Blackpool's Great Promenade, Blackpool

Blackpool's Great Promenade (Self Guided), Blackpool

Blackpool's Great Promenade, a vibrant stretch of coastal pathway, is an interesting area to explore. Here you will find a plethora of attractions and sights to behold complete with several amusement parks.

One of the iconic landmarks along this promenade is the Blackpool South Pier, emphasizing adrenaline-producing entertainment, a tradition maintained since 1893. Nearby, Pleasure Beach beckons with its thrilling rides, promising fun-filled adventures for visitors of all ages. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum adds a touch of curiosity and wonder, showcasing an array of bizarre and fascinating exhibits.

As you stroll along the promenade, you'll encounter the mesmerizing High Tide Organ, an innovative art installation that harmonizes with the natural rhythm of the sea. The Swivelling Wind Shelters provide a unique blend of form and function, offering shelter from the coastal breeze while serving as artistic focal points. Meanwhile, the "Desire" sculpture captivates with its provocative elegance.

Keep your eyes peeled for "They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?" – a dazzling Mirror Ball Artwork that infuses the promenade with a sense of whimsy and magic. Glam Rocks and Water Wings add to the eclectic charm, offering delightful surprises at every turn. The Frankenstein Project pays homage to the town's cultural heritage, blending tradition with innovation in a thought-provoking display.

Finally, don't miss out on experiencing "The Sound of the Wind Looks Like This," a captivating sensory journey that engages both sight and sound in a mesmerizing spectacle.

Whether you're a resident or a curious traveler, Blackpool's Great Promenade promises an unforgettable adventure filled with excitement and discovery. So why wait? Embark on your own exploration of this dynamic coastal haven and create memories to last a lifetime.
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Blackpool's Great Promenade Map

Guide Name: Blackpool's Great Promenade
Guide Location: England » Blackpool (See other walking tours in Blackpool)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: leticia
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Blackpool South Pier
  • Pleasure Beach
  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
  • High Tide Organ
  • The Swivelling Wind Shelters
  • Desire
  • “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (Mirror Ball Artwork)
  • Glam Rocks
  • Water Wings
  • The Frankenstein Project
  • The Sound of the Wind Looks Like This
Blackpool South Pier

1) Blackpool South Pier

Originally known as Victoria Pier, South Pier opened in 1893. Its emphasis was on adrenaline-producing rides and entertainment. It has kept to that tradition. It operates from March to November. The South Pier opened on Good Friday 1893 with a choir, two brass bands, and an orchestra. It was 163 yards long and had 36 shops, a bandstand, an ice cream vendor, and a photograph stall.

A carousel was installed in 1896. The Grand Pavilion was replaced by the Regal Theatre in 1963 and changed later into The Beachcomber Amusement Arcade. Since 1998 the pier's focus has been on its exciting rides and stunts. There was the Crazy Mouse roller coaster in 1998, the dodgems, and a spinning Walzer with its G-force rides.

The famous Adrenaline Zone features Skycoaster, a 125-foot high free-falling swing; Skyscreamer, a reverse bungee ride; Spider Mountain, a multi-storied climbable spider's web and; Maxibounce, an acrobatic trampoline. For relaxation, there are the Laughing Donkey Family Bar and the Kiddies Ride Arena.

After all the screaming, thrills, and whizzing about, pop into the Gin House. It has modern decor, drinks, outdoor tables, relaxing music, and great views. The South Pier is open every day throughout the season.
Pleasure Beach

2) Pleasure Beach (must see)

Pleasure Beach is a vast amusement park on the south shore of Blackpool. The park was founded by businessman William George Bean and his partner John Outhwaite in 1896 and has been family owned and operated since its inception. The original Pleasure Beach, situated on the dunes by the Promenade, had some roundabouts, a Bicycle Railway, and several Gypsy stalls. Bean and Outhwaite decided to grow the business after visiting Coney Island in the United States.

The park is situated on a site of 42 acres beside the South Promenade. North Park, Nickelodeon Land, and South Park make up the three main sections of Pleasure Beach. Rides of the park are built under, around, and through other areas and attractions.

Rides available are the Avalanche Bobsled; Big Dipper wooden roller coaster; The Big One, a 235-foot steel hyper roller coaster; Blue Flyer, a wooden coaster for kids; Grand National dual track racer; ICON steel coaster with two launches and a barrel roll; Infusion; Revolution; Nickelodeon Streak; and Steeplechase.

Thrill rides include Avatar Airbender, Ice Blast, and Red Arrows Sky Force. There are five water rides, 13 miscellaneous rides, and seven Family rides, including themes like Wallace & Grommet, Alice in Wonderland, and Ghost Train. There are seasonal shows and events, Golf (12 holes), Ripley's Believe It or Not, and the Arena ice rink.

The Pleasure Beach operates daily from April to November. Its slogan is: "We create the fun, you keep the memories."
Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

3) Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

Ripley's Believe It or Not! is a franchise, founded by Robert Ripley, which deals in bizarre events and items so strange and unusual that readers might question the claims. The Believe It or Not panel proved popular and was later adapted into a wide variety of formats, including radio, television, comic books, a chain of museums and a book series.

The Ripley collection includes 20,000 photographs, 30,000 artifacts and more than 100,000 cartoon panels. With 80-plus attractions, the Orlando-based Ripley Entertainment, Inc., a division of the Jim Pattison Group, is a global company with an annual attendance of more than 12 million guests. Ripley Entertainment's publishing and broadcast divisions oversee numerous projects, including the syndicated TV series, the newspaper cartoon panel, books, posters and games. When Ripley first displayed his collection to the public at the Chicago World's Fair in 1933, it was labeled Ripley’s Odditorium and attracted over two million visitors during the run of the fair. In 1950, a year after Ripley's death, the first permanent Odditorium opened in St. Augustine, Florida.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
High Tide Organ

4) High Tide Organ

The High Tide Organ is a tidal organ 15 metres tall constructed in 2002 as part of "The Great Promenade Show" series of sculptures situated along Blackpool's New Promenade. The artwork described as a "musical manifestation of the sea" is one of a few examples of a tidal organ.

The sculpture was designed by the artists Liam Curtin and John Gooding, and was constructed in concrete, steel, zinc and copper sheet. The harnessing of wave energy, and the sculpting of the concrete and metals is said to produce a unique interpretation of Blackpool's natural and man-made environments. The instrument is played by the sea at high tide through eight pipes which are attached to the sea wall. These are connected under the promenade to 18 organ pipes within the sculpture. The swell of seawater at high tide pushes air up the sea-wall pipes and causes the organ pipes to sound. The best time to hear the High Tide Organ is two to three hours before or after high tide. On very calm days the organ is silent for part of its cycle. The pitches of the pipes are based on the harmonic series in B flat.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
The Swivelling Wind Shelters

5) The Swivelling Wind Shelters

"The Swivelling Wind Shelters", also known as the Whale Tail Sculpture, is part of "The Great Promenade Show" and was constructed in 2004 by Ian McChesney with Atelier One. The sculpture was made using stainless steel and wood and is 8 meters high. It moves with the wind in order to provide a constant source of shelter.

6) Desire

"Desire" is part of "The Great Promenade Show". This impressive monolithic sculpture was constructed in 2001 by Chris Knight using steel. With its large stainless steel spikes, this piece represents the seductive power of danger.
“They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (Mirror Ball Artwork)

7) “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?” (Mirror Ball Artwork)

The Mirror Ball Artwork, officially titled “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”, part of "The Great Promenade Show", is the largest dance hall mirror ball in the United Kingdom. It includes more than 47,000 mirror tiles. Created by Michael Trainor in 2002, it was named after an American film about record-breaking dance marathons.
Glam Rocks

8) Glam Rocks

"Glam Rocks" was constructed in 2001 by light artist Peter Freeman. This piece is comprised of three huge pebbles that reflect light beamed from Blackpool’s beach. "Glam Rocks" incorporates hundreds of optic lights, which slowly change color and create a wonderful sight.
Water Wings

9) Water Wings

"Water Wings" is another piece of art on South Promenade. It was created in 2001 by Bruce Williams. The sculpture is of a panoramic, curved metal screen made from laser cut stainless steel.
The Frankenstein Project

10) The Frankenstein Project

"The Frankenstein Project" was created by Tony Stallard in 2001. Inspired by Blackpool's Victorian freak shows, Stallard decided to create a giant sea creature. This piece warns of the bad things that can happen when interfering with nature.
The Sound of the Wind Looks Like This

11) The Sound of the Wind Looks Like This

"The Sound of the Wind Looks Like This" is the last piece of art on South Promenade. It was created by Steven Hurrel in 2003 and is a unique visual illustration of the current direction and speed of the wind. These two variables determine the color, height, and speed of six pulsating lights.

Walking Tours in Blackpool, England

Create Your Own Walk in Blackpool

Create Your Own Walk in Blackpool

Creating your own self-guided walk in Blackpool is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Blackpool Introduction Walking Tour

Blackpool Introduction Walking Tour

Between the Ribble and Wyre rivers on the west coast of England was a strip of sandy beach seven miles long. It was a pleasant place, where streams would run through peat bogs before emptying into the sea, turning the water dark. People called the place "Black Pool." Since early days, folks sought the benefits of fresh sea air and water.

Blackpool became a tourist magnet in the 1840s....  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.5 Km or 0.9 Miles