Everything You Need To Know About Visiting Blackpool Illuminations

Visiting Blackpool for their annual illuminations is a tradition for us that started way back when big J was only young. For us going to see the illuminations is the beginning of Autumn and we love wrapping up warm for a stroll along the golden mile. There is so much to see and do when you visit Blackpool Illuminations and I've tried to pop down everything you need to know before you go.

blackpool tower lit up

Who is Switching On Blackpool Illuminations 2023

First of all we will start with the switch on. This event is probably one of the most anticipated events in the North. Each year a guest celebrity is invited to perform at the Tower Festival Headland and then switch on this years illuminations. 

I love waiting for the announcement and if you didn't already know this year the 2023 Blackpool illuminations will be switched on by Sophie Ellis-Bextor. 

Sophie Ellis-Bextor will perform on the Tower Festival Headland on Friday 1st September before pulling the switch to trigger four months of Illuminations.

For the kids The Nickelodeon Grand Parade - a spectacular procession along the Golden Mile, will showcase all our favourite characters such as Spongebob, Turtles and Paw Patrol from the world's most popular children's TV channel.

That's not all, afterwards you are invited to view  The Blackpool Tower as it bursts into life with a specially-commissioned sound and light show that will be synchronised with LED wristbands to be given out to spectators, topped off with a fireworks finale over the seafront.

view of the golden mile from Blackpool Tower

Where Do The Blackpool Illuminations Start and End?

This will depend on which way you are travelling. We usually start the golden mile from the North and work our way South however officially they start at Starr Gate (Squires Gate) and ends at Red Bank Road in Bispham.

When Can I See The Blackpool Illuminations Till?

So Blackpool Illuminations have always began towards the beginning of September for just a few short months however recently this has been extended and now you can enjoy the illuminations until January 1st 2024. I love that you can now enjoy the lights over Christmas as it a great day out in between Christmas and New Year.

Do You Pay To See Blackpool Illuminations?

Blackpool Illuminations is a free outdoor event however there are donations points at the beginning and end. This is voluntary with a suggested donation of £5.

Blackpool Lights

When Is The Best Time To View The Lights?

We have probably been every day of the week over the years and I would say that like most things weekends are usually busier. 

What Time Do The Lights Switch On?

Usually at the beginning of the Blackpool Illuminations the switch on time is quite late, around 8pm however as the months go on and the nights get darker earlier it reduces in time until towards the end they switch on around 4:30pm. We tend to go around November time when they switch on at 5pm.

boy looking through the telescope at blackpool lights

Is It Best To Walk Or Drive?

I think this is personal preference. We have done both and I personally like to drive along the golden mile. Traffic is slow so you have plenty of time to view the illuminations. You can also get a great view from the top of the Blackpool Tower.

What Is An Illuminated Tram Tour?

We have never booked a tram tour and we have heard they sell out fast so act quick if you want to view the illuminations from a tram. Starting at the Pleasure Beach the tram will take you all the way to Bispham. 

Visit The Tableaux

At the North end of the display you will find The Tableaux area. Often referred to as the 'big pictures', the Tableaux is a nostalgic walk-through section with some long-standing family favourites, including the Haunted Hotel, Hickory Dickory Dock and the oldest illumination still on display, the Teddy Bears Picnic.

man and woman standing in front of I heart Blackpool sign

What Should I Wear?

Blackpool Illuminations is an outdoor event unless you are planning to stay inside your car. Unfortunately we cannot rely on the weather here in the UK so be prepared for hail, rain, sleet, snow, wind or sun. 

Where Can I Park?

Parking along the promenade is available however it is very busy during Blackpool Illuminations so I would recommend taking at look at Blackpool Council parking for up to date car parks and opening times.

We have always loved our visits to Blackpool especially for the illuminations, it really is a family tradition of ours which I hope we continue for years to come. 


text banner

- If you enjoyed this post leave us a comment.

-  Like us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram and follow us on our adventures.

- If you have visited any of the attractions mentioned in this post share photos with us on our socials. 

- If this post has helped you in anyway you can Buy Us A Virtual Coffee to say thanks.

- If you would like to work with us please visit on Work With Us page for more details


No comments

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments. I love reading them :)

Copyright © Playdays and Runways. Blog Design by SkyandStars.co