Have a look at our whistle-stop overview to find out about Blackpool Illuminations. Feel carefree, make memories and go back to your childhood!
We wondered what you’d want to know about Blackpool Illuminations if you’d never ever seen them before?
So we’ve put you this overview together, just follow the links to more pages and spend a happy time exploring!
But first, watch this short film of the 2018 Blackpool Illuminations, from our friends at MediaFilms
About Blackpool Illuminations Today
How would you describe the Blackpool Illuminations to someone who’d lived at the North Pole all of their life and didn’t know anything about them?
We’d tell them to come to Blackpool and see for themselves!
You’ll enjoy six miles of the brightest light displays that you can imagine, all along the seafront. Imagine Christmas lights – and then some more, … and some more!
Lights are a big thing in Blackpool, and everywhere lights up. All of the seafront businesses twinkle and the three Piers shine. The beautiful Blackpool Tower is lit from top to bottom in LED lights.
Events During Blackpool Illuminations
Blackpool is an amazing place all through the year, but the Illuminations season adds something amazing! The Lights are managed and produced by Blackpool Council and they’re a 52 weeks of the year project. As soon as the current season ends the maintenance phase begins and of course planning for the next season.
The Illuminations season proper starts with the annual Ride the Lights event. They have to be tested before the big Switch On, and over the years this night has grown into a massive car-free preview event.
Then on the Friday night following August Bank Holiday Monday, the Lights come on at Switch On!
All kinds of events take place throughout the season, there are various sponsored walks, shows, music events and more. Find out what and where from the Visit Fylde Coast events calendar.
October half term is the busiest week of the year in Blackpool. It’s sooo busy! The Lights are on early each evening because the days at at their shortest. And October half term is the time for the amazing Lightpool Festival!! It’s a spectacle of light, performance and fire. Follow the link to find out more about what’s happening this year.
Blackpool Illuminations from South to North Shore
This is our simple map of the seafront. Use it to orientate yourself to what you’ll find where.
South Shore is on the left of our map, it’s where you’ll see the big tram shed against the sea which you might approach from Squires Gate Lane and the motorway.
With the tram sheds on your left you’re not far from the first ‘Welcome Arch’ which marks the start of the Blackpool Illuminations route. There’s a nearby collection point where you donate and contribute to the Illuminations fund.
You’ll see festoon lights over the road and along the side of the highway from here and along the full promenade.
Take a look at the amazing Illuminated Heritage Trams. Which one is your favourite?
Board your amazing ride at the Heritage Tram on the promenade opposite to the Pleasure Beach.
Head South along the promenade and pass the Pleasure Beach on your right.
Sandcastle Waterpark is on your left, with South Pier just to the right hand side of it.
At the right of South Pier with its back to the sea you’ll see Theatre d’Amour. It’s based on a Victorian children’s theatre and is the creation of Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.
Lights festoon all of the promenade from south to north, past all three piers and Blackpool Tower, along with features mounted onto lamp posts.
About Blackpool Illuminations Central
The central section of seafront between Central and North Pier is a bright world. Stand with your back to the sea and see all the colours of the seafront shops, attractions and arcades. They’re a brightly coloured sight in their own right.
About Blackpool Illuminations at Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower itself also lights up with thanks to the whopping 25,000 eco friendly LED lights from it’s top to toe. Can you see the people in the windows, right at the top?
Lit up brightly and seen for miles around, it’s a local beacon that lights up the sky and not just through the Illuminations season. It also magically changes colour! At 518 feet tall its 25,000 LEDs make a statement in the night sky. It often pays tribute to various causes through colour.
Gateway to the Town Centre
The Brilliance Arch is near North Pier, against the historic Roberts’ Oyster Rooms.
Brilliance leads to Birley Street where the huge metal arches raise above the pedestrianised seating area. They extend the Illuminations into the town centre with a music and light show.
At Talbot Square in front of North Pier and the Town Hall there’s a lovely annual display of Christmas lights. More about that nearer the time!
About Blackpool Illuminations Heading North
Follow the promenade to Gynn Roundabout which always hosts a display of its own.
Bear left (keeping against the sea) and you’ll come to the magical world of the tableaux.
Alice in Wonderland (above) was transformed for the 2014 season. It’s on display with all of your favourites including Noddy and the Teddy Bears.
These huge displays stand proud on the Cliffs each year. It’s known as the Cliffs because it’s the only steep drop in an otherwise flat Blackpool!. You can walk alongside them to Red Bank Road at Bispham where the display ends with another arch over the road.
Contribute to Blackpool Illuminations
There’s another collection point at Bispham. It marks the beginning, or end, of your journey, and it’s where you can make a donation to the Illuminations fund.
Fish and Chips and Fairy Lights
There’s something really magical about walking on foot through the Blackpool Illuminations.
The dark evening air is full of the brightest lights, the pavements are packed with children, parents and grandparents all sharing time and making memories.
We can’t bottle and describe the feeling of pleasure that you get from a bag of fresh, steaming hot fish and chips to share, as you walk along gazing at the sights.
You’ll also see plenty of street vendors selling all manner of illuminated, twirly headwear and light-up wands. Don’t forget that if you buy your merchandise from the LightPool Village on the Comedy Carpet you will also help the Illuminations fund.
If you’re new to Blackpool and need help with things like the location of public toilets and car parks, check out our Quick Guide here.
Blackpool Illuminations in the Past
The Illuminations stretch back for well over 100 years, back to a time when electricity was a magical, brand new thing!
Take a look through the years as they’ve evolved, changed and grown through the decades. They’ve evolved and followed changing fashions and celebrity faces.
One thing is certain, they’ve always been well loved.
How the Blackpool Illuminations Get There
There’s no such thing as a ‘Blackpool Illuminations shop’ that you can pop to and buy a few lights!
Blackpool Council cover the basic annual running costs of maintaining and erecting the Illuminations, but fundraising is vital for their future.
Money raised through business sponsorship and from promenade donations is all invested into new displays to keep the attraction bright.
You’ll be astonished when you read the facts and figures and find out how many lamps are used and miles of cable.
Find out More
You’ll find lots of photos on our Live Blackpool Facebook page why don’t you share yours!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @visitFyldeCoast