Blackpool is famous for the Illuminations (www.blackpool-illuminations.net), an extravaganza of electric lights affixed to just about any stationary object along the Promenade. It features hundreds of illuminated figures, including Diamonds Are Forever, Santa's Workshop, Lamp Lighters, and Kitchen Lites. The tradition began in 1879 with just eight electric lights; however, it has grown with time and technology to include 9.5km (6 miles) of fiber optics, low-voltage neon tubes, and traditional lamps. The illuminations burn bright into the night from the end of August to the beginning of November. Take a tram ride down the Promenade for a great view of these tacky but festive lights.
Without a doubt, the most famous landmark in this town is the Tower along the Central Promenade (tel. 01253/622242; www.theblackpooltower.co.uk). In 1891, during the reign of Queen Victoria, a madcap idea started floating around to construct a 155m (518-ft.) tower that resembled a half-size version of Paris's Eiffel Tower. The idea was first formally presented to the town leaders of Brighton, who laughed at the idea, thinking it was a joke. But the forward-thinking leaders of Blackpool, when presented the plan, immediately saw the advantages of having such an attraction and quickly approved the tower's construction. You be the judge.
Lighted by more than 10,000 bulbs, this landmark has become a tower of fun. This indoor-entertainment complex features the Tower Ballroom (one of the great Victorian ballrooms of Britain), the Tower Circus, the Hornpipe Galley, the Dawn of Time dinosaur ride for kids, and the Tower Aquarium. An elevator takes visitors to the top of the Tower for a 97km (60-mile) view. The Tower is open from February to March Wednesday 10am to 5pm, and Saturday and Sunday 10am to 6pm; from April to October, hours are daily from 10am to 11pm. The circus has two to three shows daily (except Fri evening). Tower admission is £8.95 to £13 adults; £8.50 seniors and children.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.