“ Address: 9 Vance Road / Blackpool / FY1 4QD „
My friend really loves to spoil my daughter and when she decided she wanted to go to a skate school near to Blackpool run by stars from Dancing on Ice I said no but my friend got online and bought tickets! This meant we needed accommodation for four of us for a few days in October and November 2012; my friend hates hotels so insisted we booked into some kind of self catering unit. She discovered Vance House by surfing the internet and she booked us in.
Vance house is a converted large terraced house in Vance Street, the rest of the street is also either bed and breakfast or self-catering flats. It has been converted into 6 apartments over 3 floors, 5 of which are available to rent and the 6th is lived in by the owner. The apartments house between 2 and 5 people and are available to rent for whole weeks, weekends or Monday to Friday. The ground floor flat is suitable for disabled guests (and was in use by a wheelchair user during my stay).
We stayed in flat 4 which was suitable for 4 people and was on the top floor, the stairs are really steep and a killer on the legs when you are tired. The flat consisted of a living room, double bedroom, kitchen diner and bathroom with shower. The living room has a double bed which folds against the wall when not in use as well as a sofa which can be laid flat as a double bed, a couple of chairs and a flat screen TV capable of showing freeview channels. The TV also had a built in DVD player and there were DVDs to borrow for free. The fold down bed was really comfy and only took a minute to put up and down; the sofa bed was not nearly as comfortable though and was really hard.
The kitchen was nice and modern with an induction hob, full sized oven, fridge with ice box and ample cooking utensils and crockery and cutlery. We barely cooked at all only making toast for breakfast and sandwiches for lunch with the kids making a pot of cheesy pasta for dinner one night. All cleaning materials were included which was a nice touch.
The bedroom was a fairly average bedroom with a comfy double bed and plenty of storage space. The bathroom was nice and modern too with a power shower, toilet, sink and plenty of hot water.
While the décor in parts of the flat was very dated and the suite in the living room was the same one that my grandma had in the 80s everything was really clean.
I was surprised that we had to pay for the electricity we used during our stay by feeding pound coins into a meter. We did not use more than a few pounds over the week with all of us having hot showers daily, I imagine that if we cooked then that figure would have been higher. The radiator in the living room was gas I think and included in the price of rental along with the hot water.
Vance Street has double yellow lines along it so there is no on street parking but Central car park is less than a minutes walk away and there is also cheaper parking available slightly further away.
The only problem we had was some slight noise from the karaoke in the Bed and Breakfast next door and also the fact that the curtains were thin letting some light in at night.
It should be noted that only families and couples are allowed to stay at Vance house so you will have none of the dreaded stag or hen parties to deal with.
Nigel Hissey is about as far removed from the typical stereotype of the seaside landlady as you can get. He really went out of his way to make us feel welcome and went beyond the call of duty to help us out. When we arrived he carried the bags upstairs to the flat, took us to a cheaper parking spot than Central car park and walked back with us in the dark.
It was the kids who caused the most trouble when we were away (as usual!). One hurt the ligaments in her knee when she was ice skating and Nigel is a runner so is used to dealing with those types of injuries. He provided heat and cold packs as well as helpful advice on how to treat the injury and gave directions to a walk in clinic where she did not have to wait long to be seen.
The other kid lost her all important moleskine notebook which she carries everywhere with her to take notes and make sketches for her college work. Nigel helped search the flat once we were packed and ready to go and thankfully the book was found.
Nigel's door was always open if you wanted some advice or help or just a chat but he never once intruded on our privacy by coming to the flat.
Vance Street is very centrally located making it ideal for a Blackpool break. It is less than 5 minutes walk to Blackpool Tower, the Promenade and Central Pier and the tram line meaning that you don't need to rely on a car or buses to get around. The coach station is less than a minutes walk away making it easy to get to for people arriving by public transport. There is a small Co-Op at the end of the street for buying groceries as well as lots of eating and drinking establishments nearby.
I would happily go back to Vance house if I wanted self catering accommodation in Central Blackpool. The accommodation itself is fairly basic but provides everything a family needs for a short stay. It is the owner who makes this accommodation something out of the ordinary due to his excellent customer service so you know if you book in there he will look after you.
For more information, including current prices, visit http://www.vancehouse.co.uk/