Yes, I wanted to go to Brighton, but I didn’t need to spend several days, so we decided to make a day of it and take the train. I noticed something was up on the train and in true me fashion, I happened to plan the day in Brighton on probably the busiest day in Brighton–the day of the Pride parade.
Nothing like being in the middle of millions of people for a sightseeing trip. 😉
Upon arrival, we were shunted through down the main thoroughfare from the station toward the beaches. We didn’t walk around town since it was packed, but made our way down to Brighton Pier, which was only just opening. The pier was originally constructed in 1822 and opened in 1823 as a chain pier, but was repurposed in 1866 as a pleasure attraction, which it still is today.
We walked around and took a long look around, sat down for coffee and a snack, and the kids rode a ride. The weather was lovely that day, so we spread a picnic blanket we brought on the beach and relaxed for a while.
The children wanted to go into Sea Life Aquarium, so we paid a pretty penny for admission. The old building is very interesting, however, I didn’t find the aquarium all that impressive, but I can’t help to compare it to Monterey Bay Aquarium and the aquarium exhibit at the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha.
When we left the aquarium, we navigated through a closed part of the beachfront north to the Royal Pavilion, which was not nearly as busy as everything around it. The Royal Pavilion was originally a farmhouse acquired by the Prince of Wales (later George IV) in 1786. He had it enlarged over the next eight years and purchased land around it.
When George IV was king, he had John Nash redesign the pavilion making it into what it is today. While it appears of Islamic influence on the outside, the inside is very Asian, more specifically, Chinese with the dragons and artwork displayed, keeping with the fascination with the foreign found in Regency times.
After George IV’s death, Queen Victoria disliked Brighton, and according to the infographics in the pavilion, disliked the overly ostentatious decor. She intended to do away with the building and even pulled furniture and artwork from the building which were later restored as possible.
The pavilion is a bit overwhelming in its grandeur and overblown style, but it’s a fascinating place to see. The ceilings and the ornate style were different than most old homes, making it a novelty of sorts. The dining room is definitely a must see with its palm frond and dragon chandelier.
If you travel to see the Royal Pavilion, please keep in mind that you cannot take photographs inside the building. I’m adding John Nash’s artwork of the Pavilion for you to get an idea. You can even see how ornate the stables were with the glass ceilings.
After touring the pavilion, we headed to a place I’d seen online called BeFries. Basically, they serve nothing but double cooked chips with a selection of sauces. I was crazy hungry and they were amazing so it didn’t take long to polish off a large with garlic mayo and frites sauce among my selections for sauces.
We thought to go to the beach until our departing train, but the parade was over by that time and everyone was waiting around for the Kylie Minogue concert later–on the beach of course. By that time, we were pretty tired. The train station allowed us to board a train early and make our way home.
Next . . . Wicked in London