Friday 12 August 2016
Shoreham-by-Sea to Brighton
Chris and Sonya’s house, Clapham
Sarah had made me an amazing packed lunch; I think it doubled the weight of my rucksack. Phil drove me back to Shoreham Beach and drove me around. I was amazed how many houses there were here. It reminded me a bit of Sandbanks; there was only 1 road in and out, and it felt quite exclusive along the sea front. It certainly wasn’t an exclusive area back in the early 20th Century when it was known as Bungalow Town. It was developed as a theatre and film colony, and most of the bungalows were made from a couple of old railway carriages with a roof stuck over them. Most of the colony was demolished to make way for WW2 sea defences.
Phil and I stopped to take a look at Shoreham Fort, built in 1857 as one of Palmerston’s forts. Phil and his mates used to play here as kids, right at the entrance to Shoreham Port and the River Adur.
Phil dropped me off next to the pedestrian bridge across the river into Shoreham town centre. He recommended I take a look in the Marlipins Museum, so I did.
There was a great exhibition about the Mystery Towers that were built in Shoreham during WW1. The Admiralty had a plan to block off the English Channel from German submarines by positioning defended, concrete towers in a line across the Straits of Dover. They were to be constructed at Shoreham but only 2 were built before the war ended. It was obviously impossible to hide such large structures from view so there were plenty of photographs, and even postcards, of these towers. Such an amazing feat.
I had to follow the main road to Southwick before I could cross the Prince George Lock, across the harbour to Portslade-by-Sea. This was the equivalent spit of land to Shoreham Beach, but not as nice. It was an industrial area with a power station and lots of huge lorries driving past me. Not an attractive place, which might be why there was a nudist beach just the other side of the sea wall.
I reached Hove, and the start of the long esplanade that heads all the way through Brighton. I wasn’t alone as there seemed to be hundreds of people walking, cycling, scooting, rollerskating along the lovely, smooth Tarmac.
Brighton and Hove city is the most populous seaside resort in the UK and it showed. There were people everywhere. Despite the large numbers of people the city still had a relaxed, bohemian feel to it and it was very brightly coloured.
I loved the huge Georgian apartment blocks and the squares filled with trees.
I got as far as the Palace Pier and then headed into the city centre to the train station.
On the way I passed the impressive-looking Royal Pavilion.
I also walked down The Lanes, a series of narrow alleyways full of small, quirky shops and cafes. This was a completely different side to the city than the huge esplanade and beach. Brighton definitely had a wealthy air to it.
Chris and Sonya had invited me to stay with them as it was only a 50-minute direct train into Clapham Junction. I hadn’t seen them for ages so it was lovely to spend the evening catching up over dinner.