I don’t know about you, but my memory of roller coasters is not so much the “thrill” of the adrenaline rush but more so the darkness of the rubbish bin you’ll find my head in afterwards. Perhaps this is why cities all over the world feel that Ferris Wheels make a more palatable showpiece in their skyline, than say, a Giant Drop.
The London Eye, Singapore Flyer and Melbourne Star all spring to mind and are great attractions affording fabulous views. However Brighton and it’s new ‘i360’ might just have the the pick of the bunch!
The British Airways i360. A new must on a Brighton day trip.
With planning dating back to 2006 the British Airways i360 was eventually opened some ten years later in 2016. Designed by the same architects that created the London Eye the ‘i360’ is the world’s tallest observation tower. It is also the world’s first vertical cable car (Bet you didn’t know that!). The 360 degree views on offer are stunning stretching up to 40 kilometres in all directions on a clear day.
The futuristically-shaped glass viewing pod is spacious – 10 times the size of a London Eye capsule – with room for up to 200 viewers to stand at the edge of pod and look out. There is also plenty of space to move around and take in the view from different angles. And the panoramas are simply incredible.
Gaze out towards crisp blue seas; down at the maze of lanes criss-crossing Brighton’s old town; along the coast toward dramatic chalk-white cliffs and out towards the wild expanses of the South Downs National Park.
For more information on the British Airways i360 visit their website.
Brighton your UK holiday with a day trip.
Brighton is the quintessential seaside setting just two hours south of London. It is a town worthy of being the sole destination on your itinerary, or like me, ideal to make the most of as a day trip from London.
The sea gull surrounded, rainbow-lit Brighton Pier is the perfect place for the young, and young at heart. You can spend a sunny day tantalising your senses with the endless entertainment on offer. Thrill seeking rides, sideshows and dodgem cars litter the fabled location but as I mentioned earlier, you won’t find me here.
If you’re anything like me you’ll find that most of your ambling is led predominately by your stomach. A constant hunger that lingers whilst you travel enabling you to pick up on every scent around you.
Whilst I devoured what seemed like the perfect Chinese noodles it was the various Fish & Chip shops sited around the pier (and in the city itself) that vie for your attention and appraisal. The Palm Court Restaurant, found on the pier, is an institution, serving up their best selling dish of battered cod, chunky chips and peas. Yes, it wouldn’t be a meal in traditional British fashion if there wasn’t a side of peas.
The ‘Old Town’.
A stones throw from the shore and you’ll find yourself winding through a network of vibrant alleyways lined with eclectic vintage shops and candy emporiums that could be written into a J.K Rowling novel (warning – I may include Harry Potter references whenever the opportunity appears).
What was once branded as ‘Smash & Grab Alley’ in the 60’s, North Laine is now the heartbeat of Brighton bustling with over 400 independent and speciality shops, cafés and restaurants.
Do what I do and perch yourself at the window seat of a café, order a latte, hot chocolate or orange-mocha-frappuccino, and watch the world go by. If the breeze of the English Channel doesn’t give you enough shivers, a nighttime Ghost Walk of the Lanes will be sure to raise your hair on end. If you dare!
Fancy a festival? Suited to the eccentric vibe that ricochets throughout the city, every year people flock to Brighton in the month of May to revel in the festivities of the Brighton Fringe. Purportedly the largest arts festival in England occupying all corners and venues across the city with entertainment for all ages …
The city is easily covered on foot with a backpack strapped on, a coffee in one hand and a sandwich in the other (see … always hungry). The British Airways i360, the landmark Clock Tower and the breathtakingly exotic Royal Pavilion will act as your compass. Wandering without direction here on a Brighton day trip will not leave you lost but will have you stumbling across more hidden gems than will fit on a postcard back home.
All photography © Alexandra Morton unless otherwise credited.