Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Sun September 25 2016

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  • Worldwide Scott | September 25, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach: A Thrilling Throwback

    Blackpool Pleasure Beach: A Thrilling Throwback

    All photos by Worldwide Scott

    Read any modern collection of travel musings on England or talk to any native about places by the sea you should see in the summer, and Blackpool is bound to pop up. 

    Some love it, some love it less, but what is indisputable is this resort town on the coast around an hour from both Liverpool and Manchester is ingrained in the country’s consciousness. As the end of my first summer living in England approached, I figured it was time to head on over and see what all the fuss was about.

    Blackpool is famous for several things: its iconic Eiffel-inspired tower  (home to an opulent ballroom complete with haunting Wurlitzer organ), pastime-packed piers, raucous revelry, fish & chips and the legendary Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park. 

    Opened way back in 1896, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has been amusing and thrilling patrons ever since.

    Budget Friendly Pleasure Beach

    While amusement park admissions have been on a runaway mine train as of late, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is still affordable, and that put a smile on my face before I even walked in the gate. In fact, if you buy online 10 days in advance, you can grab an adult ticket for as low as 19 pounds, which at time of writing is around $24.50.

    READ MORE: Amusement Today Reveals 2016 Golden Ticket Award Winners

    Modern & Retro Rides

    Due to its age and location at a boardwalk-style resort town, I arrived expecting Blackpool Pleasure Beach to be a British Coney Island, but I ended up finding something more like Six Flags.

    Time and time again, I was impressed by Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s way of nuzzling the nostalgia of the past, while simultaneously providing modern-day thrills. Sure, there’s a Flying Machines ride from 1905 (the oldest in the park), two wooden coasters from the 1930s, a Grand National horse race-themed ride from 1935, and a “tunnel of love” River Caves adventure where you float by eras of human history while being tempted to sneak a kiss — but there’s also rides like the Big One.

    The Big One is a 200 foot-plus high roller coaster whose first drop is at an angle of 65 degrees with speeds of up to 87 mph, and the only thing “throwback” about it is the motion of your body when it really gets cranking.

    In fact, when the Big One opened in 1994, it was the tallest and fastest in the entire world, and while it has since been surpassed, it still retains its title as the tallest in the U.K. The views out to sea from the top of the coaster are spectacular and nearly worth the price of that budget-friendly admission alone.

    Oh, and there’s plenty for the smaller kids (and less thrill-seeking adults) to do too with a Nickelodeon Land section of the park.

    Haunted History

    Did you know Blackpool Pleasure Beach is home to the world’s first ghost train? Neither did I, but it’s definitely true, because they’ve got a sign and everything. Yes, their topsy-turvy train that takes you on a tour of a haunted house was the first ride in the world to use the phrase “ghost train”, and for nothing else but history, this ride is a good time.

    Vegas-style Spectacles

    In addition to the myriad of rides, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has been home to exciting entertainment for decades as well. For a few extra bucks, you can take in modern magic shows or visit the ice arena, which has been putting on dazzling skating shows for 80 years. And if all that isn’t enough for you, they’ve even got mini-golf and a Ripley’s Believe It or Not on-site.

    Know If You Go

    Where to Buy Tickets: Online at

    Getting There: Hourly (or more often) connections from Manchester, Liverpool, and beyond at National Rail

More England


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Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
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