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Blackpool: a peek into the history of Britain’s favourite seaside resort



When we think of Blackpool, we think sticks of rock, the Tower, the Pleasure Beach, and even the Illuminations. As far back as we can remember, it’s always been a go-to at-home holiday destination and a jewel in the UK’s crown.


But you might be wondering how Blackpool came to be the loved seaside resort it is today. There’s a rich history behind the town. So we thought we’d dive back into Blackpool’s past to see if we could find anything interesting - and we definitely did...


How did Blackpool become a popular seaside resort?

Blackpool began its evolution into the beautiful resort we know it as today around the 18th century. Around this time, it became fashionable to holiday at the seaside during the summer. It was believed seawater had healthy, disease-curing properties, and during a time of much illness, people were eager to try it. Despite this, Blackpool still didn’t have a huge number of visitors.


But in 1781, a new road gave easy access for visitors to travel to Blackpool from Manchester by stagecoach. This meant Blackpool saw visitors from lots of new towns around Lancashire. As its reputation began to grow, more and more coaches from farther away made the journey to the seaside resort. But the railway is what really changed everything for the town. The even greater traffic of holiday goers led to the installation of proper facilities and attractions, including the Pleasure Beach.


What about Blackpool Illuminations?

The Illuminations - which take 65,000 hours to organise each year - have a rich history, too. Lighting up the town since 1879, Blackpool Illuminations was first conceived when the council devoted £5,000 to experiment with the idea of electric street lighting. It began with eight lamps on 60ft-tall poles along the seafront. The public was amazed, having never seen anything like it before, which led to the nickname “artificial sunshine” and visitors flocking to see what the fuss was all about.

But what about Blackpool Illuminations as we know it today? The earliest version of the “modern” Illuminations debuted in May 1912. The display of around 10,000 lights was to commemorate Blackpool’s first-ever visit from a royal - Princess Louise. And it went down a treat. With thousands coming to see the display, the council decided to display the lights again that September. But the displays were put on hold for a whopping eleven years when the First World War began.


With such a rich history, it’s no surprise Blackpool has become the perfect place to holiday. With dozens of attractions that are great for families, friends, and couples alike, you really can’t go wrong with a staycation in this stunning seaside town.


If you’re thinking about getting away to Blackpool this year, Blackpool Promotions has plenty of exciting options for you. Book your getaway with us now on 0141 221 8739.

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