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Comprising a region along the northwestern coast of England, the Blackpool Destination contains many sizable cities, which are as follows: Manchester, Liverpool, Warrington, Preston, Blackburn, and Blackpool, the latter being the destination’s namesake. Home to a fair amount of notable attractions, the city of Blackpool occupies land along the shore of the Irish Sea in the western part of the destination. The Blackpool Opera House, one of the largest theaters in the United Kingdom, is located in the heart of the city near other sites that visitors tend to frequent, such as Central Pier and Pleasure Beach. Liverpool and Manchester also receive a relatively high quantity of tourists annually. The architecture that is displayed around the city of Manchester often piques visitors’ interest, as Victorian buildings and contemporary structures are established throughout it. Another site in Manchester is Heaton Park—one of the largest municipal parks in Europe, as it covers roughly 610 acres of land. Beyond the architecture and parks found in the city, Manchester additionally has numerous historic sites and monuments, some of which are dedicated to Prince Albert, Queen Victoria, James Fraser, Robert Peel, and James Watt. Concerning the Blackpool Destination’s natural land, the Forest of Bowland constitutes much of the northern region. This forest was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1964.
The Blackpool Destination encompasses a portion of land along the Irish Sea in Lancashire, England. Situated in the North West region of the country, Blackpool—the destination’s namesake—is deemed “one of the largest and most popular resorts in the country.” The town occupies 13.31 square miles of land between the Ribble and Wyre rivers and is located in fairly close proximity to some of England’s prominent cities, namely Liverpool and Manchester, both of which are found in the southern part of the destination. As of 2023, Blackpool’s population has reached an estimated total of 144,132 residents. The town’s population experiences a current annual declining rate of -0.20%, as the total number of residents was up to 148,300 in 2001. With regard to the racial composition, the demographic is predominantly comprised of white individuals at 70.4%, with the second most common race being Asian residents at 19.5%.
One of the most distinguishing landmarks of Blackpool is the Blackpool Tower at the center of the town. Reaching a height of nearly 158 meters, the Blackpool Tower was designed to resemble the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Several different attractions can be found within the tower itself, including a viewing deck, a jungle gym, and a ballroom that occasionally hosts live performances. In addition to the Blackpool Tower, the town is also characterized by what is known as Central Pier, which extends into the Irish Sea. Though Blackpool contains three piers, some locals and visitors consider Central Pier to be the most significant of the three, as it features a Ferris wheel, arcade games, and concession stands. A considerable number of tourists are also drawn to Blackpool Pleasure Beach, an attraction that boasts “the tallest and faster ride in the UK,” The Big One. For those of a younger age, a section of Blackpool Pleasure Beach is constituted by an area called Nickelodeon Land that incorporates rides such as Spongebob’s Splash Bash and Rugrats Lost River, which cater more toward children.
Approximately 40 miles northwest of Blackpool is the city of Manchester. Notable for its architecture, musical exports, sports clubs, culture, social impact, media links, and transportation connections, Manchester covers about 44.6 square miles of land in Greater Manchester, England. The city is home to numerous structures that are acknowledged for their unique architecture. A variety of styles that range from Victorian to contemporary to Gothic Revival are displayed in several parts of the city. Lancaster House, Manchester Town Hall, Manchester Cathedral, and the Midland Hotel are some buildings that exhibit significant architecture. Numerous museums are located in Manchester as well, many of which regard the city’s industrial heritage and the textile industry. The Whitworth Art Gallery, in particular, showcases modern art, sculptures, and textiles; this museum was voted Museum of the Year in 2015. One of the most popular museums in the city is the Manchester Museum, where over 4.5 million items are displayed. These exhibits vary from ancient Egyptian mummies to dinosaur fossils.
Another prominent city near the destination’s namesake is Liverpool, located about 27 miles north of Blackpool. Liverpool is one of the largest metropolitan boroughs in the United Kingdom and was regarded as the European Capital of Culture in 2008. Generally speaking, the city is well known among visitors and locals for being the place where an influential band called The Beatles was formed in 1960. A specific site in Liverpool where The Beatles began performing their music is The Cavern Club, which still operates as a music venue today. Tourists who take an interest in The Beatles often visit The Beatles Story Museum—the “largest permanent exhibition on The Beatles.”
Nearly the entirety of the county of Lancashire is found within the Blackpool Destination. Lancashire topographically composes a diverse range of habitats that serve as the home for many different species of wildlife. Coastal land, woodland areas, wetlands, and rocky cliffs are some of the habitats that are populated with several types of birds, mammals, reptiles, and marine life. Some animals seasonally reside in Lancashire; however, a few of the common species that have been observed in Lancashire are Chinese water deer, mountain hare, shrews, red foxes, weasels, and different kinds of bats. An inhabitation of fish, primarily salmon and trout, have been discovered inland near Stockport along the River Mersey in the destination’s southwestern region. The neighboring town of Warrington has also received grey seals. The River Mersey estuary courses directly between the city of Liverpool and the metropolitan borough of Wirral, extending approximately 0.7 miles wide.
A sizable portion of the Blackpool Destination’s northern region contains the Forest of Bowland. Deep valleys, gritstone fells, and peat moorland make up this forest in northeast Lancashire, with an additional detached area called the Forest of Pendle. The geographic center of Great Britain can also be found in the Forest of Bowland. In 1964, the forest was designated an AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), as it encompasses “a royal forest with its own separate history.”
One report describes the climatic conditions in Blackpool to be “cool and partly cloudy” during the summer, while the winter season is referred to being “long, very cold, wet, and mostly cloudy.” Temperatures vary between the general range of 36 and 66 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of the year. The average daily temperature from June to September is typically above 62 degrees Fahrenheit. On account of these reasonably moderate temperatures, it is suggested that tourists who intend to engage in warm-weather activities in Blackpool visit between June and September, as opposed to November to March when the daily temperature drops to below 49 degrees Fahrenheit. February is most commonly the coldest month of the year in Blackpool, with an average low of 36 degrees Fahrenheit and a high of 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Blackpool’s name derives from a drainage channel that some researchers presumed was the Spen Dyke, which flowed over a peat bog and released discolored water into the Irish Sea. This occurrence formed a black pool on the other side of the sea by Dublin, Ireland. The name Dublin (Dubh Linn) is an Irish term that translates to English as “black pool.” Others suppose that the name of Blackpool originates from the local dialect of the word “stream,” which had been “pul” or “poole.”
Throughout the 18th century, it was common for wealthy travelers to visit what is now presently known as Blackpool. At the time, the site was simply a hamlet by the sea, but people believed that diseases could be cured by bathing in seawater, hence the reason Blackpool received wealthy visitors. The area remained fairly small and uninhabited for years until circa 1781 when a private road that led to Blackpool was constructed by Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton. Stagecoaches began coming from the nearby city of Manchester, and Blackpool began to grow gradually. An individual by the name of Henry Banks played a significant role in the development of the city, as several new buildings were constructed through his efforts. By 1801, the city’s population was less than 500 residents; however, the total number of inhabitants grew to 2,500 by 1851. This population growth was attributed to the construction of the first railway in 1840 that facilitated access to Blackpool.
In 1900, the Blackpool Town Hall was built. Following the construction of the town hall, the Grand Theatre was built in 1904, and the first cinema opened to the general public in 1905. One of the city’s current popular attractions, Pleasure Beach, began its development in the 1900s as well. The majority of the city’s attractions were built during the latter end of the 20th century, including Blackpool Zoo, The Sandcastle, Blackpool Sea Life Centre, and The Hounds Hill Centre.
One of Blackpool’s most notable historical sites is the Blackpool War Memorial, an obelisk that stands 30 meters high (approximately 98 feet). The statue primarily commemorates the First and Second World Wars. Bronze reliefs that depict allegories of victory, grief, and justice are found on each side of the plinth, and two freestanding chest tombs that list the names of fallen soldiers of World War One are alongside the main obelisk.