Brighton was the Best

I think the countryside that surrounds Brighton is beautiful. The fields are rolling and green, the Downs are undulating and the woods are as thick as any English forest – and the town itself …

At first sight, Brighton looks like many of those bucket-and-spade seaside resorts. A wide, sweeping promenade runs along the front although the beach is bereft of the real deal – sand. Opposite, is an endless line of souvenir shops, slot machine arcades, and fast-food eateries. However, unlike some towns while Brighton has moved with the times it has retains its historic heritage.

Tourists flocked to see the landmarks, the Pier, the Royal Pavilion and Roedean School.

Contrary to popular belief, there is only ONE pier. The West Pier came a cropper one rainy night in 2002, caught fire in 2003, and was finally demolished in 2010. The one remaining ain’t no ‘picture postcard‘ and during the week is the domain of the elderly waiting for ‘the inevitable’. At weekends, it is home to an army of hens and stags and lest we forget, the pier’s permanent residents, scores of kamikaze seagulls, swoop down in the hope of pinching your overpriced chips.

Everyone loves the Lanes the warren of small streets chocka with slightly pretentious and overprice antique shops, but still worth a visit. Then there is The Laines, packed with quirky, kooky, and unconventional shops. It’s an area where hordes of tourists mix with aging Punks, Goths, and kids slim enough to wear skinny jeans.

The town has been a magnet for filmmakers and classics such as Brighton Rock and Quadrophenia were made here. Probably because of this, several screen legends call Brighton home: Simon Callow, Amanda Redman, Norman ‘Fatboy Slim’ Cook and Denise van Outen are just a handful of recognisable faces who flit through the streets.

Despite the purpose of our journey being to see the Pioneer Run, and my general thought on motorbikes, I was looking forward to this part of our trip with enthusiasm. Seeing the bikes was like walking into an outdoor museum. More than 300 machines travelled from Epsom to Brighton, some romping home while others finally limped along Marina Drive. I was surprised at just how enjoyable it all was. The atmosphere was friendly and relaxed, the bikes fascinating and it was interesting to see the transition from bicycle to motorbike. I even managed a photo with Sammy Miller .

Overall, our jaunt to the UK was a success, we enjoyed Dorset, could have given Bournemouth a miss, but for me, despite the freezing cold day Brighton was the best. It encapsulates what Britain is all about ethnic, eye-catching, exciting, and alternative.

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