Spent the day in Brighton last week having planned to hit Thorpe Park, we soon were disappointed to remember it was half term, which means all sorts of kids everywhere at somewhere like a theme park. Despite this, Brighton did not disappoint, as a Northerner I’ve never set foot in the town, and up on the Wirral we have New Brighton, a similar yet much less touristy location which was once home to a tower taller than Blackpool Tower!
Heading down to the beach from the train station, the gloomy looking West Pier lurked just off the shore. Built in 1866 it is one of only two Grade 1 listed piers in the UK. Sadly however it has been closed since 1975, and despite plans to restore it, fires in 2003 and some other setbacks led to those plans being abandoned.
Just further down however, there is the fabulous Palace or Brighton Pier, which opened in 1899 and is home to a variety of food establishments, arcades and a funfair. Originally there was a theatre situated at the end of the pier, however this was closed down in the 1980’s following a barge hitting the pier and then replaced by the funfair and amusement park we know and love today. The perfect replacement to Thorpe Park, we screamed enough to make up for it, upside down and banging around on the rides, right on the edge of the sea.
Following plenty of time of the rides at the fun fair and then fish and chips on the pier, we headed up into the main town to look at the shops. The Lanes is a small area not too far from the seafront, with many narrow alleyways containing predominantly jewellery shops and pubs! Just up from there, the North Laine area has loads of individual shops, bars and coffee shops, I absolutely loved it there.
After a coffee and whirl on the log flume, we took our wet bums through the park past the Royal Pavillion, a former royal palace built in the early 19th century. It is famous for it’s Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental interior.
We headed through to the Brighton Dome, for the Breakin’ Convention, a fantastic hip-hop dance show with some unreal dance performances from kids and adults from across the country. One group in particular ILL-Abilities, an international group of disabled dancers, who through dance, told their story and demonstrated how they haven’t let this stop them achieving their dreams. Other dance crews included Ukweli Roach and Wanted Posse, as well as a selection of local dance groups who performed too. It was an incredible showcase of hip-hop dance, which made me question why I gave up on ballet dancing when I was 8, I could have been a dancer like them!
[ILL-Abilities at Breakin’ Convention]