I grew up living just outside of Blackpool. This meant many a Saturday pounding the streets of the town centre with friends but not so many days spent at the Pleasure Beach or visiting the top of the Tower (as much my Southern friend thought I should have done). I also think that living so close to such a mesmerising place means that you forget about the hidden gems that are just out of sight but rarely out of mind.
I also have to recommend my favourite chippy - the Bispham Kitchen. To find it you have to drive right to the end of the Illuminations, turn right at the traffic lights and it's on your right hand side with a big yellow frontage - you can't miss it. I've been visiting that chip shop since I was a little girl - it was our supper stop after driving through the Lights each Autumn. A bag of chips, a wooden fork, the window open just a chink so that you could stick your chip out to cool it down a bit and... YUM! The "half fish and chips" is great value for money too!
Finally, if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of this busy town but still run along some sand then I suggest visiting the beach at the far end of St Annes. Just outside Blackpool, after the sand dunes, turn right and park up opposite the house with the round doors (trust me - that's a great sight too) and nip onto the most deserted part of the beach you'll ever find. It's the beach that I spent half of my childhood on and it's the beach that calms me. Part of my soul is there and always will be.
Do you have any Blackpool hidden gems? Let me know in the comments and I'll look them up!