The traditional Bank Holiday Destination – Brighton!
Brighton’s only 15 minutes away from home and I’ve been there many times over the past 30 years. But in all that time I had never visited the Royal Pavilion or the Sea-Life centre.
I’ve been in many stately homes over the years, but I’ve never seen anything as spectacular as the interior of the Royal Pavilion. The centre piece is the hugh domed banqueting hall with it’s 30 foot high chandelier. It cost ??7.70 to get in and for that you get a self-guided tour that lasts around an hour and a half. Usefully half way through the tour, you arrive in the tea room on the first floor, which has nice views across the grounds. The menu looked good, but I didn’t sample anything other than a pot of tea and a Brownie!
Next the Sea-Life centre.
I’ve been wary of Aquariums since I was ripped off in by the travesty that is the St Davids’ Aquarium. This has always looked a big dodgy from the outside and the entrance fee of ??11.50 was a bit high – but I was feeling adventurous and it was a case of I’d never know if I didn’t try. I’d recent visited the aquarium in London Zoo and last year, the “National Marine Aquarium” in Portsmouth – this was better than both.
It is completely subterranean, and much bigger than I’d ever imagined. It may not have some of the most exotic of specimens, but it does have a very large selection, all in very good tanks that give great visibility. Most of the tanks are open a the top so you can look at the inmates from above without the distortion of glass. There are even tanks where you can touch the creatures and there is also an underwater tunnel through the large tank holding some sharks and giant turtles.
So all-in-all a very surprising day – both places are highly recommended.