Sunday, 22 November 2015

RAINY DAYS AT BLACKPOOL*

Everyone loves a little break away from their usual routine, and when I was offered the chance to pop up to Blackpool for a little break away it couldn't have come soon enough. Two weeks ago I was able to travel up to Blackpool and spend two nights at the South-shore Travelodge. 

DAY ONE
Waking up extra early on an average day is nobodies idea of fun, but on this occasion it had to be done. Heading towards Euston station with your luggage and half awake best-friend is always a challenge but knowing we would soon be away from our usual routines had us venturing out into the gloomy cold English weather. We reached Euston station not quiet on time and had to get the next available Virgin train for our adventure.... Curse you sleepy eyes and slow body, Goodbye reserved seats. table and charging points.... Hello unallocated seats and cramped surroundings. Why did I not know that Virgin trains shut their doors two minutes before take off haha. As you all know anxiety and I are literally soulmates he's always giving me a nudge in the wrong direction, to the point my anxiety started to climb with not knowing where to sit and my next plan of action. 

The journey from Euston to Preston was around 3 hours and the train from Preston to Blackpool South 45 minutes. If your not good at travelling, this definitely wouldn't be your idea of luxury. When I travel I get motion sickness so usually I just sleep continuously and miss the lovely countryside surroundings. 
Arriving nearly half an hour before check in, the staff at South-shore Travelodge greeted us and were ever so friendly, gave us information on the local area and let us know about breakfast and dinner. Katie was definitely making sure my stay was as comfortable as can be and was giving that 5* customer service. Before dropping my case and collapsing on the bed I managed to get a few snaps of our room before completely dozing off into dreamland, My health conditions make travelling very difficult and make me so so fatigued that the four hour journey took all of my energy.

Waking from my nap, we headed down for some much needed dinner, nothing else was going to get done as it was completely pouring of rain outside and the winds blustering. One thing I can comment on is that whilst asleep I heard absolutely nothing, apart from some of the cars passing by due to my room being on the side of the main road and busy traffic (hotel right next to the football stadium). The dinner menu was a variety of quick dishes, similar to that of a Weatherspoons- from hotdogs and chips to lasagne and garlic bread. On my first night my dinner was cold in the middle after ordering food, but the staff were very reassuring and kindly offered me something else free of charge without any fuss to fix the issue promptly. And with that I opted for a good old Cheeseburger and fries which was perfect! Dinner is available from 5 till 10pm, with hot snacks being able to be served 24hours a day.
I finished the night by getting into bed and finishing some uni work, because the hotel was so quiet I was able to get on with the work. If you have read this blog for a while you would know I study with the open university and it is all based online so I always need the internet. Travelodge offer 24 hours of WiFi for £3!!!! Only £3 Amazing. So it was easy for me to buckle down with some work and then unwind with some Youtube and Netflix on my ipad till I nodded off to sleep. If you are looking for complete peace and tranquillity having your room on the side of the highroad is probably not he right place for you. 
DAY 2
Waking up bright and early and again to pouring rain, myself and the bestie made our way down for the 7-10am breakfast slot.  Jumping into some extra cosy clothes we headed downstairs to an empty lounge searching for something to eat. With our booking we had also had breakfast all paid for beforehand, for breakfast you could opt for a Cooked breakfast or a Continental breakfast- in which case you was able to go up and serve yourself. I beamed for the cooked breakfast filling my plate with bacon sausages, beans and toast, with a cold glass of apple juice. Full breakfast was £7.95 and Lighter breakfast £5.75 with kids able to eat free. 
Travelodge give quiet a wide range of breakfast options which I particularly liked, with brands that you are familiar with. 

Cooked Breakfast
Toast/ Bacon/ Sausages/ Scrambled Eggs/ Mushrooms/ Tomatoes/Veggie Sausages

Continental Breakfast
Kellogs Cereals/ Yeo Valley Yoghurts/ Fruit Salad/ Croissants/ Quaker Oat Granola

Hot & Cold Drinks
Tea/ Coffee/ Fruit Juice/ Water/ Herbal Tea
After popping downstairs for some good old breakfast, we popped back upstairs to get ourselves ready for the day. The hotel has such a laid-back and cosy atmosphere, at no point did I feel out of place as the hotel was filled with travelling business men and women, and elderly men and women having a little holiday- I'm pretty sure we were the only young people in the joint. 

With the pouring rain all morning and lunch, plans of exploring Blackpool came to a halt and instead we decided to lounge around the hotel till the weather eased up....Which it didn't. We couldn't go down to the beach as the weather was that bad nor could we even go for a walk.
Later in the day even though the weather was still abysmal we managed to call a cab and go explore a little of the town and the Houndshill shopping mall. Shopping and getting a few snaps and stopping for lunch we managed to mingle with the locals and buy a few treats for our friends and family- and by treats I mean rock candy, biscuits, keyrings and fudge. We were unable to go up into Blackpool Tower as it was currently closed due to refurbishment but none the less it was lovely to be out for a few hours. 
After shopping and walking around we called for our cab and returned back to the hotel. Getting some uni work out of the way , we decided to have a girlie movie session and tuck into a few of our snacks whist watching some movies. And gosh weren't we lucky we returned when we did as the weather had taken a much worse turn. 
We popped down for dinner sitting in our now proclaimed spot, opting for the same burger as yesterday with the addition of bacon as I wanted to play it safe. I was somewhat disappointed as I wasn't able to swap my chips for garlic bread instead, but the staff was unable to cater to this slight change in the menu- which left me having to technically pay more then I would  have liked to, then headed to bed. 
DAY 3
Day three, I was glad that I would be heading home as I started to run out of ideas of things to do in the hotel.  As we had to check out at 12pm we headed down for breakfast early, packed our bags, cleaned the room and headed off to the station for the train and the long journey back home to London.

PROS: Overall the facilities at Travelodge were certainly above average, the staff were friendly and approachable and I was able to get a decent nights sleep even regardless of the traffic. The breakfast range is perfect, very good service and very affordable prices. Calm atmosphere and the rooms were clean (minus the shower curtain had yellow stains). For me the bed was absolutely perfect but for my bestie sharing the bed with me, the firm bed actually gave her stiff neck and back. When the rooms became very hot in the night staff was able to provide fans. 

CONS: The cleaning staff on the other hand of the hotel, whilst napping at times, you could hear them shouting to each other from different rooms which wasn't very pleasant. 
The dinner meals, didn't give you a wide option, and for the price you could possibly get more elsewhere- which I would have if it wasn't pouring of rain and the winds weren't trying to take me away. 
Due to Blackpool no longer being in season for attractions, there was very little to do. And with the weather being a misery you wouldn't really want to either. Everything was closed, so if you are looking to travel down to Blackpool for a family holiday or getaway March-October is the time to do so. 

Thank you Travelodge for having me!

xx

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