Boots corner at Bank Hey Street in Blackpool Town Centre

Bank Hey Street in Blackpool Town Centre

It’s one of the main connecting streets in the town – come and take a look at Bank Hey Street in Blackpool Town Centre. See what it looks like today and find out some interesting things from its past.

Bank Hey Street in Blackpool Town Centre

We went to take a look in this walking tour video, filmed in December 2022 –

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Where is it?

If you visit Blackpool, you’re sure to have walked along part or all of Bank Hey Street! It’s the long, mostly pedestrianised street which runs parallel to the promenade, past the rear entrance to The Blackpool Tower and the front entrance to Primark. Here’s a map showing where it is in relation to some of the landmarks you’ll know. Click on it to explore –

Google map showing location of Bank Hey Street. Click on the map to explore.
Google map showing location of Bank Hey Street. Click on the map to explore.

At its northern end, Bank Hey Street meets Church Street – on the same corner where the entrance to Viva Blackpool is.

Stand at that corner and face south to get a great view of The Blackpool Tower as it lifts above the buildings!

Famous Names & Seaside Attractions

Walk along this street and you’ll pass the front doors of a number of famous names. There’s Boots the Chemists near to a huge, four floor Primark – the worldwide value fashion brand. They’re opposite the rear entrance to The Blackpool Tower and the Tower Dungeon.

Poundland and TK Maxx neighbour with Coral Island indoor amusements and the Sands Venue – soon to be five-star hotel and home to Showtown – the Blackpool Museum.

This southern end of Bank Hey Street turns the corner outside McDonald’s Restaurant to meet the A5099 Albert Road.

New Attractions at Bank Hey Street

Blackpool town centre is a unique place. Where else can you marry a visit to the shops, side-by-side with a game of mini-golf!

The main ‘shopping’ area is an eclectic mix of high street retailers and amusements. Bars and independent restaurants and theatres with big-name shows. Enjoy seaside glitz next door to fashion shopping. There’s really something for everyone!

The Hole in Wand mini-golf with a wizarding theme opened in 2022. Enter from the promenade and exit via the gift shop at Bank Hey Street.

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In early 2023, the former Woolworths/Poundland store underwent a complete transformation and is now the brand new ‘Blackpool Amusements’. A family orientated venue on two floors with cafe and toilets.

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Looking for Somewhere to Stay?

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Bookings from these sites are also ultra-low or zero commission. This means that more of the money from your booking helps to support the local economy.

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Old History

Bank Hey Street is one of the old roads of Blackpool, dating back to the late 1890’s. Along the way there are so many memories and ghosts hidden in the walls and foundations of today’s buildings. How much of it do you remember? Watch the Walking Tour video above to see all these things brought to life!

Lewis’s Department Store

Was a huge corner building, later to become Woolworths, then Poundland and, as of early 2023, is now the Blackpool Amusements. The windows of Lewis’s were a delight, with big, bold and elaborate displays – most notably the huge Lego installations!

First Pedestrianised Street

Did you know that Bank Hey Street was Blackpool’s first pedestrianised zone? Laid out in 1973 it was always such a busy thoroughfare. With cars mingling among the people it must have been a death trap previously!

Lewis's at Bank Hey Street Blackpool
Pedestrianised Bank Hey Street – with Lewis’s Blackpool in the background

Butchers & Bakers & Candlestick Makers…

Today, the central section of the Tower Building is a big, modern entrance to The Blackpool Tower, but it hasn’t always been like that. Back in the 1980’s part of the building was given over to newsagents and a gift shop. Another part was the office of StayBlackpool, the independent accommodation organisation.

These shops date back to 1894 when The Tower was built, and were originally occupied by all kinds of trades. In 1894 they’re listed as two milliners, a ship’s dealer, a cutler, two confectioners, a tobacconist, hosier, hairdresser and bootmaker!

& Modern Stores

Directly opposite, the huge, four floor Primark is a popular store with visitors and Fylde Coast residents alike. From 1927 it was the site of RHO Hills – later bought out to become Binns Ltd.

Fire at RHO Hills. Photo: Stuart Dixon
Fire at RHO Hills in the 1960s. Photo: Stuart Dixon

RHO Hill’s opened at 50-68 Bank Hey Street on 28 May 1927 – also known as Hill’s Bazaar. Owned by the Viener family it was built on the site of St John’s Infant School, Clifton Livery Stables and Clifton Palace Pictures. It burned to the ground in a huge fire on 13 January 1932 only to reopen on 3 December – as numbers 54-64. After becoming a limited company in 1962 it was bought by Hide & Company Ltd in 1965 – only to be burned out again on 7 May 1967.

Quickly rebuilt, the new store was opened on 25 September 1968 by the Countess of Derby. Hide & Company Ltd was bought by House of Fraser in 1975 who traded it as Binns Ltd from 1978 until closure in November 1987. The £14 million Tower Shopping Centre opened in the former Binns store in September 1989. The store was replaced in 1995 by the various large stores that now occupy the site – Primark (for many years Littlewoods) and HMV.

Animal Quarters

Walking elephants from Blackpool Tower Circus on the beach

The Circus Elephants hold a bit of a reputation for their daily walks across to the beach.

Their quarters were accessed from what’s now a tiny yard between the Woolworths building and the Tower, called Heywood Street.

Did you ever see the elephants on the beach?

Can you remember the animal smells, straw and hay around the side door there?

Tragedy at Bank Hey Street

Across the road, Waterstones book store was the site of a more recent and tragic bit of local history. On 12 January 2015 the sign blew off the front of the shop in a gale, sadly killing employee Margaret Sheridan outright.

The World’s Biggest Woolies!

There are loads of ‘firsts’ attributed to Blackpool, and the Woolworths building is just one of them. In 1916 they bought 53-65 Bank Hey Street, then quickly acquired the rest of the corner site. Work began on the store in 1936 and by 1938 it was open and trading. What you may not know is that, at the time, it was the largest and most modern of 2000 Woolworths around the world!

Sadly, it closed with all the other Woolworths stores and in April 1985 opened as Pricebusters indoor market. After Pricebusters came Wetherspoons on the promenade side, and Poundland at the Bank Hey Street entrance.

Remember M&S?

Blackpool Council recently acquired the site of the current Church Street M&S store, safeguarding its future in the town. But M&S hasn’t always traded from its current site – for many years they were at Bank Hey Street.

M&S traded in the building now known as The Edith Centre from July 1939 to 1980. And why is it called the Edith Centre? It’s named after the wife of one of the directors who bought it from M&S! McDonalds opened in the corner unit there in 1982.

The old Marks and Spencer and C&A in Blackpool town centre
The old Marks and Spencer (now Bon Marche) and C&A (now TK Maxx) in Blackpool town centre.

While you’re here…

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