In the late nineteenth century the prospering seaside town of Blackpool set about the building of a huge, grand and visionary complex across four and a half acres of its most valuable estate.
Unique to Blackpool and recently restored to its historic grandeur and pristine glory the Winter Gardens is one of the most amazing buildings in the world.
Open to the public and including creations from dream palaces from many ages and cultures, it's a lavish arrangement of crystal domes, theatres, gardens, fountains and promenades - a masterpiece of the Victorian era.
Blackpool's Winter Gardens was officially opened to the public on July 11th 1878. However, an open-air skating rink was built first in 1876. This was later transformed into Newsome's Circus. For the two years before the fabulous Empress Ballroom was created and opened in 1897 this part of the complex housed Noah's Ark - an entertaining collection of performing animals, birds and reptiles!
The Winter Gardens is vast yet full of intimate corners. It's a spectacular meeting place in a perfect location with the means to cater for more than 10,000 people!
It provides everything anyone could ever need for conferences, seminars, meetings, socials, banquets and dinner-dances. You will also find a variety of bars and light food restaurants open day and night throughout the complex with value for money very evident on the menu.
All this and the world's largest theatre the Opera House. It wouldn't be possible to describe here the incredible beauty of Blackpool's Winter Gardens or all the facilities it has to offer. A visit is a must.
THE FLORAL HALL
The entrance to the Winter Gardens is on Church Street, Blackpool. Visitors pass directly into the Floral Hall- a grand entrance hall which has an octagonal dome of glass and iron 140 feet high. This leads to the grand main building.
The versatile 'Arena' is the latest addition to the Winter Gardens. It's a multi-purpose function area. The dramatic use of light, its 'starry night' ceiling, and the impressive staircase and stage all guarantee an exceptional ambiance whatever event may be held there.
THE EMPRESS BALLROOM
This enormous ballroom, the jewel in the Winter Gardens' crown, was opened in 1897. The vast sweep of the barrel vaulted ceiling with its fresco's and gilded plaster creates a breath-taking environment for any event. It will hold up to 3,000 people and is fully adapted to cater for the disabled. The Empress Ballroom interlinks with offices, meeting rooms (ideal for seminars and group meetings), bars and refreshment areas.
THE OPERA HOUSE
This is Britain's largest theatre with a seating capacity of nearly 3,000 in its stalls, balcony and circle. It was first opened in 1889 and is equipped to handle the most ambitious presentations including political conferences and major West End shows.
The famous Charlie Chaplin played at the Opera House in 1904 in 'Sherlock Holmes'.
The Winter Gardens management always secure the best artistes in the entertainment and concert world.
With its lavish style, its team of professional technicians and the best of modern technology the Opera House like the whole of the Winter Gardens complex is open all year round.
THE PAVILION AND HORSESHOE
The Horseshoe is a graceful, semi-circular promenade. At its centre is the Pavilion - a supreme example of Victorian stage architecture which is now converted for banqueting, concerts, dinner-dances or conferences. The partitions dividing the Pavilion and the Horseshoe may be folded back to create a spacious exhibition area with access to the Arena and the main exhibition hall, Olympia.
OLYMPIA EXHIBITION CENTRE
This is home for many of the North of Englands many trade shows and exhibitions and has a massive drive-in ground floor area with three points of exterior access for vehicles and equipment. All services are available on-site and there is an adjacent, 1,000 capacity multi-story car park.
THE SPANISH HALL SUITE
The Spanish Hall was added to the Winter Gardens in the 1930s. It was created in the theme of an Andalucia Village with natural daylight enhancing the rich colours. This beautiful hall decorated in rich gold's and ochre's is just one part of an interconnecting banquet complex which includes the Windsor Bar, the Renaissance Room and the splendid Baronial Hall.
See the Winter Gardens on your visit to Blackpool. Surround yourself in Victorian splendour.
If you're planning an event, no matter how large or small and no matter how provisional or distant it is, Blackpool's Winter Gardens have the expertise to cover absolutely every aspect of it.
THE Winter Gardens Blackpool,
TEL: 01253 625252
Once the main UK holiday season has ended, Blackpool and it's huge conference venue within the Winter Garden turns host to some of the UK main Political Parties, Trade Associations and Unions and many others who come to the town to discuss their business. Very often this means upheaval for the townspeople given the elaborate security precautions put in place since the IRA attempted to assassinate Thatcher in the early 1980's.
The thousands of delegates that attend these events are easily catered for in Blackpool's many hotels and guest houses.