A Night at the Dogs
A colleague is leaving - what can we do to make it a night to remember?? Someone had the great idea of Greyhound Racing!!!
I have never been before and this was a special package which included the coach hire for 30 odd workmates, dinner, 2 free drinks and a free bet on the dogs.
Any pre-conceived ideas I had about the type of people who go to The Dogs were quickly blown out of the window when we got there and I saw that there was a vast mix of young men and women, families, older couples, in fact a real cross section of society!!
Brighton and Hove Greyhound Stadium is open 5 days a week, 52 weeks of the year! There are several bars, a fast food restaurant (plus waiter service tables too), and a childrens playground. Of course there is also a 515 m dog racing track with 6 traps.
Equipment: You can sit upstairs in warmth and comfort on cold days and chilly evenings watching the racing - but it is MUCH more fun downstairs, trackside where you can watch the dogs being walked past by their handlers. This is where the real afficionados of the sport seem to hang out.
By the bookies stands, there is a bronze statue of Ballyregan Bob - a famous Racing Greyhound who won 32 consecutive races from 1985-86. There is more about this amazing dog on this site:
There are also the bookmakers down on the track - but the minimum bet with them is 5GBP. Upstairs the minimum bet with Coral is 1pound. I had LOTs of 1pound bets and I came home in pocket - this is just a lure to encourage newbies to the sport to come back again!! - or maybe I just got lucky!!
Some advice - All the information you need about how to make your bets,a guide to betting on the Tote, types of bet etc , how to read your ticket and how to read the Formlines can be found on the INSIDE FRONT COVER of your racecard, it does help you to understand what's going on if you have never been dog racing before!
None of my friends or I had been dog racing before and I wasn't really sure how I felt about it - but the dogs were obviously well treated and seemed happy enough!
(Oh and here's a little tip!! - bet on the dog that has just done a pooh - 'cos he/she has got a better chance of winning!! (apparently!!!))
Baby Bouncing on the Beach
This looks like fun. The assistant straps the kids into harnesses and they can bounce and somersault safely on the trampolines. I should think there's an upper and lower age limit and there are probably weight restrictions too! If the kid is a real lightweight the assistant presses a button on a hand held electronic device which helps them to bounce higher! I'd love to have a go... but I think it really is just for the kids!
Equipment: No special equipment required.
Always a good idea to study form first!!
Despite the title of this tip - I actually believe in *close your eyes and stick a pin in a name* - it will help you pick a winner as effectively as any experienced punter could!
Equipment: Racing Form Booklet. It just gives you a list of all the dogs in each race and how well they did in previous races. In my limited experience (ie once!) of dog racing, this has no bearing on who the actual winner will be!
More beach/sea activities
There's loads to do on Brighton beach in the summer, including windsurfing and sailing! Check the Brighton Sailing Club website for all the details about what to do and when etc.
Equipment: Check with the Sailing Club.
- Sailing and Boating
London to Brighton (58 miles)
A hot Sunday in the middle of June is probably not the best time to visit Brighton by car, as we discovered. This is when the the annual London to Brighton Bike Ride takes place and where thousands of cyclists ride the whole 58 miles from the city to the South coast and hold up the traffic for hours while they do so.
Equipment: A bike and a cheery smile.
But if you are in a car you will need, Ipod, chocolate, food, water, mobile phones, radio, and a map of the city centre so you can get the hell out of there PDQ before you dehydrate, die of boredom or kill your travel companion.
Home of the infamous Brighton and Hove Albion. A football team that has experienced the highs and lows of English football. Currently in the 2nd division after a tough season in the 1st and awaiting a new stadium at Falmer(Hopefully not too long to wait) but residing at the moment at Withdean Athletic stadium.
Due to the tremendous support you will be very lucky to get a match ticket. You will have to wait until they move to Falmer!
Wikipedia is wrong (again) on this one.
Yep, i've never ticked 'beach activities' before, but now I have.
Jokari is orginally a french game, but it was a Brighton company (well Hove anyway) that commercialised this game. Essentially it consisted of two wooden paddles and a ball on a long piece of elastic. 'Squash without the court', as it said on the boxes. There is a fascinating website to this craze on the 1950's listed below. It still smacks of the era of seaside fun with saucy postcards, paddling in the sea, Punch and Judy shows, candyfloss and flowery skirts.
Wikipedia says it was invented in Texas, but I guess they bought the licence. You may still be able to get a vintage set on e-bay, but I guess it will set you back a bit. I'm surprised it hasn't been brought back for the modern age - but I can't see anything available.
Go for a swim!
Well i couldnt think what else to put this under, but i know that whenever im on the road in other places, im always thinkin im seeing all this stuff, but my fitness is going down the drain, so im thinkin, ok this is my home town and im gunna write a tip for people.
St Regents pool/gym is just next to the library in brighton town centre, and is nice spacious pool where you can do classes, diving, or just general swimming. The gym overlooks the pool, which is cool if you go if you go with a friend and you wanna do different stuff.
Adults are about 3 pound for a swim, im not sure how much the gym is, and adult only swimming is on mondays, wednesdays, fridays and sunday evenings. Ladies only is on tuesday and thursday mornings until 10,30. I find it nicer to swim in the morning with just the ladies, as its less busy, and i can just get on with my swim.
Equipment: If you're headin to the gym, i guess shorts/tracky bottoms and a tshirt, whatever is comfortable. If its the pool, a swimsuit, goggles if u want them.
Theres hot communal showers and a changing room with cubicles for those of us who are shyer getting changed.
- Women's Travel
You can learn to windsurf at Hove Lagoon. Shallow water and ideal for beginners. Also dinghy sailing. There are courses for yacht sailing at Brighton Marina.
For anyone who is an experienced sailor, you can try to get a ride on one of the yachts that race every week (usually Sunday morning, although this summer they've moved the races to Sat afternoon for a while). Check the Brighton Marina Yacht Club website.
- Sailing and Boating
- Water Sports
Sussex County Cricket Club
Watch the most complicated game in the world ,played by the current county champions. Games vary in format and length from one dayers ,20-20's , day-nighters and five day county games. Just pull up a deckchair get a beer and a picnic and relax ,nothing much happens most of the time so it doesn't matter if you nod off.
Sussex is the oldest county side in the country and played their first game in 1872.
The club's mascot is the county symbol of the Martlet which is a bird without any feet.
The side never won the county championship until this year and the most famous players in the current side are , Pakistani spinner Mustaq Ahmed , veteran captain Chris Adams and Zimbabwean Murray Goodwin.
Equipment: Sun hat or traditional knotted hanky.
In the Summer the volleyball and basketball court are opened up to the public. Not sure if there's a payment required or if you have to book the courts in advance.
Equipment: Bring your own balls.
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