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Extra 21 Hits Blackpool

On Monday 28th of October 2013, 12 families, consisting of 39 members of Extra 21 embarked on a fun filled week in Blackpool.

Monday was spent travelling on a luxury Shearings coach & we arrived early evening at the Brittania Savoy hotel right on the sea front, a perfect location to access all Blackpool had to offer. We stayed half board at the hotel & the food was really nice. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t kind and it rained pretty much every day on and off but this wasn’t going to spoil our holiday. We still ventured out and made full use of the Tram which runs along the very long sea front.

Tuesday we had an excursion booked in the morning and Bob our friendly coach driver took us to a lovely indoor market where we had an hour or so to look round, then off to a shopping outlet for a bit of retail therapy. Then we were taken back to our hotel and had the rest of the day to venture out and explore. In the evening after dinner we were taken on a drive through the famous Blackpool Illuminations which stretch along 10km of promenade, from Squires gate in the south to Bispham in the north. The lights stretched across the main seafront road and from building to building. It was an amazing site and the children loved them.

Wednesday was a free day.

Blackpool is unique in still having 3 piers, each of the Blackpool piers had its own character. The North Pier had a Victorian character with its large deck, its traditional end of pier theatre, a two storey carousel, and the sun pavilion. The Central Pier had a huge Big wheel giving great views of the beach and a huge family entertainment centre which we spent a lot of time in. The South Pier had a great range of more traditional rides for the younger ones.

How could we go to Blackpool and not visit the world famous Tower. The Blackpool Tower is 518ft tall and it has a number of attractions inside, from the tower top views, the Tower Circus, to the magnificent Tower Ballroom which recently appeared on Coronation Street.Not for the feint hearted is the Sky Walk, two inch clear glass panel floor that look straight down to the Promenade below. From below we could see people walking around on the glass floor. Some of the families with younger children enjoyed Jungle Jims indoor play adventure, while the braver folk went to the Blackpool Dungeons.

The circus within Blackpool Tower was absolutely wonderful. We watched as acrobats were thrown and caught in mid air which I’m sure they were grateful for. There were clowns, Trapez artists, dancers and the Circus ended in a fantastic water show finale. We found it cheaper to buy family passes outside the Tower rather than at the Tower itself.

Pleasure Beach was an amazing theme park with a huge amount of rides and attractions including an enormous roller coaster intertwined with a 2nd one. I can safely say no, we didn’t have any intention of jumping on. We did however take a ride in Cinderella’s Horse drawn Glass Cart. We embarked on a 15 minute ride in which we felt very silly as tourists took photos and waved at us.

Thursday was an excursion to Southport with all the attractions it has to offer including the pier. All the children, enjoyed going on the carousel and playing in the amusements and we enjoyed some nice hot cooked doughnuts.

We spent a night or two in the Hotel itself playing Bingo and dancing the night away on the dance floor. It was actually a small dance floor and one of the oldest DJ’s in Blackpool hosted the event which included ABBA tributes amongst others. He was lovely though and we all had a lot of fun. Halloween was really good, with all the children and young adults dressing up and sweets were handed out to everyone to enjoy whilst dancing the night away to some old favourites.

Friday morning came round very quickly and we left the hotel homeward bound shortly after breakfast arriving home in the evening. We all had a fantastic time and the adults enjoyed it just as much as the children. New friendships and memories were made.

I just wanted to say a huge Thank you to committee member Cristina Griffiths for arranging the trip & for Down Syndrome Extra 21 for subsidising it.

We are looking forward to next years trip!!

Tara Bowers

Committee Member

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