BRIGHTON, England -- This popular beach resort blends its past and
present to create an enchanting day trip from London.
Brighton's Victorian Carousel, a hand-carved collection of
animal figures, suggests what must have been Brighton's allure in
days gone by.
miles of coastline on the English Channel, it is easy to envision
Brighthelmstone, as this town was known when it was a small fishing
The original village was made up of a section of cottage homes
and shops along winding streets and courtyards.
Now dubbed the Lanes, the area has been turned into a
pedestrian-only shopping district that caters to tourists and has
more than 400 antiques shops and restaurants selling everything
from furniture to oysters.
Clients should keep in mind that during the off-season, many
stores close early.
One shop, Bears and Friends, is stuffed with teddy bears and
other cuddly creatures.
The shop includes the Museum of Childhood, a small back room
filled with toys and stuffed animals.
Young children and the faint of heart, beware: According to the
store manager, Sara Goble, there a is ghost back there that makes
an occasional appearance.
This ghost happens to be a hologram, but a "real" ghost is said
to haunt Meeting House Lane. Legend has it that several hundred
years ago, a nun was walled up alive for eloping with a soldier, or
with a monk -- no one is quite sure which.
She has been seen at twilight, walking the lane. At other times,
she apparently is running away from something.
She moves through the alley and finally disappears, gliding
through a brick archway near a spot in the wall where the "Gray
Hooded Lady of the Lane" is rumored to reside. Rumor also has it
that anyone who stares into her face will meet an untimely end.
An area still devoted to the fishing community is the Lower
Promenade, which stretches along a wooden boardwalk.
Here clients can visit the Fishing Museum, housed in a former
fish warehouse, and learn the importance of the fishing industry in
Brighton and how the town has changed through time.
Fishing is still a way of life for many locals, and visitors can
watch fishermen set out to sea from the beach here.
As a coastal community, Brighton became popular in the late 18th
century partially as a result of Dr. Richard Russell's "seawater
He thought seawater, taken internally and externally, could cure
everything from a broken heart to money problems.
The word of his miracle cure spread, and people flocked to
One of Russell's most famous believers was the future King
George IV, who rushed to Brighton in 1783.
In 1811, he embarked on a renovation of Marine Pavilion to befit
his status as heir to the throne.
Now known as the Royal Pavilion, with its domes, minarets,
stained glass and elaborate arches, it is the crown jewel of
The Long Gallery exemplifies the decorative tricks
characteristic of the pavilion. It contains iron cast to imitate
bamboo, furniture in beech-simulated bamboo and other objects that
George and his decorators thought would be found in China.
Dragons are prominent throughout the pavilion because they bring
good luck, according to Chinese myth.
In no room is the presence of dragons more evident than the
Music Room, where there are approximately 184 of them.
The Lower Promenade is home to the Artists' Corner, a wooden
boardwalk with makeshift studios where artisans create and sell
their wares' and seaside shops offering items related to the area.
The Victorian Carousel is there, as are a number of psychics.
Near the Lower Promenade, Palace Pier, a scaled-down, subdued
version of Atlantic City, N.J., seems to be preferred by
People can spend the day riding Ferris wheels and roller
coasters, playing typical boardwalk games and gorging on fish and
chips, corn dogs and ice cream.