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Cliffs at Bispham on Blackpool seafront north shoreCliffs at Bispham on Blackpool seafront north shore

Shelters along Blackpool north shore seafrontShelters along Blackpool north shore seafront

Blackpool promenade at North CliffBlackpool promenade at North Cliff - you can just see the open air baths sticking out into the sea

North pier seen from north shore at BlackpoolNorth pier seen from north shore at Blackpool 

North Shore: Bispham to North Pier

Blackpool has miles of changing coastline, from north to south there’s a spot for everyone. Here, you can come with us for a look at North Shore.

For the purposes of this article, let’s say that North Shore covers the section between North Pier and Bispham – although there may be a different official description!

In these two videos we drive north from North Pier to Bispham with the sea on our left - because the light is behind the camera which makes for a much better view! In the first clip travel along the promenade from North Pier to Gynn roundabout - that's the one which always has an Illuminations feature. Then in the second clip travel along the prom from Gynn roundabout to Red Bank Road at Bispham.

In this article, Bispham is where we begin this journey (so you've got the sea on your right now). It's quite identifiable even if you don’t know the area – it’s where the tableaus start/end on the cliff and where the illuminations begin to welcome visitors to Blackpool. In a car you can’t see much of the beach from the main road which hugs the coast, but on foot the views are spectacular!

View from Bispham north to Cleveleys and beyond

The footpath along the grassy banking adjacent to Queens Promenade, the main road, is one of only a few high spots on the Fylde Coast and from here you can see across the water to neighbouring Cleveleys and the Lake District beyond to your right, North Wales to your left and the Isle of Man on a really clear night, beyond the windfarms. 

With the sea on your right you’re heading south towards the bright lights of Blackpool. You’ve got a choice of three levels on your walk, as you pick from the very top of the banking where the tram tracks make their way through a grassed stretch, the middle walkway, or the bottom promenade from where the next stop is the beach. All along this stretch you’ll see wild flowers growing among the steep grass bank, with the pink flowers of thrift nodding in the breeze, along with the white bells of sea campion.

Illuminations tableaux on the Cliffs at Bispham

You’ll find the tableaus along the footpath here too. Every summer work starts once again to erect the huge grey poles which support the illuminated scenes of all types – children’s nursery rhymes, figures from TV and dinosaurs from the past are all brought to life each year with millions of light bulbs. If you haven’t walked the route with your family you really must come along – safe from traffic and packed with hundreds of people it’s a great atmosphere and a great evening out.

Check out our Blackpool Illuminations website here, for lots of photos and information about the Lights. 

Carry on walking south and you come to what was once an open air swimming baths and is now laid out as a great site for karting (below). There’s a cliff lift here that marks the spot, but is no longer in use. Find out more about this landmark here

Karting - old boating lake and cliff lift

If you’re into wave watching then the top footpath is your spot on a windy day at high tide. All through the year you can see spectacular displays of the weather along the Fylde Coast and at Blackpool, with the best views of waves and spray lifting high into the air from this point. You aren’t advised to go down to the middle and lower footpaths during high storms and always to follow beach safety guidelines.

Sea overtopping at the Boating Lake

Our journey continues southwards, and on the lower walkway you’ll find the Colonnades which you can see int he photo below. This is quite a grand affair which dates from 1925. Five curved bays cover nearly a kilometre, and carry the footpath above. They replaced the earlier coastal defences which had been built as grassed slopes in 1895-99.

Colonnades at Blackpool North Shore

They’re an attractive and original feature which hark back to the long history of Blackpool as one of the original British seaside resorts. 

Gynn roundabout joins the main promenade routes with roads that head inland to Bispham past the Rock Gardens, and here on the roundabout itself you’ll see a varying assortment of displays which are part of the Illuminations.

Our journey southwards continues, and now you start to feel like you are arriving in Blackpool! The promenade is narrower, the grassy Jubilee Gardens between the tramway and seafront has given way to an open promenade, and the original Victorian balustrading of the sea defences protects you from a nasty fall to the lower levels.

With benches and bins and a spectacular view, the Promenade at Blackpool is one of the greatest spots to enjoy the evening sunshine as it sets on the west coast, and on a sunny evening there’s nowhere better to be. You can pick up a tram anywhere along the way and head to Cleveleys and Fleetwood in the north, or into Blackpool. The promenade continues here at split level with the lower walks taking you past the Princess Parade Colonnade of 1912.

Eventually you arrive at a point near Cocker Street, by the tram stop of the same name, where the lower promenade rises and the upper promenade drops.

Metropole Hotel and Cenotaph

Here is the Metropole Hotel (above). There are attractive gardens here too, and the Cenotaph, and finally you have arrived at North Pier.

Read More - our website all about the Lights

Blackpool North Shore Boating Lake and Cliff Lift


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