Many of you will be relieved to learn that this will be the last Editor’s Eye for a few weeks, as this editor is taking break for a few weeks and returning to my native land, the UK.
And VisitBritain will no doubt be delighted to learn that unlike most Asian tourists to the UK, I’m travelling outside of London and going up-country. More specifically, I will be visiting Blackpool – Britain’s foremost seaside resort.
For those of you unaware of the delights of Blackpool, let me give you some stats. The town is genuinely is one of most popular tourist destinations, not only in the UK, but perhaps on Earth. Blackpool welcomes – if that’s the right word – more than 10 million visitors a year, which rather incredibly makes it more popular than the Great Wall of China or the Eiffel Tower.
And speaking of the Eiffel Tower, Blackpool has its own version, the Blackpool Tower, which rises 158 metres from the seafront and offers views of the Isle of Man and North Wales on a clear day. But herein lies the problem; very rarely is there a clear day in Blackpool. Battered by wind, which whips off the Irish Sea, Blackpool’s average temperature is less than 10⁰C. It also gets more than 72mm of rain a month, which makes it wetter than Wimbledon.
All of which makes Blackpool’s claim to be a ‘beach resort’ somewhat tenuous – certainly by Asian standards. But you don’t need sun when you have a range of attractions like Blackpool. Described by some as Las Vegas without the glamour or Pattaya without sun, Blackpool is a glittering showcase of cheap thrills. With funfairs, amusement arcades, bars, clubs and the world’s fastest and tallest rollercoaster (from 1994 to 1996), Blackpool is one big flashing, bleeping, whirring festival of fun.
And I am lucky enough to be arriving at the best time of year, the Blackpool Illuminations – an annual event that sees the city lit up with a million lights. Don’t worry about global warming; it doesn’t seem to have reached Blackpool anyway.
So why am I going? Well I have no choice – it’s the town of my birth. But I would certainly recommend a visit; there can be no better example of British culture than Blackpool. Whether that’s a good thing or not, I’m not sure, but it will certainly be a holiday to remember.