Friday 28th July 2017 began abruptly at 6 am sharp. With the alarm still ringing fresh in my ears, my feet were finding their way to the shower before my brain had even registered what was happening. With the first hurdle, waking up and getting up, completed I had 30 minutes to figure out how to successfully extract the reigning sleep-in champion from her current hibernation and cajole the in-training lie in contender from her slumber. For today we were heading to a staycation in Blackpool.
We love Blackpool but Olivia and E (my eldest niece) were proving hard to rouse. But perseverance paid off and pretty sharpish we found ourselves boarding the train from Liverpool Lime Street for our journey ‘up North. We were packed and ready for two days of fun, sun welcomed but not essential, and the chance to revisit some of our favourite haunts along one of Britains most well loved and famous promenades. Yes, it was time for our second #BlackpoolHasItAll trip and this time it would a two-day experience!
Our Staycation in Blackpool Itinerary.
Day 1 would see us visit Madame Tussauds, Sea Life Blackpool and Sandcastle Waterpark. For Day 2 we were heading to the Pleasure Beach before visiting The Blackpool Tower. We had a reservation overnight for The Hollindales Hotel, I was excited, the girls were excited, it was time! Bring on our staycation in Blackpool!
Our first stop and one of our favourite places in Blackpool. Having visited at least 4 times in the past few years, I knew that there were some new waxworks that the girls would love this year. Would it still be just as fun for us all this time around?
Abso-freaking-lutely. There is a reason people flock to Madame Tussauds time and time again. As always the customer service was amazing not only at the front desk but the staff at the photo points and around the attraction too. We were lucky it wasn’t too busy. We went quite early in the day so this meant there wasn’t a lot of time queuing to snap our favourite celebs.
This was a plus for the girls who posed up a storm as we made our way through the attraction. The first new waxwork we came across Brian Cox. Although the girls didn’t quite know who he was, they loved the 3D show. The fact that so far they had already seen most of the celebs didn’t stop them from perfecting their poses and generally hopping from one waxwork to the next as soon as the crowds allowed.
After a spot of virtual football, we headed into the Rovers Return for a quick drink before continuing on our way. It’s thirsty work posing for the camera it seems. But as soon as the girls spotted Arianna Grande it was time to leave the Rovers and find some more celebs to add to our collection.
The Rovers has had a new extension built and standing proudly in it is Michelle Connor AKA Kym Marsh. (apologies for no picture of Michelle she was very popular and the girls were eager to find Ariana!)
These new changes we quickly followed by a whole different look in the pop stars section. I love it! Here we found Ariana along with some old Favourites and the addition of some music booths. Pop on some headphones, select your favourite song and have a little silent disco. What’s not to love? Olivia and E dancing to the Macarena was definitely a highlight for me. At least I think that’s what was going on anyway!
After a little dance, myself and E got our hands immortalised in wax. We have had this done before and they are still standing strong all these years later. Only now we have a pair. Or two left hands in my case.
Festival Fields is absolutely our favourite part of the attraction. After a turn on the karaoke, we went in to have a sing along with Olly Murs, Ed Sheeran and Calvin Harris. We were here for a bit on our own and the girls took full advantage of this. Getting up on stage with Olly and attempting to once more leave the building with him. This waxwork needs its own security!
Where Did We Stay?
After wrapping up our visit, it was time to venture out and round to our hotel to drop off our belongings before getting on with the rest of our day. For the night we were staying at The Hollindales Hotel. One room for 3 people cost £55 on Laterooms. Not bad considering I only booked it the day before. Situated on the road behind the promenade we were right in the middle of the promenade and opposite Manchester Square tram station.
Sea Life Blackpool.
Olivia isn’t one for Sealife centres but my niece loved it and pretty soon her enthusiasm became contagious and we ended up spending quite some time in there. Mostly us walking round in circles, but just to keep revisiting the fish and other creatures again and again. They were both quite taken with it and frequently just stopped in silence to observe all the different tanks.
My absolute favourite part is the tunnel under the tanks. I loved this bit and would have (very nearly did) spend most of my day underneath it. The girls loved it too, giving them the chance to get even closer to the sharks and fish swimming above them. I managed to get some gorgeous pictures too like this seahorse.
This time around it was a definitely more fun and the girls both really enjoyed it and had we not had a schedule to stick to we would have stayed even longer!
The excitement to get here was unreal. The biggest and best indoor waterpark in the UK. What’s not to love. I sat this one out and left the girls to it. I did want to capture some videos of them but we had had such a crazy day I wanted them to just enjoy this and let off some steam. Also, I wasn’t sure at the time if you had permission to film (you can request it if you do visit).
I found myself a nice spot to sit back and relax and let the girls explore on their own. Boy did I wish they had themselves a GoPro. They went on pretty much everything they could/were brave enough to try.
They kept popping back to let me know what was going on, what they had been on and not once did they get bored. In fact, they would have stayed way longer than the two hours we were there for if they could have.
Right in the centre of the action, there are areas for swimmers to sit and eat and drink whilst taking a breather from the array of different slides and features. People like me who didn’t choose to hit the water and indulge in some splashing fun, had a separate area, colour coded, to sit and relax. You would be charged for sitting here as opposed to waiting outside. This meant I could hold onto the girl’s stuff without the need for a locker. Obviously be prepared to get a little wet, and hot as you sit there.
I did venture down to the changing rooms with them, there are male, female and family changing areas. All clean and tidy and a vast amount of lockers to accommodate all visitors. This place is an absolute must for anyone visiting Blackpool. Perfect escape the sun or the rain and hours of fun guaranteed.
Places to Eat.
We did pick up some food on our way to the hotel from nearby shops but after the fun of day one, we needed something more. The torrential downpour going on when we left the Sandcastle Waterpark forced us onto a tram and into a good old fish and chip shop! Blackpool’s Fish Factory for some dinner before heading back to our room for a well-deserved sleep! We got a cheeseburger and chips, pulled pork and chips and fish and chips with cheese along with 3 refillable soft drinks for £25.
That’s it for day one of our staycation in Blackpool. Make sure to come back to see what we got up on day two! In the mean time, you can check out this little video of our stay.
*DISCLAIMER: WE WERE PROVIDED WITH A BLACKPOOL RESORT PASS PLUS FOR OUR TRIP. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON BLACKPOOL AND WHAT YOU CAN DO VISIT WWW.VISITBLACKPOOL.COM. YOU CAN PURCHASE A RESORT PASS PLUS ONLINE BEFORE YOUR TRIP FOR £80 PER PERSON. THE PASS LASTS FOR 7 DAYS AND ALLOWS YOU ENTRY FOR ONE VISIT EACH IN THE FOLLOWING ATTRACTIONS; BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH, NICKELODEON LAND, MADAME TUSSAUDS BLACKPOOL, SEA LIFE BLACKPOOL, THE BLACKPOOL TOWER EYE, THE BLACKPOOL TOWER DUNGEONS, SANDCASTLE WATERPARKBLACKPOOL ZOO AND BLACKPOOL MODEL VILLAGE AND GARDENS. I WOULD LIKE TO THANK VISIT BLACKPOOL, MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS AND BLACKPOOL PLEASURE BEACH FOR INVITING US TO BLACKPOOL AND SUPPLYING OUR PASSES FOR OUR TRIP*