There’s something about cold, crisp sunshine that pulls me to the sea. It must be genetic as my family feel it too. As long as I can remember days like this have been Beach days. Capital ‘B’. And Brighton seafront, all pebble beaches and converted beach huts galore, is where we tend to gravitate too. It’s quite the spectacle.
You can catch a glimpse of the sea as you wander into town, down the hill from the train station. Below, between two high buildings either side of the road there’s a glitter where the water catches the sun.
It always surprises me when you first emerge from the Lanes, from the high buildings and sheltered, winding streets, and suddenly there’s the sea stretching out in front of you. My memory never seems to do it justice. There’s that first hit of salty sea air that’s so comforting, that relaxes me like nothing else in the world.
I’ve been coming here forever and each time it’s different. Today it’s busy – everyone has shed their winter coats and dusted off their sunglasses. There’s so much going on; it’s electric. Kids playing on the pebbles, darting through legs. Lounging couples sharing an ice cream down by the water and tables on the promenade full of crowds enjoying a Saturday afternoon drink, or three. You can’t help but become swept up in the tide of people ambling along.
It’s easy to spend an hour or two mooching in the transformed ‘arches’ next to the pier that now sell all kind of incredible artworks or bespoke trinkets. Opposite, there’s a carousel today too, whose music mixes with the distant ice cream vans, almost drowned out by the buzz of the crowd. But not quite.
Grab a bowl of fresh cockles or shellfish and you’re sorted for the afternoon, watching the seagulls dart out of the clouds and the waves creep up the beach.
If you do decide to head down, send my regards to the Brighton lobster.