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Things To Do In Lancashire

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Blackpool

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Lytham St Annes

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Morecambe

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Lancaster

Blackpool:

Known for its Pleasure Beach, amusement arcades, and donkey rides, Blackpool is the quintessentially British holiday destination and the town welcomes over 6 million visitors every year. Blackpool boomed in popularity between 1900-1950 when it became widely affordable to the working man.

The Illuminations were first shown in 1879 when they were described as 'Artificial sunshine' and consisted of just eight carbon arc lamps that bathed the Promenade. The original event preceded Thomas Edison's patent of the electric light bulb by twelve months. The first display similar to the modern-day displays was held in May 1912 to mark the first British Royal family visit to Blackpool when Princess Louise opened a new section of the Promenade, Princess Parade. The Promenade was decorated with what was described as "festoons of garland lamps" using about 10,000 light bulbs. The local Chamber of trade as well as other local businesses requested Blackpool Council to stage the event in September of the same year. The subsequent event was such a success that in 1913 the council were again asked to stage the Princess Parade lights as an end-of-season event. With the outbreak of the First World War there were no further displays until 1925 when the lights were again on display and extended to run from Manchester Square to Cocker Square. In 1932 animated tableaux were erected running along the cliffs from North Shore to Bispham, and the Illuminations were extended to their current length running from Starr Gate to Red Bank Road at Bispham.

In 1935 the Mayor of Blackpool, Alderman George Whittaker was due to perform the Switch-on ceremony. When he met Railway Queen Audrey Mosson, 15, he was so impressed by her, that he asked her to take his place. 50 years later, in 1985, Audrey was invited back to perform the ceremony alongside actress Joanna Lumley.

The Illuminations were ready to shine in 1939 but the outbreak of the Second World War again interrupted the annual display and post-war austerity meant the lights were not switched on again until 1949.

Illuminations on Blackpool promenade

Every year there is also the Festival of Light which features interactive installations and is described as being "a contemporary look at the concept of light and art working together to create entertainment" Separate from the Illuminations, as part of the Festival of Light, Blackpool Christmas Lights are switched on every year in November in a very similar fashion to the Illuminations. They are located on various streets leading out of The Promenade. On Christmas Eve, and New Year's Eve, the Illuminations are switched on non-commercially to accompany the Christmas Lights.

Lytham St Annes:

Lytham St Annes is a seaside town in the Borough of Fylde in Lancashire, England. It is on the Fylde coast, directly south of Blackpool on the Ribble Estuary. The population at the 2011 census was 42,954. The town is almost contiguous with Blackpool but is separated from it by Blackpool Airport. The town is made up of the four areas of Lytham, Ansdell, Fairhaven, and St Annes-on-Sea.

Lytham St Annes has four golf courses and links, the most notable being the Royal Lytham & St Annes Golf Club, which regularly hosts the Open Championship.

Notable musicians, actors and, entertainers who were born or live(d) in Lytham St Annes include entertainer George Formby, comedians Les Dawson, Bobby Ball, and Roy Walker, comedian, and broadcaster Jenny Eclair, actors Stephen Tompkinson, Jonas Armstrong, Ian Anderson, Dean Lennox Kelly, and Craig Kelly, composer Peter Dickinson, guitarist Mario Parga, drummer with Alien Sex Fiend and UFX/Uncle Fester Ratfink (Andrew Wilson), variety hall entertainer Betty Jumel, singer-songwriter Marli Harwood and Gigwise.com founder Andy Day. In 1999 Susan Swindells (now Susan Wood) created the idea for the Lytham Proms Festival for the local community to raise funds for charity and boost Fylde Coast tourism. It came to fruition with funding from her employer, BAE Systems.

Lytham Beer Festival has been held annually in September since 2007, although this was moved to October in 2012. It is organized by the Blackpool, Fylde, and Wyre branches of CAMRA and offers a choice of around 90 real ales as well as a selection of ciders and foreign bottled beer.

Lytham Green sees an annual five-day musical festival branded as the Lytham Festival and operated by Cuffe & Taylor, part of Live Nation UK. Live performances on the promenade first began under the name "Lytham Proms" in 1999. In 2009, Daniel Cuffe and Peter Taylor took over the operation of festivals on the green with a one-night concert by English soprano singer Lesley Garrett. The festival has since seen a variety of leading bands and musicians including The Human League, Madness, Nile Rodgers & Chic, The Human League, Kylie Minogue, Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, and Tears for Fears.

Morcambe:

Morecambe offers you the chance to enjoy the many pleasures of the seaside, whether it’s flying kites, building sandcastles, or enjoying the views across the bay. Stroll along Morecambe’s award-winning promenade with an ice cream or have fun seeing it on two wheels, before grabbing a picnic and heading on down to the beach for a spot of sandcastle making or kite flying.

Don’t forget to visit the Eric Morecambe Statue, which looks out across the promenade, and The Tern Project, a series of public art installations inspired by the birdlife of Morecambe Bay.

And, of course, there’s the 1930s Midland Hotel, the art deco masterpiece which has been lovingly restored in recent years. Enjoy an afternoon tea overlooking the panorama of the Bay, treat yourself to a glass of wine in the Rotunda bar, and visit the stunning Eric Gill artworks on display in the foyer and at the top of the sweeping staircase.

Time to eat? There’s plenty of scope for ice cream, fish and chips, and other seaside fare whilst you amble along the seafront, but if you prefer to eat indoors then there’s an array of cafes and restaurants to tempt your taste buds.

Just up the road lies Happy Mount Park, where family-friendly attractions complement the atmosphere of peace and tranquillity of a traditional park. Swingboats, mini golf, trampolines, a miniature train, a splash park, and a zip wire will keep the kids amused whilst you enjoy the park’s landscaped surroundings. Regent Park and the West End Gardens also offer places to walk, relax and have fun.

In the evening, The Platform is the place to go to take in a theatre show, comedy gig, or concert.

If you’re in the mood for shopping, visit the boutique stores and gift shops along the Promenade. The town center offers high street shopping whilst Central Drive Retail Park offers clothing, sportswear, gardening, and homeware stores plus a large supermarket.

There are plenty of places to stay in Morecambe and many offer amazing sea views. 

Morecambe station has a regular rail service from Lancaster, with some trains running directly from Preston and Leeds. Trains also run to Heysham, where they connect with the ferry service to the Isle of Man. There is another railway station at Bare Lane, serving the suburb of Bare. Services are operated by Northern.

The present-day Morecambe station opened in 1994, replacing an older station once known as Morecambe Promenade, built by the Midland Railway on its North Western Line from Skipton in Yorkshire. There was also a station called Morecambe Euston Road, built by the rival London & North Western Railway, which closed in 1963.

Lancaster:

Lancaster is one of England’s Heritage Cities. It’s as vibrant as it is quirky with a captivating past and a cultured present.  A creative city. An independent city. A city with great outdoors. A city to shout about. Lancaster is a city with great stories to tell. 

Lancaster has a range of historic buildings and venues, having retained many fine examples of Georgian architecture. Lancaster Castle, the Priory Church of St. Mary, and the Edwardian Ashton Memorial are among the sites of historical importance. Its many museums include Lancaster City Museum, Maritime Museum, the Cottage Museum, and Judges' Lodgings Museum.

Lancaster Friends Meeting House dating from 1708, is the longest continual Quaker meeting site in the world, with an original building built in 1677. George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, was near the site several times in the 1660s and spent two years imprisoned in Lancaster Castle. The meeting house holds regular Quaker meetings and a wide range of cultural activities including adult learning, meditation, art classes, music, and political meetings. The Lancaster Grand Theatre is another historic cultural venue, under its many names. It has played a major part in social and cultural life since it was built in 1782.

Lancaster is known nationally for its Arts scene. There are 600 businesses and organizations in the region involved directly or indirectly in arts and culture.