The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.
© VisitBritain
The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

A taste of old-fashioned, kiss-me-quick seaside fun, this long-established amusement park on the Lancashire coast has been a favourite with generations of British families. Tacky it may be, but with more than 125 rides (from exhilarating rollercoaster to gentler tots’ rides) plus cabaret shows, ice-skating, bowling and much more besides, kids (and adults) go wild for a day at Blackpool Pleasure Beach.

Best for: All ages – most of the ‘Family Rides’ have no lower height restriction, so even babes in arms can join in the fun.


Blackpool Pleasure Beach

What to expect

Family rooms
Picnic areas
Public transport
Seasonal opening

What to do

Experience the Red Arrows Skyforce thrill ride, based on the famous aerobatic display team, with riders stepping into their own cockpit and taking control of a plane.

With older kids, head for the major rides, including the famous The Big One (which you can not only ride, but also walk!), the Big Dipper, Valhalla and the classical wooden Grand National dating back to the 1930's. Do check for height restrictions for any of the ride before joining the queues to avoid disappointed children.

With younger children, seek out the wide choice of family rides, most of them without any height restriction. Many of these are in Nickelodeonland, with 12 rides based on characters and shows from the kids' TV network, including a Rugrats log flume and Diego balloon ride.

Check out the indoor attractions, which include arcades, a dino-themed bowling alley, the Horror Crypt, the Pasaje del Terror where live actors play horror movie characters, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not exhibition, and even an old-fashioned seaside clairvoyant.


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Where to stay

Pleasure Beach has its own four-star hotel, the well-reviewed Big Blue, which offers family rooms with children’s areas with bunkbeds and entertainment (TVs with Playstation 2 connection; games are available from reception).

Blackpool has plenty of other hotels and B&Bs, of varying standards, or our partner Hoseasons has a holiday village at Ribby Hall Village just 11km from Blackpool.


Blackpool Pleasure Beach is open daily from the end of March through to the beginning of November, and some weekends outside this period. For times see the official website.

A great bonus for families enjoying a short break in the area, if there is 3-hours of consecutive rain on the day of your visit you can visit the following day free of charge (or any Sunday during the season) - that's their Rainy Day Return policy.


Pleasure Beach has several restaurants and fast-food outlets, including Pizza Hut, Rib Shack and Willie Wurst German Sausages. Picnicking is not allowed inside the park although you are free to bring snacks, and food outlets will heat baby milk and food.

Money-saving options include the All You Can Eat and All You Can Drink wristbands, where you can enjoy meals at a selection of places on-site as many times as you like on your day of visit. Prices for this start from £15 per child and £20 per adult.

Offer of the week

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It doesn’t make for a cheap day (or two) out, with one-day unlimited-ride wristbands for a family of four costing around £72, when you book 10-days in advance for an off-peak day. Prices increase for peak days and the closer to the day of visit you pre-book. You can of course buy tickets on the day, but prices will be higher. Children are classed as 11 years and under when purchasing tickets and under 2's go free.

Alternatively, the Big Value Pass may be a good option if you are looking to pack a lot into your day in Blackpool. For £55 you get a wristband that will get you one day entrance to the Pleasure Beach and unlimited rides, a show ticket, adventure golf, ice skating, entry to Ripley's Believe It or Not and Pasaje del Terror. And for an extra £20 you will get All You Can Eat and Drink wristbands.