The city became hugely popular in the 19th century after the construction of a branch line connecting Blackpool to the rest of the rail network. When train travel became affordable for the inhabitants of the nearby industrial towns and cities the popularity of the city grew as it became an annual holiday destination for thousands of families.
The city saw huge investment and entrepreneurs flocked to the area to take advantage of the tourism boom. As a result the city quickly expanded with a whole range of accommodation, activities and attractions aimed at the tourists. Some of the most notable landmarks and attractions in Blackpool include: Blackpool Tower (opened in 1894), Central and South Piers, Stanley Park and more recently Blackpool Pleasure Beach which was home to the world's tallest and fastest rollercoaster between 1994-1996.
With the arrival of cheap flights in the 1960s UK holidaymakers increasingly opted for guaranteed sun by holidaying abroad. This left pretty much all of the UK's seaside resorts in a very tricky position. With the majority of the area's income generated from tourism it didn't take many bad seasons for the towns and cities to fall into disrepair, which on exacerbated the problem of attracting tourists.
With that in mind don't go to Blackpool expecting to see a glitzy British Las Vegas on the coastline. Many parts of the city are run down but there is still an awful lot to see and it's well worth a visit. We'd recommend that you book a hotel or hostel a little out of the centre and explore the area using the tram system. A walk along Blackpool beach with a bag of chips is a very pleasant experience and one which should not be missed.