Things to do in Blackpool for free

Must-see free Blackpool sights

Blackpool is the most typical seaside resort in the UK. With the Golden Mile, plenty of donkeys and arcades, it’s the perfect beach break.

  1. Trundle along the Golden Mile
  2. Discover the iconic Blackpool Tower
  3. Head to the Great Promenade Show
  4. Discover the Comedy Carpet and have a laugh!
  5. Marvel at some of the best of Blackpool’s buildings
  6. Spot some donkeys in Blackpool

What to do in Blackpool for free? There’s plenty! Stroll along the beach, marvel at the Blackpool Tower, or enjoy some impressive art pieces at the Grundy Art Gallery. Tempted? Take a look at our fantastic Blackpool holidays.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Trundle along the Golden Mile

The Golden Mile is made up of restaurants, fast-food stalls, amusement arcades and bingo halls found on sprawling stretches of sand. Watch sand-surfers and crane your neck to find kite-flyers having the time of their lives, and listen to the trundle of trams in the distance. The three piers are home to plenty of traditional summer entertainment. A stroll along the Golden Mile is by far one of the most rewarding free things to do in Blackpool.

Best for: Classic Blackpool attractions

While you’re there: Another highlight to Blackpool is Madame Tussauds – spot your favourite celebs inside and take plenty of pics!

2. Discover the iconic Blackpool Tower

Above Blackpool Pleasure Beach (ticketed) looms the famous 518ft (158-metre) Eiffel-style Blackpool Tower : in September and October it is outlined in coloured lights as the centrepiece of the spectacular Blackpool Illuminations. You have to pay to go up the tower, but just a look of it from the outside is dazzling enough – it’s one of the best free things to do in Blackpool.

Best for: The symbol of Blackpool

While you’re there: Stanley Park is another great spot in Blackpool. It’s a fantastic place to enjoy a picnic.

3. Head to the Great Promenade Show

The Great Promenade Show may just be the best symbol of “new” Blackpool. It’s a collection of impressive outdoor sculptures, fascinating installations and lively soundscapes which are located on around a mile of the promenade. Everything here relates to a point in Blackpool’s natural environment or the history of the city. Highlights include the High Tide Organs which blasts out some terrifying music when it’s “played” by the waves. There are some circus character sculptures by Sir Peter Black which are well worth a look. Dancing fans will also enjoy the world’s biggest disco ball which is called “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”.

Best for: Art on the promenade

While you’re there: If you’re looking for evening entertainment, head to one of Blackpool’s fantastic karaoke bars.

4. Discover the Comedy Carpet and have a laugh!

Just outside the Blackpool Tower lies the Comedy Carpet which is often described as the best piece of public art in the country. It was first opened in 2011 by funnyman Ken Dodd. The carpet consists of a huge 2200m-square made up of tickling jokes and funny catchphrases which all originate from roughly a thousand old and new writers and comedians. It can be found in a typographic display that resembles a music hall playbill.

Best for: Public art

While you’re there: If you’re looking for a treat, head to Blackpool Pleasure beach of course!

5. Marvel at some of the best of Blackpool’s buildings

There is, after all, an alternative Blackpool - one of history, heritage and even a spot of culture. There are plenty of magnificent buildings you can pop in to and have a look at. Scene of party political conferences over the decades, the Winter Gardens (Coronation Street) opened to fanfare in 1878. Among the motley array of cafés, bars and amusements, seek out the extraordinary Spanish Hall Suite (in the form of a carved galleon), and the Opera House honours board - Lillie Langtry, George Formby and Vera Lynn are all present. From in front of the Opera House, follow Abingdon Street to Queen Street and the porticoed Central Library, next to which the Grundy Art Gallery (free) might tempt you in to see its Victorian oils and watercolours, contemporary art and special exhibitions. North Pier, the first pier to be opened (1863) on the Blackpool seafront, is now a listed building. Head northbound from here on the tram to the Imperial Hotel, whose wood-panelled No. 10 Bar is covered with photographs and mementos of every British prime minister since Lloyd George.

Best for: A look at some magnificent Blackpool buildings

While you’re there: Blackpool is host to an airshow taking place every August. Plane enthusiasts will love spotting all sorts of aircraft.

6. Spot some donkeys in Blackpool

Travelling with children? They will love spotting donkeys on the beach in Blackpool. Donkey rides have existed in Blackpool since the 1880s, and your kids may just love you forever if you pay for a donkey ride for them. If you’re looking to explore a bit further out from the centre, head to Penny Farm where volunteers will show you around the stables where you will spot over 60 horses.

Best for: A fun day out with kids

While you’re there: Remember that your kids will love a stick of rock as a treat – when in Blackpool after all!

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