Simple but important things to help you to make the most from your visit to the Blackpool Illuminations
Parking, toilets, food and donations – some basic but crucial things in your quick guide to Blackpool Illuminations.
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In the Blackpool Illuminations you’ll see thousands of lights! They festoon the whole length of the Golden Mile, they’re on special Illuminated trams and the fronts of buildings. And at the north end of the seafront you’ll find the huge tableaux displays.
Your Quick Guide to Blackpool Illuminations
If you’ve never seen the world famous Lights you’re in for a treat! Take a whistle-stop tour, when you’ve read this page.
Blackpool is the seaside resort on the West coast of the UK. By car you can drive either way along the promenade. You might remember that in years gone by the traffic followed a one-way route. Coaches are advised to follow a north to south route.
From the M55 motorway the most direct route to Blackpool Illuminations is to turn left at the end of the motorway and drive along Squires Gate Lane. When you get to the seaward end of Squires Gate Lane, turn right at the traffic lights. Your journey through six miles of Illuminations begins, with the sea on your left!
You’ll very quickly see the Pleasure Beach in front of you.
The main parts of the promenade between south, central and north piers have an over-the-road display of festoons and features on the main lighting columns, like this, below.
Not a long way past North Pier you’ll reach Gynn roundabout.
This local landmark is home to changing features and over the years has been home to spacemen, a fairground carousel, the rocket tram and Dr Who!
At Gynn roundabout, bear left to follow the promenade and you’ll soon see the tableaux displays, below. Drive past by all means, but these huge features are really best enjoyed on foot – that way you get the atmosphere and shared experience of the bright lights on a dark night with hundreds of other people.
Your route ends at the traffic lights at Red Bank Road at Bispham with the big arch, and after it the street lights return to normal.
Don’t expect a quick journey!
As you would imagine, the Blackpool Illuminations attracts millions of visitors a year and on peak days the roads can get congested.
This might be a quick guide to The Blackpool Illuminations but expect to drive through the Illuminations quite slowly. But that’s part of the experience and means that your family can take plenty of photos and you can all enjoy your visit.
Best to make sure that you’ve had a toilet stop before you set off, and you’ve eaten and got snacks at hand in the car, as you’ll be in there for a while.
A number of very large car parks are situated close to the main attractions of Blackpool.
There is limited parking along the seafront on the sea side of the promenade – if you are lucky enough to drop on a space at the busiest time of year!
If you prefer, you could park on the outskirts of town and catch a tram or bus along the seafront.
Have a look at this map of car parks
Along the Fylde Coast and in Blackpool the majority of public toilets are operated by Danfo. They are single cubicles accessed from a single outer door. The cost is a 20p coin.
These are all Danfo public toilets:
– Between the Festival House tourist information centre and North Pier on the lower level of the promenade as you go down to the beach
– Central Cark Park – where the coach park facilities are near to Coral Island
– Lonsdale Road Car Park – near to Blackpool Football Club
– Cocker Square – heading north past North Pier on the edge of a small surface car park
– Gynn roundabout there are toilets on the seaside of the promenade
– Bispham there are public toilets adjacent to the Tram stop
– Much further north nearer to Cleveleys, there are toilets in a Victorian building against the tram lines at Anchorsholme/Little Bispham
– South shore, at the right hand side of the Solaris Building
In addition, there are toilets for shoppers in the town centre at:
– The Houndshill Shopping Centre at the upstairs food court
– Also in the Houndshill Shopping Centre at Debenhams
– Marks and Spencer
– Winter Gardens complex
You’ll find toilets in many of the amusements arcades and at Coral Island. Plus, for daytime visitors, there’s a block of public toilets at Stanley Park.
Take your pick! Let’s face it, no visit to the Illuminations is complete without good old seaside fish and chips, best eaten steaming in the fresh air!
You’ll never get any prizes for your diet with anything that you might eat on a night out in the Blackpool Illuminations. Tempting smells from fast food vendors are everywhere that you turn, but as they say ‘a little of what you fancy does you good’. Just enjoy your break and let the calorie counting begin tomorrow.
Have a look at Places to Eat in the area.
Did you know that Blackpool Council pay for the running and maintenance of the Blackpool Illuminations each year, with a £2 million contribution?
On-street collection points on the promenade collect funds to contribute towards the cost of new displays. The Illuminations need to be interesting, revitalised and well presented each year.
Although it’s a free show, if you’ve enjoyed your time looking at the Lights, please donate at the official Collection Points.
The suggested amount is £5 per car or family – that’s excellent value for money!
There are other ways to contribute to the Blackpool Illuminations, you could even see your photo in lights next year! (Or maybe your dog/cat/family…)
You’ll see street sellers all the way along the promenade, selling various light sabres, deely boppers and twinkly things to trim up your evening.
Please buy your merchandise from one of the official vendors in the LightPool Village on the Comedy Carpet. The money that you spend there will be reinvested in improving the Illuminations.
Here in Blackpool anything goes, so if you love all things twinkly, whatever your age, now is your chance to be a child again!
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