We managed to leave a little late because of the current fun I am having with morning headaches, but the drive from London as not too long and quite picturesque. I had looked online to find out about parking and had read lots of advice about it being expensive. I took notes about places to park, but we couldn't walk from too far away because hubby had hurt his foot and my mum who was with us has a bad knee. So we still ended up parking in a car park in the town centre which charged £4.50 an hour. In the end we didn't end up using our car while we were there so I think coach or train would be a better option, which I think is what the town is trying to encourage. Train is not an option for us because we would have to go into central London with children, picnic, pram, baby bag and everything else that we squeeze into our car (loo roll, kitchen roll, travel sweets, sick bags and I have no idea what else the kids stash away at the back of our seven seater).
I had a look on Google maps and worked out the distances between places and took screen shots of all of the addresses on my phone (I love technology!) and found that everything is very near each other.
The first place we went to was Brighton Pavilion. This place looks so beautiful in pictures and I have read in the past about how the building was used to house injured Indian soldiers fighting for the British during World War 2.
The place was rather lovely, surrounded by gardens full of people enjoying the sunshine:
We paid to go on the tour inside and the interior was rather lovely with a strong Far Eastern feel and displays about the use of the place during WW2. We were not allowed to take photos but there was an audio tour provided for us and a different one for the children which they enjoyed following around the house.
Right next door is the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery which is free.
The museum is an interesting mix of periods and themes, including pottery and jewellery:
The history of the town and its beach:
Displays about Ancient Egypt:
Interestingly the display about Brighton's history had quite a bit about the role of Muslims in the town:
One of my favourite things was my children's reaction at anything nude, semi-nude or overtly cheeky. Little Lady would get annoyed and firmly steer the boys in the opposite direction! After the pavilion and museum we prayed outside and had a picnic. Mum was giggling because she saw tourists taking pictures of us praying.
We had pilau rice with potato and boneless chicken chunks, chicken sandwiches, lamb burgers and vegetable and chicken pasta. On one of the forums I was looking at online, a commenter mentioned people who brought their on lunches in a negative way insinuating they were cheap and did not contribute to the economy of the place they are visiting. This annoyed me, because what I would not give to have some of the fish and chips you can smell at the beach! We can only eat halal and everywhere you go the food is either not halal or cooked in a way we can't eat it, i.e. fish cooked in the same oil as sausages. We had the same problem when we visited Lyme Regis and ended up struggling to get a good meal. That wasn't a problem on this trip.
After lunch we headed to the beach strolling past some shops that we were keen to go into and hubby was keen to get away from as soon as possible. The beach was very pebbly, but surprisingly full of seashells everywhere we looked.
Little Lady and Little Man rolled up their pants and headed straight for the water. Gorgeous refused and got up to his favourite activity of kicking pebbles and sand and getting told off. Darling rushed straight back to the path as soon as we put her down on the pebbles. We carried her further down the beach and set her down again only for her to cry and cry even after we piked her up again. Not the most adventurous soul.
The day was fairly cool, so after a little while at the beach we headed to the pier which had shops, an arcade and some rides the boys and their dad had a go on (for some reason Little Lady wasn't that interested and wanted to hang out with her mum and nan). We bought the kids rock and I bought some to take back to work with me.
In all it was a nice day out with lots to do. We didn't get to go on the giant wheel and hang out in the pedestrianised area in town with shops and restaurants which had rather a lovely vibe which I would have liked, but the extortionate parking charges meant that we didn't want to hand around for too much longer in the end.