Blackpool North Shore

Look around Blackpool North Shore

For the purposes of this page we’ll say that Blackpool North Shore covers the area from North Pier to Bispham. It’s about right, and is just one page in our thorough guide to the huge seafront at Blackpool!

The borough of Blackpool continues a bit further north, as far as Anchorsholme. Cleveleys is the next town north – where you leave Blackpool to arrive in the borough of Wyre.

In this video you can walk with us from North Pier to Gynn Roundabout.

Blackpool North Shore

We’ve already decided that this page covers the seafront from North Pier. Enjoy a whistle-stop tour of the many features and highlights you’ll see. Just follow the links to explore the individual places in more detail.

North Pier

Blackpool’s North Pier was the first of the three piers to be built. It combines the best of both worlds, with modern attractions and things to do, interspaced with the traditional pier deck to promenade along!

Entrance to Blackpool North Pier
Entrance to Blackpool North Pier

To the right of North Pier are attractive gardens and the Cenotaph, which is, of course, the site of Remembrance events in the town.

Did you know? The Metropole Hotel is the only holiday accommodation on the seaward side of the highway, along the whole of the Fylde Coast?

War Memorial and Cenotaph at Blackpool north shore
War Memorial and Cenotaph at Blackpool north shore

Victorian Promenade

The Promenade at Blackpool is one of the greatest spots from which to enjoy the evening sunshine as it sets on the west coast. Winter or summer, on a sunny day there’s nowhere better to be!

Victorian shelters on Blackpool seafront
Victorian shelters on Blackpool seafront

With its Victorian shelters, benches and original features, the promenade from North Pier around the seaward side of the Metropole is one of the first to be built. Princess Parade, the section between North Pier and Cocker Square, was opened in 1912 by Princess Louise.

You can even enjoy a game of vintage crazy golf, at the sunken gardens to the side of the Metropole hotel. How good are you?

Did you know? In honour of this first Royal visit, the first static illuminations were erected here, at Princess Parade?

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Colonnades

The promenade continues northwards here at split level. The lower walks take you past the Princess Parade Colonnade of 1912.

Colonnades at Blackpool North Shore
Colonnades at Blackpool North Shore

They’re an attractive and original feature dating back to 1924/5 and hark back to the long history of Blackpool as one of the original British seaside resorts. We went to take a look in August 2020 –

The wide promenade at the upper walkway passes seafront hotels including the amazing Imperial Hotel. The promenade continues here at split level with the lower walk near the Metropole taking you past the Princess Parade Colonnade of 1912.

In this short clip below we’re stood on the walkway in front of the Colonnades opposite the Grand Hotel (formerly the Hilton), as a tram passes above.

You can catch one of the new Blackpool trams at one of the stops anywhere along the seafront. Why not enjoy a Heritage Tram tour and see the seafront in style – they have their own special Heritage Tram Stops.

Get access to the lower walkway from the main promenade from the sloped footpaths. The five curved bays of the Colonnades cover nearly a kilometre. They replaced the earlier grassy slope coastal defences here, built between 1895-99.

Colonnades and Blackpool North Pier
Colonnades and Blackpool North Pier

Gynn Roundabout

Gynn Roundabout is another good local landmark. It connects the main promenade route with roads that head inland. Warbreck Hill Road leads to Bispham past the Rock Gardens, and Dickson Road to Blackpool North Railway Station.

On the roundabout itself there’s usually a Blackpool Illuminations display. It’s currently home to replica Spitfire! Take a look in this video –

Over the years it’s hosted many features. Including spacemen, a rocket, Dr Who and the circus!

Rocket Tram at Gynn roundabout in 2012
Rocket Tram at Gynn roundabout in 2012

It’s also worth noting that there is a block of Danfo public toilets on the top level of the promenade, just before you get to the roundabout.

Blackpool seafront at Gynn roundabout, looking north. Public toilets with the blue roof, almost centre shot.
Blackpool seafront at Gynn roundabout, looking north. Public toilets with the blue roof, almost centre shot.

The highway from North Pier is simply called ‘Promenade’ up to Gynn roundabout. As it heads north from there it becomes ‘Queen’s Promenade’.

At the Queen’s Promenade side there’s a large surface car park with adjacent gardens. Opposite it, between Warbreck Hill Road and Dickson Road is the Rock Gardens.

North Pier to Gynn Roundabout – now and then

Our August 2020 walking tour from North Pier to Gynn roundabout is the first video on this page. If you love Blackpool North Shore, you’ll enjoy the next video!

The next drive-through video is a few years old. How many things have changed? Sit back and enjoy this short video clip, filmed in 2015.

Jubilee Gardens

Follow the coast at Gynn roundabout to carry on north along Queen’s Promenade and the very first feature that you come to is Jubilee Gardens. There’s an ornamental gateway just a few metres from the junction which marks it out.

The spacious seafront Jubilee Gardens occupies a large area between the edge of the promenade and the tramway.

Jubilee Gardens Blackpool north shore
Jubilee Gardens Blackpool

It’s a sunken garden built over 100 years ago by our Victorian ancestors and adopted by the Friends of Jubilee Gardens Group. In recent years they’ve totally transformed it.

Not far into the gardens themselves is this Blue Light Emergency Services Memorial.

Blue Light Memorial in Jubilee Gardens Blackpool
Blue Light Memorial in Jubilee Gardens Blackpool

It remembers three police officers who lost their lives in a tragic drowning accident.

This short video was filmed roughly in this spot. In it you can see the Cabin Lift in the distance (more about that below). After panning over the sea with North Pier in the distance the clip ends on Jubilee Gardens.

Cliff Lift and Boating Pool

The seafront here is known as The Cliffs – because of the height of the drop! The cliff lift itself (or Cabin Lift) is no longer in use, but it makes a good landmark.

What was once the boating pool jutting out into the sea is now laid out as a site for karting.

Boating pool and Cliff Lift at Blackpool North Shore
Boating pool, now a karting area, and the Cliff Lift at Blackpool North Shore

Take a look around the area in this video –

Blackpool Illuminations Tableaux

Just beyond Jubilee Gardens to Bispham is where you’ll find the huge Blackpool Illuminations tableaux. They’re lit up during the late summer and autumn season.

Blackpool Illuminations Tableaux at North Shore
Blackpool Illuminations Tableaux at North Shore

Every summer the huge grey poles are erected which support the illuminated scenes of all types.

Installing poles for the Blackpool Illuminations tableaux
Installing poles for the Blackpool Illuminations tableaux

There are children’s nursery rhymes, figures from TV and dinosaurs from the past, all brought to life each year with millions of LED lamps (because bulbs grow underground! 🙂 )

If you haven’t walked the route with your family you really must come along. Safe from traffic and packed with people it’s a great atmosphere and a great evening out.

Cliff Top Walk

With the sea on your left you’re heading north towards Bispham. Why don’t you leave your car behind and enjoy the view!

The whole of the seafront from Gynn roundabout to Anchorsholme near Cleveleys is a typical concrete sea defence. It’s a sheer, solid wall with steps down to the beach at regular intervals.

On foot, you’ve got a choice of levels depending on the height of the cliff. Each one is an important part of the sea defence in its own right. Choose from the very top of the banking against the highway and tram tracks as they make their way along the seafront. In some areas there’s a middle walkway, then the lower promenade against the beach.

Bispham cliff top walk, with Blackpool straight ahead
Bispham cliff top walk, with Blackpool straight ahead

The last line of defence is the promenade walkway and footpath. This is at the top of the cliff in the space between the tram lines and the sheer drop!

Separated from the traffic by an area of grass, it’s a safe place where children and dogs can enjoy some freedom. The shared tarmac path is marked out with a separate cycle way and footpath.

Interesting Features

This seafront footpath runs all the way along the coast from Lytham to Fleetwood. There are benches, bins, memorials and other interesting features along the way, including a number of Grade II Listed shelters.

Victorian Shelter on Blackpool seafront
Victorian Shelter on Blackpool seafront

The next seating area is dedicated in memory. Dedicated with love and solidarity to Denis and Elaine Thwaites from Blackpool, killed along with 36 innocent victims, 28 of them British. In Sousse, Tunisia, on 26 June 2015. “May the sun and stars shine bright for you always”

Memorial to Denis & Elaine Thwaites, killed in Tunisia
Memorial to Denis & Elaine Thwaites, killed in Tunisia
Memorial to Denis & Elaine Thwaites, killed in Tunisia
Memorial to Denis & Elaine Thwaites, killed in Tunisia

The next contemporary seating area is dedicated to John A Shaw. He was Chartered Civil Engineer and Head of Technical Services at Blackpool Council for 23 years.

Memorial to John Shaw, Blackpool Council engineer
Memorial to John Shaw, Blackpool Council engineer
Memorial to John Shaw, Blackpool Council engineer
Memorial to John Shaw, Blackpool Council engineer

The next video clip was filmed on a breezy day in June, during coronavirus lockdown. It’s the walk along part of the lower level promenade, near the boating pool.

Watch out for Wild Flowers

All along this stretch you’ll see wildflowers growing along the steep grass bank. Bluebells grow wild all along this coastline.

Bluebells growing wild on the seafront at Bispham
Bluebells growing wild on the seafront at Bispham

In spring the pink flowers of seathrift nod in the breeze and then in early summer enjoy the white bells of sea campion.

Sea thrift growing wild on the seafront
Sea thrift growing wild on the seafront

When travelling in a car here, even though the promenade hugs the coast you can’t actually see much of the beach from the main road. On foot the views are spectacular from the edge.

What a view!

This footpath along Queen’s Promenade, the main road, is one of only a few high areas of land on the Fylde Coast. From here you can see across the Irish Sea to neighbouring Cleveleys on your right and the Lake District beyond.

Bispham, Blackpool North Shore
View from Bispham, Blackpool North Shore, looking northwards towards Cleveleys

Look along the coast to your right to see Cleveleys. On a clear day you can see Heysham, Barrow and the Lake District beyond Cleveleys. Looking straight ahead to the horizon you can see the wind farms. In the evening when the fabulous sunsets light up the sky you’ll sometimes see the Isle of Man, with the help of a mirage!

A safe place for wave watching

Are you into wave watching? The top footpath at the Cliffs is your best spot on a windy day at high tide. All through the year you’ll see spectacular displays of the weather at Blackpool and along the Fylde Coast. Enjoy the best views of waves and spray lifting high into the air from this point.

Please use your common sense when walking along this section of seafront in bad weather. DON’T go down to the lower levels during stormsor onto the beach steps when chains are across.

Here’s a video of high tide along Blackpool North seafront –

At high tide and in bad weather you’ll find warning notices across the steps, when the force of the sea is at its mightiest and most dangerous. Do not go to the lower promenade in really bad weather. Over the years, many people have been pulled into the sea, only to lose their lives. If you do decide to watch the waves on a bad day, do it from the safety of the footpath on the middle or upper seafront walkway.

Heed the 'No Access' signs at high tide
Heed the ‘No Access’ signs at high tide

Bispham

The Blackpool Illuminations tableaux finish (or begin!) at the end of Red Bank Road at Bispham. There’s a big welcome arch over the road here at the traffic lights.

Welcome arch at Red Bank Road, Bispham
Welcome arch at Red Bank Road, Bispham

Between the sea and the promenade you’ll pass the old, original tram stop with ‘Bispham’ written in tiles on the wall.

Bispham Station, the original tram stop at Red Bank Road
Bispham Station, the original tram stop at Red Bank Road

Depending on which way you travel through the illuminations, this is the start or end of the route! It’s a great place to enjoy your fish and chips and stock up on illuminated merchandise.

At night during illuminations season it’s a hive of activity here. Thronged with families and people of all ages enjoying the atmosphere!

Turn inland at the traffic lights and you’ll find the small shopping centre of Bispham and a little further inland, Bispham Village.

Take a look around this area in the next video –

Drive from Gynn Roundabout to Red Bank Road

End your journey along Blackpool North Shore with this short video.

It’s dash-cam footage of the drive from Gynn roundabout to Red Bank Road, also filmed in 2015.

To Blackpool and Beyond!

If you carry on with your journey north, you’ll come next to Norbreck, Little Bispham and Anchorsholme.

The seafront continues in much the same vein. There’s a steep drop between the beach and the grassy area of the cliff top walkway.

At the Little Bispham end of the Cliff Top Walk you’ll pass this small memorial. It’s been a puzzle to us, but you’ve finally solved it!

Cliff top memorial near Little Bispham, Blackpool
Cliff top memorial near Little Bispham, Blackpool

The stone reads:

Mightier than the thunders of many waters,
Mightier than the waves of the sea,
The Lord on High is mighty! Psalm 93:4
God is always greater than all of our troubles

David Wall solved the mystery for us. He says “It was placed there about thirty years ago by a religious group called the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary. There are about 2000 similar plaques in beauty spots and dramatic locations worldwide.”

Their website says “The desire to praise and thank God is behind these plaques. They point to our Lord and Creator who speaks to us in the beauty of nature. Worldwide around 2000 of these plaques remind us to give God the glory.”

Little Bispham

Past the Norbreck Castle Hotel you’ll arrive at another decorative tram stop building at Little Bispham. Make a note – this is also where you’ll find Danfo public toilets too! See them both in the next video clip –

Here, the seafront starts to level out. You’ve come to the new Anchorsholme sea wall and promenade, against the newly relandscaped Anchorsholme Park.

The end of the new sea defences of Princes Way is where North Promenade, Cleveleys begins.

Where to next after North Shore?

If you’ve enjoyed this page, there’s another one about Blackpool Central Promenade here.

Or you might want to check out Blackpool South Shore.

While you’re here…

Have a look at the homepage of the Live Blackpool website for more of the latest updates.

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