We rolled away from London just as the weather turned from hot and sunny to cool and rainy. This continued when we got to Brighton and during the last few days of our trip. We met up with our friend Kristina who moved to England from Seattle a few years ago. She let us crash at her place which was awesome. Brighton is a beach town situated on the coast about an hour south of London. The beaches are rocky like here at home but also very different. Most of the rocks are shades of brown and orange which gave the beaches a really unique look. It also seemed like they were all very smooth and clean rocks that were piled really deep. Not barnacles, seaweed, or mud like in the northwest. We checked out the Brighton Pier which opened in 1899 and is still open today. A bit to the west stands its former rival, the West Pier, which opened 33 years earlier. It closed in 1975 and was later destroyed by storms and fires. All that stands are some charred remains that make for an interesting backdrop on the waterfront. Just to the east of the Brighton Pier are actually a few remnants of Brighton’s first pier, the Chain Pier, built in 1823. It was destroyed by a storm in 1896 shortly before the newest pier was opened. All that exists today is a bit of the foundation.
While in Brighton we made sure to have a few very English meals that we hadn’t gotten around to in London. Our first night we went to a pub where we had bangers and mash as well as other pub food. There are also many fish and chips spots in town so we found somewhere that reviews said was the most authentic. Last on our list was afternoon tea which we had at the amazing Black Bird Tea Room. Maybe our favorite part of Brighton was its shopping district called the Lanes. The Lanes is a collection of narrow streets and alleyways crossing every which way filled with all kinds of tiny shops and restaurants. It can be really easy to get lost but also exciting to see what’s around each corner. We also had to visit the Royal Pavilion which was built as a royal residence in 1787. It was built in the Indo-Saracenic style that was very common in India at the time. Pictures weren’t allowed inside unfortunately because it looked even cooler than the outside did. The last place we visited was Brighton’s famous bathing boxes that line a large section of waterfront. Each one is painted in a different color scheme by its owner. We took the train back to London on our last afternoon to stay in the Whitechapel district, home to the Jack the Ripper murders in the late 19th century. It is of course a much nicer area these days. We stayed with an awesome family in their restored townhouse before the long journey home the next morning.