Newest Review: ... donuts, ice cream or a drink just outside the entrance. Entry is via the amusement arcade or by cutting around the side of pier. If you v... more
Somewhere North of the Tower..
Blackpool North Pier (England)
Member Name: angelboouk
Blackpool North Pier (England)
Advantages: traditional pier, clean and well maintained, places to eat, gorgeous carousel, not tacky
Disadvantages: not good when the weather is wild! not as fun as the other piers
~North Pier, Blackpool~
North Pier is approximately 450 yards from Blackpool Tower and is serviced by both buses and trams. Opened in 1863, North Pier is the oldest pier in Blackpool. It is also the longest pier at 500m in length. North Pier extends out over the Irish Sea and is a Grade 2 listed pier. The pier is open 7 days a week from 1100hr-1600hr with there being different times for shows and events. Admission to the pier is free for all.
North Pier is home to regular events and shows including Jersey Boys and The Wizard of Oz - see www.northpierblackpool.co.uk for more information. Shows are also held within the Merrie England bar on the pier. Other attractions on the pier include a carousel, a Victorian sun lounge, Petulengros palm reader, amusement arcades and little shops selling fudge and ice cream. There is also the Carousel bar and North Perk for a drink or bite to eat.
Whilst I prefer the vibrancy of both Central and South pier, I enjoyed my visit to North Pier. The entrance is bright and welcoming. You can purchase donuts, ice cream or a drink just outside the entrance. Entry is via the amusement arcade or by cutting around the side of pier. If you visiting with someone in a wheelchair or with a pushchair, I would recommend using the side entrance as there is quite a number of stairs to navigate from the arcade onto the actual pier. Aside from this obstacle, the pier is otherwise flat and suitable for wheelchair users. Those who cannot walk well may find the journey to the end of the pier quite daunting as it is long walk.
Design wise, it is clear that North Pier is the oldest and less modern of all three piers. It has been well maintained, clean and tidy. I would say that the pier feels very traditional once you escape the amusement arcade which is all flashing lights and money, money, money. Our visit happened to be on a very rough, wet and windy day and to be fair, I was nervous about your walk along the pier. A track runs down the middle which leads me to believe there usually is or was some sort of tram or train that would take you to end of the pier but nothing was in operation during our visit.
Our walk along the pier wasn't as relaxing as it would be on a sunny and warm day as I was very much aware of how high the waves were underneath us! There is traditional seating around the sides of the pier which is quite low down so not perfect if visiting with young children. I had no intention of allowing my son near the seats anyway but on a nice day, I imagine it would be rather nice to side here with an ice cream cone. The views on a sunny day are impressive as you can see for miles along the sandy beaches.
We didn't spend too long on the pier due to the bad weather. We had a wander down to the Carousel bar near the end of the pier. It was quiet aside from a few people having a bite to eat. The food looked delicious and reasonable value for money according to the menu. We weren't long after breakfast so settled for a drink - £1.40 for a draught Pepsi and £1.00 for a Fruit Shoot. The Carousel bar was clean, spacious and tidy. The staff were friendly too with one offering my son a punch balloon despite us not actually spending much money. We relaxed at a table near the window and watched the waves crashing on the beach below - theraputic or frightening - you decide! We visited the toilets here and they were clean and tidy. There was a disabled toilet too but I didn't use it so cannot comment further.
The vintage carousel next to the bar was partially undercover and in operation during our visit but being soaking wet, we didn't go on - I believe it was £2.00 per person. It looked gorgeous and very unique being a two-tiered carousel whereby you could sit on a bench on the top tier or a horse/carriage on the bottom tier. Due to the rough weather, the area which would usually be covered in deck chairs was empty which does make the pier look less inviting and too quiet but that is to be expected. Also, the fudge and ice cream shop midway down the pier was closed which I was disappointed about.
We had a brief look in the little shops on the pier which included a music shop but nothing took our fancy. There was a little cafe serving coffee and cakes just before you head out on to the actual pier too. Heading back upstairs into a dry area, we arrived at the amusements. As you would expect, Blackpool is full of these type of arcades which encourage you to part with your hard earned cash. This arcade was no different to the other piers - lots of amusement machines from 10p a go and 2p machines too as well as teddy grab machines. There are toilets in this area but we didn't use them as we had used the toilets in the bar. It would be easy to spend a fortune here so you do need to be careful - we only spent a few pounds before heading back out in the rain.
Aside from the bright amusement arcade, North Pier does upkeep a traditional, old fashioned sort of feel. It is a nice pier which, on a good day, is better to experience. The pier itself doesn't have the same appeal to us as a young family as we like the rides on the other piers but if you are looking to have a relaxing stroll, a cake and coffee and a ride on a gorgeous carousel, then definitely visit North Pier. We would go back but on a sunny day. We haven't personally gone here for any shows but family have and have always enjoyed their experience.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: lovely on a nice day
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