Guide To Blackpool
|| When it comes to culture
Blackpool is unlike any other place in Britain, but its mix of quirky
historic buildings and star-studded entertainment have made this seaside
town a tradition in itself.
So whether you go for the theatres, museums,
circuses, lights or ballroom dancing, you’ll soon discover that
Blackpool’s favourite word is ‘fun’.
Perhaps the closest thing to Great British culture you’ll find
here are the historic theatres, which still play host to some
of the biggest shows in the country.
The Grand Theatre
on Church Street offers everything from stand-up shows by comics
Ken Dodd and Billy Pearce to performances by the English National
Ballet. Opened to much acclaim in July 1894, The Grand was so popular
in the early 20th century that top West End producers used the theatre
for premieres, with musicals being seen here before they were shown
Blackpool’s other famous theatre is the Opera House [map],
which is situated just up the street from the Grand. Part of the
Winter Gardens complex, which is also home to an impressive ballroom
and the Pavilion Theatre, the Opera House stages touring West End
musicals and sell-out concerts.
There’s more entertainment to be found over at Blackpool
which has played host to the globally acclaimed Tower Circus,
with its spectacular water finale, for 110 years.
Also worth a look while you’re there is the Tower Ballroom
because, quite frankly, there’s nowhere else in the world quite
like it. Home to the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, which is now complemented
by The 3 Deck Wersi – the world's most advanced organ,
the Ballroom has regular tea dances for old-time romantics.
Back at the Winter Gardens you’ll find another magnificent ballroom,
the Empress Ballroom, where the annual Blackpool Dance Festival
is staged each year. Now in its 80th year, the Festival covers ballroom
and Latin American dancing, and usually includes the British Open
Championships. Dancers from more than 50 countries take part.
If you’re idea of culture is a walk around a museum
or art gallery then Blackpool
will not disappoint as the town has a number of these attractions
to choose from.
Considered as the resort’s most famous museum, Louis Tussauds
on Central Promenade has five floors packed to bursting with amazing
waxwork figures. Along with most of the Royal family, you’ll
also find politicians, film stars, pop singers and sporting greats
lined up side by side in the Grand Hall.
For budding scientists there’s the Exhibition of the Universe
at the Golden Mile Centre [map],
which was built by David Boyle, a researcher in all fields of the
unexplained, spirituality and the super-natural.
Or, to escape the hustle and bustle of the town centre, why not head
to Stanley Park where you’ll find the Blackpool Model
Village and Gardens [map].
Set in two-and-a-half acres of beautiful gardens, this attraction
has hundreds of models built against a background of waterfalls, lakes
and running streams.
The town’s only art gallery is the Grundy Art Gallery
situated near the Blackpool Central Library on Queen Street, which
is recognised as one of the best small galleries in the country.
Finally, one of Blackpool’s best-loved attractions, the
Illuminations, is now a fully-fledged tradition in the seaside
town, drawing in crowds from around the country every autumn. First
established in 1879 with just eight lamps, the lights extravagnza
now consists of more than one million bulbs, which take all kinds
of shapes from aliens to cartoon characters.
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