JP and I went to the south coast this week. We stayed at a hotel in Brighton and for three sunny, warm and dry days we did touristy things like walk along the seafront, eat yummy cockles on the pier and ride on the Brighton Wheel. We also strolled through the Lanes and the North Laine district (where I could happily have remained for hours) and spent an hour or so in a local flea market. Our hotel was not far from the Regency Seafood Restaurant where we were so impressed by the meal we had on Tuesday evening that we returned on Thursday for another which was just as delicious.
The highlight of our stay was a visit to the Royal Pavilion, one of those places that visitors either love or hate. It’s ostentatious, extravagant, outrageous and flamboyant, and at the same time in places quite intimate and understated and we loved it. I’m not sure I would want to live in the Pavilion but I’d love to have dinner under the one ton chandelier that’s held aloft by a huge dragon! Hats off to the restoration team who are succeeding in their efforts to bring the Pavilion back to its original splendour.
On Thursday we visited Bodiam Castle near Robertsbridge in East Sussex. It’s a ruin now but JP and I could easily envisage it as a Grand Design project if money was no object! The return journey provided us with an opportunity to stroll along Cuckmere Haven with its meandering water courses, fishing herons, grazing nosey sheep and a view of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs when we finally reached the pebbled beach.
Homeward bound yesterday, we stopped a few miles south of Chippenham to visit Lacock Abbey, the former home of William Henry Fox Talbot, a pioneer of photography. The earliest known surviving example of a photographic negative is one that Talbot took of a window in the house. The abbey was converted to a house in 1539 after the Dissolution of the Monasteries but the chapter house, sacristy and cloisters remain and Dobby was rescued by Harry Potter in the cloister walk, on film anyway…
I haven’t included any of my photographs of Brighton, the Pavilion, Bodiam or Lacock, as a quick search on Google Images will testify that there are better efforts than mine out there. I have however, included these three, taken during our walk along Cuckmere Haven. They will always remind me of our little jaunt to Brighton and that it was JP (who can’t see the point of walking just for the sake of it) who suggested that we take this walk and who actually enjoyed it.