The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were enjoying a rainy day beside the seaside as they visited the famous Blackpool Tower.

William and Kate travelled to the Lancashire resort on Wednesday to visit tourist hotspots, and see some of the health and social problems facing the town.

The pair, sheltering under large black umbrellas, were greeted at the landmark amid the downpours with cheers from a crowd of several hundred well-wishers gathered outside on the promenade.

William and Kate were met by local dignitaries including the Mayor and Mayoress of Blackpool, Gary and Debbie Coleman, as they stepped inside for a briefing about the town's investment and regeneration projects.

Kate was dressed in an olive green coat by Sportsmax and a Michael Kors dress for the away day.

Once inside the historic tower, Kate and William briefly stopped at a giant mirror unveiled by the Princess of Wales in July 1992 to mark the opening of Tower World, with the duke describing it as "fantastic" and "amazing".

The couple were then treated to a brief glimpse of the world-famous Tower Ballroom, which is open to the public daily.

From their balcony view, they watched dancers go through their strides in a waltz to I Shall See You Later, played on the Wurlitzer by Chris Hopkins.

On a walkabout outside the Tower as they visited the Comedy Carpet on the promenade, Kate told well-wishers she hoped to bring her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis to visit Blackpool next time.

She joked: "Is the weather always like this?"

The duchess expressed her disappointment at not going up the Tower.

"No we didn't. Next time I think. There's so much here the children would love as well. Hopefully next time we'll bring them back."

As one little girl shouted "Hello princess", Kate waved and smiled.

Children from Happy Tots nursery in North Shore, Blackpool, welcomed them with gifts of Blackpool rock and posies of flowers.

William said his children would appreciate the rock.

When he asked them what flavour the rock was, the youngsters replied: "Blackpool."

Nursery manager and owner Julie Bryan said: "The children have been busy all week making flags and crowns.

"We also made a poster of photographs of William and Kate, together with pictures of the children, which we presented to them.

"It was an amazing experience for everyone here and it is such a privilege to be part of it."

They also presented a paper crown and garland to William.

During a round table meeting on the investment and regeneration efforts that are currently under way, William addressed the challenges facing the town.

Speaking about its history, he described how it was "once a jewel in the crown of the British tourism industry" before people began to travel further afield for their holidays and it faced economic decline and unemployment.

"Dispiritingly, those challenges are felt very strongly today and they are more pressing than ever."

He spoke of high unemployment rates and social problems, but also highlighted the positive moves, regeneration, and "brilliant schemes" including a new enterprise zone and "exciting new investment in Blackpool's iconic tourist attractions" and innovative housing projects.

William added: "The story of Blackpool is a complex one of a proud history of testing times and new found optimism for the future."