It’s Brighton Summer Season throughout August here at Santé Bon Viveur, and one of my top 10 reasons to visit is Brighton Pier – or Brighton Palace Pier, to give it its recently restored full title.
According to its motto ‘it’s fun all year on Brighton pier’!
And in 2015, Martyn Ware – founder member of pop groups The Human League and Heaven 17 – took recordings on Brighton Pier as part of a National Trust and British Library project to capture the sounds of Britain.
The pier definitely has an iconic place in British pop culture, having been featured in many books, TV series and films. The fact that it was a filming location for the 1971 film Carry on at Your Convenience immediately evokes the saucy postcard British seaside holiday feel that you’re likely to tap into by visiting it.
Indeed, Brighton Pier conjures up and offers everything that a traditional day at the British seaside used to be. Not just fish and chips, but a pint of beer, a stick of rock, deck chairs, the helter skelter, ice cream, fairground rides and the amusement arcade. And if you’re into looking at fish at the seaside rather than eating them with chips, then right beside it is the Brighton Sea Life Centre, the world’s oldest operating aquarium which originally opened in 1872.
This over 1770 ft long piece of gorgeously retro Victoriana – grade II listed for its historical importance – was completed in 1899. And to this day it is more popular than ever, with a VisitBritain survey finding it in 2017 to be the most visited tourist attraction outside London, with nearly 4.7 million visitors the year before.
And it was listed as the fourth most popular free attraction in Britain in a National Express Bus Company survey (beaten by the Cumbrian Lake District, Derbyshire Peak District, and Snowdonia in North Wales, in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place).
Also in 2016, The Guardian newspaper stuck it to the managing director of Brighton Fringe Festival who – displaying the worst face of gentrification possible – had sneered snobbishly that the pier attracted the wrong class of people.
Bloody good for The Guardian then. And I hope these pictures will give you at least a tiny glimpse of why Brighton Pier remains so popular….
Click individual photos to enlarge & scroll
If you enjoyed these pictures, have a look at the gallery on Brighton Pier’s website for some more photographs of modern day and historic Brighton Pier.
Getting There: see the bottom of my post on the Top 10 Reasons to Visit Brighton for directions about how to get to Brighton