September 16, 2016


Welcome to Five on Friday in association with Amy at Love Made My Home. Click on the link at the bottom to see more - when you're done here.
You might know we've been on holiday. Here's five things from somewhere we visited: Blackpool.

The Tower
Blackpool Tower is possibly the most famous of the town's many attractions. It stands at 518 feet (158 metres) high and was inspired by the Eiffel Tower. It opened in 1894 and is apparently the 103rd tallest free standing tower in the world. Except it isn't free standing by my definition. It stands set into the entertainment complex below - circus, ballroom, etc - so I don't think it counts. It's Grade I listed, so whatever you think about it, it's important.

The Lights
Giving the Tower a run for its money in the fame stakes are the annual Illuminations. They are a huge light show that runs along a stretch of coast known as The Golden Mile, but they actually cover nearly six miles. They began in 1879 with the grand total of just eight arc lamps. Promoters called it "artificial sunshine" and attracted in excess of 70,000 visitors.  It wasn't until 1912 that anything approaching the modern show was introduced. Then 10,000 bulbs were hung in garlands along and across the road to commemorate the opening of a new stretch of the Promenade. Today "The Lights" are lit for 66 nights each September and October and attract around three and a half million people.

The Comedy Carpet
One of Blackpool's newer attractions, right next to the Tower, is the Comedy Carpet. It's a lot of words, phrases, catchphrases and jokes that refer to more than 1,000 comedians and comedy actors. None of the scripts are attributed to specific acts, although famous names appear around the edge for you to make up your own mind. It contains more than 160,000 granite letters in many different type faces, embedded into concrete. Some are large enough to read from the top of the Tower, others you just have to wander across and find for yourself.

Not seaside fish and chips! (Black Country Museum)
Fish and chips
You can't go to the seaside without having fish and chips. There must be hundreds of places to buy them in Blackpool, among the newest being the flagship of chip chain Harry Ramsden. (The original Ramsden's flagship in Guiseley, West Yorkshire now belongs to rival chain Wetherby Whaler.)  No-one is really sure where fish and chips started but they've been around since the mid 19th century, thanks to the growth of the railway system that allowed fish to be carried well inland before it rotted. It's been popular ever since, and during World War II it was the only hot food takeaway not to be rationed.

Dodgems on Central Pier
The piers
Many seaside towns have lost a key symbol of their Victorian past - the pier - but Blackpool is lucky enough to still have three. Traditionally the pier was a way to walk out 'into the sea' to take the fresh air away from the town, but these days they tend to be a location for fun fairs, cafes and gypsy palmists.


  1. It looks as if you had an enjoyable break in Blackpool. The thought of fish and chips by the sea is making my mouth water - you cannot beat fish and chips at the seaside can you. xx

  2. What a famous tower and very pretty illuminated area. I've never eaten the English fisch&chips, so often read about...
    Have a nice weekend

  3. As I look out the window at the rain, you have taken me back to Summer! I don't know Blackpool but it certainly has some iconic features which I see when Strictly visits annually! Hope you had a good time.

  4. There is nothing better than fish and chips by the sea except perhaps ice cream? Have only every been to Blackpool twice in my many years. I remember as a child being taken to a circus in the tower and later as a teenager on a bus trip being driven through the lights. Hope you had a great time:)

  5. Looks like you had a great time! I went a couple of years ago when the illuminations were on. I had been as a child and it had been really cold so I went well prepared. Only it turned out to be one of those rare, warm weekends and we were able to take a nice, coat-less stroll along the prom.

    Thanks for reminding me of a great weekend!

  6. We call chips French fries, but in Belgium, I was informed in no uncertain terms, that they originated in Belgium and should be called Belgian fries. Whatever you call them, I was very envious of your lunch.

  7. Well we were thinking of popping to Blackpool next weekend and this has cemented our plans, we have not been for a while so I have not seen the comedy carpet. The fish and chips looks so good, they do make a trip to Blackpool! Great pictures - have a lovely weekend xx

  8. In the mid 1950s my cousin and I were sent to stay with an aunt and uncle in Cheshire during the Summer holidays. We were taken on a day trip to Blackpool. All I can remember is the ride along the sea front in a tram, the usual bucket and spade on the sands experience and mint flavoured Blackpool rock. I'm sure the famous illuminations are impressive.

  9. It is fun to learn about Blackpool through your post! Just about any place by the ocean is wonderful to me. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip :)

  10. I've been to Blackpool for the illuminations twice and they were FAB-U-LOUS. Obviously, we had fish and chips, with bread and butter and a cup of tea. Full of clichés! And I found a pelican's foot shell on the beach. I love this Five, thank you. x

  11. This brought back happy memories of visiting Blackpool as a child. The fish and chips look delicious!

  12. That fish and chips looks so good. What a fun place Blackpool would be to visit. The tower does resemble Mr. Eiffel's French version, doesn't it?

  13. This is a lovely walk through parts of Blackpool, thanks. Hope you've had a great weekend.



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