British Beach Weather? Brighton, East Sussex, England

Warmly-dressed people on and ocean-front walkway, under black skies, Kings Rd Brighton, UK

Kings Road, Brighton
Rugged-up against the weather, pedestrians make the best of a break in the rain.

Rumour has it that Great Britain has experienced a true summer this last July. This “heatwave” has health professionals worried, while other Britons head to the beach to bask.

Of course, it isn’t usually so. Last July, when we visited Brighton Beach for two days, the weather – rain and black clouds with intermittent sunshine – was probably more typical of an “average” British summer.

Naturally, if you only have a day or so to visit a place, you take the weather as it comes! But, while Brighton has been known as a health resort for sea bathing since the 18th century, and became a popular day-trip destination for Londoners with the arrival of the railway in 1841, it really wasn’t turning the beach weather on for us.

The ruins of Brighton

West Pier
Built in 1866 and abandoned in 1975, the ruins of the West Pier sit against threatening black clouds. Hardy Britons enjoy the waterfront regardless.

Two pieces of battered fish on a fryer drainboard, Brighton, UK

Hot Fish
No matter what the weather – it is always time for fresh fish and chips!

Brighton waterfront buildings reflected in a large disco ball, Brighton Beach, UK

Beach Ball and Chain?
Brighton’s waterfront is reflected in a large disco ball.

People on a wet Brighton Pier, in raincoats and under umbrellas, Brighton, UK

On the Pier
Protected from the elements by raincoats and umbrellas, tourists venture out onto the famous pier.

View from Brighton Pier back to the beach and low-rise buildings behind; body boarders in the water under low black clouds.

Look to the Surf…
Bodyboarders defy the cold Atlantic to catch a few “waves”.

A fortune-teller

Tarot and Rain
“I see showers in your future.”

Rain and Lace
Built between 1891 and 1899, the Brighton Marine Palace and Pier, as it is officially called, features some wonderful wrought iron work.

Close-up: the white centre and shiny carriages of the Brighton Wheel, Brighton beach, UK

The Brighton Wheel
Not too many takers on this day; the carriages all appear to be empty.

A window in a women

Dress Shop
Taking refuge in quaint stores is one way to escape the climate.

The Indo-Saracenic-style dome and turrets of Brighton

The Royal Pavilion
Built in the Indo-Saracenic style popular in colonial India in the 19th century, the Brighton Pavilion was a royal retreat for George, Prince of Wales, later King George IV, from 1787 onwards.

People in jackets and raincoats in the grounds of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, as a clarinetist plays. Brighton, UK.

Playing the Crowd
During a brief respite from the rain, people wander through the Royal Pavilion grounds.

A Clarinetist in dreadlocks and tattered clothes plays while bubbles float on the air, Royal Pavilion, Brighton, UK

Clarinet and Bubbles
Like magical musical notes, bubbles float on the air while the clarinetist plays on.

View up a Brighton street to the clock tower, West Sussex, UK

Brighton Street
The next day, the weather was much improved…

Looming clouds over a stretch of shingle beach, Brighton, UK

Brighton Beach
… but black clouds still loomed over the rocky, shingle beach.

Empty striped beach chairs, Brighton Beach, UK

Beach Chairs
Canvas chairs sit empty.

A rusty winch and an old wooden boat sit on Brighton Beach, UK

Rust and Ruin
Old boats and bits of machinery are out-door parts of the Brighton Fishing Museum.

A glass case of small styrofoam cups of seafood, Brighton Beach, UK

Cockles and Lobster Tail
Cups of fresh seafood are available from the fridge…

Two men outside one of the Victorian fishermen

Smokehouse Door
… or you can buy something from one of the many shops in the converted row of Victorian fishermen’s workshops.

Punch puppet in a glass case, with a clown, policeman and other puppets in the background, Brighton Fishing Museum, UK

Originally the Italian Pulcinella, Punch (with Judy and a cast of characters) became synonymous with beach entertainment.

Fishing nets and crab traps, The Brighton Fishing Museum, Brighton Beach, UK

Fish Nets and Crab Traps
The Brighton Fishing Museum is dedicated to all things maritime.

Carousel, Brighton Beach, UK


Wooden pigs and greeting cards for sale, Brighton Beach, UK

Shop keepers, trusting the rain would hold off, moved their wares out of doors.

Roofline of the Royal Pavilion behind green trees, Brighton, UK

Royal Pavilion
After walking the distance between the two piers, we couldn’t resist returning to see what the Royal Pavilion looked like in better weather …

Roof dome and turrets of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton, UK

Domes and Minarets
… and it is lovely …

Brighton Royal Palace Gardens under a dark cloudy sky, Brighton, UK

Brighton Royal Palace Gardens
… but, as dark clouds rolled in again, we decided it was best to leave!

Text: Happy TravelsWe escaped back to our vehicle – umbrellas hoisted – as the raindrops started to fall..

I hope this year’s visitors realise how lucky they are to have genuine summer, beach weather.

Happy Travels!

Pictures: 14-15July2012

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