Saturday, 27 May 2017

'Neath the gay illuminations all along the promenade

Just the other week I popped to Brighton. It's quite far from where I live so I stayed in a cheap and cheerful little hotel for the night and made a proper little trip out of it. I spent the majority of my childhood in Surrey and Sussex, so growing up Brighton was tediously familiar as my mum would take me there several times a year. However I hadn't been since I was probably about 12 or so, and going there as a kid you obviously don't fully appreciate whats around you - especially not beyond the pier and ice cream! Brighton has a reputation for being good if you're interested in antiques, vintage, and general quirky stuff so I was excited to visit for the nostalgia as well as seeing what it had to offer.

As a former ride operator at a theme park, I wouldn't be caught dead on pier rides. Especially not something that has the potential to throw me into the ocean at a single malfunction.

The architecture on the pier is just beautiful, there's so many intricate little details.

The derelict West Pier was my favourite landmark. There's something about places having fallen into disrepair and completely abandoned that I find really aesthetically pleasing. It first opened in 1866, and closed in 1975 after the owners could no longer keep up with maintenance costs. It fell into disrepair and bits of the structure began eroding and falling away. There were plans to renovate it and bring it back to life, but in 2003 it caught fire. There are still talks of rebuilding it, but I personally hope they leave it as it is.

Brighton Pavilion. I didn't go in as I didn't want to pay the entrance fee, but I had a little wander around the grounds.

I popped into the Sea Life centre, which I was a bit gutted with to be honest, my local aquarium is much better at a fraction of the entrance cost. I love a good aquarium, but there was very little there. I was also appalled that they specifically advertised a Giant Pacific Octopus in an "Octopus hideout" on a poster outside the aquarium. Neither of these things are inside the aquarium, they got rid of both a few months ago yet continue to advertise it?! It was what drew me in as octopus are one of my favourite animals so I felt very short changed.

This little guy kept smiling at me :)

I was impressed with the green anaconda. You can't really tell he's underwater in this photo, but if you look closely you can see little fish swimming around.

I love how piranha appear to almost sparkle.

I had some pretty mixed feelings about the trip overall. I enjoyed the pier and the amount of nostalgia I got from it - so much of the sea front is just how I remember. Walking along the pier I even felt anxious about the gaps between the planks just like I did when I was little. Most of all I loved how flat Brighton is, how even when I was in the centre of town I could look down the street and see nothing but wide open ocean on the horizon. There's something about the ocean that makes me feel so free and at peace, and to see it so clearly whenever I looked in the right direction is a feeling I can't even describe.

I looked around The Lanes which I'd heard so much about, but it proved anticlimactic. Maybe if I hadn't lived up North for so long I'd feel differently, but Brighton Lanes is basically every town and village in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. More expensive, but most of the same stuff available and aesthetically identical. I don't know specifically what I was expecting, but I've heard it hyped so much and heard about all of the wondrous array of shops and boutiques available selling all manner of things...and it was just exactly like where I shop every single day but with hiked up prices.

I had a fun time and I'm ever so glad I went as now I remember what it's like, and it was worth it for the nostalgia alone. But I'm not in any hurry to go back either. I had wanted to go to Margate at some point as it has a similar reputation, but the allure has now gone. I think I'll just stick to Cleethorpes.


  1. This looks like a happy little town. It's funny visiting places you haven't been since you were young. It's like you see a whole other side of it that you didn't notice before when you were young. Or at least that's how it is for me anyway!

  2. Hi we love Brighton we go a few times through out the year 😀


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