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!

Book your hotel here!

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!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Hey everyone!

It’s Autumn.

It’s October.

And it’s starting to rain but no matter! I’m going to tell you how Summery it was on the Baltic Sea beach.

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

It was gorgeous!

The sun was shining, the locals were smiling, and we were living it up in a five-star hotel in Usedom!

Usedom!

I bet you can’t say that really fast!

At the promenade in Zinnowitz, Usedom. ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH
At the promenade in Zinnowitz, Usedom.
©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

I’ve already spoken about Usedom and going to the seaside. I wrote 51 reasons why you should go to the seaside in Germany last week, and quite frankly, if you’re not convinced by that, then I really can’t help you!

There’s loads of things going on in October so I’ll tell you all about it. Next week!

But for now, let’s focus on food.

An organic burger and a beer at Bread & Butter. Berlin Fashion Week
An organic burger and a beer at Bread & Butter.
Berlin Fashion Week

Not just any old food you  understand, but German food.

Eeek!

I hear you say. Isn’t German food really gritty and full of stodge?

It can be.

Christmas food in Germany comprising of home-made potato dumplings, red cabbage, succulent roast goose, and gravy made from goose dripping!
Christmas food in Germany comprising of home-made potato dumplings, red cabbage, succulent roast goose, and gravy made from goose dripping!

But it can also be quite the thing. Especially at Xmas where the alcohol was so strong that I literally fell to the floor!

At a German Christmas Market.

Yum!

So would the beach be somewhat similar to seaside food in Poland, or would we get scammed, as we did in Bratislava?!

Let’s find out!

A 5 MINUTE GUIDE TO GERMAN FOOD. ON THE BALTIC SEA BEACH!

Look! It's my feet! A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
Look! It’s my feet!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

So let’s start with the basics.

ICE-CREAM:

You've not tasted ice-cream, until you've had it at the seaside! 51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!
You’ve not tasted ice-cream, until you’ve had it at the seaside!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!

You really can’t go the seaside if you don’t have any ice-cream!

I mean.

Come on!

The seaside without ice-cream?

And it had better be an Italian gelato, ‘cos what else?

Vanilla ice-cream scoops, wafer sticks, clotted cream and a silver jug of strawberry sauce!
Vanilla ice-cream scoops, wafer sticks, clotted cream and a silver jug of strawberry sauce!

You can even go one better and have an ice-cream sundae of sorts.

I had a huge one on our self-made cycling walking tour in Usedom with vanilla scoops, wafer sticks, clotted cream and a silver jug of strawberry sauce!

Now I don’t like chocolate.

Yuck!

Chocolate ice-cream and clotted cream chocolate chip sundae!
Chocolate ice-cream and clotted cream chocolate chip sundae!

But The Tall Young Gentleman availed himself of the very best near the Zinnowitz pier, so here’s his chocolate ice-cream and clotted-cream-chocolate-chip-sundae!

Our ice-cold Warsteiner premium German beer!
Our ice-cold Warsteiner premium German beer!

The Music Producer didn’t have any ice-cream this time and was very happy with his ice-cold Warsteiner premium German beer!

SEAFOOD:

A plate of sardines can be quite delicious!
A plate of sardines can be quite delicious!

There were lots and lots of possibilities to eat some sort of seafood. In fact, all sorts of seafood. I mean, OMG!

Here are some pictures.

Sadly, I’ve forgotten the prices, but these seafood items were between €2.00 – €4.00 a piece!

Slices of mackeral at the Usedom Palace Hotel breakfast table!
Slices of mackerel at the Usedom Palace Hotel breakfast table!

Here are slices of smoked mackerel with berries and lettuce garnish, at the Usedom Palace Hotel breakfast table!

The soused herring, otherwise known as matjes in German, coverd with lettuce and onion slices!
The soused herring, otherwise known as matjes in German, covered with lettuce and onion slices!

The soused herring above otherwise known as matjes in German or rollmops in English, can be found all over the Baltic Sea coast and is a herring soaked in a mild preserving liquid. It can be raw herring in a mild vinegar pickle or might contain cider, wine or tea, sugar, herbs (usually bay leaf), spices (usually mace), and chopped onion.

It is generally served cold either with a bread bun (brötchen) / bread roll or mixed in sour cream with apple chunks, and onions, or mixed in a beetroot chunk brine, and served with boiled or baked potatoes!

The Music Producer isn’t a fan of raw herrings so the Tall Young Gentleman and I merrily did all the stuffing down ourselves!

My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!
My fish bun (Fischbrötchen) made with pickled or Bismarck herring served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions!

Here’s another photograph of my fish bun, otherwise known as Fischbrötchen, made with a pickled or Bismarck herring!

A Bismarck herring  is a delicacy in Europe, and has become a part of Baltic, Nordic, Slavic, and Jewish cuisine! It’s herring cured with salt with similarly added vinegar, peppercorn, bay leaves, raw onions, sherry, mustard and dill.

Our herring was served on kitchen foil in a bread bun (brötchen) with pickles, lettuce and huge slices of fresh raw onions. You can ask for different sauces such as remoulade, creamy horseradish sauce, ketchup, or cocktail sauce too, but we went to an extremely local food hut and we weren’t sure what most of the things were.  There were eels and varieties of fish that I couldn’t identify in German…!

What are they? ©Usedom Tourismus GmbH
What are they?
©Usedom Tourismus GmbH

Gulp!

THE USEDOM PALACE HOTEL

The Usedom Palace Hotel ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
The Usedom Palace Hotel
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

We were guests of Usedom Tourismus GmbH and the Usedom Palace Hotel, but we paid for all our meals and transport ourselves.

The Usedom Palace Hotel is a small 40-room traditional style 5-star seaside hotel about five (5) minutes from the sea itself, and a 15 to 20 minute walk to the local train station!

The hotel although modern-ish from the inside, has the look of an antiquated classical German castle, complete with steeple top roof, huge windows, and a white sandstone finish!

We were put in a Gold / Silver Category sea view room.

Our Gold/Silver Category double sea-view bed at the Usedom Palace Hotel!
Our Gold/Silver Category double sea-view bed at the Usedom Palace Hotel!

Our room was huge with a European-style double bed for us, and a single bed for The Tall Young Gentleman with enough space in the room for him to feel that he wasn’t near us!

Our room also had two armchairs, a small glass table, a standing lamp in the corner, and two bedside tables with two more bedside lamps.

The window was huge and you could actually (safely) sit on the window sill and take in the view of the sea, which was clearly in front of us. You can never be entirely sure when hotels describe the view as “sea,” but in this case, it was!

Air-conditioning - Just say No!
Air-conditioning – Just say No!

I don’t like air-conditioning in bedrooms.

In fact, I don’t like air-conditioning at all, so it was quite nice to be able to sleep with the windows wide open, and the curtains billowing in the wind!

There was also a huge wardrobe that had fluffy dressing gowns and fluffy slippers for us each, a safe, a mini-bar, a flat-screen TV, a writing desk, plenty of plug holes, and free WiFi!

The bathroom was very nice and had underfloor heating and loads of fluffy towels, a bath, a shower, and hair and body wash items and body lotions.

The bathroom was quite nice, but be careful with the shower!
The bathroom was quite nice, but be careful with the shower!

Be careful with the shower though because the glass covering wasn’t really long or wide enough to prevent water from splashing everywhere, and as The Tall Young Gentleman is indeed quite tall, we soon found ourselves with a bit of a puddle!

The hotel also included a nice swimming pool.

A very nice swimming pool, and a hot tub and sauna free of charge, which I completely forgot about, until a few hours before we had to leave…! And a paid-for spa and massage unit.

I certaintly won't be going to the sauna European style. Don't forget, I'm British!
I certainly won’t be going to the sauna European style. Don’t forget, I’m British!

I really regret not trying out the spa as it really looked nice.

But then again. Maybe not, as this was FKK – Free Body Culture – Nudist territory!

No!

Pleeeeeeeease!

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

Our hotel stay included a generous buffet breakfast of both Baltic and Nordic origin.

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

You could sit either indoor or outdoor. For dinner we ate outdoor, but for breakfast, we ate indoors.

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

For breakfast, we had delicious cold cuts, a variety of seafood, vegetables, sauces, caviar, pickles and cream, scrambled eggs on order, sausages and bacon.

A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.
A generous breakfast buffet of both Baltic and Nordic origin, at the Usedom Palace Hotel.

As well as a wide variety of cereal, fruit, bread, cake, pastries, tea, coffee, juices, and help-yourself glasses of champagne!

All this from €225.00 per night in the Gold/Silver Category room (high season) and €145.00 (low season) which for three (3) people wouldn’t be too bad at all!

The thing that really stood out for me was the evening restaurant service. They were quick, full of smiles, and impeccable.

The food was good too!

FANCIER SEASIDE FOOD:

Apart from all the rustic local food that we had above, we also had fancier food which we either had at our hotel, or at a nice restaurant nearby.

Take a look:

Grilled salmon served on a bed of lettuce, cocktail tomotoes, avacado, and a dribble of balsamic vinegar!
Grilled salmon served on a bed of lettuce, cocktail tomatoes, avocado, and a dribble of balsamic vinegar!

Grilled salmon with avocado. Interesting!

A traditional fresh fish lunch at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck! 51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!
A traditional fresh fish lunch at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck!
51 reasons to go to the seaside. In Germany!

A traditional fish lunch.

A plate of pasta and shrimps at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck!
A plate of pasta and shrimps at the famous Fisch Domke restaurant in Ahlbeck!

A delicious plate of pasta and shrimps!

Cream of tomato soup with mozarella, and basil ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Cream of tomato soup with mozzarella, and basil
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A well-known summer starter of tomato soup.

Honey-melon with Parma ham, rucolla lettuce, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar - ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Honey-melon with Parma ham, rucola lettuce, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar –
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A healthy fruity starter of melon and ham.

Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Magnificent grilled fish over saute vegetables, covered in tomato and a cheese sauce, sprinkled with edible flowers!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

Freshly-caught fish, grilled to perfection.

Breaded fish over marinated beetroot chunks in a sauce, served with roast potatoes sprinkled with edible flowers. ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Breaded fish over marinated beetroot chunks in a sauce, served with roast potatoes sprinkled with edible flowers.
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

More fish and with one of my favourite vegetables – beetroot!

Grilled steak with roast pototaoes, a cucumber covered with lemony creamy butter, served with herby sour cream! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Grilled steak with roast potatoes, a cucumber covered with lemony creamy butter, served with herby sour cream!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A rather too well-done steak, but The Tall Young Gentleman wasn’t complaining lol!

Crème brûlée or burnt rich custard, served with sour red berries! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Crème brûlée or burnt rich custard, served with sour red berries!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

Look at that temptingly delicious crème brûlée. That’s all I’m saying…!

Panna cotta dribbled with raspberry sauce and black and white peppercorns! ©The Music Producer - Frank Böster
Panna cotta dribbled with raspberry sauce and black and white peppercorns!
©The Music Producer – Frank Böster

A most enticing Panna cotta.

All washed down with a chilled glass of white wine!
All washed down with a chilled glass of white wine!

All washed down with a chilled glasses glass of white wine!

Enough said!

The Music Producer and "The Tall Young Gentleman" about to cycle off in Usedom, Germany.
The Music Producer and “The Tall Young Gentleman” about to cycle off in Usedom, Germany.

As you can see, most of the fancier food items were taken by my husband – aka – The Music Producer – as my camera decided at that moment to run out of battery!

Thankfully, my husband stepped in and took the photographs himself!

Wow! I couldn’t have asked for better, so now you have it, no need to thank me.

You’re welcome!

A 5 MINUTE GUIDE TO GERMAN FOOD. ON THE BALTIC SEA BEACH!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Usedom Tourismus GmbH,  all opinions and the delightful time that we had devouring seaside nosh in Usedom, are my very own!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be writing about travels to Bremen, art and films in Berlin,  as well as a comprehensive post on how to use the train in Europe!

In a few weeks, I’ll be travelling to the TBEX ASIA travel conference in the Philippines, and revealing the extra Chinese-speaking country. It’s a new one!

In November, I’ll be travelling to Austria and starting a new job!

Save the Date!

October is going to be astonishing!

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & Facebook!

If you’re not in Berlin in October, you’re lost!

Watch this space!

A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!
A 5 minute guide to German food. On the Baltic Sea beach!

Have you ever eaten German food? Have you ever been to the Baltic Sea? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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