July Staycation 2011 – Day 5

We are heading south today into Sussex, our destination being Bexhill on the coast. The sky is overcast and I vehemently hope it will improve because the seaside needs sun!

London Bridge Station
London Bridge Station
A rather untidy mess of a station

London Bridge is one of London’s oldest stations, having opened in 1836. It has been rebuilt several times and these days is something of an untidy mess, badly in need of refurbishment. (Personally, I would knock it down and start again.) The prospect is not improved by the building works going on all around it.

The monstrous Shard
The monstrous Shard
Now glazed over most of its surface

One of the causes of the disruption, noise and dirt is the construction of the monstrous Shard, the cancerous growth disfiguring the skyline of London.

Stairs to Tooley Street
Stairs to Tooley Street
One of the unlikely ways in and out of the station

The 43 bus carries us to London Bridge but as we have bought off-peak tickets with a network card, we cannot board a train before 10 am. This gives us time for breakfast so we take the stairs to Tooley Street.

Café Rouge
Café Rouge
One of the eateries in Hay’s Galleria

We cross the street to Hay’s Galleria and go to see what is on offer at Café Rouge. Returning to the station just after 10, we join a delayed Brighton train on platform 5. As it is still fairly early and Brighton is a popular destination, there are many customers for an already well subscribed train. We manage to get seats but others are not so lucky.

Gull on a train Begging gull
Eastbourne gull
"Got anything for me?"

We had to change trains at Haywards Heath and again at Eastbourne. At the latter station, a gull was keeping watch from a vantage point on top of a parked train. We must have looked promising for some reason because he came to see if we had anything for him.

Bexhill Station
Bexhill Station
It has long sloping ramps on either platform

The third train dropped us at Bexhill whose slightly strange station is pictured above. From either platform you walk up a long sloping ramp to the bridge and to the entrance.

Sea Road
Sea Road
Appropriately named as that’s where it leads

From the station we walked down the appropriately named Sea Road towards the seafront.

Masonic Temple
Masonic Temple
Foundation stone laid in 1931

We roamed around some of the streets and found a few interesting buildings such as the Masonic Temple (foundation stone dated 1931) and a seafront apartment block with turrets and Dutch gables, though I don’t know the age of this one.

Seafront apartment block
Seafront apartment block
It has turrets and Dutch gables

Our ramblings eventually brought us to the seafront. Though the weather was a little brighter, it was not enough to bring people out in crowds.

The Yacht Club
The Yacht Club
All quiet at the yacht club

The yacht club showed no signs of activity and the shingle beach was virtually deserted.

The shingle beach
The shingle beach
Virtually deserted

We were rather intrigued by these seafront apartments, separated from the beach only by the walkway. I wonder whether the waves ever reach them in stormy weather. It’s certainly not far to go for a swim though you may get some noise from passers-by.

Seafront apartments
Seafront apartments
Right on the beach

Further along, another set of apartments is set back tastefully from the beach by a large garden.

Garden apartments
Garden apartments
Having the benefit of the seafront and insulation from the public

This seafront walk or promenade is known as West Parade. Compared with brasher seafronts like those of Brighton and Southend, it has a rather sober but elegant feel to it. Here too we find what is called the Colonnade or the George V Colonnade, currently undergoing refurbishment.

The Colonnade
The Colonnade
Built to commemorate the coronation of George V in 1911

At the moment, this elegant structure is one big building site and cannot be seen at its best. Let’s hope it will soon be restored to its full glory.

Not at its best
Not at its best
Restoration is something to look forward to

The Colonnade is a Grade II listed building – no surprises there.

De La Warr Pavilion
De La Warr Pavilion
A centre for the arts

Another notable building here on the seafront is the De La Warr Pavilion. Described as a “Modernist icon”, the Pavilion was designed by Erich Mendelsohn and Serge Chermayeff and was opened by the 9th Earl De La Warr in December 1935 (though the plate beneath the staircase was laid by the Earl in May).

The stair well
The stair well
A dynamic spiral

The Pavilion hosts exhibitions, concerts, learning programmes and other activities as you can see by going to the Pavilion Web site. It also has a cafe and restaurant where we had a pleasant lunch.

Indoor market
Indoor market
Many stalls were closed by the time we arrived

After lunch, we continued exploring and discovered the indoor market in Western Road, though by the time we arrived many of the stalls were closed. It might be more interesting earlier in the day.

The Public Library
The Public Library
We didn’t go in

We saw the public library but didn’t go inside…

Coronation clock
Coronation clock
In commemoration of the coronation
of Edward VII

… and admired Edward VII’s coronation clock.

Visiting beetle
Visiting beetle
Going for a stroll on my shoulder bag

We sat in a seafront shelter for a while and a beetle paid us a visit and went for a stroll on my shoulder bag. We then set out to find Bexhill Museum.

Bexhill Museum
Bexhill Museum
Unfortunately we arrived a little late

We had been meaning to visit the Bexhill Museum for some time but we had left it a little late. There is an admission fee and they pointed out to us that they were closing within the hour so it wasn’t worth buying tickets. We will try again another day.

The Bay Hotel
The Bay Hotel
Where we stopped off for coffee and cake

We dropped into the Bay Hotel for coffee and cake before turning for the station and our train home.

Bexhill is an historic town in Norman territory – Hastings is just a little to the east – and today is a pleasant and vivacious seaside town, a good place to spend the day. But now it was time for us to return to London. We made our way to the station, walked down the long ramp and caught a train to Haywards Heath where we took another direct to London Bridge. We shall come back one of these days and try to catch the museum at last.

Historical mosaic of Bexhill
Historical mosaic of Bexhill
The mosaic in on the wall of Bexhill station

Copyright © 2011 SilverTiger, https://tigergrowl.wordpress.com, All rights reserved.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
This entry was posted in Out and About and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Genuine comments are welcome. Spam and comments with commercial URLs will be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s