Train Walk: Railroad leads to gold

editorial image

Blackpool walk

• Nearest station – Blackpool North.

• Distance – 3 miles / 4.8 km.

• Minimum time – 1 hour.

• Grade – Easy – town traffic on

roads and along the coast.

• Map – OS Landranger 112 /

Explorer 293.

• Dog Friendly – But must be kept on leads.

Train operator Northern has launched a series of walks, which start and finish at railway stations, in time for the start of the spring walking season.

Working with experts from the popular TV series Walks Around Britain, Northern has developed a range of walks to suit all abilities.

They include city walks, coastal walks, walks suitable for young children and scenic walks – all of which can all be downloaded from Northern’s website and include step-by-step guides, time guides, difficulty grading, dog friendliness and map including OS references please visit www.northernrailway.co.uk/walks for more details of all walks.

This week’s walk is a visit to Blackpool, a linear walk (3 miles/4.8km) along the front which takes in all the famous entertainment landmarks, including the Golden Mile, along the coast of the Irish Sea.

Starts from Blackpool North station and ends at Blackpool Pleasure Beach station for details of of trains and stations visit https://www.northernrailway.co.uk/great-days-out/days-out/we-are-northern-rail-trails.

Exit Blackpool North station and turn right, following the building around to the back, to follow Springfield Road as it turns left.

After the traffic lights, continue to follow the road when it turns slightly right and then meets up with the A584 Promenade.

In front is the imposing front of the Grand Metropole Hotel – opened in 1785 and the only hotel to sit directly on the shoreline.

Carefully cross over the road and the tram tracks and then turn right to walks around the back of the hotel.

From here, you get a fantastic view of the North Pier.

Walk past the impressive War Memorial and North Pier tram stop to the entrance of the North Pier. Opened in 1863, the North Pier is the oldest and the longest of the three piers in Blackpool.

It’s a Grade II listed building, being the oldest surviving pier constructed by the famous designer Eugenius Birch.

The walk follows the shoreline for a long time, so if you like, you could walk along Blackpool’s famous beach for a while.

Blackpool’s big tower is next, after walking past the tourist information centre. Built in 1894, the tower was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, which is some 166 metres higher, and the whole building is a Grade I listed building.

In the tower’s shadow is the Comedy Carpet – one of Britain’s largest public artworks – and features jokes and punchlines embedded into the pavement.

Entertainment being part of the DNA of Blackpool.

After walking past the RNLI Lifeboat Station, the entrance to Central Pier is next.

The pier is central as it is located between the other two… but also it was near to Blackpool Central railway station - which closed in 1964.

Fun is always the mission on the Central Pier, and it is the location for a 33 metre high Ferris wheel.

Quite soon after Central Pier, the Promenade starts to change form amusement arcades of the north end, to the hotel-centric buildings of the south end.

It’s not long before you’ll see a series of modern artworks called The Great Promenade Show.

Watch out for the Blackpool High Tide Organ for some unusual sea-based music.

Next is the South Pier – which was originally called Victoria Pier when it was opened in 1893 – some 30 years after the other two.

It’s the shortest of the three and has a theme park on its length, which replaced the original theatre.

However, the South Pier had a pretty big competitor just down the road – the famous Blackpool Pleasure Beach… which has been thrilling visitors since 1896.

When you get to the South Beach Car Park, cross over the road and walk in the shadow of the rollercoaster’s track, and turn left down Cliffton Road to walk past the Pleasure Beach entrance and The Blue Hotel.

At the crossroads, turn left along Burlington Road West, to follow around the Blue Hotel, and then cross over the road to walk down Carlyle Avenue to reach Blackpool Pleasure Beach railway station for your journey home.

Enjoy your train journey home.

If you are part of a walking group and you welcome other walkers to join you on your walks, please send your details to angela.furniss@jpress.co.uk and they can be included on this page.