This past weekend was a long weekend for us, as we had a bank holiday on Monday. We knew that we wanted to take a day trip somewhere, so we ended up going to Brighton, a beach town about 50 minutes south of London.
I was skeptical about what to expect. Local Londoners like Brighton, but I think it's how a local Houstonian would view Galveston- there's nostalgia there, but would you recommend it to a tourist? Probably not. Like Galveston, Brighton is known to be a little seedy, and to be honest, Rick Steves doesn't even mention Brighton in his England tour book, so I went with a bit of doubt.
One of the main attractions is Brighton Pier. It's kind of like Kemah, but much older and ricketier. Daniel wouldn't go on a ride, in fear that it would malfunction and he would plummet to his death.
Brighton is known for its "Brighton Rock" candy. I'm sure it's delicious, but I didn't try any. I was for some reason expecting poprocks or those rock suckers.
After strolling around the pier, we walked along the pebble beach. It wasn't nearly as crowded as we thought it would be, considering it was a bank holiday weekend. It was so relaxing hearing the waves and seagulls. I am a beach bum at heart.
We walked past two weddings, and one was in the pavilion in the above picture. We spotted some traditional British fashion-woman with huge fascinators, men wearing kilts, gentlemen wearing top hats and velvet blazers.
The water was freezing! I don't know how these people could manage to go in. Really, the day was a bit cold. Warm sunshine, but a bighting wind made it about 55 degrees. That's why we didn't feel our skin burning.
On our way back to the train station, we walked by The Royal Pavilion. King George began building it in the late 1700's. Its Indian style makes it stand out in the mostly Victorian city, but I like how unique it is for English architecture.
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Brighton, but I wouldn't recommend more than a day there unless it is warm enough to really lay on the beach for awhile. And go, knowing this is a town where the Brits go for an easy vacation, but not necessarily where a tourist would go (I'd go to Bath or Cambridge before Brighton if I only had a short amount of time in England). It's gritty and not as well groomed as other English cities, but it has a beach, so I'm sold!