Blackpool has three piers, each with shops and amusement arcades, and the area between the north and south piers is known as the ‘Golden Mile’, In the 19th century, small-time fairground operators, fortune-tellers, and café-owners set up their businesses along the seafront, and today the area still contains a plethora of amusement arcades, bingo stalls, souvenir shops and the inevitable fish and chip cafes, not forgetting the fortune-tellers either.
At the southern end of the promenade is the Pleasure Beach, a large amusement park dominated by Britain’s largest roller-coaster, known simply as the ‘Big One’.
With the advent of cheap air travel in the 1960’s, Blackpool’s tourism figures declined, but it still remains Britain’s favourite seaside resort. The extra attraction of ‘Blackpool Illuminations’ brings in thousands of visitors at a time when most seaside resorts’ tourist seasons are coming to an end. The Illuminations (or ‘Lights’ as they are often called) consist of a series of lighted displays and tableau, stretching along the entire sea front (about 7 miles), from dusk until midnight, usually from the end of August to the beginning of November. This often results in spectacular traffic snarl-ups on the promenade and on all the roads leading to it too. I’ve been stuck in those snarl-ups several times!