Weekend sun brings crowds to resort

The first hot weather of the year brought crowds flocking into Blackpool.'3 year-old Brodie Davies enjoying an ice cream on the promenade. PIC BY ROB LOCK'9-4-2011
The first hot weather of the year brought crowds flocking into Blackpool.'3 year-old Brodie Davies enjoying an ice cream on the promenade. PIC BY ROB LOCK'9-4-2011

THOUSANDS of holidaymakers came to bask in the Blackpool sun at the weekend which saw the hottest day of the year so far.

The first day of the half-term holidays saw temperatures reach scorching highs of 24 degrees as trippers and locals alike enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Golden Mile.

Tourism bosses told The Gazette the hot weather had seen a huge jump in visitor numbers at Blackpool’s top attractions.

Peter Sedgwick, the new owner of North Pier, said it had been a bumper first weekend for his family.

He added: “It was a picture perfect day to enjoy Blackpool and North Pier at it’s very best.”

“Hundreds of people were lined up all along the piers’s bench seating and every deck chair was full.

“The Carousel Family Bar was at capacity on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and visitors flocked to the Victorian Sun Lounge to bask in the sun.

“The Costa Coffee Cafe on the front of the pier was full all weekend as guests enjoyed their lunch overlooking the sea.

“All our shops and stalls reported excellent trading and we were busy right up to sunset.”

On the Golden Mile, it was all smiles as locals dusted off their deckchairs and people travelled for miles to enjoy the mini heatwave by the sea.

Local resident Sarah Lyon, 25, of South Shore, said: “It’s just great, when the weather is like this there is nothing better than chilling out by the sea.

“There has been a great atmosphere everyone seems to have really enjoyed themselves.”

Steph Bayliss, 16 and Craig Shaw, 19, travelled from Wakefield to catch some rays on the Fylde coast.

Craig said: “The weather was so good we thought we had to go somewhere and there’s no better place than Blackpool.

“The atmosphere has been amazing, everyone is really happy to be out enjoying the sun.”

Paul and Lynsey Davies travelled hundreds of miles from Carluke in Scotland to experience a day on the Prom with their sons Brodie, three, and Jay, five.

Paul said: “The kids wanted to come to the Pleasure Beach so we drove down for the day.

“We’ve had a lovely day, the kids have had ice-creams and we have enjoyed relaxing in the beautiful weather.”

David Cam, director and company secretary of the Pleasure Beach, added that it had already been one of the busiest days of the year.

He said: “The reason it’s been so busy is because it is the school holiday but also because the weather forecast was good.

“This weekend has been fantastic and the atmosphere has been amazing.”

And even indoor attractions benefitted from the scorching temperatures outside.

John Child, manager of Blackpool’s Sandcastle Waterpark, said: “People have been very jolly and there have been a lot of people on the Promenade.

“It’s great to see so many people enjoying the weather.

“I think it’s going to be a fantastic season, I am really enthusiastic about it with the new attractions opening soon.

“Blackpool is such an exciting place to be at the moment and I think this weekend’s buzz has really kicked us off.”