Blackpool North Shore stretching from North Pier towards Bispham is the resort’s more peaceful corner, but still bustles close to the centre around Blackpool’s oldest pier – North Pier and the vibrant gay quarter centred around Funny Girls cabaret bar and Talbot Road.
Attractions in the North Shore area include friendly Blackpool North Shore Golf Club, an Open Championship qualifying course which extends a warm welcome to visitors. A little free entry art gallery gem – The Grundy Art Gallery is on Queen Street and Blackpool’s jewel, The Grand Theatre, one of Britain’s few remaining examples of theatres designed by the Victorian theatre designer Frank Matcham sits in the central North Shore area on Church Street.
Base yourself in a North Shore B&B, apartment of seafront hotel and you get the best of both worlds – a quieter holiday base just a quick tram ride or pleasant promenade stroll from attractions like the Tower, Winter Gardens and the Grand Theatre. Some of Blackpool’s most luxurious hotels line the North Shore Promenade like the majestic Imperial Hotel. Blackpool North Station with fast rail links from Preston affords easy car free access into the area.
First opened in the early 1860s, North Pier was built in response to competition from nearby Southport Pier opened two years earlier. Despite opening in the middle of a ‘cotton famine’, it was popular from the start and today it retains its historic flavour with its Grade II Listed end of pier Victorian Sun Lounge and classic attractions like the two-tier Venetian Carousel. Family bars and a theatre along with Victorian Tearooms are all here along with one of the most beautiful pier strolling decks in the country from which are some of the best views of the Golden Mile and the Tower.
North Shore Arts – The Grundy & The Grand
This North West gallery gem first opened in Blackpool in 1908 and the permanent collection featuring in temporary exhibitions includes an impressive mix of Victorian watercolours and oils, contemporary prints, craft jewellery and photography. The Grundy has built up a reputation for cutting edge visual contemporary art exhibitions showcasing up and coming work by UK and international artists.
The Grand Theatre on the edge of North Shore is one of the UK’s great theatre palaces with a long and rich history in music hall and variety, Shakespeare and big musical shows. First opened in 1894 it remains like nearby North Pier one of Blackpool’s great iconic venues, and today offers a mixed programme of music, comedy and classic drama.
Gay Quarter & Pride
Blackpool’s gay scene is one of the UK’s liveliest and most vibrant, located in the central North Shore area around North Pier and Queen Street. Here in ‘The Gay Capital of the North’ famous venues include cabaret bar Funny Girls and long standing clubs and bars like Mardi Gras, Flamingo, Roxy’s and the Flying Handbag.
A huge choice of gay owned and gay friendly B&Bs and hotels cluster around North Shore’s gay quarter and a great time to visit is during the resort’s annual Pride event in mid June. BAGs (Blackpool Accommodation for Gays), founded in 1997 is today the largest independently gay owned holiday accommodation association in Europe.
Where to stay
North Shore has a reputation for quality accommodation, popular with families, conference delegates, golfing fans and those looking for a quieter resort base. An extensive choice of luxury promenade hotels, stylish Bed & Breakfast accommodation and modern apartments are all available in the area, and a wide choice of gay owned B&Bs and hotels feature around the central North Shore Gay Quarter.
Many Blackpool North hotels and guest houses offer onsite parking or extensive on-street parking in the surrounding area, particularly in quieter spots around Bispham, Gynn Gardens and North Shore golf course. Cosy family run B&Bs mingle with classic large seafront hotels offering in-house entertainment, leisure and conference facilities.