Promenading Brighton Marina

Brighton Beach

You can’t get a more English word than promenading can you? Using the word in the title made me want to know more – I just can’t stop myself.

Promenading

The word has been adopted so well by the British that it’s French origins seek unbelievable. The translation evidently is “a leisurely walk“. I’m not sure if it’s true but I feel that we have adapted the meaning so that there is the addition of “a leisurely walk making sure you are on show to everyone” – a mild bit of exhibitionism. We wouldn’t be in all our finery but the description seemed apt for our planned walk from the Marina to the east of Brighton back to Hove – around 3 mile I think.

Brighton


Brighton Marina

It was a beautiful day and we hopped on a bus at Hove Station that took us straight to the Marina within about 25 minutes. The whole Marina area had a modern feel even though the main development took place in the 1970s. With over 1200 berths it is the largest marina in the UK and it looked pretty full. The area is a mix of residential properties, retail, leisure and lots of restaurants. Roedean School sits impressively on the South Downs. Our mid morning arrival meant that lots of people were already having coffee or brunch and it all looked great. Then……

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina

Roedean School Brightpn
“Roedean School”

Well our bubble was well and truly burst when we tried to find the path, esplanade or whatever it was called to take our “promenade” towards Brighton. Rant time.

First of all there was no clear signage to pick up said path and we basically had to walk through the bottom of a multi-storey car park to get to where we thought it might be. We were then faced by a massive concrete flyover and underpass. What an eyesore! Finally as we walked along a concrete tunnel we came to what looked like a very run down part of the town and it looked like it had been like it a long time. I couldn’t help but think that the residents of the very posh, expensive apartments on the Marina would have to walk through this very unattractive area to get to Brighton or to the beach.

Brighton Marina

Brighton


VER Railway

Things started to look up when we got a little further and saw the little narrow gauge electric train. VER is the Volk’s Electric Railway. Named after it’s builder the first section opened in 1883. Although not the earliest electric railway in the world it is the only one still running and seemed to be chugging along quite happily. We did wonder what Mr Volk and the Victorian users would make of our now ever present face coverings.

Brighton Beach


Madeira Terrace

Pre-dating the railway by over 80 years, this iconic area has also seen better days. The Grade II listed terrace and its seafront arches stretching for nearly 900 metres have obviously weathered so badly over the years that the whole area has been cordoned off for the last 8 years.  Funding is ongoing to restore the terrace to its former glory. I hope they achieve their goal.

Both Jonno and I remember parking under these arches on trips to the seaside. They were also the backdrop to the conflict between groups of Mods and Rockers back in the mid 1960s. Think Quadrophenia if you are old enough!

Brighton

Brighton


Palace Pier

Heading towards the lively Palace Pier it all started to feel like a vibrant seaside town again.  All those lovely seaside things like amusements, candi floss, kiss me quick hats. Love it. Reminded us both of our last visit down to Brighton (Promenading on the Palace Pier and Dirty Weekend in Brighton).

Brighton Pier


The “Golden Gallopers”

Another Victorian gem along the seafront is The Golden Gallopers. Built in Norfolk before touring the north of England, it was then bought by an American who shipped it to the USA. Thankfully it came back in 1990 and has been restored and operates through the summer season each year. It is then taken apart and renovated and repaired during the winter. Long may the Gallopers gallop on the seafront.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach


West Pier

Now more of an art feature, this pier has been derelict since collapsing and two fires in 2003. Some more demolition took place in 2010 to may way for Brighton’s newest skyline feature, the i360.

Brighton West Pier


i360

Love it or hate it, it has been on the seafront opposite the original entrance to the West Pier. For around £18 it offers visitors a ride to 162 metres to view the town, the English Channel and the South Downs. The 25 minute ride opened in 2016 and has had mixed reviews and mixed numbers of visitors. Overall we like it although would rather walk up onto the South Downs and get our views but not everyone can don their walking shoes and hit the footpaths.

Brighton i360

It was about now, as we neared home territory in Hove, that I was reminded about how there are so many seaside things that make this such an individual country. I known we are not the only country to have deck-chairs, piers, fish and chips, candie floss to the background sound of a carousel organ but it is the mix of all those things in one place that made our promenading from the Marina such a memorable one.

Thankfully the bits we didn’t like were replaced with happier sights and sounds. It certainly does seem to have something for everyone whatever you want to get out of your day at taking the sea air.

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

05/08/2020


Promenading Brighton Marina

22 comments

  1. Your reminising on Brighton brought back a couple of memories – going to Brighton in my Dad’s Ford Pop, all 6 of us. And drinking coffee in the little cafe under the Palace, made with evaporated milk, so really milky. Secondly watching the London to Brighton Vintage Car Rally, then racing down to see them lined up underneath the arches.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Those memories sound lovely Sarah, exactly the sort of images that spring to mind when we think of Brighton. Unfortunately the arches are almost all closed now in need of refurbishing.

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    • Let’s hope it won’t be too long Liz. Not sure when international travel will become normal again but hopefully it will be next year.

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  2. Oh Brighton…was not a fan when I was there last August…seemed dirty and tired looking. Even “The Lanes” were worn down with empty shops. Much preferred the quainter town of Seaford with its beach huts and little concession. However the Royal Pavilion was definitely something to see!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can see what you mean as there are parts of the city that could do with some serious upgrading. We also prefer the smaller towns rather than big cities but Brighton does have real character and a certain something.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The Italians call it La Passeggiata. More than just a stroll but a chance to see and be seen and a nod to having the time for leisure. Brighton, like many British seaside towns is a bit odd. Delightful, eccentric, bohemian and yet dilapidated and sad in places. Still anywhere can be made better with good fish, chips and mushy peas and some ice cream. Classic!

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  4. It started well, Jonno, and I do love your stylised photography, but I kind of wished I’d just walked down the pier. The marina is for the moneyed folk, isn’t it? It didn’t exist when I was there in the dark ages, and I never made it to Hove. Missed out, I guess? 🙂 🙂

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  5. Reading this is making me homesick!! I always say Brighton has something for everyone. I remember when the Marina was being built and I watched it over the years getting more and more built up. Sounds like your enjoying your Hove house sit😁

    Liked by 1 person

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