The Magic of The Blackpool Illuminations & Christmas Lights

Known for being one of Britain’s favourite seasonal events, the Blackpool Illuminations have been lighting up the west coast of England every year since 1912. Showcasing every type of light you could imagine; neon lights, lasers, light bulbs, searchlights, fibre optics and floodlights, they really are an impressive display.

Spanning 10 kilometres of coastline and using Christmas lights with over 1 million bulbs in total, the event fills Blackpool with excitement and wonder every year between 4th September and 8th November. Visit for a full list of opening dates and times.

There are a number of ways to enjoy the Christmas displays including the most popular - by car, by foot or by tram. Although an exciting annual event that takes place during the Illuminations is ‘Ride the Lights’, a unique way to take in the sights of the Illuminations by bicycle. See the lights shining at your own pace – the road is closed off to all traffic apart from bikes, and is a perfect opportunity to be part of the event before the official public open date, as well as exercising in the process. Taking place on August 26th the event is filmed by Sky, so if you’re lucky you may even see yourself on TV!

Featured at the Blackpool Illuminations is a brand new indoor attraction – Illuminasia, a fascinating combination of traditional Chinese lanterns and modern lighting, open all year round! Made up of 6 different zones with individual themes it is a perfect attraction for all the family.

The Blackpool Illuminations were first staged in May 1912 and marked the first Royal visit to the area when Princess Louise officially opened a new section of the promenade. The council were encouraged the following year in 1913 to stage the display again, known as the ‘Princess Parade Lights’, and received an amazing response from the public, but the continuation and hopeful development of the Parade was short lived when the First World War broke out. The Illuminations were not forgotten during this time as they re-opened in 1925 on a more ambitious scale. Over the 126 years since its birth the Illuminations have only continued to grow in magnitude and diversity, reaching the full scale of the display at present.

Blackpool Illuminations Fun Facts

  • They cost £2.4 million to stage
  • Blackpool Illuminations is estimated to attract around 3.5 million visitors
  • The equipment used to display them is worth £10 million
  • The astounding display stretches almost six miles in length
  • The lights will shine non-stop for a total of 66 nights
  • 45 members of staff are responsible for ensuring the displays are ready on time

The exciting announcement that Peter Kay will be switching on the Blackpool Illuminations has got everyone eager for this year’s event to commence. Not only will Peter Kay, with his history of performing in Blackpool, be present for the event, but a 3 day concert will be kicking off the Illuminations. Headliners include Little Mix, Texas, Pixie Lott, Union J, Neon Jungle and George Ezra meaning there will be a real party atmosphere getting everyone in the mood for the celebrations!