Blackpool’s tops!

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DISCERNING travellers have named Blackpool as one of their favourite UK destinations.

Readers of the Rough Guide have put the resort in the top 10 of the nation’s favourite small cities and towns.

Blackpool is ranked eighth, ahead of gems like Stratford-upon-Avon and Cambridge, in the list topped by York. Respondents to the survey singled out Blackpool’s beaches, piers and Stanley Park, among the town’s highlights.

They said: “Away from the tourist rubbish, it has a wonderful long and wide beach (virtually deserted most of time), lovely piers, a lovely boating lake/park (Stanley Park), and we actually do like the touristy amusements a little.”

Elaine Smith, of the Friends of Stanley Park and Blackpool Civic Trust, said: “Last year people from all over the country and from abroad called in the visitor centre at Stanley Park and they were all impressed.”

Michael Williams, operations director for Six Piers and Crown Entertainment Centres which runs the Winter Gardens, added: “This is very positive and reflects the work the council has done on the Promenade and at the Tower, and the changes we’ve made at the Winter Gardens.

“It’s about changing people’s perceptions of Blackpool.”

In the past, the Rough Guide has described Blackpool as brash and low brow.

A spokesman said: “There’s a lot of history in there, a good bit of architecture and arts, but there’s also the seaside, in both its brash and beautiful guises, a bit of British alternative culture, set in some of Britain’s most spectacular scenery.”