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Fun At The South..
Blackpool South Pier (England)
Member Name: angelboouk
Blackpool South Pier (England)
Advantages: fun, free entry, location, well maintained, lots to do for all the family
Disadvantages: not everything is always open, can be expensive, moody workers
~Blackpool South Pier~
South Pier is next to the Sandcastle and a short walk from the Pleasure Beach. Trams and buses stop outside and it is very easy to find by walking along the promenade. The pier is open 7 days a week during peak season (from Easter until November) and opening times vary depending on weather. During our visit, the pier opened at 1000hrs through the week and closed after 6pm. On wet days, the rides on the pier are not in operation but the arcade is opened. The pier is open late at the weekend.
South Pier opened in 1893 and was previously known as 'Victorian Pier'. The pier extends 149m into the Irish Sea. There was originally a head theatre on the pier but this has been replaced with white nuckle rides. South Pier is home to the Laughing Donkey family bar which offers nightly entertainment during the Summer and Illuminations. There is an amusement arcade at the entrance of the pier but the outdoor space is taken up with stalls, shops and rides including The Adrenalin Zone.
The Adrenalin Zone has some impressive rides for those who aren't scared of heights or water. One particular ride is known as 'Skycoaster' - a free falling swing which can drop up to three people from a height of 38m at 80mph. Not for the faint hearted and £15.00 per person. There is also the 'Skyscreamer' which is a reverse bungee at £15.00 per person. See www.adrenalinzone.co.uk for details. For those who aren't quite as adventurous, there is plenty of smaller rides to try out including the waltzers, a bouncy castle and small swings.
I have visited the South Pier many times including during my childhood. It has changed quite a bit and is definitely the better pier for thrillseekers. The pier is easily accessed by those in wheelchairs and with prams. I recommend entering via the side entrance as there are steps inside the arcade. The pier is disabled friendly and well maintained. There is a lot to do on the pier and it is definitely one which you would go to in order to do something as opposed to relaxing at the side of the pier and taking in the views in my opinion. It is nice to walk around when the weather is lovely.
The entrance to the pier is very attractive in my opinion. The pier is free to enter so you are free to just walk on and have a look about if you don't wish to spend any money but I feel North Pier is better for a relaxing walk as both South Pier and Central Pier are very busy with attractions. Just outside the pier, there is a few places to grab something to eat including a donut shack, a place selling fish n chips for £1.99 and also ice cream and rock. We had some donuts and they were nicer compared to the donut place at the Pleasure Beach and a little cheaper at £2.20 for 5 donuts if I remember correctly.
Our first visit to the pier during our holiday was on the first night - a Wednesday. It was very quiet with most of the shops and rides being closed due to lack of demand. We did manage to find someone on the pier though as it was a fairly pleasant evening so asked if we could have a ticket for the bouncy slide. The rides are averagely priced for this type of venue - £2.00 being the cheapest ride right up to £15.00 for the white nuckle rides. Cash is not accepted on the rides and tickets must be bought from one of the cabins if you can find one open. As we were heading for dinner, we only bought one ticket but you can buy groups of tickets which gives a small saving but personally, at £60 for the most expensive package, you are better off getting an unlimited wristband each at the Pleasure Beach across the road!
£2.00 got Boo five slides on the bouncy slide which he enjoyed. As we headed off the pier, we noticed quite a few deck chairs which my son took pleasure in relaxing on and overlooking the beach and sea. The Laughing Donkey was closed on our first visit as was the small arcade in centre of the pier. Our second visit was around 6pm on a Saturday evening and it was a little more lively. We did witness some fearless people riding the Skycoaster but if you are of a nervous disposition, avoid this as it shoots you right over the side of pier.
A few of the little stalls were open this time but I personally consider them to be a con as they promise you can win this, that and the next thing but you rarely do and you end up skint! The bar was open and quiet - we found it clean so headed inside for a drink. Expect to pay around £1.50 for a juice. We had a wander around the shops and found a few open. There is a good selection - handbags, donuts, all day breakfast etc at reasonable prices. We bought some sticks of rock from the rock shops priced at 45p each but found them cheaper on the promenade.
Our son wanted to go on some more rides so we sourced an open ticket cabin and found a rather huffy seller who looked annoyed at having to serve someone. Thankfully the ride operators weren't quite as moody but not exactly welcoming as they weren't getting much business. The rides are well kept and appeared to be very safe and monitored. We bought three ride tickets for the swings, a small, child friendly ride which sends your child in different directions (the name escapes me) and a ride with little cars. He thoroughly enjoyed himself. I would say there is a good selection of rides for all ages at the South Pier but you could spend an absolute fortune if visiting with a few children.
The amusement arcade on South Pier is huge and there is something for all. My fiance loves the teddy machines and won a Scooby Doo teddy for our son for a 30p stake. Again, you could spend a fortune and need to use self control as all the flashing lights and typical amusement noises do pull you in. There was plenty of machines to play, small childrens rides and table air hockey etc. We used up some spare change we had on the last morning too on the machines but didn't win anything worth mentioning. The amusement arcade is also very accessible and there are clean but basic toilets including a disabled toilet but I did not use this.
A visit to South Pier is very much worth it but it is definitely more fun to visit when it is during peak season as the atmosphere isn't as good when it is so quiet. There is a lot to do and it is suitable for the whole family but if you aren't interested rides or arcades then it really isn't for you. If you want the pier atmsophere but without the 'tacky' extras, then head to North Pier as it has a more relaxed atmosphere. Overall, we would go back here as we had fun.
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: fun on the pier