Where and What to Hire
There is an excellent choice of car rental companies in Blackpool. For a greater range, it is best to hire a car at Blackpool Airport where big names like Avis, Sixt, Hertz, Alamo, Europecar and National Car can be found. Alternatively, there are three options in and around Birmingham city centre. Budget Car Rental has a centre in Bispham, Avis can be found in Great Barton while Auto Rentals are the most centrally located, close to the Promenade. A range of vehicles are available to cater for all requirements. Small, two-door cars are ideal for lone travellers or couples wanting to see the city while larger family cars with bigger boots and four-doors are also available. There is also the option of hiring a luxury vehicle, as well as a selection of vans.
Driving in Blackpool is relatively straightforward with relatively few areas of dense traffic. Of course the busiest times to drive are during the two rush hours which are between 8am and 9am and again from 5pm to 6pm. There are a few cycle routes in Blackpool but these are mostly confined to the area around the Promenade. However, this means that cyclists in the city will usually be on the roads so it is best to stay vigilant. Occasionally events or festivals mean that road closures and diversions take place in the centre of Blackpool and along the Promenade. Blackpool council will always display notices to inform of these alterations.
Parking is plentiful in Blackpool with a combination of pay and display on-street parking and below ground long-stay car parks. On street parking bays do come with restrictions that are always signposted in the area in question. It is best to check these before parking. Some on-street parking may have a time restriction for example. Parking charges vary between the city centre and the Promenade. (This information is correct as of 7 April 2015) Town centre charges are approximately 50p for 30 minutes and £1.50 for 90 minutes. Promenade parking starts at £1.50 for a minimum of 90 minutes and £7.50 for 12 hours. Car parks do not have a maximum time limit and charges range from £2.50 for up to 2 hours, to £30 for up to 168 hours.
Where to Go and What to See
While there are plenty of attractions to see in Blackpool, with a car it is possible to explore the beautiful surrounding area of Lancashire. Avid walkers, hikers and mountain bikers can throw their equipment in the boot and drive to an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Pendle Hill, made famous by the tale of the Pendle Witches and the notorious Witch Trials. A 1 hour drive is all it takes to make the 40 mile journey. Alternatively, another 40 minute drive from Blackpool is to beautiful Morecambe Bay with its dramatic sand dunes and fascinating bird life found in the Morecambe Bay Nature Reserve. Just 20 minutes from Blackpool is Lytham St Annes, a gorgeous seaside report where old romantics can hire a beautiful beach hut by the sea or walk hand in hand along the beach and past its famous windmill. 19 miles away in Preston is a children’s fantasy come true; Hoghton Tower Castle. Here children can listen to tales of ghosts and dungeons while running run amok around the walled garden and turrets and through the witches’ kitchen and dolls house. Slightly further away is the town of Bowness-on-Windermere. In just over 60 miles or a 1 hour 20 minute drive, visitors will be transported to the world of Beatrix Potter where all of her stories have been recreated in the breath-taking Lake District countryside. Kids will adore this while adults can enjoy all manner of watersports and outdoor activities from climbing and abseiling to archery, caving, fishing and flying at nearby Lake Windermere.