Just when most British seaside resorts are quietening down at the end of a busy summer season, Blackpool, on the Lancashire coast, sparks a frenzy of excitement with its annual Illuminations.
Stretching for 6 miles and taking in the Promenade, the piers and the iconic Blackpool Tower, over 1 million bulbs light up the town for 66 nights, from the end of August to the beginning of November. During that time, over 3.5 million visitors will enjoy the stunning display by car, coach, bicycle or on board one of Blackpool’s fleet of trams.
From Starr Gate to Bispham, the Illuminations are much, much more than strings of pretty lights. There are twirling tableaux featuring fairy tale characters and themed displays in every direction, with something new to see every year.
The history of the Illuminations dates back to all the way to 1879 when 8 arc lamps bathed a stretch of the Promenade in what was described at the time as ‘artificial sunshine’. Some years later, in 1913, a display of 10,000 bulbs was the precursor to the modern annual display which, with a few breaks, has continued ever since. Every year sees bigger, better and brighter displays, harnessing the latest technology, such as a digital mapping projection which brings the front of the Tower building to life.
The unmissable display can be seen every evening until 3rd November.