2015 Blackpool Illuminations are heading this way again, as we’re nearing toward the Autumn months—hasn’t this year flown? At least we now have the illuminations to look forward to with its dazzling lights, so you can spend time on the famous seafront soaking in the atmosphere!
2015 Blackpool Illuminations!
2015 Blackpool Illuminations will begin on Friday the 4th of September and will light up the resort until the 8th of November. The Blackpool Illuminations have been shining since 1879 back when the event was all but eight lit up arcs. Ever since, the lights have been a regular feature in Blackpool, however in 1939, the lights were ready to be turned on for another year, but unfortunately they had to cancel due to World War II and the lights didn’t make a comeback until it was over.
While many other seaside resorts will be closing down for the season, Blackpool is still at its peak with the beautiful Illuminations! The lights have grown since the 1879 and these days the Blackpool Illuminations include many types of light displays for you to enjoy such as laser, neon, floodlights, searchlights, fibre optic and bulb. In 2012, there were more than 500 scenic light features to see at the festival. One of the stunning light features, which are simple but make an impression, are the string lights that are wrapped around the famous Blackpool tower and the rides on the Pleasure Beach. The lights really create a buzzing atmosphere that you can’t understand unless you are there!
Of course, Blackpool is buzzing with plenty of live shows from musicals to comedy acts, so you can add something extra to make your Blackpool trips a holiday to remember. While in town, you should try and visit “Illuminasia”, which is the annual show at the Olympia Exhibit hall in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens. Illuminasia holds a variety of light structures such as ‘The mysteries of Chine’, ‘The Blackpool Experience’ and ‘Land of the Giants.’ It’s an immersive and family-friendly attraction to add to your 2015 Blackpool Illuminations experience.
Visit the Grundy Gallery in the “Lightpool” months as artists around the world will be contributing their “light” artwork to the gallery and around Blackpool. There is a piece called “Sensory Systems” that has five artist contributors (Angela Bulloch, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Ann Veronica Janssens, Anthony McCall, and Conrad Shawcross) who will each contribute artwork that shows how light can affect your sensory system. Most of the light artwork that is shown is participatory, so everyone in the family will be sure to enjoy it.
Another hot-tip on your illuminations break is to look up the Brilliance Archways on Birley Street, as during the Blackpool Illuminations this place is host to many live shows and has a great buzz about it!
Video by Geoff Dean, Delta Entertainment Films via YouTube
Are you interested in a trip to 2015 blackpool illuminations? we have a number of dates throughout the “lightpool” months. Click here to organise a trip from as little as £55.00!
Welcome back to our bi-weekly blog about the little known facts about our favourite tourist destinations. This week, we’ll be looking at Isle of Wight facts, such as the story behind the island’s name and its own history.
I Never Knew That About…Isle of Wight!
Why is it “Wight” and not “White”?
Good Question! The name has been much debated about throughout the years and there are many reasons and thoughts on how the island was given its name. Around 1900 BC, the Beaker people who lived on the island called it “wiht”, meaning raised or what raises over the sea, however when the Romans arrived they renamed the island to Vectis, which loosely translates to “raised.” This didn’t stick around too long and once the Celts arrived they gave the name “Wight” meaning “place of the division, meaning the two arms of the solent.” One thing is for certain, the name didn’t derive from the colours of the cliffs!
Culture on the Island!
Of course, the Isle of Wight festival is a popular attraction, which brings top talent to the island each year. The first festival in 1968 was headlined by Jefferson Aeroplane and 1969′s event was lead by Bob Dylan (supposedly he didn’t play at Woodstock because of Isle of Wight!). However, it was 1970’s line-up that was the real show-stopper packed with music legends such as Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Who, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, The Moody Blues, Donovan, Leonard Cohen and many more. Soon after, the government passed a law stating that any festivals with over 5000 attendees would need a special license, so the Isle of Wight festival was put to bed until it was revived in 2002.
Isle of Wight is not suitable for Vampires!
Did you know that garlic has been grown on the island for years? It’s actually one of the Isle of Wight’s most important exports. They love this superfood so much that local islanders decided to start a garlic festival, so they can celebrate all things garlic in their food!
A Home for the Supernatural-Enthusiasts!
Maybe it’s not one of Isle of Wight’s facts, but the place is supposedly the most haunted island in the world! With sightings of monks, ghostly marching Romans and grey ladies (isn’t it always the grey ladies?!), Isle of Wight is a hotbed of paranormal activity!
History behind Osborne House
One of Isle of Wight’s famous landmarks is Osborne House—a holiday home that was originally built for Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. They chose to erect Osborne House because soon after they married they wanted to live in a place more secluded where their children could holiday in peace without being mobbed. Queen Victoria died at Osborne House in 1901 and her son Edward decided, against his Mother’s wishes, to turn the house in a naval college. If you’re interested in the Victorian period, it’s a fantastic place to visit as it’s full of Victorian memorabilia.
Famous Isle of Wight Residents
Did you know that the actor Jeremy Irons was born in Cowes? Jeremy Irons has starred in many films, such as The Man with the Iron Mask, Dead Ringers and the Lion King!
Alfred Lord Tennyson
This famous poet was a resident on the Isle of Wight for a while and his name is still marked around the island. However, he left when the tourist crowds became too oppressive.
As stated earlier, Queen Victoria died on the island and she frequently visited the Isle of Wight since she was a princess. One of the many reasons why her and Prince Albert built Osborne house was because Isle of Wight’s coast reminded Albert of the Naples.
Another famous literary figure, Charles Dickens, also was a resident on the island for a short while. It is believed that he wrote “David Copperfield” while living on the island.
If you know any Isle of Wight facts, let us know in the comments!
Enjoyed our “I Never Knew That About…Isle of Wight” blog? CLICK HERE to see our latest tours to the island!
Check out our Christmas weekend breaks for 2015:
Christmas on the Cobbles
Due to demand, our Coronation Tour is extending over Christmas this year, so you can get one last chance to enjoy time on the cobbles and visit familiar places like the Rovers Return. Depending on your local pick-up point and date you choose to go on, the Coronation Christmas Weekend will be packed with added excursions that will be sure to include a Christmas market.
Hogwarts at Christmas
This Christmas weekend break will sure to be a crowd pleaser amongst the little ones in your family, as you will get to explore the sets and uncover the behind-the-scenes secrets of the phenomenon that is Harry Potter. In the past, the Warner Bros Harry Potter tour really pulls the stops out at Christmas, with the grand hall decorated in time for Christmas (which is really a sight to see) and you are shown the different types of snow that they use in the film, which you can see scattered throughout the studio—I assure you this is nothing less than magical. This Christmas weekend break also includes time in London, where you can do some late festive shopping, sightseeing or maybe visit the family favourite Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park?
Christmas Market Weekends
For an ultimate Christmas weekend break, there is nothing better than visiting one of the many markets that are spread across the UK. Whether you want to buy someone a unique gift from their many craft, food and drink stalls, or maybe you simply want to take the festive atmosphere while sipping mulled wine, a trip to a Christmas market will no doubt get you in the mood for the impending season.
This year, we’ll be heading to Christmas Markets all over the UK, such as Nottingham, Lancashire, Newcastle, Haworth and Leeds and much, much more! Plus, we offer even more destinations for Christmas Market breaks on our weekday tours. Remember to grab a brochure and check which ones are available to you from your nearest departure point.
Christmas Party and Tribute Weekends
At Travelstyle, we love a party – and that’s why we have a range of Christmas weekend breaks that include bar deals and special tribute acts. Well, it is the season, isn’t it? Remember to order a brochure for a full selection of available Christmas tribute breaks, such as Scarborough, Llandudno, York, Worcester and the Cotswolds and much more!
Thursford Christmas Spectacular
We’ll be visiting the Thursford Christmas Spectacular again this year, as its one of our most popular tours that brings the festive cheer! Thursford Christmas Spectacular is known as the largest Christmas show in the country. It’s set in the magical surroundings of mechanical organs and fairground carousals and brings a variety show packed with singing, dancing and humour—it’s a definite must-watch for the Christmas season.
Your kids or grandchildren will love you for taking them to the enchanting Winter Wonderland this festive season. The Winter Wonderland literally lights up Hyde Park at Christmas time with its dazzling lights, over a 100 rides and attractions, the largest outdoor ice rink in the UK and many stalls. We will also be going to Convent Garden, where you will have free time around the area.
Welcome back to our bi-weekly blog where we discover more about the UK’s favourite holiday destinations! This week, we’ll be finding out more about our favourite seaside resort–Blackpool—a place that greets thousands upon thousands of tourists each year.
A Little Blackpool History
It wasn’t until the 18th century that Blackpool started to become a fashionable tourist destination, mainly due to people believing the sea was good for ailments. However, Blackpool remained a quiet place until 1781, which was the year Thomas Clifton and Sir Henry Hoghton built a private road to the destination, making the town more accessible.
Supposedly, Hitler saved Blackpool from the Blitz because he wanted to keep the seaside resort as his personal playground and headquarters for his paratroopers! German intelligence was recovered from a military based and showed maps marking the Blackpool Tower and the three piers.
Blackpool Illuminations have been around since 1879. The first “illuminations” were eight electric arches that were erected down the promenade and they caused quite the commotion as thousands of tourists flocked to see them. These days, it takes 22 weeks to put the lights up and 14 to bring them down, which means that the lights are up for most of the year (although only ever lit for two months in the autumn).
Over the years, the Blackpool Illuminations are known to have the lights turned on by a celebrity. The first was Lord Derby in 1934 and since then they have had a range of musicians such as Westlife, Blue, The bee Gees, George Formby, Status Quo to comedians like Ken Dodd, Alan Carr and Canon and Ball. They’ve also had a horse switch on the lights (this was when Red Rum won its third Grand National). Recently, they’ve had five of the British 2012 Olympic winners switch their lights on.
Breaking World Records
In 2012, Richard Rodriguez broke the world record for the most consecutive days riding a rollercoaster. Rodriguez rode on the Big One for 112 days. The attempt was only done during operating hours (six hours per day).
The Famous Tower
Blackpool Tower is an iconic symbol of the North West and was built between 1891 and 1894 when Blackpool was becoming a popular tourist destination. It’s now known as one of the most popular tourist attractions of the UK, as it sees 645,000 tourists every year. The tower was influenced by Paris’ Eiffel Tower and was made out of 2493 tonnes of steel. When you’re next in town, you’ll have to climb to the top where you can walk over the dizzying see-through floor, although if the winds are faster than 35 mile per hour, the tower has to be closed as it’s known to sway!
Famous People From Blackpool
Actor David Thewlis grew up in Blackpool and is known as Professor Lupin from the Harry Potter franchise.
There must be something in the water, as actress Jenna Coleman is also from the seaside resort. She is most famous for being Dr Who’s companion, Clara , and played Connie in Captain America: The First Avenger.
The Cure’s lead singer, Robert Smith, also comes from Blackpool. The band had hits such as “Friday I’m in Love,” “Boys Don’t Cry” and “In Between Days.”
If you know any other “Blackpool celebrities” let us know in the comments!
Barbarians Vs Samoa at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Take a mate to see the Barbarians vs Samoa game at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park! Don’t miss out on the exhilarating action and the chance to soak up the atmosphere with a few beers. You will also be given free time in London on the Sunday, where you will be dropped off at the Southbank area and will be able to see sights such as the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben!
Coronation Street Tour
For all the Corrie fans out there, don’t miss out on our special Coronation Street Tour! It will be closing this December, so remember to get your tickets – and quick! Take a walk along the street’s famous cobbles and get behind one of the most famous bars. We also included a Liverpool/Chester (depending on departure region) excursion, where you can enjoy one of these famous cities!
You and your friend could venture to the capital of Ireland for a holiday bursting with culture, nightlife and famous attractions—there’s so much to do! While you’re there, you must visit the legendary Guinness factory tour and learn how one of the most popular drinks in the world is made—and of course you can enjoy one at the end of the tour! There are also beautiful beaches, such as Killiney Beach, which offers breathtaking views and sometimes you can even spot dolphins! Plus, Dublin offers many cultural hotspots, museums and galleries like the fantastic National Gallery of Ireland and the Temple Bar Galley and Studios.
Take a coach trip to the Edinburgh Tattoo; a true Scottish spectacle that you’ll be crazy to miss! In the past, performers from over 43 countries have taken part in the Tattoo, showcasing a range of talents from musicians and performers. You can also enjoy free time before the Tattoo, as you can mosey around the historic city and discover places like the Royal Mile (which proves to be excellent for shopping!).
Great Peak District Fair
With over a 100 indoor and outdoor stalls, the Great Peak District Fair is a perfect and wholesome coach holiday for you and your mates to enjoy! The event showcases the best of the Peak District with farmers markets selling some of the best local produce and there are hand-crafted art stalls. Basically, everything that’s great about the Peak District will be sold here! Another reason to go is the real ale festival in the marquee, which showcases the Peak District’s best breweries! There are also plenty of fun activities to do, such as their live falconry displays and food and drink tasters.
Happy Friendship Day!