Hove Beach(Hove Lawns)

September 21st, 2009
Hove Lawns

Hove Lawns

The main star of this part of Hove’s beach is the long wide promenade that runs between the beach and the Hove Lawns.Which is the wide grassy football size pitches park areas,all along the front.Running from the Meeting Place Cafe,all the way until just past the former grandeur of the King Alfred leisure centre.Which unfortunately isn’t going to have its modern replacement(due to the signs of the times apparently).

It’s a wonderful place to stroll on,with all the family out.Or indeed as you will pass or be passed by.Runners,Rollerbladers,Skateboarders,but not cyclist as they are not allowed.Though there’s a cycle lane running along the top of the lawns.Which continues on into Brighton,and the other way down onto the beach’s prom after the lawns then back up after the King Alfred.All the way along the coast to Worthing.

At one end of this motorway wide prom is the Meeting place cafe.Which is next to the Peace statue.And both are natural great meeting places and to take a coffee or a bite to eat

The Hove lawns themselves are frequented by picnickers,joggers,dog walkers,and both impromptu and planned football matches.Early mornings sees many a straining jogger and the British Military putting an increasingly large number of masochists through their paces,before the routine of work takes over.

At the Peace statue end is the jaded Art deco ‘Embassy court@next to all the Regency era architecture,running along Hove’s seafront.Concentrating its splendour at Brunswick square and terrace,leading onto Palmeira square and Adelaide crescent.A great example of an earlier age is the Bandstand,just past the Peace statue.Of which at present is being lovingly restored,with a golden look to its top spired terraced topping.Unfortunately the West pier is now long past its glory,though amazingly still remains iconic,complete with a community of surfers.With its younger,still intact sister,the Palace,sorry Brighton pier glowing in the background.In the hazy distance to your right there’s the Portslade Power Station,which looks like a big middle finger.

It’s less busy than Brighton’s beach.Though getting busier.BBQs are allowed all along the front except in front of the Beach apartments next to King Alfred.The same as for Brighton,there’s a big difference between the in and out tides,about the height of a house.When its in,it drops off very quickly.Whereas when its out,especially at very low tide.exposing surprise,surprise glorious golden sand,becoming more shallow family friendly.

Hove beach’s hove lawns,is the place to be for taking a stroll along the prom,having BBQs and picnics.Along with a great place to meet and a popular open exercising and sporting venue.

Eastbourne to Cooden Beach cycle ride

September 7th, 2009

Starting from Eastbourne’s promenaded seafront.Although you aren’t really allowed on it from Holywell.Which is the furthest end of the beach until past the Redoubt fortress at the other end.You can still enjoy Eastbourne’s palm fringed lush seafront vistas and Regency style architecture.

Kitesurfers at Cooden Beach

Kitesurfers at Cooden Beach

The cycle lane picks up at the Fishermen’s green.Where there’s an excellent Fresh fish shop.The trail now stretches alongside the beach all the way to the Sovereign Harbour,arriving at the fanciful waterworks building.

The harbour itself allows you many ways through,and it’s fun to weave yourself through this wonderful watery maze.Eastbourne’s modern Venice.Complete with opening bridges for the yachts to pass through.So a great place to stop and have a rest at any point,to admire these man-made sights.If you would fancy a beverage or eats.You will arrive at the Waterfront,which is full of bars and restaurants.

Once you’ve rested.Pick up and continue along the cycle lane,alongside the main road into Pevensey Bay.This stretch has a real Holiday feel with Caravan parks dotted along the seafront.

Now normally Pevensey Bay is a quiet place,however we had turned up at the Pevfest.Which is it’s annual pub festival and so the busiest I have ever seen it.With Bright illuminous shirts crowding around the collection of pubs.

Anyway back to the route.The cycle lane again ends at Pevensey Bay,and you’re back on the road again.Follow it through this little village and the one way system,then straight across the traffic lights.

Leading you past more Holiday camps and into Normans Bay(more caravan parks).So as you can see,it’s a very popular outdoor activity seafront spot.

Arriving at a level crossing.If the barrier is down,and it can be for a long time.The controller will let you know if it’s safe for you to cross over(This is only possible for pedestrians and cyclists.)

Follow a long windy lane,passing on by another excellent refreshment stop,with good food to boot.The Star Inn,an old smugglers pub,dating from 1402.

Fully revived and ready for the final onslaught,bringing you to Cooden Beach.The road now runs along the top of the beach.Which is a popular watersports haven,as it gets the full blast of wind straight from behind Beachy Head.So expect to see plenty of Wind and Kite Surfers.

You can continue further into Bexhill proper along a cycle lane.However we had reached the end of our sojourn(apart from the return bit).Though after a picnic first.

Its a good easy trip on mainly flat ground,with a couple or more liquid and foodie stops,and many choices of beach to pick and call your own.

Airbourne(2)

August 27th, 2009
Lancaster At Airbourne

Lancaster At Airbourne

We enjoyed the show on Sunday at the Holywell end of the Beach.This is literally the end of the (promenaded) Beach.Before the rocky outcrop of Beachy Head.It was uncrowdedly busy.People enjoying the show without being crammed in.With a secluded cafe in a sunny trap.So refreshments were on hand.

It was a glorious sunny day,and a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon with Family and Friends.Admiring the aeronautic display.

We arrived just in time to be ear-blasted by the Eurofighter Typhoon.Strewth!!!That’s what you call loud.You definitely couldn’t miss it,especially with its afterburners on.

Then to be treated with an older generation.As the Lancaster,chaperoned on either side by a Spitfire and Hurricane.Strolled majestically around the white cliffs of Beachy Head.A very Patriotic sight.

After the fly-pass,the Spitfire returned for a solo performance.

Afterwards 3 planes came screeching from out of nowhere from behind Beachy Head.Including the orange F16.

Which also returned for an encore,to show off its majesty of power(and noise).Swirling up high and then spiralling down to blast off into the horizon.

It does make you glad that it’s on our side.And what a frightening prospect it would be if we weren’t such good mates.

It was topped off with the Parachute display team,swirling down before dropping into the sea.

We did wait with abated breath for the Red Arrows.But unfortunately they didn’t turn up.I guess we had missed them for this year.

The seafront was packed for Airbourne

Some good pics of the show

Shakespeare in Eastbourne

August 17th, 2009

“Romeo,Romeo,where art thou Romeo?”

We found him at the picturesque Italian Gardens at Holywell in Eastbourne.Where EODS(Eastbourne Operatic and Dramatic Society)perform every year at the end of July and the beginning of August.This year was Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.

The location is perfect for plays and shows.A little tranquil spot down from the many paths from the more lush and cliffy side of Eastbourne’s seafront at Meads next to Beachy Head.It’s a little almost secretive  park overlooking the sea and surrounded by lush vegetation.With Italian style pergolas and columns.

The show was performed with much Shakespearean gusto and fancy costumes.All backed with Tudor music(which always reminds me of Blackadder!)

This was our first experience.And apparently the first year with covered seating.Which as it turned out,was definitely sorely needed.Since we had booked our Cultural moment for the Monsoon evening .But it didn’t deter from the wonderful show.However the Thespians didn’t share our protection.Who I’m afraid to say,did get rather wet.Especially the main 2 characters,Romeo,but even more so Juliet.Who by the end of the show,after a great performance,looked drowned and frozen.

Naturally there were refreshments on offer,inc wine.Well it would have been rude to say no.You can also hire cushions for the hard seats and blankets for the cold evening chill.I braved it naturally,though my wife succumbed to the luxury.

The Barb is being performed again next year from July 28th-August 7th 2010.It will be ‘A midsummer’s night dream’.Of which I am looking forward to,just hopefully with better weather.

Airbourne,Eastbourne’s Airshow

August 10th, 2009

Attention!Attention!An upcoming event.The largest free annual airshow in Britain is staged in Eastbourne and is on from Thursday 13Th until Sunday 16Th.

Here is a quick rundown of a little of what’s on offer.

The famous Red Arrows are performing everyday.

Battle of Britain Memorial Flights,incorporating one of the last Spitfires,Hurricanes and Lancasters in operation.So come and admire them while you still can.

Also on display include the F16,the Euro-fighter Tycoon,along with performances from the USA,Belgian and Royal Netherlands Air Forces.

An Army parachute display team,one of the top in the country,will be touching down.You can try for yourself as well,if you visit www.the tigersfft.co.uk(though not on the day I believe).

A more interactive experience will be the Helicopter Pleasure Flights taking off from Beachy Head.(though you will need to book in Wilmington Square along the main seafront).

On Friday night,the ‘Come fly with me’,is a night flight experience accompanied by background music from a big band at the Bandstand.

All being topped off on Sunday Evening with a Firework Grand Finale.

If you can find a space,there will be free parking along the seafront.

Tune into Radio Airbourne 87.7FM for up to date info.Plus eastbourneairshow.co.uk and visiteastbourne.com for schedules and more info on the Airshow.

Nothing beats viewing the show from the top of  Beachy Head as the planes scream just overhead.Or if you can,from a yacht off the beachfront.

If you like Airshows,you will love Airbourne!

Brighton Beach

August 9th, 2009
Brighton beach

Brighton beach

This is the place to be,if you want action.This is where the hungry come to feed(and drink).

The main drag!is between the 2 piers.The dilapidated but still iconic West Pier and the neon fuelled Palace Pier.And again the concentration of it all is in the centre of these 2 points.

You can reach the beach via the subway.Basically straight down from the train station,keep on the right until you get to the seafront and the subways entrance.And then.Voila!The beach and bars etc.you can also get to the beach down the many steps and ramps all along the promenade.

Though it’s not just bars and social excess.There’s a gym right by the subway,the Riptide.Then for more activity,turn right to where you can play beach volleyball,then past this is the basketball court,which is always popular and crowded.Further along from this is a wide open area,which is now used by rollerbladers and skateboarders doing their stuff.

This will bring you neatly to the West pier,where you can indulge in retail therapy at the market,which is especially busier at weekends.

Also the other side of the Pier has attracted quite a surfing fraternity,when the surf is up.

Oh!There is a bit more sport on offer though sedated,with a Petanque court.Next to Alfrescos.An Italian restaurant and bar perched right on the prom,serving great views with your pasta.

So you’ve had a nice little walk.But we will keep it short and double back on ourselves.I’m sure you’re worn out,along with trying all these sports.Though on our journey back,there’s the seafront office,where you can hire out kayaks etc.Along with sportswear shops intermingled amongst the bars and restaurants.

Talking about bars.2 of note next to the volleyball are Bar dela mer,with a roof terrace for views,especially when events are on,like concerts or if they have any big screen movies playing again.Also the Gemini with a wide open area being it’s main focus.All with waiting service,so you’ve not got to struggle off your feet to get a drink.This is surrounded by a low wall,and is a great social meeting place and people watching spot.

If you can tear yourself away,the main bar and club strip is past the subway towards the Palace Pier.Where you can indulge in any number on offer for daytime drinks to clubbing at night.Picking out a couple are The Fortune of war,The Beach and the Honey Club.

Keep on walking.Now keep up!I didn’t mean drink in every one.Or maybe treat it like Spanish tapas.Try a little of each,to find the one you really like.So carry on to the Fishermen and Artistic quarters,including a museum,a swimming club and a plethora of Artie shops.There’s also a couple of huts on the beach.One for photos and prints,the other for fruits of the sea.You can also find a Merry go round(Oh!yes there’s something for kids as well).

I almost forgot to mention the Beach.If you can tear yourself away from posing along the prom and enjoying the many distractions.Naturally it’s a shingle beach.When the tide is in,it drops off steeply.Though when the tide’s out,it’s shallow revealing far reaching lovely sand,when it’s really low.

Summer time also brings out street acts all along the prom.Wanting to express their own particular talent,alot of it being musical.Whether it be a fancy dressed African,Capoeira dancers,or a crazy acrobat.Even Razorlight have had an impromptu gig by the West pier.The Gemini bar shows off many of the musical acts.I swear I’ve also caught sight of Jimi Hendrix a couple of times.Even Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim has been known to throw a party or 2 with a few close friends(as I’m sure you know,that he’s a well known Brighton resident)For me,his music always reminds me of Brighton.

So if you’ve made it to the evening.BBQing and partying on the beach along with skinny dipping are popular pastimes to waking up shivering next to your died out fire.

You won’t get bored in Brighton.

Authentic Thai cuisine Restaurant

August 2nd, 2009
Thai marina restaurant

Thai marina restaurant

Fancy Thai!

Then head to  Thai Marina at Eastbourne’s Sovereign Harbour.

This is wonderfully presented on the Waterfront.Which is the focal point of the harbour’s social scene.Where you will find all the bars,restaurants and shops.All overlooking the main harbour,with all the yachts and harbour front apartments.

The restaurant is registered as ‘Amazing Authentic Thai Food’ and official ‘Thailand’s Brand’,with the signs on the window.

You can enjoy whether just for a drink or a full blown meal outside enjoying the view,yacht and people watching.On the wonderfully art-worked wooden furniture and surrounded by flowers and tall plants.

Inside,you can still enjoy the view as well as the Thai artwork including wood carvings of Thai scenery and country-life.Also with roof looking overhangs above the mirrors and windows.Plus to one side a raised terrace area.All interspersed with flowers and plants.

The atmosphere is peacefully relaxed.We went on a Tuesday night,so not exactly a busy weekend evening.Though it was still nicely busy.

The service as you would expect in any Thai.Is naturally professional and friendly.All dressed in Thai costumes.We had been there previously for a drink on a weekend daytime,and so much busier.As was the whole Waterfront.And 1 of our drinks was spilt.This was apologised for repeatedly and were also given 2 fresh drinks on the house(so no empty apologises!)

There is a good wide variety of foods on offer.Both the usual curries along with a lot more tantalising choices.

I myself would recommend as Starters,both the Dim Sum selection of what I had and the Spring-rolls my wife’s.

For the mains we both fancied the Tamarind marinaded dishes.Mine was a duckling breast.Yum yum!My wife opted for the Sea Bass(also with Lemongrass and Chilli).While we shared a Jasmine rice served in an ornate china capped bowl.

We were nicely full,so we didn’t go for the dessert.But after seeing a large platter passing by topped with a horde of very pretty artistic cakes on it.We were indeed very tempted,but we kept our resolve.We will wait until next time to be delighted by them(Always leave something hey?)

We just settled for coffee,which again was probably better than you could find in many a posh restaurant elsewhere.And complemented with hand made dainty milk and white truffles.A perfect end to finish the Thai.

We will definitely return to try more Thai.Especially those cakes!

July 27th, 2009

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Seaford Beach

July 27th, 2009
Seaford Beach

Seaford Beach

Seaford beach is a little treasure that is generally overlooked.

It has a wide sweeping bay stretching from Seaford Head.Which is a vast big hill with high white cliffs rising dramatically right at Seaford’s doorstep.Which itself leads onto Seven Sisters Country Park.You can reach the top of this awesome viewpoint via an unmarked rocky trail,to a car park perched right on the top.With trails spanning out from there and across the cliffs down both sides.To Seaford on one side and the beach at Seven Sisters Country Park on the other.

At the other end of this crescent bay is Newhaven Harbour.With its Harbour wall stretching out into the sea with a lighthouse plonked on the end.Again with a dramatic hilly peak striking right out of Newhaven.Which is incredibly popular with Paragliders.

Both of these views on either side are wonderful to gaze upon while lazing on the beach,with of course the sea in front.

Between these 2 peaks you can walk/cycle along the Seaford promenade and then onto the paths and trails through the reclaimed park area between the 2 towns.

The beach itself shelves steeply,with the sea never seemingly going very far.Its a very local beach with a great relaxed and laid back atmosphere to it.With people fishing,having BBQs,swimming or taking a little boat out.It’s a great sporting beach.Being very popular for  wind/kite surfing and sailing,with a sailing club at the Newhaven end of the beach.

There is only 1 bar just off the beach(The Beachcomber)and no clubs.This is perfect for keeping the chilled atmosphere.However you can find 2 little cafes on the prom.So it’s possible to get some refreshment.Along with the town proper only a short walk away.So easy to reach the shops for that all important chilled bottle of wine or beer.

Also amazingly you can park for free all along the beachfront.

As for History.Close to Seaford Head there is 1 of the Napoleon era Martello towers,which is now a museum.Also at the other end of the beach,though nothing to see.Was the scene of yet another attempted French invasion,of which was again bravely fought off.

So if you would love to discover and enjoy a little secret treasure.Visit Seaford!

Beaches

July 18th, 2009
eastbourne beach

They are all lovely shingle beaches(just like Croatia!).Nice and painful on the bare foot(advise sandals/aqua-shoes).However you can find Sandy beaches.If you either wait for the tide to go out.With some beaches having more of the golden stuff than others(Littlehampton,Bexhill..)

Or you can venture out west to West Wittering or meander off east to Camber and find full scale Sandy beaches.

Though all the beaches in between may be shingle.Each and every one of them has it’s own charms and reasons for paying a visit.

Whether its for the atmosphere.

A party one like at Brighton,with its beach-side bars,clubs and restaurants.Along with various sporting endeavours.

Others like Seaford are more local and quiet.

All along this coast attracts the wind.Perfect for Kite/Wind surfing and plain ole Surfing.With the wind concentrating its forces at certain spots(Seaford,Shoreham-by-sea,Goring…)

There are nice and shallow beaches.Great forFamilies(Littlehampton,Worthing..)

Secluded spots include Beachy Head from its many walking trails.

Rocky(read reef)beaches at Eastbourne wonderful for Surf and for exploring the rock pools when the tides out.

Dive at Littlehampton and discover Romain remains and cannonballs.Or just off Brighton’s marina there’s a French warship wreck,which was one of their many attempts to come to England before Tourism took off.

There are Blue Flag beaches from Eastbourne to Brighton.

History buffs have a fair share of it with Hastings castle,to the Napoleon era Martello towers strewn across the coast and forts guarding Shoreham-by-sea’s and Littlehampton’s harbours.

Every beach is perfect for having a stroll.Whether along the ‘Prom’ at every town.The wonderful Under-cliff walk between Brighton’s Marina and Peacehaven.Or along  many trails especially at Seven Sisters Country Park,with a great walk/cycle by the Serpentine river(as well as Kayaking,or swim if you fancy!)to the beach,made famous in the film Atonement.

So although they aren’t exactly blinding white powder soft beaches down here.There is plenty to enjoy,and who needs all that sand getting into every crevice anyway!