Coming to Brighton, seeing the Beach, and seeing the Pier, is what I think Brighton is about!
I always like Pier's, like to see if anybody is catching Fish or Crab's, watch the young one's having fun, and just taking in all the action.
Brighton Pier was no different, perhaps a little, as there were lots of people on the Pier!
The Pier has heaps of Food Kiosk's and Ice-cream stalls, Amusement Arcades and and many other types of entertainment. It wouldn't be English, if it didn't have a fish & chip shop!
Even the Dodgem car's are still around, I thought they would be too old fashioned, but it seems not!
Plenty for the whole family, just bring a bagful of money, you may need it!
The palace or east pier is now the only pier in town. The west, perhaps the finest in England, is no more.
The Palace pier (because it is close to Brighton Pavillion) was always the brasher sister. It still retains it's sense of fun and gawdiness as it is now mainly populated with pretty ordinary fairground rides and slot machines.
On the plus side, the deckchairs are still free, so if you want to doze off on a warmer day watching the pretty young thing saunter pass then feel free. There are also so good examples of Victorian ironwork in places and some informative information boards (well they would be wouldn't they) about the pier's history. I suspect less than 0.1% of the pier's visitors ever read them.
If you did, then you would no that the pier original function was to allow the middle classes space to walk and 'promenade'. The opposite is now true - if you want to avoid the hoards of the great unwashed enjoying themselves then go elsewhere.
Brighton could be said to be one of the most typical British seaside towns, and one of the most quintissentially British things to do is take a walk on the pier.
There used to be more than one pier in Brighton but unfortunately one of them burned down some years ago and now stands gaunt and forlorn in the sea, a sad reminder of better times. The photo on my Brighton introductory page gives some indication of that.
The remaining pier tries desperately to cling onto some of the old ideas that once made it so popular, although it's rides cannot compete with the theme parks and other multi-million pound attractions on offer. Brighton Pier, for me, stands as a reminder of a different, simpler age when a beano (UK slang term for a daytrip) to the seaside was something looked forward to when relatively few people had cars. The trip from the local pub, club or workplace was an annual treat and simple pleasures like a ride on the dodgems or a candyfloss were things to be remembered. Interesting to compare it to today's instant thrill mentality.
So where does the pier come from? Well, work commenced in 1891 and took some eight years to complete. It was opened in 1899, with additions in 1934 adding to the length and featuring a "big wheel". I can only say that the views must have been astounding, especially to a generation of people not used to multimedia . Obviously, the two World Wars took their toll and the middle section of the pier was removed in the Second World War to deny the Germans use of it as a landing stage.
The 1960's however saw a revival of the fortunes of seaside towns with the post-War feelgood factor, and the Pier once again prospered. To walk it's 1722 feet length now is genuinely to walk along a piece of English social history and I thoroughly recommend it.
In fairness, the Pier at Brighton has all the latest video games and as many thrill rides as the space available will allow, but it still makes me a little wistful. Perhaps it is a thing of my generation and only time will tell if the place can still evoke enough nostalgia in people to prosper. I, for one, hope that it does, it would be a shame to lose it.
Brighton pier was built from 1891. There was a grand ceremony to mark the opening of the pier on May 20th 1899. At 1,722 feet long, the pier is a grade 2-listed building. The pier has many attractions and amusements on it including roller coasters and slot machines. There is also a food court and a bar. Entry to the pier is free.
Brighton Pier (formerly the Palace Pier) is a splendid Victorian structure much beloved by visitors to the few British seaside resorts that still have them. Originally built during the 1890's at a massive cost of £137,000 it provided the thrill of a stroll above the sea, boat trips from the landing stage at the it's seaward end, a theatre and even a trip on the electric tramway that ran sedately up the middle. As years went by the tramway disappeared, the theatre sedately toppled into sea (well, part of it anyway) and fish and chips, ghost trains, slot machines and fortune tellers took their place.
In my childhood you couldn't step foot on the pier without paying for the privilage but nowadays it's totally free to stroll on and off and the owners simply have faith that ample amounts of your loose change will lavished on fried doughnuts, candy floss, shooting galleries the Helter Skelter and other rides. It stays open until late evening, draws plenty of tourists and foreign students with a younger mix probably more evident as the day draws on. It's rather magical once lit up and is certainly worth strolling back for a snap as night falls.
Far be it from me to court controversy chaps but there has been a fair amount of local ill feeling in recent times due to the decision of the Palace Pier's owners to rename it 'Brighton Pier' after a century of Palacedom. Imaginative it isn't and doubtless it was to ensure that any tourists who asked to be directed to Brighton's Pier was would be sent there. Given that the one possible competing pier - the West Pier - has been a little more than a largely submerged bundle of metallic pic-a sticks for years now, it's no wonder we locals weren't impressed. Even so, you can't afford to miss it!
The Pier opens at 10.00am each day
(0900am from 21st July – 2nd September)
Monday - Friday
Palace of Fun 10.00am – 10.00pm
Victoria’s Bar 10.00am – 9.00pm
Horatio’s Bar Closed
Glitter Ball Bar
7.00pm – 10.00pm (Fri only)
Palm Court 11.30am – 5.00pm
Rides 11.00am – 5.00pm
Saturday and Sunday
Palace of Fun 10.00am – 11.00pm
Victoria’s Bar 10.00am – 9.00pm
Horatio’s Bar 12.00am – 11.00pm
Glitter Ball Bar 2.00pm – 11.00pm (Sat)
7.00pm – 11.00pm (Sun)
Palm Court 11.30am – 8.00pm
Rides 11.00am – 9.00pm
Times are subject to change dictated by weather conditions.
If you go to Brighton you have to go on the Pier. You might not like it that much, but it's a great chance to experience what British family holidays were like before we discovered the delights of foreign travel.
Entry to the Pier itself is free. This give you the opportunity to wander past stalls selling the ubiquitous Brighton Rock, cheap jewellery and various bits of tat; to try your hand at sideshows (coconut shies, hook-a-duck etc.) to win a cuddly toy; to sit in a (free) deckchair; to lose money in the Amusement Arcade; to consult a fortune-teller; or to pay to go on the fairground rides.
So relax, have some fish and chips and get into the holiday mood.
On the Palace Pier: There is a fun fair at the end of the pier, the funfair is ok, especially the Ghost train. There are also some cafés, a restaurant and a few shops on it, but the shops sell stuff that is just junk really, like silly notices for doors, car stickers and signs, hats and mugs etc. Once you bought anything from there, you would just sling it in the back of the cupboard once you got home. I must admit though, my husband bought me a lovely big silver cross with Diamonds encrusted in it when we came here in November 2002. I also bought myself a Diamanté nose-stud the same year, but the stones soon fell out of it, I didn't even have a cold either ?! lol.
There are also some handy toilets on here too, and you don't even have to pay to use them!
The Pier looks really pretty in the evening and at night with all the lights on.
The Victorian pier in Brighton is a must - at least to see. I went there on a pretty, but windy and chilly Saturday in February. The weather was a far cry from a beautiful summer's day and sunbathing, but whatta heck. The pier is pretty, but it's filled with junk (noisy games for kids and adults, a fair ground, a few pubs, fortune tellers and junk food, in short).
It is also known as the Palace Pier although it was unofficially renamed by its current owners as Brighton Pier in 2000. The building work of the pier begun in 1891 and it opened in May 1899, making this over 500m long construction 108 years old. Since it is so old, I was a bit scared that it would all of a sudden just fall into the sea :-(
It was designed by R St George Moore and it was intended to for amusement and pleasure from the start. Initially the pier housed a 1,500-seater pavilion at the seaward end and several smaller pavilions containing dining rooms, grill rooms and reading rooms. There were ornamental arches for the electrical illuminations. An electric tramway called Volk's Electric Railway was created in 1883. It ran (and still runs) along the inland edge of the beach from the Palace Pier to Black Rock. It is the world's oldest operating electric railway. In addition, there was a provision for bathers at the pier head and a landing stage for pleasure craft. It has also previously housed a concert hall as well as a theatre. It has been featured in several films and tv-series including Doctor Who.
Explore Brightons Palace Pier which extends almost a third of a mile into the sea. It is full with English amusements and international take-aways. So you will have enough chances to get rid of your money.
At night the Pier and its leisure attractions are beautifully illuminated.
Palace Pier, Madeira Drive, Brighton, BN2 1TW
I'm sure it was called Palace pier when I was a lad, could be wrong though. Anyway well worth a walk along, plenty of attractions and eating places along the way. The funfair has several scary and very expensive rides too.
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