“Have you been anywhere exotic recently?”
“Not quite what I meant, but I guess it is to some!”
The above is a little encounter I had whilst stuck in hospital upon my last admission. I was in a hospital in Scotland mid holiday, and the nurse was just trying to keep the feel light, but we joked and joked as much as I could handle. She asked me about my most recent holiday, and I told her it was Blackpool. Though a wonderful place, we agreed, medically, Blackpool is not ‘exotic’. The illuminations sure are, though.
I tell a white lie in the title… I spent two evenings, infact, indulged in the Blackpool illuminations!
It’s been 4 years since I last visited the Blackpool illuminations and I have spent a majority of those years begging to go back. It’s not as if I’ve not been back at Blackpool, as oh, I have many a time (to say it wasn’t one of my favourite places would be a lie), but not at this time of year; hotels are extortionate, trains… also extortionate, and I’ve since had other commitments like, in the past, A levels, and now, working full time. Finally, when I’d given up on the idea of going back, my dad pitched to me that we went. I was shocked and over the moon, so of course, instantaneously booked the time off work.
The 7th and 8th October… that was the weekend. We would stop over in the Lancashire town of Preston for a mere two nights and spend two days in Blackpool en route to Scotland, to appreciate the town and it’s famous, yearly illuminations.
There are many things I’d love to do in Blackpool again; go to St Anne’s, go to the Pleasure beach, go to Cleveleys, and much more, but when you’re there for the illuminations, doing just that is more than enough.
Our train was not direct, and infact, caused us a few issues due to lift issues and lateness. We had to, first catch a train from Watford Junction to Milton Keynes, then hop from Milton Keynes to Crewe, then head to Preston from there. The journey was okay, apart from when my travel sickness kicked in.
Our train didn’t leave until three (my dad had working commitments), so we popped down to ‘Spoons for lunch before our train. Being the weekend before I turned vegan, I had an avocado and egg bagel (but later discovered they have a whole veggie and vegan menu so i’ll be totally safe for future!)
It really was delicious, and I enjoyed it with a filter coffee.
I was also, even with a fully belly, feeling super body confident that day, so I 100% feel it’s a necessity to share that with you…
As usual, I was strapped up with braces but decided to take the only visible one (my knee brace) off for the photo. I regret the shame I felt wearing that. My disabilities mean I need it.
Straight after eating, we walked the short journey to the train station, and stood for about 20 minutes for our first train to come. That was convenient as we got prime place on the platform to hop on and get some seats (even though those arriving at the last minute will always try to push you out the way. Always)
The journey to Milton Keynes was successful; I admittedly took full advantage of London Midland’s recent inclusion of wifi. I haven’t had a chance to use their film and television service yet but was fascinated by it; for me I mostly caught up with the works of other bloggers (and admittedly, consistently messaged Jadey who was too, mid-travels, but to a much more exotic place than I).
The journey was pretty quick, and when we departed the train our next one (to Crewe) was only across the Platform, which was pretty handy. The only problem was, it was late. I don’t know what it is about the Virgin service from MK>Crewe, but every time i’ve got it, it’s been late and subsequently, we have almost missed our connection. Almost, being the key word there though; thank god we didn’t!
Aside my travel sickness, the multiple journeys went smoothly and we arrived at Preston station nearing on 6pm. It felt like a long day of travelling despite it only really being 3 hours, but I guess that’s what happens when all you do beforehand is eat and sleep.
We took a wander back to the hotel room with our bags and dumped them all after checking in. The plan was to see ‘Cabaret’ at the Winter Gardens, but we were pushing it for time so I compromised (I could see another show) and gave it a miss (despite the amazing people in the show!). Instead, we turned the night into a fully illuminations based day.
Here is a collection of images of the illuminations over the two days:
If you couldn’t tell, I was totally over the moon about my flashing Micky mouse ears! They were my pride and joy even when I was FREEZING. And only £3! Not as much of a rip off as you’d get with street sellers* conning kids on fireworks night down here in London.
*Disclaimer: This is not an attack on street sellers. Not all street sellers are bad. My local ones are toxic and financially exploit children.
So, what else did you do?
- On Saturday night I went to the famous fish and chip place, Pablos, for chips. I also had a milkshake (as it was just before going vegan, as I mentioned) and though sickening, it tasted lovely.
- I went beach raking. I love searching the beachfront for all kinds of shells and glasses so took myself off on an adventure on Sunday. My family thought it was totally childish, but it caused me immense euphoria. I’m a curious soul.
- We found this really lovely place to eat! We expected Bruccianos to be a sort of greasy-spoon, but step inside to this How glamorous! The customer service was wonderful and food, lovely. They had a range of choices for veggies, vegans and those who eat meat!
- Went shopping. I’m quite familiar with shopping in Blackpool, but we decided to spend our Sunday morning in Preston! I found a lovely shop (not dissimilar to tiger) and spent a fortune in there, mostly on stationery…
- Of course, I had to visit the Lush. A lovely supervisor with blue hair served me and we had a lovely chat. She mostly questioned my idea of a holiday when I informed her that’s why I was up there.
- I made a furry friend
- I made TWO furry friends
- Speaking of furry friends… my grandma also got to meet my doggos before we left for Blackpool
If I’m honest, that was it. It feels like we did everything and nothing all at once, but I had an amazing time.
Blackpool is my happy place, and I’ve not been for the lights in years. Even though I was only there in April, it feels a lifetime since I was there before, so I’m just more than happy to be back.
If you get a chance to have a look at the illuminations, I urge you to! My grandma lived in Blackpool many years and is a more-avid fan of the place than I, and was going about telling people ‘this is the year’. She thought it was much more stunning this year than other years.
I hope you enjoyed this post and love the light show as much as I do!
Do you have any autumn holiday places?