Refurbished Blackpool Tower

The Lancashire city of Blackpool has long been a popular holiday spot for British tourists, who flock there in droves to enjoy a seaside break and to take in all the attractions that Blackpool can offer.

One of those attractions is the Blackpool Tower, a sort of half-sized Eiffel Tower, which gets lit up in lights for the city’s illuminations each summer. The Tower has recently undergone a major refurbishment, which should add some sparkle for future visitors.

On 1 September, the observation platform at the top of the tower will re-open as the Blackpool Tower Eye, which will include an extended viewing area with a glass floor and a 4D cinema showing a bird’s-eye view of Blackpool through the seasons.

The tower’s refurbishment is part of a partnership with Blackpool council and Merlin Entertainment who operate Madame Tussauds in London and Blackpool.

Blackpool Tower first opened in 1894. It was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris and is 158 metres (518ft) tall. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, its base is hidden by a building, which houses a newly renovated ornate ballroom with a Wurlitzer organ that rises up from under the stage. There is also a circus space in the building and a Jungle Jim’s play area for young children. A Blackpool Tower Dungeon will open in September with live actors, a ride, shows and gruesome special effects.

The annual illuminations take place along 9.6km (6 miles) of the town’s seaside promenade. Often billed as the ‘greatest free show on earth’, the nightly display costs £2.4 million to stage. The equipment is worth £10m. One million lamps of various types and styles are used in the display and over 320km (200 miles) of cable and wiring. Blackpool was the first town to have electric street lighting and visitors first came to marvel at the lights in 1879 when just eight arc lamps lit the promenade.

Blackpool illuminations light up every night from 2 September to 6 November this year. Entrance to the Tower Building will be free from 1 September and visitors will pay to visit the Tower Eye and the different attractions in the building.

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