If you look at a map of the UK we're pretty much slap bang in the middle, give or take a little, which  sounds great but let me tell you for a girl that grew up with Blackpool around the corner, being equally as far in any direction from a coastline, hurts my heart. Living in the north west as a child meant that holidays to the British seaside were a regular occurrence, I don't think it would have been a good year if we'd not visited the illuminations, or sucked on a stick of rock long enough for a dentist to cringe. As a ten year old me, Blackpool was the be all and end all, hearing the words 'We're going to the pleasure beach' would be the adult equivalent of hearing 'I've just booked a holiday to the Maldives'. Nothing could top it. And though you may think that in becoming an adult I'd grow out of the lust for candy floss and hot sugar donuts, I can promise you it's quite the contrary, for me visiting the cheesy seaside towns are a right of passage and still it's something my boys have yet to experience.

I have such fond memories of my teenage years in Blackpool, spent collecting tickets from arcade games to cash in for sweets or other worthless items, nagging my Mum and Dad how 'we only need 100 more' to win the plastic, musical toy of all parents nightmares. They were good times and times I want to relive with my own children one day. My boys are still little and thus far, a visit to the seaside has somewhat alluded us, Noah only visiting a British beach whilst he was tucked away in my tummy, a few weeks before he graced us earth side. It's definitely a matter of 'when' as opposed to 'if' we take them to the seaside and over the last couple of weeks I have been thinking to myself about what we'd get up to;

Visit Mooky and the Blackpool Tower
The circus feels really special to us, for a few years my Dad actually worked for the company that owned the Tower and it meant sometimes we got to see the parts of the show nobody else did. We got to mooch around under the stage, visit Mooky's dressing room and see the narrow walkways that Elephants used to squeeze down 'back in the day'. We were treated like royalty whenever we visited the tower,  though I know that's something we simply can't offer to our boys, it still makes it one of my favourite places to be in Blackpool. A lot has changed since I last visited, the iconic Dinosaur ride 'The land of time', is gone and replaced with the dungeons - something I don't quite think the tearaways would be entirely ready for. But in retrospect some things never change, Jungle Jims' I'm sure will still host the electric shock slide of doom, not a name I think they actively advertise but one I grew to know it by, a terrifying experience but one I always ran back to time and time again. I remember growing up my sister actually carried out her obligatory work experience in the tower, and I envied her for it, for the rest of my days. Of course nestled away at the back is still the aquarium, taken over by Sea Life, it's probably undertaken a huge revamp since we last went, the boys would adore it, I can only imagine Patricks' delight and hearing the screams of 'fishy' from miles away.

Spending our life savings in Coral Island
Ahhh good old Coral Island or as I grew up knowing it 'the one with the huge skull on'. I can't tell you how many hours we lost in this place, it was our go to when the rain fell, which let's face it, isn't an unfamiliar occurrence in good old Blackpool now is it? It might look like your average seaside arcade, but it's way more than that. I lived for visiting Coral Island, knowing I'd get a good go on the monorail usually more than once as the ride operators were feeling generous, before heading below to spend a pretty penny having my fortune read by pressing my hand against a machine. Coral Island really was one of a kind though, there was something for everyone, my Nan would spend hours on the tele bingo, whilst we clocked up an uncanny amount of teddies on the Kentucky derby. It was a win win situation, until we had to leave. I know Noah would be in his element inside here, the penny machines would be hogged and we would be hostage until we win a naff keyring. Even thinking about Coral Island has me desperate to book a break to Blackpool, it's my childhood in a nutshell.

Donkey rides on a rainy beach
If there is one thing you can guarantee in Blackpool, it's rain, shortly followed by wind, lots and lots of wind. Feeling the wind shear on your bare legs (note, never wear shorts or skirts to Blackpool) as a child was part and parcel of the donkey ride you begged your parents for on the beach. It was genuinely the only reason we ever set foot on the beach, as most people who visit Blackpool know, the sea isn't the type of sea you want your children paddling in. I heard many rumours growing up, that Donkey rides were no more, now whether peta are on to them or they're just not getting enough custom since we moved out of the area I don't know. But I hope that it's merely that, rumours, and my boys will get to experience the gentle trot in slushy sand that I did, by riding a Donkey on Blackpool beach.

The Illuminations.
Nothing says Blackpool like sitting in standstill traffic for hours on end, peering out of your sunroof. I'm sure it's all policed a lot stricter than it was fifteen years ago, but between me and my two siblings, squeezing three bodies out of the top of a car was no mean feat. We managed, and survived to tell the tale. We'd all have conned my parents into buying us variations of light up delights, I always opted for a fibre optic number that would swish about in the November gales. I don't think the lure of the illuminations, holds an age, for I enjoyed it throughout my entire childhood and I'm sure I'd love it just the same now. It felt magical, and a sign that Christmas was on the way. Whether it was the trams that had been decked up to match, whizzing up and down the promenade or the mini displays on each lamp post - it sucked you in, and I think a part of me will always still be there.

If I wasn't debating a trip to Blackpool before, I certainly am now after a little trip down memory lane. I just have the biggest urge to instil the memories I grew up with, on my children and I know they'll create their own variations of them, in their individual ways. Blackpool is a cheesy seaside town, and though I know it's not every bodies top destination, it means a bit of something special to me, and given the fact John has never had the pleasure of visiting, it's a must, right? 


  1. I knew you'd mention Coral Island haha! It has to be done, your little ones will love the excitement of the claw machines and 2p slots. When they're a bit older you'll have to take them to Blackpool Tower Dungeons too, it's so much fun and a good way to escape from the drizzle and seagulls xx

    Lyd- whatlyddid.com

  2. I've not been to Blackpool in years. The last time I was about 19 and got ridiculously drunk and don't remember much of the rest of the night and then the next year felt like I was dying whilst on the tram with a hangover!!

  3. I LOVE Blackpool - it was literally my home away from home as a child. It is probably the tackiest place in the world, but it makes me love it even more!!

  4. Blackpool may be cheesy but it certainly draws in the crowds. It really has so much to offer for a great family day out of holiday.

  5. I have never been to Blackpool but I really want to go now! We live in the Midlands and we are so far from the coast, I wish we lived nearer to the coast as I am sure we would spend as much time as we could there. I love the beach, especially in Winter

  6. I've never been to bblackpool but it sounds amazing! We often go to brighton where they have a great seaside arcade, but we could easily spend a fortune so try not to go too often!

    Blackpool sounds like a great place to go out for the day with the family!

    Lucie xx

  7. I've never been and it's never been a place I've thought I'd like to go but would definitely like to now. It sounds like such a lovely family day out.
    Amelia xxx

  8. I've never been to Blackpool before, but I do love a trip to the beach. So many fond memories

  9. I don't think I've ever been to Blackpool before...not that I remember anyway. It sounds like you have lots of wonderful memories there :)

  10. I can't believe I have never been to Blackpool! I must add it to my wishlist of places to go with the kids! x

  11. We love bisiting Blackpool. My sister lives up that way so when we visit her, if we have time we will pop to Blackpool for the day x