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Blackpool Illuminations – Pride of the North!

Saturday 3 November 2018

We have a few Standard Class seats left, and a few places on the Heritage Tram Tour option. Please ring the office to book. You can still book First Class Dining seats online.


It’s been a few years since we paid a visit to Blackpool’s world-renowned illuminations.

As previously, we visit the resort on the final Saturday night of the event. This is the one night in the illuminations season when the clocks have reverted to GMT, so sunset is nice and early at 16.35 and the lights come on at 17.00. This gives you plenty of time to see the illuminations and still get back home the same night.

Our train takes us north via the West Coast Main Line, through the railway hub of Crewe to Preston where we veer left on to the newly electrified Fylde branch line. Look out for Blackpool Tower on the skyline before we make our final turn and pull into Blackpool North at 13.40 (confirmed time).

The station is an eight minute almost level walk from the promenade and North Pier. We will arrive at lunchtime, so you will have several hours to explore in daylight. Make sure you take a ride on the famous Blackpool Trams, running the whole length of the promenade and onward to the quiet seaside town of Fleetwood.

There is of course no end of things to do in Blackpool itself. Stroll along the promenade and the town’s three piers, maybe ascending the iconic Blackpool Tower which offers fabulous views across the Fylde Coast and the Irish Sea.

Call in at Madame Tussaud’s, where the famous (and infamous) are immortalised in wax. This is a must for devotees of Coronation Street; you can see many of the series’ much-loved characters in authentic surroundings – and even pop into the Rovers’ Return.

Then there’s all the fun of Blackpool Pleasure Beach and, nearby, the Pepsi-Max ‘Big One’ big dipper, just ideal for those who like to spend their hard earned cash being scared out of their wits.

As five o’clock draws near the expectation mounts. First a few displays come alive, then some more and within minutes the ‘greatest free light show on earth’ is there to behold, some six miles long and comprising no fewer than one million bulbs.

Departure from Blackpool North will be at 20.12 (confirmed) and we retrace our outward route home. Because of the late return please do not plan on the basis of onward rail connections.


Nearly all services on the Blackpool Tramway are nowadays operated by modern single-deck trams but a heritage fleet is retained as a reminder of the days when an enormous variety of traditional tramcars were the norm. During the Illuminations season they can still be found in traffic, but are usually confined only along a short central section of the route.

We are pleased to be able to offer you a chance to ride all the way from North Pier heritage trams stop (a few hundred yards walk from Blackpool North station) to Fleetwood and back aboard a classic Blackpool double-deck ‘Balloon’ car (pictured). There will be a photo stop at Fleetwood itself and at one or two other points along the way, and the trip will conclude by running along the short branch to just outside Rigby Road Depot.

The timings of the tour will not be fixed until the train times are confirmed but we are looking at departing around 14.00 and concluding around 16.45, shortly before the Illuminations are switched on.

This trip can be booked only by passengers travelling on the UK Railtours train.


London Euston09.00 CONFIRMED00.15 CONFIRMED
Watford Junction (for M25)09.22 CONFIRMED23.50 CONFIRMED
Milton Keynes Central10.05 CONFIRMED23.08 CONFIRMED
Northampton10.30 CONFIRMED22.48 CONFIRMED