We spent a lovely day cycling along the promenade in Blackpool. We were a group of 4 - three of us brought our own bikes and one hired a bike in Blackpool. This worked very smoothly and the rental bikes were well maintained and extremely comfortable. The cost for a full day of rental was just £7.00.
There are a few different places in Blackpool where you can sort bike rental, we went to Solaris on the promenade (just opposite the huge glitter ball). They had plenty of the bright yellow bikes and after filling out a few forms, we were all set. The bikes all have names - we had "Jackie" so there is no problem recognising your bike. We ended up with a repeat visit to Solaris - one of our bikes had a puncture, so we hired another - this time "Hank".
Cycling along the promenade and the Golden Mile in Blackpool is very pleasant. It is flat, wide, traffic free and you have a great view of the sea and Blackpool attractions all the way. Our 9 year old was able to have significant freedom, we could allow him to cycle ahead and explore without any worries.
After a short stop to watch the Big One - the massive, steel rollercoaster plunge down its 205 feet drop we were on our way again.
We decided to stop at each of Blackpool's three piers, walk along each one and soak up the atmosphere. The South Pier was first. We found somewhere to lock up the bikes and walked along the pier. This is the youngest of the 3 - built in 1893 and originally called Victoria Pier (after the queen). There are lots of amusement rides and quite a few thrill rides which launch willing participants over the sea. We got ice-creams and watched in amazement. It is quite noisy and hectic though, so we didn't hang around for too long.
A short cycle ride and you come to the Central Pier. This is quite similar to South Pier - quite a few rides and amusement arcades. It also has a 100 feet tall Ferris Wheel. We enjoyed the views across the beach towards the North Pier and Blackpool Tower.
North Pier was our last stop, it was originally intended to be used for genteel relaxation and for the Victorians to stroll and enjoy sea views. It is still that way today. It was my favourite of the three piers, quieter, less tacky and with great views over the Irish Sea if you walk to the end. We also got a lovely view back towards the Big One.
The cycle back was very relaxed - we free wheeled almost all the day. It certainly hadn't felt like we were ascending, but there must have been a slight incline all the way along, because no pedal power was needed to get back.
We had to stop off at the beach to let our son have a donkey ride - one of Blackpool's traditions. He loved it - the gang of donkeys were led towards the pier and back again, big smiles on all the children's faces.
When we got back to the cycle hire office it was shut, but you just lock up your bike in the rack outside and leave it there.
This was a great way to explore Blackpool - you cover a lot of ground, the cycling is easy and flat and the piers are a fun way to spend a sunny, summer afternoon.