If like me, as a child you enjoyed the annual trip to the illuminations, then taking your own children will help re-ignite the magic and start the countdown to Christmas.
For our first family visit to Blackpool we arrived at around 3pm on a dry but cold Saturday afternoon parking at the end of the display boards. At this stage, a short wait for a tram enabled us to get to the tower and begin what we hoped would be a short walk to the pleasure beach.
It quickly became apparent that my memories of my visits in the past, didn’t take into consideration the scale and sizes of anything! Firstly, the tower is much smaller than i thought and the tower is miles away from the Pleasure Beach! Regardless we continued on our pilgrimage, walking along the sea front, stopping for food at various outlets, toilet breaks and then a cafe for a meal.
Eventually arriving at the Pleasure Beach around 6ish, we were ready to choose our ride and wonder round… then we discovered a new admission policy of £10 per person for one single ride, or to just ‘enjoy the experience’ and not go on any rides – entry of £6. We sadly turned around and started to walk back to the tower, which despite my new awareness of actual size, seemed further away than ever!
So we trekked back to the tower stopping at each tram station to see if we could get on. Unfortunately with a pram, you are not very popular and with the queues you are unlikely to get on anyway. It turned out that there had been an incident further up the line, but going forward, i would suggest avoiding driving through the illuminations and avoid relying on a tram.
Whilst we did eventually get a tram, we should have simply travelled to the tower on our way out, had a look around and then started to walk back to the car, so we could arrive at the display boards just before leaving to go home. Sadly, on this occasion, we had to try and peak out of the windows as it was now 9pm and everyone was getting cold, tired and cranky.
Parking at the end of the illuminations however, was a great success, when we did get back to the car, we dodged all the queues an were on the motorway in now time.
So, we learnt alot and enjoyed the experience. Next year will be much better i am sure. For a day out, a bit of nostalgia, it was great fun. There was a lot of walking and to be honest, i think Little M was a little young to take much away from it. Perhaps in a couple of years the circus and then the lights would be the way forward.
Childhood Memories exclude reality
You can’t just rock up at the illuminations, parking, toilets, food, all need to be planned, which takes away the spontaneous childhood enjoyment of Blackpool. Its a great memory, but i only think parents get it right, just before the kids stop going!