Adventures around Blackpoolwith PlusBus
A giant rotating glitter ball on the seafront promenade in Blackpool reflects some of the town's many facets as it turns: the iconic tower and roller coasters, the wild waves, seabirds and changing skies. Go beyond the glitzy seafront and explore sand dunes and elegant gardens with a Blackpool PlusBus ticket. Just ask for PlusBus when you buy your train ticket.
1. Ride the seafront tram
Past the Eiffel-style tower with its famous ballroom, Madam Tussauds waxworks museum, miles of illuminations and not one but three piers, the seafront trams link Blackpool’s best known sights. See Good Journey’s directions. Services run every ten minutes or so on gleaming state-of-the-art trams and there are direct views out across the water along much of the route. Your PlusBus ticket is now valid on the trams to ride from the Thornton Gate stop near Cleveley Park all the way south to Starr Gate, at the end of the line, near the Pleasure Beach.
- A ride on the tram is a fun activity in its own right and also takes you to the entertainment hubs along miles of golden sand. The piers all have rides and arcades, but seem to raise the thrill-seeking stakes as you head southwards.
- North Pier, opened in 1863, has Victorian charm coupled with classic hits, a theatre and an old school carousel. The stop near this pier is the closest to Blackpool North station, where lots of trains arrive from Manchester, York and Liverpool.
- Central Pier has a bar and a big wheel, while South Pier is home to a high-speed wild mouse ride and some scream-inducing roller coasters, snaking and rocketing over the waves in adrenaline-pumping coils.
- Nearby, Blackpool Pleasure Beach is full of extremes: the Big One, towering over the seafront promenade, is UK’s tallest rollercoaster. There are the UK’s first looping or suspended coasters too and ICON, the first double launch coaster, as well as gentler rides for younger visitors and Nickelodeon Land, where kids can meet PAW Patrol, SpongeBob and others.
2. Take the bus to St Anne's
Just beyond the southern terminus of the Blackpool tram, there’s a wonderful contrast to the screaming rides of the Pleasure Beach. Here, peaceful sand dunes stretch for a couple of miles to the elegant little town of St Anne’s-on-the-Sea with its neat lawns and gardens. 90% of Lancashire’s dunes are here in Fylde, a natural defence against rough seas and high tides and an important habitat for wildlife. It’s all part of Blackpool’s PlusBus area.
- You can walk through the Fylde dunes, past rare plants and the huge yellow flowers of evening primrose among the marram grass. Or along the sandy beach, where 250,000 migrating birds settle every winter. Or catch the lime green Coastliner bus 21 every half an hour along the seafront.
- St Anne’s and neighbouring Lytham are seaside towns with lots of charming features: a Victorian paddling pool and pier, a boating lake and row of beach huts and ornamental gardens.
- The Promenade Gardens are Grade II listed and used Pulhamite rock to create bridges and crags, an alpine-style rockery, and a waterfall with a cave behind it.
- Buses 7, 11, 17 and 68 all run back from The Square, with its pubs and cafes, to the centre of Blackpool.