Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Siobhan Says... The Next 24 Hours

Morning! I hope the head isn’t too achy from the night before, as we’re off to do an architectural tour of the city. Get those boots made for walking…

Brighton & Hove is famous for its Regency architecture; sweeping white crescents and grand open squares. We’ll start our tour of Georgian Brighton in Kemptown’s Lewes Crescent (right) and Sussex Square. I used to live here and will admit I am slightly biased, but this really is one of the most beautiful places in the city for architecture. In the centre lie the Kemptown Enclosures, private for residents with a key, so only a peek through the railings is available! Thomas Kemp, the designer of it all, lived in Lewes Crescent and an amble around the square and the crescent is a must, being a great place to play ‘Spot the Blue Plaque’.

We’ll then wander down to the Kemptown seafront on Marine Parade, perhaps stopping on the way for a coffee, a cake (I like cakes) and an antiques snoop in the Kemptown Trading Post & Coffee Shop. The view along the front shows Regency bay windows bumping along toward central Brighton, with unique designs such as the black tiles in Royal Crescent.

As we reach central Brighton, the Pier becomes visible as does the Old Steine, which leads us to the ultimate in Georgian luxury; the Royal Pavilion (left). Built for the Prince Regent between 1787 and 1823, this exotic pleasure palace is a must for any visitor to the city, and will lead our tour up to lunch time. We’ll then head to the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery for a cultural venture and a light lunch, or pop into one of the hundreds of cafes, restaurants and pubs in the city centre which offer fantastic food.

After lunch we’ll saunter back to the seafront and continue our tour toward Hove (actually), passing iconic architecture such as that of the Grand Hotel, before reaching Regency Square. Here we’ll admire the war cenotaph and pretend to be Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, who, along with her sister, tried to find a partner here, when it was used as a military camp from 1793. How romantic.

I digress. Next is Bedford Square, with houses painted an unusual light peach colour and exotic gardens. Further along still, we find Brunswick Square which also gives its name to a village of streets in this area between Brighton and Hove. Home to the grandest Palladian stretch of houses along the seafront, Brunswick Terrace and Square were built for the social elite from 1824, with central gardens well worth a visit.

We then take a final turn to the top end of Brunswick Square, turning left along Western Road to gain a fantastic view of Palmeira Square and Adelaide Crescent (right), opening in stunning white swathes of Georgian houses.

Have you had a wonderful 24 or 48 hours in Brighton & Hove? Do you have more ideas for your perfect weekend in Brighton? Share them with us!

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