins and the celebs. This year’s line up is a great one, I’m so looking forward to seeing Peter Andre and Kellie Bright strut their stuff. Forget X Factor, this is the proper Saturday night telly. Also obsessed with Claudia Winkleman and her quirky style.

Helen George is on this year's show.

Helen George is on this year’s show.

3. Blackpool Illuminations

No excuses for this, I totally love Blackpool and its lights. The Illuminations are just so special, and there is nowhere like Blackpool when it comes to tacky, seaside fun. I’m off there next weekend, and frankly cannot wait. I’m in good company too, Frank Sinatra visited in the 1950s and loved the place.

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4. Autumn colours

The pantone colour for 2015 is Marsala, and I think this will just come into it’s own now it is Autumn. Gold, russet, burnt orange and bronze shades are all gorgeous, and work so well with the 70s trend that is still massive this season.

5. Bonfire Night

Was never a major fan as a child, but now totally love this night. A roaring fire, fab fireworks display, all wrapped up for the evening in a favourite warm coat, and all that delicious Bonfire Night food, from hot chocolate with marshmallows, to juicy burgers with lashings of onions. Bonfire Night is one of my fave events of any season.

Ready for Bonfire Night last year

Ready for Bonfire Night last year

What is your favourite thing about Autumn?