Central Pier is just one of a trio of piers that pokes out into the Irish Sea from the buzzing English resort town of Blackpool. As the name implies, it's the middle of the 3, starting in the heart of the Central Promenade from the end of Chapel Street.

    Ever since it was opened way back in 1868, the pier has been about one thing and one thing only – having fun. It's packed with family enjoyment, arcades, fairground rides, and vaudeville playhouses, along with a few classic English seafood diners and pirate-themed eateries.

    Central Pier in Blackpool - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in Blackpool (Read all about Blackpool here)

    A brief history of Central Pier

    The Central Pier isn't the oldest of the Blackpool Piers. That honour goes to the North Pier, which was actually the inspiration behind the drive to build a second jetty in the Victorian-era resort in the 1860s. It took 2 years of planning and building, which was all done to designs drawn up by a lieutenant-colonel by the name of John Isaac Mawson. 

    The Central Pier has focused on good-time enjoyments since its very earliest days. It hosted a dance hall and steamboat docks in the 19th century, but then added carousels and roller-skating rinks after a reconfiguration in the 20th century.

    The Golden Age of the Central Pier is widely considered to be between the 1970s and 1980s. Those decades saw legendary nightclubs and dance bars like Oz and Peggy Sue's Showboat take over from the family enjoyments. They hosted big-name singers and gave the pier a slightly hedonistic edge.

    What are the highlights of Central Pier in Blackpool?

    Today, Blackpool's Central Pier has made a return to its roots. It's now a family-fun hub that sits right at the heart of the resort's Promenade.

    The most obvious attraction along its 339-metre length is surely the colossal Ferris wheel. It's known here as, simply, the Big Wheel because…well, it's big. At 108 ft high and with a capacity for 216 passengers, it's a top summer draw that offers sweeping views up and down Blackpool Beach.

    You can add to that the jolting rides of the bumper cars and the whirling carousels, which all combine to make the Central Pier essentially a fairground on the water.

    There are food options too. The most famous of the lot is the swashbuckling Pirate's Bay Family Bar. That hosts everything from kids' karaoke to mind-boggling magic shows, but also comes with a buccaneer theme that'll help you get in tune with that inner seadog.

    Good to know about Central Pier in Blackpool

    Most people walk to Central Pier from basically anywhere in Blackpool. That's easy because the attraction is linked directly to the main promenade that runs up and down the Blackpool seafront. The site is midway between the resort's 2 main train stations, Blackpool South and Blackpool North.

    Central Pier is free to enter but individual rides cost money. You'll need to buy your tickets for those at the kiosks at the end of the pier. Tickets remain valid for the day of purchase and the following day.

    Central Pier in Blackpool

    Location: Promenade, Blackpool FY1 5BB, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 11 am to 10 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11 am to 12 am, Sundays from 10.15 am to 11 pm

    Joseph Francis | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Why book with Hotels.com?

    Keep exploring


    United Kingdom

    Travel alert

    COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

    Check restrictions for your trip.
    Back to top