Blackpool: Big One rollercoaster stuck amidst strong winds
As the Met Office doles out its first yellow weather warnings of the year – with six regions slated to see temperatures surpass 30C – many will have one plan in mind this weekend: head to the beach.
The UK boasts a plethora of attractive seaside destinations to choose from. A total of 77 beaches in England and Wales alone were bestowed the prestigious Blue Flag award in 2023 for their outstanding water quality, safety and accessibility.
Blackpool has been a popular domestic tourism spot since the dawn of the railways in the mid-nineteenth century. The town boasts a variety of iconic attractions today – from the Tower to the Illuminations – and is fronted by six miles of sandy beach.
A glance at online travel review site TripAdvisor, however, reveals a large number of (very) unhappy customers.
This was perhaps encapsulated most dramatically by use Andrew W, who wrote: “The amount of people visiting Blackpool and the foot traffic going through the town centre leaves no excuse for the miserable, dilapidated experience you suffer each minute you’re there.”
User Elias S said: “One of the dirtiest and smelliest places I’ve been in the UK. Literally garbage everywhere. Horrible experience. Definitely would not go back to Blackpool.”
Many of the key factors that make a beach day possible and enjoyable were picked apart as inadequate. Many reviewers singled out the lack of parking. User Danny M wrote: “Parking is a joke. Disabled spaces are taken up all the time Can’t get parked and if you make a mistake, you guessed it, you get a ticket.”
Andrew W wondered: “£22 for three days parking, I’d like to know where that money goes?”
Safety issues were also raised, with an apparent lack of lifeguards on duty despite it being a city-front beach. User amandabenn2002 said: “The worst experience however was when a 4-year-old boy was drowning in the sea, there was literally no one around, I ended up running up and down the pier to try and find help, luckily there was a doctor on the beach doing CPR, if he wasn’t there I would hate to think the outcome (luckily the doctor got him breathing again). There wasn’t a lifeguard in sight which I find appalling.”
The Telegraph’s Destinations Expert recently set out to find the 20 best and worst seaside towns in Britain. Blackpool ranked fourth-worst, with a measly score of 22/100. His take on the town concluded: “If you spent £10billion gentrifying it, all you’d get is Miami with rain and donkeys.”
The dirtiness of the place was also a recurring gripe. Username Mark A said: “Awful place. Bins located right along the beach front but for some reason people seem to think it is ok to leave their rubbish all over the show!”
Beyond the promenade, the beach itself proved uninviting to many. User Mollie Woodham wrote: “We got to the front and the beach was alright, didn’t go on the beach as I’ll be honest I was worried there maybe used needles in the sand and I don’t want my 4 year old exposed to that.”
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Over the past year, pollution caused by sewage discharges from the UK’s private water companies has been causing outrage.
According to the Environment Agency (EA), sewage was discharged into the nation’s rivers and coastal seas for a total of 1.75 million hours in 2022.
The worst offending water company? United Utilities, which serves Blackpool and the wider North West. The firm was responsible for pumping out wastewater for over 400,000 hours alone.
Environmental campaigners Surfers Against Sewage keep an updated map of all the sewage discharges happening in the UK in real-time. At present, the group advises against swimming in all three of Blackpool’s beaches – South, Central and North – due to poor water quality.
These shortcomings were reflected in people’s experiences. User Margaret wrote: “Blackpool is the worst day out ever! The sea is black and the sand has broken glass in it.”
User Rob K claimed: “As the tide came in on the beach it washed a line of bottles, nappies and fast food cartons up with it… What a shame, it used to be a lovely place.”
User Brandon96Rose said: “Years ago the water looked nice but from my recent visit the water is brown! Honestly It looks more like swamp water rather than ocean water.”
None of Blackpool’s beaches have Blue Flag certification.
Source: Read Full Article