Star’s eye view from the tower

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The Star’s Angela Furniss meets Big Daddy - a rather large Japanese spider crab...

Blackpool is a seaside town famous for its Hen and Stag parties, but the £100 million regeneration seafront project has brought back confidence to the area – encouraging a new type of visitor.

The resort is celebrating 120 years and attracting more than 16 million visitors each year, so grab your kiss-me- quick hat and off we go...

When we arrived on a Friday night we were greeted with the illuminations, six miles of which run along the promenade.

The first lights were in 1879 – when there was just eight!

Over one million light bulbs are now used every year, switched on by someone famous. In September 1977 they were even switched on a famous race horse, Red Rum. Hoof would have thought it?

On the Saturday we booked in for the circus. What a show. Two hours of dare devil stunts, acrobats, the unstoppable strongman and not forgetting the stars of the show, clowns Mooky and Mr Boo.

The circus is in to its 23 year and packed full of things to keep you entertained –although the seats are 100 years old so not the comfiest. But it was well worth the money for young and old – a real show stopper.

We visited the Sealife Centre next, with more than 1,000 species of underwater life – tropical sharks, colourful reef fish, octopus, rays and seahorses. Experience the wonders of underwater life with a walk through the glass tunnel.

It’s excellent for children – educational and entertaining. A must see is the world’s largest crab.

‘Big Daddy’ is a Japanese spider crab with a leg span measuring 3.11 metres. He’s featured in the Guinness World Records.

Blackpool Tower was next on our agenda. After a 4D cinema experience and a short lift journey we arrived at the top and it’s not for the faint hearted. From the top you can see the Lake District, the Isle of Man and North Wales on a clear day.

The glass bottom floor is a real eye opener, literally, if you dare look down.

The views are amazing. You could spend hours just watching the world go by.

Sunday was the last day of our busy weekend and we decided to visit Madam Tussaud’s. You may feel a little star struck. Ant & Dec, One Direction, Keith Lemon, we met them all.

The flow of people can be a little slow-moving when it’s busy as people are taking pictures but it’s a good attraction. Don’t forget to pop in to the Rovers for a pint.

Last was Dungeons, a journey through the past, with frights, special effects and an exciting drop ride. The actors are excellent, the costumes and sets are brilliant. But it may be a little too intense for small children or a squeamish adult.

We have thoroughly enjoyed our weekend. It’s been well worth the visit.

Plenty to do, and the good weather did help.


Getting there: Head to the A57, exit M67 heading to Oldham/M60/Stockport/M’cr Airport/Manchester, exit onto the M60, (N)/Ashton-u-Lyne/Oldham/M62/M61, onto M60, take the M60/M62 exit to Ring Road/Bolton/Liverpool/M61, junction 15, take the M61 exit to M6 N/Preston/Bolton, M6, continue on M55, follow signs for Blackpool.

Special offer: The Merlin Big Ticket allows entry to Madame Tussauds Blackpool, SEA LIFE Blackpool, Blackpool Tower Eye, Blackpool Tower Circus, Blackpool Tower Dungeon, Blackpool Tower Ballroom and Jungle Jims. The ticket is valid for 90 days and gives a saving of 50% compared to individual on-the-day prices for each attraction.

website: Blackpool Tower

Three things to do:

1 Something to remember for next year is throughout September there is a stunning firework display on the North Pier, every Friday night at 8.30pm.

2 Sandcastle Waterpark, in Blackpool, is the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, with 18 slides and attractions, open year round and fun for all the family.

3 Pleasure Beach Resort, amusement park. Buy an unlimited ride wristband when you book in advance online. Also has spectacular shows, such as Hot Ice, the worlds most spectacular ice show.