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Culture Guide To Blackpool

Culture in Blackpool When it comes to culture Blackpool is unlike any other place in Britain, but its mix of quirky historic buildings and star-studded entertainment have made this seaside town a tradition in itself.

So whether you go for the theatres, museums, circuses, lights or ballroom dancing, you’ll soon discover that Blackpool’s favourite word is ‘fun’.

Perhaps the closest thing to Great British culture you’ll find here are the historic theatres, which still play host to some of the biggest shows in the country.

The Grand Theatre [map] on Church Street offers everything from stand-up shows by comics Ken Dodd and Billy Pearce to performances by the English National Ballet. Opened to much acclaim in July 1894, The Grand was so popular in the early 20th century that top West End producers used the theatre for premieres, with musicals being seen here before they were shown in London.

Blackpool’s other famous theatre is the Opera House [map], which is situated just up the street from the Grand. Part of the Winter Gardens complex, which is also home to an impressive ballroom and the Pavilion Theatre, the Opera House stages touring West End musicals and sell-out concerts.

There’s more entertainment to be found over at Blackpool Tower [map], which has played host to the globally acclaimed Tower Circus, with its spectacular water finale, for 110 years.

Also worth a look while you’re there is the Tower Ballroom [map] because, quite frankly, there’s nowhere else in the world quite like it. Home to the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, which is now complemented by The 3 Deck Wersi – the world's most advanced organ, the Ballroom has regular tea dances for old-time romantics.

Back at the Winter Gardens you’ll find another magnificent ballroom, the Empress Ballroom, where the annual Blackpool Dance Festival is staged each year. Now in its 80th year, the Festival covers ballroom and Latin American dancing, and usually includes the British Open Championships. Dancers from more than 50 countries take part.

If you’re idea of culture is a walk around a museum or art gallery then Blackpool will not disappoint as the town has a number of these attractions to choose from.

Considered as the resort’s most famous museum, Louis Tussauds Waxworks [map] on Central Promenade has five floors packed to bursting with amazing waxwork figures. Along with most of the Royal family, you’ll also find politicians, film stars, pop singers and sporting greats lined up side by side in the Grand Hall.

For budding scientists there’s the Exhibition of the Universe at the Golden Mile Centre [map], which was built by David Boyle, a researcher in all fields of the unexplained, spirituality and the super-natural.

Or, to escape the hustle and bustle of the town centre, why not head to Stanley Park where you’ll find the Blackpool Model Village and Gardens [map]. Set in two-and-a-half acres of beautiful gardens, this attraction has hundreds of models built against a background of waterfalls, lakes and running streams.

The town’s only art gallery is the Grundy Art Gallery [map], situated near the Blackpool Central Library on Queen Street, which is recognised as one of the best small galleries in the country.

Finally, one of Blackpool’s best-loved attractions, the Illuminations, is now a fully-fledged tradition in the seaside town, drawing in crowds from around the country every autumn. First established in 1879 with just eight lamps, the lights extravagnza now consists of more than one million bulbs, which take all kinds of shapes from aliens to cartoon characters.

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