Blackpool’s Big Wheel
Built in 1990 on the Central Pier, Blackpool’s Big Wheel facing the Atlantic Sea in one direction and the whole of Blackpool in the other, offers visitors a unique experience. Currently illuminated for the season of lights the wheel whirs at night coloured in yellow, red and blue concentric circles.
This must be the most superbly located ferris wheel in the world. The Big Wheel is owned by the Sedgewick family, their local Blackpool firm committed to maintaining the heritage aspects of the piers and attractions. The wheel turns several times and you can sit in circular baskets for eight passengers. The 360 degree views make you feel as if you are in the centre of all Blackpool has to offer.
You can see the whole distance from the North Pier and the Blackpool Tower to the South Pier and Pleasure Beach area. At ground level there is a variety of traditional sea side rides to go on, dodgem cars, spinning rides and game stalls, coin slot machines and fairy floss. You can stop for fish and chips or carry on to visit Central Pier The Legends Show and make an evening of it.
The Original Wheel
The first ferris wheel built in Blackpool was 66 meters high, and 250 metres from the sea front in the Winter Gardens complex. This Big Wheel opened in 1896 and was part of the lure that made Blackpool the favourite destination of workers participating in their annual week’s break from neighbouring cotton mills.
The decision was made to relocate the Big Wheel so that it was positioned on top of the Central Pier in 1990, and it had to be built at half the height. The new 33 metre ferris wheel stands on a pier that had its iron struts reinforced specifically to take the weight of the wheel.
Seen as a traditional part of any visit to Blackpool, ensure you have a ride on the Big Wheel, if only to orientate yourself and see all of Blackpool’s attractions from a great height. During the Illuminations season, from September to November, it is an especially fine view in the early evening.