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Situated along the coast of the Irish Sea, Blackpool is a lovely seaside resort town that dates back to the Middle Ages. More than 12 million people visit the town each year, making it Britain’s top seaside resort destination. Its Victorian tower, amusement parks, theatres, beaches and pedestrian promenade bring people back time and time again, while the picturesque and quiet coastal villages close by make for fantastic daytrips. Hire a car and drive to some of the country’s most beautiful areas, such as the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District, both of which are just a short journey away.
Who to Book With
A number of big name car rental companies, including Avis, Budget and Europcar, have depots in Blackpool. Their Blackpool branches, offering plenty of vehicle options, can be found at the airport as well as in the Little Martin area of the town. Car hire should be pre booked online before arrival to guarantee availability.
Best time to go
Being a seaside resort, Blackpool is best visited in the summer, although this is also when rates are at their highest. However, the town centre itself is busy all year-round, and there is still plenty to do outside of the main tourist period.
Need to Know Essentials
When retrieving your car rental, you must provide the following:
- A valid UK driving license (both parts)
- Some other form of identification
- The credit card used to make the booking
- Verification of booking, printed if possible
A car is not necessary in Blackpool and driving within the city centre is actually frowned upon. However, a car is the best way of getting out of Blackpool to enjoy scenic drives along the coast and to the nearby national parks. During peak seasons, the streets can get jammed up, but there are plenty of council-run car parks dotted along the coast that provide safe places to leave your vehicle. On-street parking can be found in the town centre, although many spaces are reserved for permit holders only. Signs clearly indicate where visitors can and can’t park, and on-street parking works on a pay-and-display ticketing system.
Walking is the best way to explore the resort area, which stretches for seven miles along the coast. The antique tramway does this journey much faster, while public buses provide services to all other areas of the town as well as to neighbouring towns and villages. Blackpool is also a very bicycle-friendly town and provides designated bicycle parking spaces.
Blackpool has several railway stations, with Blackpool North being the main station serving the town. Northern Rail operates several routes from this station, connecting the town to Preston, Blackburn, Manchester, Leeds and York. First TransPennine Express also makes a stop here on the North West line that runs between Manchester and Edinburgh. Blackpool’s other stations are served by Northern Rail, linking the town to its surrounding area, as well as to the airport.
There are few taxis in Blackpool besides at the airport and the main railway station. Most hotels will be able to arrange for a taxi to take their guests to areas outside of the town, such as to Fleetwood, Lytham Saint Annes and Poulton-Le-Fylde. Horse-drawn ‘landaus’ provide a romantic and fun way to travel along the coast.
Blackpool is well served by public transport, with buses travelling through all areas of the resort as well as to the rest of the town. The Blackpool Tramway runs for 11 miles along the Promenade from Fleetwood to Starr Gate, which is not far from the airport. Tickets can be bought online or from the driver, with fares ranging between £0.90 and £2.50, depending on distance travelled.
Blackpool’s great Lancashire location means that there is a wealth of opportunities for excursions. Seaside towns such as Morecambe and Southport are within an hour’s drive of Blackpool, while stunning landscapes and hiking trails can be found close by in the Lake District and the Forest of Bowland. If you prefer to spend a day in a city centre, Manchester, Liverpool and Blackburn can all be reached in no time at all.
The Lake District - Offers tourists beautiful lakes, mountains, fells and walking trails. This stunning national park can also be explored by car, with drivers stopping at quaint lakeside and mountain villages to take strolls and enjoy picnics.
The Forest of Bowland - This is an Area of Outstanding Beauty, home to several species of birds and boasting picturesque landscapes consisting of moorland, fells and valleys. Also make a stop in Preston to visit its museums and art galleries and taste its famous butter pie.
Pennine Lancashire - This is a great place to enjoy walks, with mill-towns, quarries and moorlands waiting to be discovered. This area, which sits just east of Blackpool, is home to the towns of Rawtenstall, Haslingden and Bacup.