Friday, 23 November 2012

A Winter Wheelchair Staycation in Accessible Brighton & Hove

Today's blog post has been written by Marina who is an accessible travel researcher and blogger. She shares her wheelchair accessible adventures at the Wheel Travel Blog.

Getting ready for winter in Brighton & Hove. Here’s how I might be spending some of my time in the chillier months to come.

Winter Wheelchair Fun On The Seafront

Brighton Beach Wheelchairs

Wrapped up warm and going for a roll on Brighton beach. Winter has it’s advantages, I might even get the place to myself. The beach accessible wheelchairs are available every day of the year, and are rarely booked out during the winter. Call the Seafront Office on 01273 292716 to make a booking. They are free to use, all they require is a form of proof of I.D. and a £25 deposit.

Beach Wheelchair Brighton and HoveBrighton Beach


Easy Access On Brighton & Hove Promenade & Pier

Going for wheelchair walks along the promenade. Eating chips and watching the seagulls from the Pier. There are sloping walkways down to the promenade in Brighton (may be difficult to ascend without assistance). The access to the promenade is level at the Hove end. Numerous disabled parking bays and disabled toilets (RADAR key required) can be found all along the seafront. There is level access all along the Pier and 2 disabled toilets (RADAR key available at the cafe). They also have Braille menus.

seagull on street lamp, brighton and hovebandstand brighton and hove

Brighton Wheelchair Bike

I will be gliding along the promenade (when it’s not raining or blowing a gale) on a Duet Wheelchair Tandem. To hire Brighton Wheelchair Bike email: Bring a strong person to peddle you both along the miles of seafront cycle path between just before the Pier all the way to Hove Lagoon. Booking essential.

brighton wheelchair bike - duet wheelchair tandem, brighton & hovebrighton wheelchair bike - Duet wheelchair tandem in brighton and hove

Accessible Brighton Wheel

I could take my wheels on the Brighton Wheel. It’s fully wheelchair accessible. Disabled adults tickets are £6.50 and disabled children tickets are £5. Carer tickets £4.

wheelchair travel, brighton wheel, brighton and hovewheelchair travel, brighton wheel, brighton & hovebrighton wheel, brighton and hove wheelchair travel,

More Accessible Winter Joy

Feeding The Squirrels At St Anne’s Well Gardens

I heart squirrels. This park is a wonderful wheelchair walk at any time of year. Surfaced paths (there are slopes as well as level parts-strong assistant needed for some bits), disabled toilet (RADAR key), the Garden Cafe, fabulous kids playground, a pristine bowling green, tennis courts, table tennis, sensory garden, fish pond, lots of birdlife, beautiful trees and friendly (just don’t let them mistake your finger for a peanut) squirrels. For more on parks in Brighton & Hove, go to park disabled access info.

Squirrel      Squirrel Feeding at St Annes Well Gardens, Hove, Sussex      Wheelchair access St Annes Well Gardens, Hove, Sussex

Access To Great Food In Brighton & Hove

Perhaps sitting by the fire at Stanmer House having hot chocolate or afternoon tea. Maybe lunch or dinner at one of Brighton & Hove’s accessible restaurants. I’m going to try some gourmet vegetarian nosh at Food For Friends (mention you’re a wheelchair user when booking so they can be ready with the ramp). I also love the tasty Italian food at Carluccios, the fabulous sea views at Alfresco and the Latin American menu at Las Iguanas. Try the links at the bottom of this post for the full list of wheelchair accessible places to eat out in Brighton and Hove.


Accessible Ice Rink At Royal Pavilion Gardens

Going for a trundle in the beautiful (and organic) Pavilion gardens or even a whizz around the ice rink! The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink is fully accessible to wheelchair users. Off-peak sessions (when the rink is quieter) are encouraged. You must be accompanied on the ice by a competent skater who may skate for free.

Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Brighton and Hove     
(photo credit: Katariina Jarvinen)


Brighton & Hove Winter Culture 


theatre royal, brighton and hoveThe Brighton Dome booking office has a fabulous push button door (makes life easy) and a lowered booking desk for wheelchair users. They have wheelchair access and disabled facilities in all the venues and “carer goes free tickets” are also available depending on availability. The Theatre Royal has some wheelchair accessible seating and a disabled toilet in the foyer. Depending on availability they also offer “carer goes free” tickets, so enquire when booking. The Duke of York Cinema, Komedia and The Brighton Centre are also fully accessible. For more accessible venues in Brighton and Hove and detailed access info on the above, be sure to check out the Fed online (link below).


Accessible Brighton and Hove Accomodation Info

Fancy a Brighton & Hove winter wheelchair mini break? A fantastic access guide to Brighton & Hove can be found at the Fed online. There’s also plenty of helpful accessibility info at the Tourist Office or on their VisitBrighton website.

Thanks again to Marina for sharing this fantastic guide with us. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

Christmas Shopping in Brighton

Yesterday the Christmas Lights were switched on so we can officially say that the festive season is upon us! Of course it;s well-known (or we certainly hope it is!) that Brighton & Hove is a great city for a shopping break as we've got The Lanes, the North Laine, Churchill Square, Brighton Marina and Hove so whatever you;re looking for you should be able to find it.

However in addition to the shops we also have a number of events which will take the stress out of present buying and help make it fun again.

The first event is MADE, the annual design & craft fair which takes places this year from the 23rd - 25th November. The fair is held at the Corn Exchange and features over 100 makers and designers. Works to look out for this year include these striking green salt and pepper mills by Louise Hibbert and crow cufflinks by Becky Crow. There will be a wide variety of work on offer and with prices ranging from £20 to £1500, there should be something to suit all pockets. 

Another popular event for shoppers is the Artists Open Houses. This will be the tenth year that local artists have opened up their doors to the public. It's a great opportunity to see artwork displayed in a domestic space as well as giving you the chance to chat to the artists. Plus you can have a nose around and see how other people decorate their houses at Christmas time :) The festival takes place on the first three weekends of December.

There are lots more shopping events happening over the coming week so check our Christmas pages on the website for more inspiration and to start planning your festive break.

And if that wasn't enough we have also launched an exciting festive competition on our Facebook page. We;re giving you the chance to help us build the ultimate Christmas hamper, each week we'll ask you to vote for your favourite item including spa treatments, designer socks and restaurant vouchers - and then just before the holidays one lucky person will win the whole lot! So to be in with a chance of winning like our page and start voting.Good luck!


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Winner of October’s Love Laughing, LoveBrighton Flickr Competition

Crikey, it's the middle of November already. How time flies when you’re having fun :)

We are very pleased to announce the winner of October’s hilarious Love Laughing, LoveBrighton Flickr competition is this wonderful photo of people (sorry, zombies) having a great time on the Beach of the Dead walk on 20 October:

We also had a great time at the Brighton Comedy Festival, which gets bigger every year, and positively turned Brighton into a land of laughter, mirth and merriment. And we just loved our fabulously cheesy jokes we shared on Flickr, even if we were the only ones giggling! :D

The taker of the winning photo was Justin of Pooka Photography, who won a great family ticket to the opening night of Holiday on Ice: Speed at the Brighton Centre.

November’s Flickr theme is Love Twilight, LoveBrighton, and we’ve already had some stunning evening shots of the city and the seafront. The sunsets have been very romantic! Twilight also links in nicely with the midnight premiere of the new vampire teen movie Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part Two, at the Odeon Cinema on West Street on Friday 16 November. So feel free to snap the city at night and anything that resembles Robert Pattinson!

This month’s competition prize is two day passes to all the rides on Brighton Pier and dinner at the Palm Court restaurant, making for a perfect day out at the seaside!

In the meantime, keep those pics a-coming:  

Laters potaters!

Siobhan x

Monday, 5 November 2012

Cinecity 10th Brighton Film Festival

Seeing as I'm a fan of films and the Duke of York's Picturehouse you would think that I would be a regular at  the Cinecity Film Festival, however as I picked up this year's brochure I realised that I've never really made the most of the event. Coupled with the fact that the Duke of York's have put in some new seats which I haven't tried out yet I decided that it was time to start booking...

As I started to read through the guide there were several films jumping out at me and I was very tempted by the special 10th anniversary 10 ticket deal. The first one that caught my eye was the opening night film, which is Martin McDonagh's Seven Psychopaths. The film is his follow-up to In Bruges and as I loved the quirky black comedy I was already interested but when I saw that the cast includes Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken I had to go! As this is the opening night film tickets are selling out quickly but if you do miss the showing on the 15th, the Duke of York's will be showing it in December so you'll still have a chance to catch it.

Of course the festival isn't all about the Duke of York's and I think one of the highlight's of this year's festival will be a special screening of Barry Lyndon in the Royal Pavilion's Music Room. Stanley Kubrick's Oscar-winning film features SeraBande by Handel, works by the composer were often played by George IV's band in the Music Room. Tickets include a glass of Champagne on arrival, served in the banqueting room - certainly beats popcorn!

I won't give details of too many films as we could be here all night and anyway part of the fun is going through the brochure or website and seeing which ones leap out at you. Although I will just briefly mention Robot & Frank, as it's a septuagenarian and a robot in a comedy heist, what more do you need to know!

Cinecity runs from 15th November until 2nd December and make sure you get in quick as tickets do sell out quickly. And movie fans don't forget that the new cinema Duke's at Komedia will open it's doors in December - exciting times!