Brighton – not what we expected
Mum wanted to go to Brighton, just for a look, and failed attempts to do this on previous trips had only served to build up her anticipation. After spending a couple of hours at Goodwood we continued east 30 miles or so.
I didn’t really know anything about Brighton but had some mental images of what it might be like and I’m sure mum did too.
We reached the city and headed in to the centre, driving through what seemed to be run down areas. Except the run down areas didn’t end. We slowly realised that imagined Brighton was quite different from real Brighton.
After parking the car near the landmarks we wanted to visit we went in search of them. Walking along the busy streets this seemed to be a fringe city; eclectic, shabby, with a hippy vibe and a young population.
The beauty of the Royal Pavilion building and gardens is perhaps an odd feature in amongst this – though I think this contrast also makes it fit.
The pavilion was built in the late 1700s / early 1800s as a royal residence for George, Prince of Wales, who later became King George IV. However, fast forward half a century and Queen Victoria wasn’t a fan of the place and the Royal Pavilion was sold. It was purchased by the town which has enabled it to become the immaculately maintained attraction it is today.
And immensely popular. Happily, in light of the congestion, mum wasn’t fussed about going inside and so we just walked through the grounds.
That ticked off the list, we walked in search of the beachfront.
And found it. Hard to miss really.
In the same general area is the beach, aquarium, ferris wheel and pier so you can guarantee this is going to be a busy place. There is just one ‘pleasure pier’ but there were two others at varying times, the remains of which are nearby.
Still feeling a bit out of sorts with the city we didn’t want to linger, save for a quick look on, near and under the pier.
And with that we concluded our fleeting experience of Brighton. What was so unexpected was how different it was compared to most of the other towns and cities we had visited with (by and large) their historic buildings and associated aesthetic. In Brighton’s case, much of its growth and development happened relatively recently, in the middle of the 20th century. Ultimately it’s a very subjective thing and some places you just don’t get a good vibe from.
So we left Brighton and continued on to the next stop as the day was by no means over yet. I was happy as the motorsport theme from earlier in the day would make a return.