Burning of the clocks
This is not a long-standing tradition - its probably been going for 10 or so years, but its fun.
In December, at around the time of the shortest day there is a celebration in Brighton that features a parade of paper lanterns lit by candles. The lanterns range from small and simple to massive and exotic. Many of them are made by local children.
There is a parade through Brighton to the beach where the lanterns are piled up and burned.
Its very popular with locals, thousands turn out to see it and its great to have a free event in the midst of all the shopping in the lead-up to Christmas.
For many locals the English pubs are their second home and a perfect place for conversation.
English Pubs usually don't have a waiter service. You have to go to the bar to buy your drinks and to pay immediately after your order. The beers for sale are either on draught (on tap), in bottles or cans.
Famous types of british beers are: Ale, Mild, Bitter and Stout.
- Budget Travel
THE EVENING ARGUS - AVAILABLE MORNINGS!
Well if you want to know what's going on in and around Brighton then you could do a lot worse than buy THE local paper, 'The Evening Argus'. Curiously it's normally available in the shops around lunchtime which tells you quite a lot about the need to sell large quantities of newspapers and rather less about their standards of timekeeping.
THE CLOCK TOWER - USEFUL LANDMARK!
Although you can't go inside it, the Clock Tower - which was built in 1888 to celebrate Queen Victoria's Jubilee - is definitely worth seeing because it's a landmark often referred to by locals when people are giving you directions. Furthermore it's often used as a meeting place for those less familiar with the town - so if anyone gets lost, why not tell them to meet back at the Clock Tower? You'll find it opposite the Boots store on the junction of Queens Road (running north to the station), West Street (running south to the sea), North Street (running east to the Old Steine) and Western Road (the main shopping street running west towards Hove).
The golden ball on top of the spire is supposed to rise gradually and then fall on the hour. Apparently it does it...but erratically. Keep your eyes peeled!
- Historical Travel
Brighton War Memorials
The first monument is to commemorate the men that gave their lives in the first and second world wars. It sits behind the Egyptian Monument in an island garden, just over the road from the Brighton Pavilion on the main road.
I like this monument, it kind of looks kind of space age and quite mysterious in the dusk of the early evening...
The second war memorial is a beautiful monument that is like a Cleopatra's needle. It's situated in the memorial garden in front of Brighton's palace pavilion too. It was erected by the 1st 8th Royal Sussex reg 'To the memory of their comrades who were killed in action 1882-1884' in Egypt.
- Historical Travel
- Arts and Culture
The Level (apparently where Brighton band The Levellers got their name from) is a large green park in the center of Brighton.
With a playground and paddling pool for tiny tots , play area for older kids, a skater park, rose garden and a large green space for just hanging out, there is pretty much something for all ages there.
You can witness all manner of activities at the Level...People juggling with fire after dark, practising Thai Chi, cycling, skating, walking their dogs and the like. (I once saw someone who appared to be hugging a tree and seemingly unable to escape !) and people just hanging out with a book and a picnic on a sunny afternoon. It is very much a city park for the local population.
A small visiting fair comes a couple of times a year (pictured here Sept '07), it has some quality rides. You can park around the Level and it is close to the shops and the center of town. They always have a 'half price rides' day (usually Thursday night).
Just ask any local where the Level is, and they will point you in the right direction.
note : As with most park areas, if you have kids with you, it is great in the day, but can have the odd unsavoury character lurking at night.
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
- Theme Park Trips
Brighton - a little history
Born as a fishing village in the 15th century, Brighton soon established its identity. The early 18th century saw severe flooding which decimated its trade. It wasn't until a few decades later that it started picking up again, when the town's proximity to the capital lured thousands of affluent Londoners to the coast in search of Brighton's clean Brightoning waters and fresh sea air. The town soon became the most lively place outside the capital, and duly caught the attention of the Prince Regent who enjoyed wild parties here away from his disapproving father, King George III. The birth of the railways made Brighton accessible to ordinary folk and day trips to the seaside took off. Over the next century, Brighton's place as a Mecca for British seaside holidaymakers and fun lovers was secured.
famous for: mods & rockers, the sixties gangbangers inspired the cult classic Quadrophenia
famous sons and residents: Fatboy Slim, Steve Coogan, Chris Eubank, Howard Marks
interesting fact: Swedish super group Abba won the 1974 Eurovision song contest here
Quid - for all of us non-British folks!
In Brighton, as well as the rest of the UK, you will often hear people say the word "quid." Quid means pounds for all of us non-British. Thus, when someone says, "That's 5 quid," he means "That's 5 pounds." It is also very common to hear people say, "Cheers," which is a greeting and also a way of saying "thank you."
Brighton is a very diverse city, known for having the highest gay population in the UK. As such, it is important that tourists are at least knowledgeable of this fact! You will see clubs and pubs that cater to homosexuals. This diversity makes Brighton a very tolerant and accepting city.
- Gay and Lesbian
Fish and Chips - A Great British Tradition
Fish and chips, is a great British tradition, although not quite the same as it was when I was small, the basic idea hasn't changed.
I remember 'going down the chippy', usually on a Friday night, and getting our fish and chips served in old newpaper wrapping.
It was a cheap option then - Now, due to cod prices going through the roof (oooh the price of fish these days) and ermmm other things I'm sure, a decent fish and chip supper (fish and chips is always referred to as 'supper' rather than dinner for some reason) can set you back 7 quid.
Fish and chips from fish and chip shops are freshly prepared from natural products. Fillets of fish, mostly haddock or cod but sometimes plaice and whiting, are covered in batter, fried until golden and served with freshly chipped potatoes
When I was a kid, it was always cod or rock salmon (the latter with a bone down the middle) with chips, ketchup and a giant pickled onion. We should not forget the two slices of stodgy white processed bread thick with real butter and a good strong mug of tea.
When in Brighton, grab some fish and chips to take away and go and munch them on the beach. There's nothing like it on an autumn evening.
Best fish and chip shop locally?
It has to be Bardsleys in Baker Street, off the London Road. Unpretentious and friendly, they serve up the best fish & chips in town.Thin batter makes for thin and light food, not greasy and stodgy like some; All the cod is line caught in highly regulated Norwegian waters and frozen rapidly at sea.
Among the menu - Cod and Chips (£5.50). Grilled Sea Bass and Chips (£7.95). They also do Pea Fritters and Bubble Cake.
*British fish and chip shops are rarely open on a Monday*
- Food and Dining
When you visit Brighton, you'll find that its one of the most diverse places you'll find out of london in the UK... not only do you find a large array of different cultures all living harmoniously together, but you also find people expressing themselves in any way they want. Anything from Hippies to Goths to regualar coffee drinkers goes here, and its obvious from walking through the lanes how their differences make Brighton a much much more interesting place.....
Cockles and Mussels
Little pots of shellfish in vinegar, are a traditional English seaside snack and Brighton seafront offers these deights at a £1 a pot.
There is usually a choice of cockles, mussels, whelks (kind of chewy and gritty), little shrimp or prawns and jellied eels (not my favourite!)
You smother them in salt, pepper, lemon juice and more vinegar and eat them with a tooth pick.
(My advise is to go for the prawns).
- Food and Dining
Even though the United Kingdom is a member of the European Union (EU) since 1973, they don't have the EURO as currency. The currency of the United Kingdom is still the British Pound. 1 Pound is worth 100 Pence. You can get your money with your credit or debit card from ATMs or just by exchanging your local money at one of the bureaux de change.
- Budget Travel
Don't get mugged
Really simple tip this , most young English people carry rucksacs on their backs using only one strap , most foreign tourists use both. Use one and that person who was sizing you up might think you're a local and not have a bag full of currency and fancy camera's.
Eerie Blue Glow
Should you happen across a toilet that emits a sinister blue glow , it's not aliens , but a UV light so junkies can't find their veins to inject heroin.
Ask yourself if it happened so much that they put the lights in is this really the place to be after dark , maybe you hould go in the park like normal people.
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