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
The traditional one
Blackpool North Pier (England)
Member Name: SusanLesley
Blackpool North Pier (England)
Date: 01/09/01, updated on 01/09/01 (123 review reads)
Advantages: Theatre, Arcades, More traditional
I do like these new categories for the Blackpool piers! I started with the South Pier, which is my favourite, and now I thought I’d have a go at one on the North Pier too.
Blackpool has three piers cleverly named the North Pier, Central Pier and South Pier, all of which have free access at all times.
The North Pier is situated at the end of the main part of the town, just before you reach the Metropole Hotel, and can be easily reached by the bus, which runs along the seafront, or from the famous Blackpool Trams, which stop right outside the pier.
As a point of interest the tram stop outside the North Pier is also the stop where you board the illuminated trams for the illuminations tour.
The North Pier was the first pier to be opened in Blackpool in 1863 and is a Grade II listed building.
This is the first pier that we visit when we get to Blackpool as we always stay at The Imperial which is farther along on the North Promenade and it’s a nice walk down as far as the pier.
At the landward end of the pier there is a big amusement arcade containing a wide variety of machines from the two penny push off types to the complicated bandit types with flashing lights and nudges galore – most of which baffle me completely! There are also toilets in here.
There is a café next to the arcade selling tea, coffee, snacks and light meals either to eat in or to takeaway.
Next to the café is The Merrie England Showbar. This is a large pub with a dance floor and resident DJ. I have seen people queuing up waiting for this place to open at 11 o’clock in the morning! It is extremely popular and gets very busy at peak times so it’s quite difficult to get served. The café has a counter opening into the pub as well, so you can get something to eat – to soak up the alcohol! We’ve only been in here once a couple of years ago when we were in Blackpool for the illuminations. It was
a Monday and was quite quiet so it wasn’t too bad at all and the music was good. I wouldn’t fancy it when it was packed though!
The other side of the amusement arcade is the entrance through to the pier itself and beyond that a small gift shop selling the usual seaside gifts.
The North Pier is the most traditional of the three piers in my opinion, as it has not only retained the wrought ironwork and wooden floors, but it has no fairground rides apart from a set of gallopers (the old fashioned carousel) situated at the seaward end of the pier.
There is a tram, which runs the length of the pier for those who don’t feel like walking. There is seating all the way along the pier as well so that you can sit and watch the world go by as you soak up the sun – when we have some!
At the end of the pier there is the famous North Pier Theatre where many famous acts have played over the years. Roy (Chubby) Brown is usually on there one day a week, if you like that sort of thing. He’s not our cup of tea so I can’t comment any further. The rest of the week is taken up by a traditional seaside show usually with someone famous at the top of the bill. The last time I went to this theatre I saw Les Dennis and his late partner Dustin Gee and they were brilliant!
There is also a bandstand at the end of the pier with a covered sun terrace containing deckchairs, which usually appeals to the, how can I put this, more mature holidaymakers! There was an organist playing when we went a walk along the pier in June this year. He was good enough but again not really our cup of tea!
Another, smaller, amusement arcade is situated at the seaward end of the pier, again containing a variety of machines – sadly this is more our cup of tea! I say sadly because we always end up loosing – but then that’s the whole idea isn’t it? If we manage to come out of one arcade with more money than when
we went in you can bet we’ll loose it in the next! It’s a good job we only play the machines when we’re on holiday!
Oh, one more thing, there is an ice cream shop at the end of the pier too! I told you it was traditional didn’t I?