Find a seaside resort with Gruffalo attractions, a theme park and Strictly Shows for surprisingly affordable family holidays

It’s like stepping into a postcard when we are bouncing along Blackpool beach with its iconic tower. We feel as though the seaside is encapsulated in this picture.

The grey sky above us doesn’t deter our enthusiasm as we pick up shells, seaweed and other items on the beach and then head into the town for some fish & chips and ice cream.

Catherine will be bringing her family back to Blackpool in the future


Catherine is planning to return with her family to Blackpool.Catherine Lofthouse
The Gruffalo Clubhouse has recently opened in Blackpool


Blackpool has just opened the Gruffalo Clubhouse

Blackpool is the perfect place to enjoy a beach vacation with buckets and spades, an exciting day at one of Britain’s oldest amusement parks, or even a wild night at the casino.

The Lancashire resort was recently voted Britain’s underrated beach destination. I am now tempted to go back and see if they can win the title of Britain’s favorite seaside town.

As trams passed us by and lights were left unlit above our heads, my son and I took a walk along the prom.

The town is a long way from the gloomy impression I had of it after my previous visit, which was just 18 months ago. It left me feeling like a place that’s been beaten down by life. This would not be a place I’d rush back to.

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Strictly is my favorite show, so I wanted to give a tribute to the birthplace of ballroom dancing. But, there wasn’t much that made me want to break out into song or dance.

Blackpool has been on a rise this summer.

There are construction sites and attractions that have been refurbished everywhere I turn.

Merlin, the company that owns Alton Towers and Legoland has opened the Gruffalo Clubhouse in town, its eighth theme park.

Blackpool Pleasure Beach has also redeveloped some of the rides that are popular with theme park fans from all over Britain and abroad, such as Valhalla.

The historic Winter Gardens are being restored to their original glory.

Blackpool is now back on the map thanks to the BBC’s flagship show Strictly Come Dancing which films an episode at Tower Ballroom in every autumn.

It’s hard to imagine another UK resort with such an array of activities for both young and older staycationers.

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You can choose from the Sea Life or the Zoo if you are an animal lover.

Sandcastle is the UK’s biggest indoor waterpark, offering 18 slides and flumes for families that love swimming.

There are not many places that have three piers. They also offer indoor attractions such as Madame Tussauds’ waxworks, the dungeons or arcades. Crazy golf is available for those rainy days.

Blackpool is awash with kiss-me quick kitsch that will chase the gray away. There are bars and shops selling many different treats to both kids and adults.

Blackpool seems to have mastered the balance between bright lights, hustle and bussle and quieter places where one can take time out and relax.

It’s vital to choose a place that offers good value, even though a UK holiday isn’t as cheap as chips.

We ate at Tower Fisheries, the UK’s lowest-priced chippy for under ten pounds for us and our friend.

We both fell in love with the town as we returned home with sand buckets and seaside treats.

The future might see my family following the path of previous generations who made the annual pilgrimage to Blackpool’s bright lights.

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This invisible beach, located in a Yorkshire township, contains treasures that are 180 million years old.

And this stunning seaside village you’ve probably never heard of has been named among the best in the UK.

This summer, it feels like Blackpool is on the up


Blackpool feels on the rise this summerCredit: Getty

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