Paws on the Piers – Visiting Blackpool With Dogs


Blackpool is one of the best-known seaside resorts in the north of England. It’s a great place to bring your dogs, as there is so much to enjoy for animals and humans alike. We enjoyed a day in the town with Chase and Lewis. Keep reading to find out all about it!

Getting to Blackpool

The lads settled in nicely for their journey

Blackpool has two terminal stations. Blackpool South has an hourly slow service to Preston via St Annes, with a journey time of 40 minutes. The main station is Blackpool North, which has 4 faster trains to Preston (25 minutes), with two of them continuing to Manchester (1 hour 20 minutes), one to Leeds (2 hrs 10 minutes) and York (2 hours 35 minutes), and one to Liverpool (1 hour 15 minutes). There are also three trains each day to Birmingham (2 hours 35 minutes) and London (4 hours).

Outside Blackpool North station

Around Town in Blackpool

Blackpool’s main draw is its seafront. Stretching for miles along the coast of the Irish Sea, this area has drawn in tourists for hundreds of years. Even today, it continues to bring in the crowds.

Blackpool is an exciting place for a dog to be!

This area is home to iconic attractions like Blackpool Tower and Blackpool Pleasure Beach, although sadly no dogs are allowed at either of these staples. Don’t worry though, there is lots of fun to be had around town.

You’ll find a surprising amount of public artwork spread across the seafront. Whalebone structures, a giant mirror ball and a high tide organ all form part of the South Promenade Artwork Trail.

Vintage wooden shelters are spread across the seafront

Be sure to check out the Comedy Carpet too, just across from Blackpool Tower. This piece of art looks like a giant newspaper spread out on the ground, featuring jokes and memories from British comedy legends.

Chase wasn’t too impressed by the jokes on the comedy carpet

If you’re looking for a little respite from the hustle and bustle of the resort, you’ll also find lots of gardens by the sea.  Jubilee Gardens near North Shore Beach has a small waterfall, beautiful plants and even a giant’s cave! Nearby Flagstaff Garden had pleasant paths for walking and was a nice place to sit and relax.

Jubilee Gardens provide a nice spot to unwind

Chase and Lewis loved having time to explore the varied environments of the seafront. As might be expected on a summer’s day in a popular resort, they caught the eye of a range of holidaymakers. Pats and rubs ensued!

Be aware that Blackpool is a somewhat rowdy place, so it won’t be suitable for timid dogs. Along with the noise from the attractions and the rumbling trams, your pups may be distracted by the many horse-drawn carriages travelling around town. Lewis seemed very eager to make a horse friend!

Lewis wanted to make friends with a horse!

Getting up and down the seafront is easy, as a regular (dog-friendly) tram service operates along the coast. There is only one line, so it’s really simple to get around. Just hop on board and a conductor will sell you a ticket. A day pass costs £6.

A modern tram service makes getting around quick and easy

Things to Do in Blackpool

Blackpool has a grand total of three piers along the seafront. Many visitors enjoy wandering from pier to pier, taking in the different attractions. All the piers are dog-friendly, although some businesses on the piers may not allow dogs inside. The lads enjoyed walking along and taking in the sights, smells and sounds. You can enjoy excellent views of the ocean and the town itself.

Looking down North Pier

Attractions include:

  • Sideshow games
  • A funfair
  • Arcades
  • Places to eat and drinks
  • Gift shops
Exploring the funfair at Central Pier

A word of warning: the surface of the piers may be hazardous to dog paws. The wooden planks have splinters sticking up and even the occasional nail. There are also some small holes in the floor, which may catch a smaller dog’s foot. Enjoy the piers but keep an eye out to be on the safe side.

Central Pier offers good views of the town

If you want to explore Blackpool in style, you can enjoy a vintage tram ride. We took Chase and Lewis on a double-deck streamliner tram used in Blackpool since 1934. It took us up and down the coast, offering views of all the major attractions. Although we opted to go on the top decks to better enjoy the views, the stairs were quite steep and space was limited, so it may be preferable for some dogs to ride down below.

This tram has served Blackpool since 1934!

Riding the vintage tram requires a separate ticket from the regular tram line. Tickets start from £4 per person and you can book online if you want to guarantee a spot on the tram of your choice.

The lads loved the views from the tram window!

Illuminations

If you’re visiting during the autumn, be sure to check out the illuminations. This unique light show covers the seafront in an array of flashing colours. Admire the lights on foot, in a car or on a tram. The light show changes slightly every year, with new characters and themes introduced for every season.

Blackpool Illuminations (credit Mark S Jobling, Wikimedia Commons)

The Illuminations have been a fixture of Blackpool since 1879. They run from late August until early November for 100 days each year.

Beaches

Although you might expect to have plenty of fun on the golden sands, think again! The tides at Blackpool are often so high that most of the town’s beaches are completely inaccessible. Even when they are open to the public, dogs are not allowed on many of Blackpool’s beaches.

High tides made the beaches inaccessible during our visit

If you’re still hoping for fun on the sand, you’re not totally out of luck. Dogs are allowed on the beach between North Pier and Anchorsholme Park.

Places to Eat With Dogs in Blackpool

The seafront and piers offer plenty of places to eat. But most of them are simple fish and chips and pizza restaurants! The quality isn’t always the best and the prices can be a bit inflated (think £2 for a can of Coke) but it is traditional to eat fish and chips by the sea.

If you want something a little different, step back off the seafront and head into the town’s shopping area, where you’ll find an array of restaurants and cafes. We stumbled across Hive Urban Farm Shop on Church Street, which caught our eye with its varied and reasonable menu. Their wraps (we tried one saag aloo and one halloumi) were amazing and the cakes afterwards were divine.

Amazing wraps at Hive
And delicious cakes for dessert!

We sat outside and the dogs enjoyed sitting in the sun, watching passers-by and listening to street performers. The restaurant made us very welcome and told us well-behaved dogs may be allowed inside.

Chase took a quick snooze while we ate

Here are some other dog-friendly establishments you can try:

  • Café Chicco, a dog café with branches near Madame Tussaud’s and Central Pier
  • The Gynn Pub and Restaurant, a traditional pub with a beer garden, not too touristy
  • Hungarian’s Restaurant, with Hungarian and English food in a bistro setting, located on Topping Street set back off the seafront

If you’re looking for a sweet treat to remember your visit, be sure to pick up some Blackpool rock. This hard candy comes in stick form and is available in a variety of flavours, ranging from aniseed to gin and tonic! Lots of stores along the seafront sell rock, and you’re sure to find some that allow dogs inside.

Buckfast rock!

Stay in Blackpool With Dogs

Want to extend your stay in Blackpool? The town has dozens if not hundreds of hotels, so you’ll have no issue finding a place that allows dogs to stay. Try some of the following:

  • The Big Blue Hotel, a luxurious option close to the Pleasure Beach
  • Bowie’s Lodge, a small hotel near the South Pier that is dedicated to welcoming visitors with dogs
  • The Driftwood Hotel, close to Central Pier but set some way back off the seafront, offering very cheap rooms
  • The Grand Hotel close to South Pier, offering sea views and low prices
Bowie’s Lodge is extremely welcoming to dogs

If none of these options appeal, you can always resort to the trusty Travelodge! There is a branch very close to Blackpool North station.

Super Seaside Fun

Blackpool is a classic holiday destination for Brits, but it still holds up as a great place to visit. The different activities on offer mean you’ll never be bored. If you’re local, visit Blackpool with your dogs!

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