Thursday, September 21, 2017


By Guest Contributor

A Getaway In Brighton

Photos courtesy of Pixabay

Known as perhaps England’s best beach town, Brighton can be an unexpectedly perfect place for a relaxing getaway. Large public beaches are great for casual tourists, and a plethora of nice resorts and more elegant attractions suit luxury travellers well. Perhaps best of all for both, however, a varied selection of attractions in and near the city make it an interesting place to spend a few days. 

The Brighton Pier is undoubtedly the first thing that will catch your eye if you decide to research the destination, and with good reason. Not only is it a distinct landmark, beginning over a public beach and extending far out into the sea, but it’s also a hot spot for fun activity. The Brighton Pier is quite famous, not only because it’s so visually distinctive, but because it houses bars, restaurants, small live music venues, and even a few amusement rides. The Brighton Pier has also been featured in various ways in various films and television shows, as well as in a recent novel by British author David Mitchel (of Cloud Atlas fame). Incidentally, Mitchell’s book The Bone Clocks may have best characterized the way many people view the Pier, saying “Bright Pier’s all lit up like Fairyland on Friday night,” in the words of the narrator. 

Brighton Pier (Click to enlarge)

The city’s next most famous attraction is probably the Royal Pavilion, and what a strange one it is! While it’s fair to say there are a lot of different architectural influences at play throughout Britain, one certainly doesn’t expect, in general, to stumble on what looks like an Indian palace. That’s exactly what first comes to mind for a lot of people when they first lay eyes on the Royal Pavilion in Brighton, however.

Once a vacation home for King George IV, it was built by British architects but influenced by George’s fascination with the Far East. It can be said that the Pavilion played a role in Brighton’s becoming a resort town; George essentially took advantage of it in its early days of luring the wealthy for seaside getaways. You can tour parts of the Pavilion today as you explore the town. 

The Royal Pavilion

Venturing outside of town a little ways you can also see some of England’s most fascinating castles. These, even more than Brighton Pier, have of course had a huge influence on pop culture, and have appeared in countless fictional accounts. But near Brighton, you’ll see some particularly well-preserved examples.

One online video game based on some English castle lore (called “Castle Builder’) makes the interesting statement that the best architects always plan their buildings. In the context of the game, it’s a reference to building up an animated castle through progress. But in the real England it doesn’t always seem to have been the case! Some castles are disappearing into swampish bodies of water, and others are merely crumpled ruins. Near Brighton, however, the restored Arundel Castle is a marvel to look upon, and Pevensey and Herstmonceux Castles are incredible also. It’s really one of the better areas in which to see planned, preserved, and impressive castles. 

Arundel Castle

You can also enjoy Brighton and the surrounding areas with a few different attractions that get you to a high elevation to look down upon it all. The most famous of these is probably the recently completed British Airways i360, which for lack of a better description is like a gigantic outdoor elevator to nowhere. It’s simply a tall tower with a single 360-degree view compartment in it, and calls itself the world’s tallest moving observation tower.

However, while this is the highest and perhaps most unique option, it’s not the only one. Brighton also has a massive Ferris Wheel (the “Brighton Wheel”) reminiscent of the London Eye and placed right on the main beach stretch. Either of these attractions can give you an excellent view of the city and coastal area. 

Ferris Wheel

There’s plenty more to do in town, but these ideas should give you some idea of the appeal of the area, and why it’s not just another coastal town in Britain.

Brighton Bandstand (Photos courtesy of Pixabay)

The Royal Pavilion

Photos courtesy of Pixabay


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