How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

So I know you’re thinking.

Oy!

Who do you think you are?

Ah!

Wrong question my man!

I’m the girl who caused controversy with viral posts like this one, this one, this one, this one, this one, and this one!

I’m not afraid to write an article. With an interesting twist!

I like the attention.

Who knew?!

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Winnats Pass, Hope Valley – Derbyshire

But seriously, when I wrote to you a few weeks ago, I told you that I was going to visit Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire! At no point did I say Liverpool!

But that’s the beauty of travel and the nature of the beast, you sometimes change direction!

The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” in beautiful Osnabrück, Germany.

Now when travelling with family, I keep those impulses down to a minimum, in order to give them a good time, rather than my travel madness spurts, but I have been known to “just” take a ferry to Finland ‘cos it’s two (2) hours away.

I’ve also taken a bus from Berlin – London – Berlin ‘cos I was home-sick, taken a 26 hour bus from Estonia to Berlin as a challenge, decided it was hell, and then did a far worst thing by taking a bus from Berlin to Sweden. And back again!

Ho! For the the luck of the lovely Irish!

I’ve thought about taking a ferry to Ireland ‘cos we were in Wales, and the ferry port was on the island of Anglesey where we happened to be spending a very nice three (3) days on the sea coast! Our B&B (bed and breakfast happened to be in Holyhead, and not far away was a ferry linking Wales to Ireland and sailing for Dublin and Dún Laoghaire!

I’ve also gate-crashed an Embassy party in Hong Kong ‘cos I saw the event in a society magazine and thought it might be fun!

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I gate-crashed an Embassy party in Hong Kong ‘cos I thought it might be fun!

It was!

Perhaps, I’ll write about it one of these days!

And why did I do this?

Just because!

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How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

But I digress, back to Liverpool.

Ah, Liverpool!

Liverpool doesn’t really need an introduction, so before I tell you what happened, let’s get the low-down on Liverpool for those not in the know!

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A SHORT HISTORY OF LIVERPOOL

Statues of The Beatles in Liverpool – Paul, George, Ringo & John

Liverpool is a city in North West England.

It has a population of about 478,580 people and is located on the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary, within the ancient hundred of West Derby, in the south-west of the county of Lancashire!

It became known as Liverpool as far back as 1207, but really came into prominence during the Industrial Revolution. During this time, the port of Liverpool was heavily involved in cargo, freight, raw materials such as coal and cotton, and the dreadful Atlantic slave trade.

Ned Parfett – the Titanic paperboy – with a large newspaper banner advert about the ill-fated RMS Titanic in London – 1912

In the 19th century, Liverpool was also a major port of departure for Irish and English emigrants to the United States and was home to both the Cunard and White Star Line, and was the port of registry of the ill-fated ocean liner RMS Titanic.

In modern times, Liverpool is known as the birth-place of The Beatles and is also the home of the annual Grand National horse race at Aintree, and two English Premier League football clubs – Liverpool and Everton. Indeed, Liverpool FC is the only British football club to win five European Cups!

Liverpool attracts a diverse population, and has done for hundreds of years!

Several parts of the city centre are now World Heritage Sites and Liverpool’s status as a port city has attracted a diverse population and is home to the oldest African community in the UK and the oldest Chinese community in Europe!

As I told you a few weeks ago, Britain has a lot of endearing names for locals who originate from a certain part of the country. So for example, I’m from Manchester, so I’m a Manc or a Mancunian. People from Newcastle upon Tyne, are called Geordies, people from the East End of London are called Cockneys, people from Blackpool are either called Blackpudlians or Seasiders, and the locals from Liverpool are called Scousers!

Just above is a British sketch called The Scousers. For the Brits among you, I’m guessing some of you might remember one of the BBC’s comedy shows of the 90’s – Harry Enfield and Chums, otherwise known as Harry Enfield’s Television Programme, based on the Channel 4 soap opera – Brookside – featuring a set of stereotyped Liverpudlian characters!

To call a local from Liverpool a Scouser is not rude. It’s a name of affection and means Scouse – a type of lamb or beef stew. It originally came from the word Lobscouse – a stew popular in seaports and commonly eaten by sailors throughout Northern Europe!

Scouse is also considered to represent a distinctive Northern English, local working class, Liverpool accent, thus Scouser!

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SO WHAT’S WITH THE CLICKBAIT TITLE?

There’s a beauty in click bait!
How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

Ah!

Well, I’ve been to Liverpool only three times in my life.

Once as a child, on a river “cruise” to Sheffield with my mother, once just a few weeks ago, and once when I got robbed after I graduated from university!

Wait.

What?

You got robbed?

Yep!

No!?!

Yes!

So spill!

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I WAS ROBBED IN LIVERPOOL!

A silhouetted sculpture by Anthony Gormley’s – Another Place – one of 100 cast iron figures on Crosby Beach – Liverpool

I was a fresh graduate and a girl-friend of mine decided to visit a friend in Liverpool.

She didn’t want to go alone, so she asked me to go with her.

Liverpool isn’t known as being a “nice” county. In fact, some parts of the city can be considered quite “rough!”

This isn’t a rough part of town, it’s Penny Lane – the bus terminus in the Beatles song – Penny Lane!

We drove in from Cheshire.

And then we got lost.

We drove around and around, and in those days nobody had a mobile phone so we couldn’t just call this girlfriend.

We decided to stop on the High Street and ask for directions.

We went into a nice shop!

We saw a nice shop.

We parked the car on the kerb.

Jumped onto the pavement.

Walked towards the shop.

And then heard a smash!

Two local boys reached into the car and stole our stuff!

Two local boys reached into the car, took my girlfriends briefcase and our shopping bags.

And an apple.

And rode off on their bicycles!

We were so shocked.

We hadn’t even reached the nice shop.

Everybody came out.

They called the Merseyside Police!

They called the police.

They couldn’t really help.

Visibly shaken.

We called the girlfriend and told her that we weren’t going to visit her after all.

We left Liverpool.

And I never went back.

The Music Producer in Liverpool

Until now!

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SO WHAT NOW?

The Albert Dock in Liverpool.

As part of our Northern England trip, we stayed in Cheshire with the family and I was saying that I wanted to visit the canals in Manchester. My sister-in-law mentioned the docks.

In Liverpool.

She said that they were rather nice.

In fact, they were cleaned up and were now heritage sites.

The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site!

We ought to go.

And so we did.

Gulp!

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LIVERPOOL MARITIME MERCANTILE CITY

The Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, otherwise known as the docks!

We went to the Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, otherwise known as the docks!

It’s a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site and comprises six locations in the city centre and many famous landmarks!

Located at the tidal mouth of the river Mersey where it meets the Irish Sea, the maritime mercantile City of Liverpool played an important role in the growth of the British Empire reflecting Liverpool as the supreme example of a commercial port at the time of Britain’s greatest global influence!

Liverpool grew into a major commercial port in the 18th century, crucial for the organisation of the disgraceful trans-Atlantic slave trade.

Liverpool in the 19th century, was the world mercantile centre for cargo and mass European emigration to the New World & the British Empire!

In the 19th century, Liverpool became a world mercantile centre for general cargo and mass European emigration to the New World and had major significance on world trade as one of the principal ports of the British Commonwealth, and was instrumental in the development of industrial canals in the British Isles in the 18th century, and railway transport in the 19th century.

The six core areas that make up the historic world heritage site are:

Pier Head, otherwise known as the Three Graces – Liverpool!
  1.   Pier Head:  It’s the focal point of Liverpool’s waterfront and is dominated by three of its most recognisable landmarks: The Liver Building, The Port of Liverpool Building and the Cunard Building. Referred to as the Three Graces, they stand as a testament to the great wealth in the city during the late 19th and early 20th century, when Liverpool was one of the most important ports in the world!

It now houses the Museum of Liverpool and a memorial built to honour the engineers who remained at their post as the RMS Titanic sank.

The Beatles Story at the Albert Dock – Liverpool

2.   The Albert Dock: This dock is a complex of buildings and warehouses opened in 1846, and were the first warehouses in the world to be entirely fireproof!

It’s now home to the Tate Liverpool, the Merseyside Maritime Museum and The Beatles Story and is the largest single collection of Grade I listed buildings anywhere in the UK!

As you can imagine, we spent an awful long time in this part of the Maritime Mercantile City!

The North Warehouse, overlooking Stanley Dock and the Tobacco Warehouse – Liverpool
  1.    The Stanley Dock: This dock includes huge swathes of Liverpool’s docking environ! Within the site are several other docks, parts of the Leeds Liverpool Canal and associated canal locks; and many smaller features such as bridges, bollards and capstans.

In fact, two of the Clarence Graving Docks are the oldest docks still in use today, and date back to 1830! Not only that, but the of the buildings – the Stanley Dock Tobacco Warehouse –  is the largest brick warehouse in the world!

The Liverpool Town Hall

4.   The Commercial Quarter: This part of Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City, includes Castle Street, Old Hall Street, Victoria Street, Water Street and Dale Street. It is also considered to be enormously historical as parts of this are medieval and many buildings have grandeur architecture and fantastic monuments, spanning over 300 years!

A lovely wedding at Bluecoat Chambers
© 2017 Samuel Docker

5.   Duke Street / Ropewalks: This area consists of the Duke Street conservation area, as well as two warehouses.

One of the buildings – Bluecoat Chambers – used to be a charity boarding school, was built in 1716, and is the oldest surviving building in Liverpool! It’s now known as the Bluecoat and is a centre for contemporary arts and considered to be the oldest art centre in Britain!

The Old Dock was the first enclosed wet dock in the world, which encouraged a lively community of sea captains, merchants, traders and artisans to live there. Today the area is known as Ropewalks, a reference to the large number of roperies present in the area when Liverpool was one of the busiest ports in the world during the 18th and 19th centuries!

Walker Art Gallery – Liverpool

6.   The Cultural Quarter /William Brown Street:  This quarter is the central point for many of Liverpool’s civic buildings, otherwise known as the Cultural Quarter.

The Cultural Quarter includes monumental cultural and civic buildings such as St George’s Hall, Lime Street Station, the Walker Art Gallery, the World Museum Liverpool, the former Great North Western Hotel and the entrance the Queensway Tunnel.

Victoria looking very pleased with herself, in Liverpool!
©Frank Böster – The Music Producer

You know how much I like history, art, architecture, and riverside cities.

We had a great time.

And I was pretty impressed.

I might even visit again!

Touche!

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HOW I WENT TO LIVERPOOL, AND I WASN’T ROBBED!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!
© Liverpool 360

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions, and the robbery and docklands experience are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Derbyshire, Blackpool, Lancashire, and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

November is going to be splendid!

Book your hotel here!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn't robbed!
How I went to Liverpool, and I wasn’t robbed!

Did you guess the secret location? Have you been to Liverpool? Have you ever been robbed? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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21 things to do on a Blackpool beach ‘cos winter is coming!

21 things to do on a Blackpool beach – Winter is coming!

Hi everyone!

Gosh, the weather has been something else.

All over the world there have been storms, winds, and lashings of rain. Luckily, in Northern Europe, it hasn’t been too bad.

As you know, I’m travelling to the English countryside, and part of that has already begun!

Just to recap, I’ll be visiting Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire, with a few secret bits added along!

However, not all of our travels would be the countryside itself, some of it would be of English quirkiness, and one of those places is Blackpool!

When people think of England, they don’t really think of the seaside.

51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!

Come to think of it, they don’t think of the seaside in Germany either!

However, for many British people including myself, happy memories abide of going to the seaside as a child. Being that I’m from Manchester, the nearest beach would have been Blackpool!

Blackpool is a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast of North West England.

Victoria looking as cool as a cucumber, in the Philippines!
©Ruchika Shankar

England isn’t known for sunshine!

So what do you do on a cold, windy, rainy day?

On a beach.

In Northern England.

In Lancashire.

Otherwise known as Blackpool!?

Well, I’m going to tell you.

Here we go!

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WHAT TO DO IN BLACKPOOL?

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

There are loads of things to do on the Blackpool beach starting with:

  1. Go to the sea: There’s nothing better than a day out to the seaside anywhere in the United Kingdom!
  2. Take a stroll on the beach: Believe it or not, Blackpool is one of the best beach resorts in the UK and is considered at par with beaches in the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific coastline! It’s not going to be spicy hot as it isn’t Thailand or the Philippines, but the English seaside is crisp and fresh, you can run along the beach, and it’s absolutely free of charge!
  3. Have ice-cream: You can’t go to the seaside without availing yourself of a lovely 99 flake ice-cream whippy!
  4. Experience Blackpool Illuminations: The Blackpool Illuminations are world-famous and has been one of the UK’s greatest visitor attractions since 1879! It’s such a unique event that it brings in more than 3 million visitors every year! It’s a family seafront show of miles of traditional garlands of lights, models, figures, images and extraordinary 3D projection on the front of the Blackpool Tower building, and other buildings around the town. It takes place every night from the end of August until early November, and is free of charge! Is it any wonder that the Blackpool Illumination is known as the greatest free light show on Earth!
  5. Dance in the street: We ended up dancing in the street with strobing lights, a live DJ, embarrassed parents, and kids jumping up and down to disco classics!
  6. Have an exciting day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach: Let your hair down, take off your glasses Ho! Ho! and experience the largest number of roller coasters in the United Kingdom, at Blackpool Pleasure Beach – the most visited amusement park in the UK!
  7. Ramble through the streets and take the air: Although Blackpool became fashionable in the mid-18th century, Blackpool has been around since the Middle Ages when it was just a coastal hamlet, and has quite a number of interesting buildings and monuments!
  8. Go for a walk along Blackpool’s Golden Mile: The “Golden Mile” is the name given to the stretch of promenade between the North and South piers in Blackpool and is 1.6 miles (2.6 kilometres) long in length. It emerged in the late 19th century, when small amusement ride operators, fortune-tellers, and oyster bars set up in the front gardens of boarding houses and dodgy hotels, to take advantage of punters and passing trade, as well as the very high concentration of slot machines!
  9. Amass yourself in local amusement: Blackpool today is a very long stretch of family attractions, theme pubs, fish-and-chip shops, amusement arcades, souvenir stalls, rock (candy) shops, and general seaside knockabout cheer!
  10. Use public transport: Blackpool isn’t just a town for modern jollies, but also has a lot of historical background by use of traditional old-time public transport! It may surprise you, but only three cities in the UK actually have an underground train system – London, Tyne and Wear, and Glasgow!  Most cities tend to use either the overland train, or the buses. A few use the trams! These seven (7) cities are London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Newcastle, Nottingham, Manchester, and Blackpool!
  11. Take the Heritage Tram: The Blackpool Tramway dates back to 1885, runs for 11 miles (18 km), is the only surviving first-generation tramways in the UK, one of the few systems to still use double-deck trams, and one of the oldest electric tramways in the world! Not only that, but tram conductors are still very much in play. Wow!
  12. Go up Blackpool Tower: Inspired by Eiffel Tower in Paris, Blackpool Tower is a popular tourist attraction and opened in 1894! It’s 518 feet (158 metre) tall and is the 120th tallest freestanding tower in the world!
  13. Frighten yourself at the Blackpool Tower Dungeon: The Blackpool Tower Dungeon is one of the must-see signature attractions of the Blackpool resort and a 60 minute journey through 1,000 years of Lancashire’s murky past. We’re huge fans of the Dungeon franchise and have been to many of them in London, Berlin, and Edinburgh, and they’re based in Hamburg and York too!
  14. Stroll along the promenade: Make sure to visit at least one of the piers as Blackpool has three (3) – The Central Pier, the South Pier and the North Pier. All of them are completely free of charge!
  15. Get excited on the Blackpool Big Wheel: You can find it on the Central Pier which opened in 1868! It’s also known as the People’s Pier, since it’s emphasis was on fun and dancing rather than genteel relaxation! There are fairground rides, amusement arcades, roller skating venues, bars, and theatres galore.
  16. Go on the Dodgems: You can find them on the South Pier which opened in 1893! It was known as Victoria Pier, contains a number of amusement and adrenalin rides and is only opened from March to November! It was originally considered more “upmarket” than the North and Central piers, as it had very little “entertainment.” Today however, it has an amusement arcade, live entertainment, and white-knuckle rides.
  17. Take a ride on the Venetian Carousel: The Carousel is almost a quarter of a mile out into the Irish Sea, and is unusual because it’s a two-tier-double-decker! You can find it on the North Pier which was built in the 1860’s and is also the oldest and longest of the three piers! Originally intended only as a genteel promenade, competition forced the pier to widen its attractions to include theatres and bars. Unlike Blackpool’s other piers, which attracted the working classes with open air dancing and amusements, North Pier catered for the upper middle class market, and had orchestra concerts and respectable comedians. Its attractions today include a Fortune Telling palm reader, an ice cream parlour, a theatre, a Victorian tea room, the Carousel, Merrie England bars, live entertainment, an amusement arcade, and a wide promenade deck that is still in its original Victorian 19th century glory!
  18. Visit the Winter Gardens Blackpool: The Winter Gardens Blackpool is a large entertainment complex opened in 1878! It has twelve (12) different venues, including a collection of theatres and ballrooms. The great thing about the building is the Art Deco architecture found everywhere, and the Opera House which is one of the largest theatres in the UK!
  19. Go on a donkey ride: Ha! Ha! You’d think that they no longer exist, but they still do! We saw a few donkeys on the beach taking kids for a ride. Even in October!
  20. Blackpool rock: You haven’t been to Blackpool if you haven’t got yourself some Blackpool rock!
  21. Indulge in fish n’ chips: Where would we be, if you couldn’t indulge in a portion of good ‘ole fish n’ chips? Eaten on the beach! Be careful though as it was so windy, that a quarter of my chips simply blew away!

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TAKE ME THERE?

The Tall Young Gentleman taking a very early flight on EasyJet!

Our holiday was half a family visit, and half a mid Autumn / Winter break!

As you all pretty much know by now, I’m a great believer in train travel. However, England is quite far from Germany, so of course, we flew from Berlin to Manchester!

We had planned just fourteen (14) days in the UK because of school commitments, but as I always advocate, be smart, use all the weekends, and make it work!

I’m no longer a fan of budget airlines, but I very much enjoy flying with EasyJet, so I booked our tickets with them. We flew Berlin Schönefeld – Manchester – Berlin Schönefeld, with flights being a speedy 1 hour and 15 minutes!

Being that we booked ahead, return flights for 2 adults and a 15-year-old “child” cost a rather wonderful €89.03!

Effectively, €30.00 each!

In fact, if I remember clearly, one of the flights for The Tall Young Gentleman was just €5.00, and ours was €12.00!

We booked it immediately!

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Blackpool Rock & cheese!

Mind you, the cost of luggage was €20.00 per person on each leg of the journey. It was still worth it though, but we tried to save money by booking only two suitcases instead of three, and on the way back found it very difficult to stuff all the chocolates, biscuits, and other gifts, into our already over-packed luggage. We were close to being charged a penalty of £50.00, but we made it work!

We certainly won’t be stingy with luggage anymore.

Phew!

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The lovely Just So Festival is an annual weekend camping festival that’s actually in Cheshire, but billed as Manchester!

As such, we started from Cheshire where my family live.

We were staying with my brother – The Writer – and took a train into Manchester. We then took another train from Manchester Piccadilly to Blackpool North.

I booked the tickets online and in advance. If you use the website National Rail Enquiries, it would give you the variety of available train options. Britain isn’t known for having cheap transportation, so the trick is to book well in advance!

Our journey took just a little under 2 hours with two (2) sets of trains!

Using the TransPenine Express train!

Cost: Warrington Central or Bank Quay to Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Manchester Oxford Road or Manchester Deansgate – on an Anytime Day Single ticket – Adults – £6.20 each. Children (5-15) – £3.10 – Altogether  a lovely £15.50 on the TransPennine Express train.

Cost: Manchester Piccadilly to Blackpool North – Adults – £5.00 each. Children (5-15) – £2.50 – Altogether a fantastic £12.50 on the Northern Railway train!

You could of course take the bus-coach using the National Express or Megabus, but in this case, the trains were surprisingly, by far the cheapest way to travel through the North!

The trains are not as plush or as spacious as those in Germany, but if you book reserved seats, it should give you an element of comfort!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Look! We’re all alone in Blackpool ‘cos there’s nobody here!

I didn’t think so!

Blackpool is a very popular British institution, but it’s not your usual destination for international tourists, so it’s still a little bit of a secret, but I’m writing it here.

Right in this here blog, so it’s not going to be a secret for very long.

Hurry up!

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WHAT IS BLACKPOOL LIKE?

British icons Morecombe and Wise, in Blackpool!

I was a little nervous as Blackpool has a reputation of being slightly shabby, tacky, and a little rough on the edges, but luckily, we had nothing to worry about.

Most tourists don’t really understand why Blackpool is so popular, but it’s part of our history and distinct English quirkiness.

We were only there for a night, but we could have quite happily spent another day.

We’ll do that next time!

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I DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH VERY WELL.

Everywhere you go are people with huge smiles ready to help you in Blackpool!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

The locals speak with a Lancashire accent.

The type of working class English that you would find in Manchester, the Merseyside, Cumbria, Cheshire and certain parts of Northern England!

But don’t worry.

Everywhere you go are people with huge smiles, ready to help you.

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AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You’re not ging to live in this abandoned hut, so don’t worry!

Ha! Ha! It’s England. We’re cultured and civilised!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

You might be cheap, but I’m not!

Not. A. Problem!

If you’re ever going to find cheap accommodation in the UK, it’s in Blackpool!

In fact, I saw places going for as low as £16.00 per night!

However, we were definitely not going to be choosing that!

We also didn’t want to go to a bland franchise hotel which would be rather boring, so we chose the middle ground.

A Bed & Breakfast type hotel!

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WHERE WE STAYED:

21 things to do on a Blackpool beach ‘cos winter is coming!

After much research, I chose the family-friendly Rockcliffe Hotel.

I made our reservation via booking.com.

Use my link and book your hotel!
Use my link and book your hotel!

In many cases, I prefer to use booking.com because you can make hotel / hostel reservations, and cancel for free, if you’re not sure. Not only do I recommend them, but I use them myself! Note: I’m an affiliate member of booking.com. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

Sweets & Fudge at the North Pier – Blackpool
© 2017 The Blackpool Pier Company Ltd

After our holiday in Madrid last year, we decided to always get an extra room, or an apartment, so that our teenager doesn’t have to share personal space with his parents!

The Rockcliffe Hotel isn’t your fancy boutique hotel, but neither is it a spartan bunk-bed affair. It is what it says on the tin “a three-star hotel property 2 minutes walk from the beach!”

A Full English Breakfast at the Rockcliffe Hotel, in Blackpool

We booked two private en-suites rooms, with English breakfast included.

There was free WiFi but it didn’t always work on the top floor and was a little spotty, so you had to move around a bit to get into position.

However, The Tall Young Gentleman loved his room and our bedroom, was right opposite the sea, which I liked very much.

Cost: For the Third Floor Double Room with Sea View. With breakfast – £60 per room or £30 a pop!

Cost: For the Single Room (with a double bed). With breakfast – £45 per room!

You really can’t get better than that!

Book the Rockcliffe Hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

How to use the tram in Blackpool!

Blackpool is quite small and compact so that everywhere is walkable.

You could also use the trams, take a bus, hire a carriage, go horse-riding, or take a ride on a donkey!

The English Electric Built Balloon Car Heritage Tram in Blackpool

I recommend the trams as the trams are just so cute, and you actually get to meet and chat with the tram conductor, which in many cities, no longer exist!

We bought a 24 hour saver family ticket that could be used on both the trams or the buses, but not the heritage trams, for just £11.00. Note: It’s valid for 1 adult & up to 4 children, or 2 adults & up to 3 children. A bargain!

ANYTHING ELSE?

It rains in the UK!

Oh yeah.

It’s Britain.

It rains, so be prepared and take a raincoat or get an umbrella from your hotel or B&B!

MY VERDICT:

21 things to do on a Blackpool beach ‘cos winter is coming!
©Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images

Blackpool is a seaside destination and great fun for the family.

It might have a dubious reputation, but if you look deep enough, you’ll find that it’s still as attractive and as historical as ever.

I wouldn’t leave Germany just for the chance of an English seaside, but if you’re in the North of England, and looking for a new British city to visit, go visit Blackpool!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Let’s do it!

21 THINGS TO DO ON A BLACKPOOL BEACH ‘COS WINTER IS COMING!

At the beach under the North Pier in Blackpool!

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions, and the great walks and sea experience we had are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Derbyshire, Blackpool, Lancashire, Yorkshire, & a secret location!

Yippee!

November is going to be smashing!

Book your Blackpool hotel here, or here!

21 things to do on a Blackpool beach ‘cos winter is coming!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

21 things to do on a Blackpool beach ‘cos winter is coming!
21 things to do on a Blackpool beach ‘cos winter is coming!

Have you ever been to an English beach? Would you go to the seaside in winter? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

So here we are.

A few weeks ago, I told you that I would be travelling to the English countryside, and part of that has begun!

Just to recap, I’ll be visiting Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

However, not all of our travels would be the countryside itself, some of it would be of English quirkiness, and one of those places is Blackpool!

BLACKPOOL

Blackpool – A seaside resort on the coast of North West England!

Blackpool is a seaside resort on the Lancashire coast of North West England.

Blackpool faces the Irish Sea between the Ribble and Wyre estuaries, and is 15 miles (24 km) northwest of Preston, 27 miles (43 km) north of Liverpool, 28 miles (45 km) northwest of Bolton, 40 miles (64 km) northwest of Manchester, and has a population of about 142,065 people!

Throughout the Middle Ages and Early Modern period, Blackpool was a coastal hamlet in Lancashire’s Hundred of Amounderness, and remained so until the mid-18th century when it became fashionable to travel to the coast in the summer, for a bit of seaside air and the attraction of a sandy beach!

Beauty Queens in 1950’s Blackpool

Blackpool rose to prominence when a railway was built in the 1840’s connecting it to the industrialised regions of Northern England. By 1881, Blackpool was a booming resort complete with piers, fortune-tellers, public houses, trams, donkey rides, theatres, fish-and-chip shops, and was otherwise known as “the archetypal British seaside resort.”

Shifts in tastes, combined with opportunities for your ordinary Brit to travel abroad, affected Blackpool’s status as a leading resort in the late 20th century, and it fell to tacky, shabby decay.

In fact, I haven’t been there myself since I was twelve (12) years old, and found £5.00 in the sand!

We spent all our money on Blackpool Rock!
@Kate Hopkins

I was enormously pleased I can tell you, so my brothers and I spent it all on Blackpool Rock!

However, lots of money has been ploughed into it, and quite frankly, Northerners haven’t been deterred by it’s less than reputable past. In fact, at one time, it was billed as England’s answer to Las Vegas!

In 1954, Blackpool enjoyed a tourist boom and attracted up to 17 million visitors a year!

Blackpool’s major attractions and landmarks these days include Blackpool Tower, Blackpool Illuminations, the Pleasure Beach, Blackpool Zoo, Sandcastle Water Park, the Winter Gardens, its sandy beaches, and the UK’s only surviving first-generation tramway!

We went out there to see what all the fuss was about!

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Blackpool got it’s name from a peat bog running over water!

Blackpool got it’s name from a historic drainage channel (possibly Spen Dyke) that ran over a peat bog, discharging discoloured water into the Irish Sea, which formed a black pool.

On the other side of the sea, Dublin in Ireland,otherwise known as Dubh Linn, is derived from the Irish word for “black pool.” Some people also say that the origin could come from the local dialect for “stream” which was pul or poole, hence “Black poole!”

Britain has a lot of endearing names for locals who originate from a certain part of the country. So for example, I’m from Manchester, so I’m a Manc or a Mancunian. People from Liverpool are called Scousers. People from Newcastle upon Tyne, are called Geordies, and people from the East End of London are called Cockneys.

Blackpool is no different.  The locals are either called Blackpudlians or Seasiders!

I was a little nervous as Blackpool has a reputation of being slightly shabby, tacky, and a little rough on the edges!

I was a little nervous as Blackpool has a reputation of being slightly shabby, tacky, and a little rough on the edges, but luckily, we had nothing to worry about.

And I’ll be telling you more about that next week.

Phew!

Book your hotel here!

Let me tell you a secret.

Meanwhile, let me tell you something about a hidden secret.

Now if you’re British, it won’t be a secret at all, but if you’re a tourist, it might surprise you.

Are you ready?

Blackpool has an amusement park.

Blackpool has an amusement park!

It’s called Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Otherwise known as Pleasure Beach Resort.

Or simply.

Pleasure Beach.

And it’s an amusement park for all the family.

Shh!

Here’s some history.

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BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH

Blackpool Pleasure Beach
©The Family Adventure Project

Firstly, The Tall Young Gentleman was surprised to discover that Blackpool Pleasure Beach isn’t exactly a beach!

Well, it is, and it isn’t!

I mean, Blackpool is definitely a sea-side resort, and many parts hang off the side of the pier certainly, but as far as Blackpool Pleasure Beach Resort is concerned, you can only see the beach aspect of it, right across the other side of the road!

And perhaps, once upon a time, all of Pleasure Beach was actually on the beach. Who knows?

Try not to compare Blackpool Pleasure Beach to Disneyland or Las Vegas. You’d be disappointed!

Secondly, you’re not to be comparing Blackpool Pleasure Beach to Disneyland or Las Vegas.

You’d be disappointed!

Book your hotel here!

BLACKPOOL – THE MOST VISITED AMUSEMENT PARK IN THE UK!

Infusion – Blackpool Pleasure Beach

Suffice to say, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is an amusement park situated along the Fylde coast in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.

The park was founded in 1896, and has been owned and operated by the Thompson family, since its inception.

It is the number one most visited park in the United Kingdom, one of the most visited tourist attractions in the whole country, and one of the top twenty most visited amusement parks in the world, with millions of visitors every year!

In 2014, it was voted as the best theme park in the United Kingdom and the ninth best park in Europe, by the Travelers’ Choice Awards!

Blackpool Pleasure Beach park is host to many records, including the largest number of roller coasters of any park in the United Kingdom – ten (10) – of which five (5), are wooden!

The Big Dipper
©The Family Adventure Project

Namely:

  • The Big Dipper
  • Blue Flyer
  • Grand National
  • Nickelodeon Streak
  • Wild Mouse
When it opened, The Big One was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!
When it opened, The Big One was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!

Many of the roller coasters in the park are record-breaking attractions.

When it opened in 1994, The Big One was the tallest and fastest roller coaster in the world!

It was also the steepest, with an incline angle of 65° and one of the longest, measuring 5,497 feet (1,675 m)!

At the moment, this ride holds the record as the tallest roller coaster in the United Kingdom, standing at 213 ft (65 m), with a first drop of 205 ft (62 m)!

Oh my giddy god!

The Big Wheel at the Central Pier – Blackpool – Oh my giddy god!

Pleasure Beach is one of only two parks left in the world to operate a traditional wooden Wild Mouse roller coaster, the other being Luna Park Sydney in Australia.

The ride was built entirely in-house, post-World War II, but is currently under maintenance.

The Grand National is one of only three Möbius Loop coasters in existence, where a singular track loops around itself, offering a facsimile out-and-back layout and creating a racing effect on two parallel tracks.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach is also the first amusement park in Europe, to introduce a fully inverting 360° steel coaster – Revolution – and is the last remaining park in the world to still operate a Steeplechase roller coaster!

Not only that but, Sir Hiram Maxims Captive Flying Machine, otherwise known as simply – Flying Machines – is the oldest amusement park ride in Europe, having opened in August 1904!

Wow!

Outside Valhalla in Blackpool – the biggest and most expensive indoor dark ride in the world!

Recent records include Valhalla, which at a cost of £15 million was until 2016, the biggest and most expensive indoor dark ride, in the world!

Valhalla won “Best Water Ride” at the 2016 Golden Ticket awards.

Outside the world’s only Wallace & Gromit ride – the Thrill-O-Matic, in Blackpool!

Blackpool Pleasure Beach also operates a Nickelodeon Land and the world’s only Wallace & Gromit ride – the Thrill-O-Matic!

The latest record is taken by the Red Arrows SkyForce, a Gerstlauer Sky Fly thrill ride which is the first ride of its kind in the United Kingdom.

A new roller coaster  – Icon – is expected to open in Spring 2018.

Whilst my husband – The Music Producer – and our teenage son – The Tall Young Gentleman – proceeded to invoke the many exciting thrills and spills of HUGE roller coasters, I contended myself with searching for more relaxing attractions because:

VICTORIA HATES ROLLER COASTERS!

I’d rather go to the pub, than go on a roller coaster!

Ay Up!

Why’s that then?

Well, once upon a time, my brother and I went on the turbo coaster – the speed demon – of Brighton Palace Pier, in East Sussex.

Brighton Pier in East Sussex!

In Brighton you understand.

I know!

And.

It.

Was.

The.

Worst.

Ride.

Of.

My.

Life!

The hellish Turbo Coaster in Brighton!

This roller coaster is huge, and I was very much looking forward to enjoying the ride.

Now, I don’t know whether you’ve noticed, but I actually wear glasses, ‘cos I have the most appalling eye-sight, and since I’ve been wearing glasses since I was about 9 years old, you forget that you have them…

Until.

You’re on the top tip of a roller coaster!

Yep!

We had just wheezed to the tip of the turbo coaster when I suddenly remembered that I needed to take off my glasses!

I’m sorry but I look amazing!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

But.

I was far too late.

And my glasses flew off into the sunset!

Well in this case, the early evening sundown.

As it was about 20:00 in July!

I was so distressed that I couldn’t enjoy any part of the ride.

Because.

I couldn’t see!

And not only was each twist and turn a surprise.

It was a horrific shock!

A free shot of vodka isn’t a bad thing!

And once we came off the Turbo Coaster, I just burst into tears!

The staff came over wondering what all the commotion was about, and tried to console me.

But I couldn’t be consoled.

Because.

Without my glasses, I really couldn’t see!

And I was in Brighton. At night!

Neither of us had been to Brighton before so I didn’t know my way back to the train station!

And neither of us had been to Brighton before so I didn’t know my way back to the train station, in order to get to London!

I think my blubbering and weeping affected the staff so much, that they really wanted to help me, and asked if I could remember exactly where I was sitting, when the incident occurred.

Well, I knew exactly where I was, when.

The staff had a good search, and would you believe it, they found my glasses!

They found my glasses. Phew!

Utterly unbroken!

Thank goodness, it didn’t happen when this accident happened.

Phew!

I opted for the Ghost Train at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, ‘cos I was scared!

Is it any wonder that anytime I was in the vicinity of a roller coaster, I began to get extremely anxious, and develop symptoms of a panic attack!

In that wise, I opted for the more gentler rides such as:

I’m not entirely sure which roller-coasters my husband and son went on, but I’m definite that they went on:

The Tall Young Gentleman & The Music Producer, looking very sorry for themselves at Valhalla – Blackpool
  • The Big Dipper – A good ride
  • Nickelodeon Streak – Exciting, but a very short ride
  • Valhalla – They loved it, but you get extremely wet. Including your trousers and shoes!
  • Grand National – They found it to be the most exciting ride with great dips and leaps, as well as getting to race other visitors! You really need the bar to be secure as well as your seatbelt, as you practically get lifted into the air. However, they loved this ride the most!

They were very surprised that three (3) of the above attractions were made entirely out of wood!

It’s perfectly safe though, and they had a great time.

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MY VERDICT:

Great fun for the family at Blackpool Pleasure Beach!

Great fun for the family, and snack prices were as low and as reasonable as we have ever seen at an amusement park. Ever!

TOP TIPS!

Ask me about Blackpool!

We booked online, but even the queues to collect pre-paid tickets were quite long. We hadn’t opted for a Speedy Pass as we reckoned that it wouldn’t be that crowded.

It was during the British Half-Term School Holiday break, so wrong!

Some rides attracted up to a 40 minute wait, and I ended up queueing at an attraction twice, and giving up because the lines were still too long, or took ages to get people in!

  • If you want to use a locker, wait until you’re actually inside the amusement park, as it’s cheaper – £3.50 for small lockers – all day!
  • If you know what you’re doing and what you want to ride on, wait until the evening, as tickets were being sold for £20.00 – two hours before the end of day!
  • Book Online at least 24 hours before you want to enter the park. We paid £24.00 per person for an Unlimited Ride Wristband Peak online, instead of £32.50 at the gate! The staff also told you us that as long as we booked by midnight the night before, we were still covered to buy an online ticket, as we were still undecided as to the type of ticket we wanted!

So that is what we did!

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HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO BLACKPOOL – BRITAIN’S VERSION OF LAS VEGAS – OMG!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

This article isn’t sponsored, and absolutely all opinions, and the rather wonderful fish and chips that we scoffed, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

In the Autumn, I’ll be visiting the UK and travelling around the areas of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Manchester, Blackpool, Derbyshire and Yorkshire!

Yippee!

October & November is going to be delightful!

Book your Blackpool hotel here, or here!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links, I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Have you ever been to Blackpool – Britain’s version of Las Vegas – OMG!

Have you ever been to Blackpool or Blackpool Pleasure Beach? Do you absolutely love roller-coasters or do you panic, like I do? Let me know in the comments below!

 See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!