Our first weekend in Blackpool! Although it’s a popular tourist destination we have just never thought of visiting Blackpool before. Our first stop today was Sandcastle Waterpark.
Our drive up to Blackpool was pretty smooth, we didn’t have to stop or get stuck in traffic, but we seemed to get lucky as our friends got caught in all the traffic leaving just 2 hours after us.
We had planned to head straight to Sandcastles water park (Well Gaz Chloe and Lottie were) for the 12-3pm session but we were far too early, so found a pub where we could park up for a bit.
We found the Yeadon Way Brewers Fayre so stopped here. The pub is definitely in need of some TLC. Every floor tile in the ladies was cracked, the sink surround was cracked and flaking and the sinks were heavily stained.
We grabbed some drinks before Gaz headed off to Sandcastles and we opted for a play session in the Brewers Fayre soft play to try and burn off some energy after being in the car for so many hours.
Indoor Play is available all week | 12-2pm | 2:45-4:15pm | 5-7pm
Under 90cms are free and over 90cm are £3.50. Now we go to a lot of soft plays. And Oscar is generally free. But never have I been told they are not allowed in the main soft play section because they are free!
We didn’t stay very long as they were the only children in there, Holly got bored very quickly only being in the Toddler section and Oscar just wanted to climb up to the other part and would scream the place down every time I had to stop him. We won’t be going back until he’s over 90cm as it was just too stressful trying to keep him in the tiny toddler part.
While in there I also spotted a bowl of fruit which was mouldy (pictured) I did mention it to the staff member that was on and it was disposed of, but how long had it been there to get like that? Overall we didn’t have a great experience here!
Anyway, we didn’t stay too long and headed off in the direction of Sandcastles. The Sat Nav said it was quite a long walk but there was a cut through at the end of the carpark which Google maps didn’t pick up, which made it around an 8 minute walk.
Sandcastle Waterpark Blackpool
Firstly the customer service at Sandcastle Waterpark is brilliant, we were due to visit last year but due to covid and the customer service we received around postponing it and rebooking it was excellent.
Sandcastle Waterpark is the UK’s largest Indoor Waterpark with more than 18 fantastic slides and attractions in a tropical 84 degree climate. Sandcastle Waterpark is a great day out for Groups and also offers fantastic Birthday Party packages. We’re open throughout the year (selected dates during the Winter) and located on Blackpool’s famous Promenade.
You can prebook online and its a 3 hour session (although we only lasted 2 hours including getting changed) and it opens 9am – 7pm
Entry prices (as of 21st Aug 2021)
8-11 yrs £18
3-7 yrs £12
Seniors (60yrs+) £12
Disabled guests and carer(s) £12
All tickets for 8yr+ include entry to the Hyperzone slides.
And something worth noting: Guests spending £5 or more per person at our WatersEdge Cafe (located inside the Waterpark) will receive an additional 30 minutes in the Waterpark (excludes final session each day).
The facilities section on the Sandcastles website is excellent and answers pretty much every question we had you can find it here so definitely have a read before you book/visit.
Gaz visited with Chloe (10) and Lottie (9) They really like the wristband system for the lockers and paying for purchases at the cafe. You can preload it with money and you are refunded anything you don’t spend, which makes it much easier than having to go back to your locker to get cash every time the kids need drinks!
They do take a deposit for the wristbands so make sure you hand them back (both of Gaz and our friend walked out with them on and had to go back in!)
Our friends visit
Our friends also visited with a 4 & 5 year old and the slides they could go on were limited so felt that really you need to be over 6 yrs / 8 yrs and a confident swimmer for the majority of the slides.
They also have a 10 week baby, they used the family changing where there was ample room in the changing room even with a large pram. There was also a playpen which would be much appreciated for those who have wild toddlers to contain while you attempt to dress yourself!
Jess their 4 year old also managed to cut her foot and so visited first aid, they took all the details of what had happened and where, they went to investigate immediately while the first aider sorted her foot. They couldn’t find what had caused it but logged it and took all their details. But she said they dealt with it well.
There is a pay and display car park next door but you would be better not driving in if you can as parking is very limited as its on the Blackpool seafront. We were very lucky to catch someone leaving as we pulled in. There are other car parks dotted along the sea front but again spaces are pretty limited so do give yourself some time to find a space if you do have to drive.
There is a cafe located poolside and serves pizza, burgers, chips etc alongside snacks like cake, brownies and hot & cold drinks. You can find the full menu here. There is also a bigger cafe which is accessible to the public and not just those who are booked in to Sandcastle Waterpark. I took Holly and Oscar for some cake and it was pretty reasonable.
Chloe & Lotties review of Sandcastle Waterpark
Chloe said she really liked the wave machine, Montazooma and the brownies were delicious. Lottie really liked the sidewinder slide.
We also booked a last minute slot at the Sea Life centre which is located on the sea front by the central pier.
We are Merlin passholders so its free for us but normal tickets are available online from £17.50 – highly recommend getting multi attraction tickets if you are here for a few days!
If you’ve ever visited a Sea Life centre then you’ll not be surprised to know Blackpool is likely no different. But for those who haven’t here is what to expect
There is usually a Rock pool where you can touch starfish (don’t forget to wash your hands after!) This is always manned so don’t worry about knowing what you can and can’t touch as they will guide you through what is in the rock pool and how to touch/handle them
There has also been a giant tank of stingrays at every Sea Life Centre we have ever visited , there are usually open topped so you can look in but also have viewing windows so you can see them under the water. Oscar especially liked watching the sting rays swimming around through the windows
My favourite part is the Jelly fish section and here they have them under a UV light. I love how beautiful they look when they move, it’s mesmerising, but also that even though they are so innocent looking, they could actually kill you with barely a touch. Isn’t nature just so cool? haha
There is also a walk through tunnel with a glass roof filled with hundreds of fish and sharks! No pics of this from me because it makes me all dizzy so I have to run through it without looking up 🙃
And this one had a little seating area with this amazing glass screen where you could sit and watch the giant tank with all the fish and creatures in. Oscar also liked this and loved watching them all just swimming around
This one also had a cool little pod just before the gift shop with a video loop about a project they have on going helping some Beluga Whales they have acquired through a sanctuary they’ve taken over in Shanghai. You can find out more here
Parking is slightly better down this end as there is a large pay and display round the back of the Sea Life centre, although busy there were spaces most of the times we passed it.
Our girls don’t like to spend too much time in Sea Life Centres now, they just have a quick look and move on. When we were homeschooling we would spend a lot more time here going round all the different areas and learning about the habitats etc but not so much now. But you should probably give yourself an hour to an hour and a half to get round if you want to really take it all in.
Lottie said her favourite part is the walkthrough tunnel because of all the things you can see and it feels like you are underwater. Holly loved the ‘Nemo’s’ and Chloe liked touching the starfish.
Thats day 1 done! Blackpool Pleasure Beach tomorrow can’t wait!
Find out what we did on Saturday here
Find out what we did on Sunday here