Sunday, 31 July 2011

Finding Victorian Grandeur in Blackpool!

Good evening to you,

Josh and I just returned from an overnight stay in Blackpool which was unexpectedly fantastic! I've never been before and it was a birthday treat from the hubby to stay for a night around the North pier area in a lovely little guesthouse. Josh has been once as a wee boy, probably ran around naked on the beach building sandcastles (that didn't happen this time). I like to think of Blackpool and picture it 50 years ago as a top holiday destination, but someone at work said that it's like Benidorm without the sun, so I went with some pre-conceptions...

We got the train up there, which we'll NEVER do again but was worth a try. It was honestly hell on a train, full of children screaming for no good reason and kicking seats, I gave my iPod to Josh to listen to some soothing bars of Mumford and Sons to make sure no ruckus was started. It's not the children I blame by the way...

The sun was shining when we arrived and kept it's hat on all weekend. For once, the British weather was in our favour and we soaked it up!

We found our guesthouse quickly and dumped our really heavy bag in to our room. I have no idea why our bag was so heavy, we were only staying for one night! We are so useless at packing! The trouble is when you live in this country, you never know what clothes to pack!

We explored the North Pier (Blackpool has three piers - North, Central and South) with the intention of trying all three piers out for size - Goldilocks style.

Well, I tell you, it's been a while since I walked on a pier and I forgot how much I missed it. That thrill of walking on wooden boards, over the sea, the seaside music, the smell of seasalt, then looking down to see the sea beneath your feet! Love it.

I fell head over heels with the North Pier, our first and only pier stop over the whole weekend, we kept coming back to North Pier, probably on my insistence.

The North Pier has a sun deck at the end of the pier and we whiled away a good few hours sitting in the sun on Saturday and Sunday. I'd love to say that I had a quaint oldey worldey drink to keep in style with the surroundings, but I really fancied a Strongbow. So I had one. Or two.

I could feel myself turning pink in the sun, and I was mad at myself for not bringing my hat with me, so we reluctantly moved along. This is the part where I almost fell out of love with B'Pool, we headed central bound, intent on finding lunch, and walked smack bang into horrible tackiness. Stags, hens, druggies, just plain weirdos and people just looking for trouble. Bleurgh GO AWAY. Made even worse by the hot sun, you could feel the tension.

We cut down to the beach to escape it,we walked in the sun which I love doing, and headed for the Pleasure Beach baby! Woo!

We paid £10 each to ride the biggest, scariest, fastest rollercoaster in Europe. We queued 1 hour for the biggest, scariest, fastest rollercoaster in Europe. We managed to get front row seats on the biggest, scariest, fastest rollercoaster in Europe and I felt the full force of 89 m/p/h wind in my mouth as we soared above Blackpool! Excellent. Live fast, die old.

We got the tram back to North Pier for another bevvy on the sun deck before heading back to the ranch to get ready for some nice dinner out. Had a beautiful 3 course meal in Bella Italia - you can't beat it. I was quite intimidated by Blackpool at night. If I thought it was awful by day, it's worse by night. We avoided the freaks and ducked in to Scruffy Murphy's - it's safe in Irish bars, and this one had a nice singer singing songs I likes very much! We got drunk!

Drunk walk back to hotel in scary Blackpool where I swore the whole way home as some sort of drunken shield.

Sunday was spent eating English Breakfasts, walking 5 miles along the North coast of Blackers as I like to shorten it to, along to Cleveley which is your quintessential English coast destination. A lotta tat in baskets outside shops full of market stall clothes! Love it! Got the bus back to the bright lights to...North Pier for fish and chips!

Purchased sticks of rock and a fridge magnet and headed for the station. Hope you like the photos, I tried to sum up what Blackpool might have been like 50 years ago, when folk came on the train to Blackpool and there was no other place like it. Now it's a place that was once grand, and now is unloved and slightly peeling at the tasselled edges everywhere...sad. But not North Pier... :)

Things I'm excited about:

  • The Parent tour 2011 - next weekend The Baxters are heading South to see both our parents and have some quality family time. We haven't seen them since our wedding!
  • Giving out sticks of rock
  • Putting my new Blackpool fridge magnet on the fridge
  • Potentially going to Jamie Oliver's restaurant this week!
  • Settling in at work - no one likes being the 'new girl' :)

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