I took a quick trip down to Blackpool today in order to get acquainted with the train system here in the UK. All in all, the trains are very easy to figure out, even if you have connections. While the British people I have spoken to in the stations say the system is inefficient, and highly aggravating sometimes, I did not have that experience on my first time out. There was always help in the stations from the railway representatives; therefore, even for someone who has high anxiety, it is harder to miss your train than it is to get on the right one.
Now, Blackpool is definitely a town for UK tourists and international tourists alike. There are multiple shopping centers, open air markets, and specialty shops within easy walking distance of the Blackpool North Railway Station. For example, I easily visited the Abingdon Street Market, Bonny Street Market, the Houndshill Shopping Centre, and the coastline with ease. If you are leaving from the Lancaster Area (and you leave around 9:00) you can easily make it to Blackpool, see all the markets, and the beach, AND be back by 16:00. Products at these markets range from Blackpool souvenirs, to produce and pastries, to fleece and tattoos. If you have a little extra cash lying around, you can certainly find some sort of item that fits your fancy. In addition, if you do not want to pay for exhibits or items, you can still see the Blackpool Tower and the North Pier just by walking through the town.
Abingdon Street Market: http://www.abingdonstreetmarket.co.uk/home
Bonny Street Market: http://www.bonnystreetmarket.com/
Houndshill Shopping Centre: http://houndshillshoppingcentre.co.uk/
As a side note, Blackpool is a bit on the sketchy side compared to other parts of Northern England, so just be aware of your surroundings and keep track of all the items you have on your person. Don’t fall victim to a snatcher! Below are a few pictures I took while out:
P.S. Given the season that I am here, there is not a ton to do around Blackpool, especially in the middle of the day in the middle of the week. Blackpool during warmer months has large concert series and fireworks displays. In addition, their amusement park brings in large crowds as well if that’s your thing.
Information on visiting Blackpool can be found here: https://www.visitblackpool.com/