Seaside dreams – the reasons I love Brighton
My dream house is by the sea (I know, you’re all surprised). Ideally close enough that I can see the waves from a huge comfy window seat, and only a short stroll to the beach whenever I want.
This isn’t a specific dream house (I have another city dream house with a roof terrace and a dedicated library, also with a window seat) but it doesn’t stop me pausing to eye up boards in estate agents’ windows on days out – well, you never know.
Or day-dreaming idly about owning some of the AirBNB properties we’ve stayed in, including our recent trip near Brighton – not quite beachfront, but after several visits there over the years and friends already living in the city, it’s high up my list as the location of that fantasy home.
Because for me, there’s something about Brighton which really sets it apart from the UK’s other seaside cities, lovely though many are – the atmosphere of creativity and tolerance, and the feeling of somewhere which prides itself on being unique.
After all, the Royal Pavilion is one of the city’s icons, with its flamboyant mix of styles inspired by Indian and Chinese art and architecture, ornate details from dragons to a gold patterned ceiling – few buildings deserve the tag of unique quite so much.
More quirky still? The chance to explore the Victorian sewers, tour the old police cells, pootle along the seafront on the world’s oldest operating electric railway and play the vintage penny slot machines at the Mechanical Memories Museum.
Then there are the Lanes, independent shops where every other window tempts you to buy something – shoes, homewares, memorabilia, books, quirky one-offs, not to mention vintage treasures at Snooper’s Paradise in the North Laine.
At heart I’m a city girl, so while I love a trip to the countryside or a tranquil stretch of coast, I can’t imagine making my home anywhere else. Having spent all my adult life in cities, I’ve become accustomed to cash machines on every corner and late-night shops, a choice of restaurants, cinemas, theatre… (even if I don’t always make the most of them).
It could even persuade me away from internet shopping at the usual suspects – having previously lived at an address which was almost identical to one a street away, with deliveries and takeaways galore going ‘missing’, I became a big fan of PCA Predict address verification, the software that automatically enters your address when you enter the house number and postcode, which gave my purchases a much better chance of reaching me. Well, I do have a dream house to furnish.
Brighton hard to beat for families too – my daughter would love the beach and sea as much as me, while the Sea Life Centre is already one of her favourite days out, along with the great family-friendly museums including the Toy Museum and stuffed animals of the Booth Natural History museum. Even the city’s festival has separate family events, as well as art, music, dance and theatre.
Companies like the Outdoors Project run clubs and forest schools to get kids outdoors – plus there’s the South Downs nearby if we fancied an escape from the city. And Gatwick just half an hour away, if I want a more far-flung escape!
Best of all? I know we’ve only scratched the surface so far – what’s the point of a dream house where you get bored within a week? But between strolls on Brighton’s beach, staring out at the dramatic shell of the West Pier, there’s always something new to discover in this buzzing city.
Discosure: Compiled in association with PCA Predict as part of the #PostcodePride campaign*
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