Monday, April 3, 2017

U.K. Visit: Brighton

The West Pier in Brighton

One of my favorite places that we visited while I was in the U.K was the city of Brighton, located on the southern coast of England on the ocean. I went with Anna for the weekend and we visited some of her old friends from university.

Brighton became a popular summer holiday destination during the Victorian era, so a lot of the architecture and famous landmarks are from that time. As a seaside city, Brighton has a nice beach where we spent a lot of our time. The beach is a great place to wander around with plenty of shops, art galleries, food and pubs, and it's most famous landmark, the Brighton pier. 

Walking the beach in Brighton

The new pier has some rides and games, snacks and a bar, and a nice view of the city. In the summer it would be a nice place to hang out and enjoy a drink outdoors. There is an old pier too, built in 1866 and closed in the 70's. Its previous owners were unable to meet the costs of maintaining it, so now all that's really left of it is the frame. Despite that, it's well-loved in Brighton.

A tower was recently built along the beach as a tourist attraction, which looks a bit like the Space Needle in Seattle, if the UFO part could lower to pick people up and then rise again. People in Brighton seem to either love it or hate it.

Ok, maybe it doesn't look that much like the Space Needle. More like a stick with a donut on it.

The city is a fun place to explore, too, with a lot of narrow, winding streets lined with pubs and odd shops. Alternative culture is big in Brighton, as you can see from the mix of second hand clothing, retro knick-knacks and record stores. It reminded me a lot of being in Portland. 

We also visited a park with a Willy Wonka style "palace" in it, which was built during the Victorian era like most things in Brighton. Asian style clothes, pottery and architecture was in fashion then, thus the vaguely Asian look. These days I think it's mainly an event space.

Willy Wonka's summer home?

Brighton's a really fun place to spend a weekend, with a lot to do and see, and plenty of good food and pubs around. I loved walking by the beach, even in the winter. It's not far from London and definitely worth another visit next time I'm back in the U.K.

See you again soon, Brighton

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