To the seaside

Yes, we are off on a bank holiday outing to the seaside. London is in an unusual state with road closures and transport disruptions so that leaving it for today seems the best option.

Great Northern Hotel, St Pancras
Great Northern Hotel, St Pancras

We caught a 214 bus to St Pancras Station and left it in front of the huge Great Northern Hotel, a symbol of past times and the elegant travellers of the Victorian era.

Eurostar departures
Eurostar departures

We are not alone in escaping London: as we entered St Pancras Station we found Eurostar departures crowded and long queues snaking through the concourse.

E L & N
E L & N

As we often do when passing through St Pancras Station, we stopped off for coffee at E L & N. All the seats inside were occupied and so we sat outside.

St Pancras Thameslink Platform
St Pancras Thameslink Platform

We went down to the Thameslink platform and found it almost empty. This was a telief as I was half-expecting trains to be crowded with escapees like us.

Aboard the Brighton train
Aboard the Brighton train

At 9:30 our train arrived to convey us to Brighton, today’s seaside destination. The train is not at all crowded, happily.

Blackfriars Station Photo by Tigger
Blackfriars Station
Photo by Tigger

When we arrived at Blackfriars Station, which affords a view of the Thames, we could see that the (in)famous queue for the lying in state had of course disappeared, returning the river bank to its normal aspect.

On the way to Brighton Photo by Tigger
On the way to Brighton
Photo by Tigger

Arriving at Brighton
Arriving at Brighton

The journey was uneventful and took about 75 minutes.

Queen Street
Queen Street

From the station we walked down Queen Street. I had imagined that many cafes etc would be open but in fact most were closed. Wisely, we had brought food with us in case.

Pigeon banquet
Pigeon banquet

We found a flock of pigeons enjoying a banquet provided by some kind person.

Down-to-earth coffee Photo by Tigger
Down-to-earth coffee
Photo by Tigger

In East Street we found a coffee bar open. It was called Super Natural but the coffee was fortunately down to earth.

The Pump House
The Pump House

A quiet corner
A quiet corner

Vegetarian macaroni cheese and tea
Vegetarian macaroni cheese and tea

Exploring possibilities, we found a pub called the Pump House open and serving food. We chose a table in s quiet corner and placed our order for lunch.

The Royal Pavilion Grounds
The Royal Pavilion Grounds

We went into the grounds of the Royal Pavilion, hoping the museum would be open as there was an exhibition that Tigger wanted to see. Unfortunately, the museum was closed.

The William IV gate
The William IV gate

Near to the Grade II* listed William IV gate, dated 1832, was a bench where we sat for s while enjoying the peaceful atmosphere of the Pavilion gardens. (On the gate, the reign number appears as “IIII”, not as the more usual “IV”.)

Palace Pier (part)
Palace Pier (part)

We now walked to the seafront and…

Onto the pier
Onto the pier

…went onto the Palace Pier.

The beach from the pier
The beach from the pier

We looked along the famous shingle beach from which I went swimming so many times in my childhood.

A view of the sea
A view of the sea

You also have a view of the sea – which, after all, is what piers are all about.

Tigger and SilverTiger walk the promenade
Tigger and SilverTiger walk the promenade

From the pier we went for a stroll along the promenade.

Last view of the pier
Last view of the pier

We then climbed up to Marine Parade and on the way I captured a last view of the pier, albeit in silhouette.

Marine Parade
Marine Parade

There are some fine period houses in Marine Parade and we speculated on whether it would be pleasant to live there (not that we could ever afford to do so!). It might be a bit noisy on what is a main road.

Back to the station
Back to the station

We caught a bus in Marine Parade back to the station. We reckoned that the rush to London (if any) would be over now and that it would be comfortable to travel.

Inside the station
Inside the station

Brighton Station is light and airy and has a fine curved glass roof. I was relieved to find that it was not crowded.

Aboard the Bedford train
Aboard the Bedford train

We boarded the Bedford train that calls at St Pancras. We were right that it would not be crowded. We settled down calmly for our journey back to London.

Plane landing at Gatwick Photo by Tigger
Plane landing at Gatwick
Photo by Tigger

We passed through Gatwick Airport where Tigger photographed a plane coming in to land.

A glimpse of the Thames Photo by Tigger
A glimpse of the Thames
Photo by Tigger

At Blackfriars, we crossed the Thames into home territory once more. (Though I also feel that Brighton too is “home”.)

Aboard to 214
Aboard to 214

At St Pancras, we left the train and went up two escalators to reach ground level. We exited the station and within two minutes a bus arrived to take us home. Today’s Brighton adventure has ended but we shall return there again one day soon.

About SilverTiger

I live in Islington with my partner, "Tigger". I blog about our life and our travels, using my own photos for illustration.
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