By Lynn Strough
Brilliant and beautiful Brighton & Hove, on the south coast of England, offer much to enjoy, and I found myself with three weeks to explore while pet sitting for two mischievous dachshunds.
Twin cities, of a sort, Hove and Brighton are like bookends, linked by a long seaside promenade. The prom is full of life, action, and beautiful views, where you can take part in numerous activities – the usual bike riding, jogging and dog walking, or step it up a bit with sports like basketball, beach volleyball, and bouncing.
If anyone asked if I was living in Brighton, the correct answer, I was told, is “Hove, actually.” They have very distinct personalities. Hove is the “fancier” place, streets lined with elegant townhouses and dining establishments.
Brighton is the brash, bohemian enclave, with lanes full of hippie shops and street artists, not to mention the Brighton Pier. Full of flashing lights and spinning rides, it’s been around since the 1800s, only shut down during World War II, as Hitler had plans to invade here.
Brighton also boasts the iconic Royal Pavilion, built in the late 1700s as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales. You can tour the domed architectural wonder and learn all about royal liaisons and intrigues.
And if you’ve worked up an appetite, there are plenty of eating and drinking establishments to choose from, many with entertaining names as well as interesting offerings for snacks, lunch, tea, or dessert.
Most of my days were spent walking the dachshunds on the scenic promenade or hiding out with them from the rain at home (I discovered doxies don’t like wet weather!). And in the south of England, there’s plenty of wet weather.
If you check event schedules, there are lots of local activities. By accident, I stumbled on an Armistice Day parade, with beating drums and clanging symbols, but not a single gun.
Although summer would be a delightful time to visit Brighton and Hove, fall is typically cooler with far fewer tourists, and with a little luck, you may even slip in a warm, sunny day.
If shopping is your thing, there are plenty of stores, including books and antiques, steampunk and unmentionables and places to get your hair styled.
So for a short holiday getaway, or to house sit with pets for awhile, check out Brighton and Hove on the south coast of England. Bring your raincoat, lots of pounds, and a smile.
*As a side note, it turns out Hove is headquarters to Trusted Housesitters, the house and petsitting site I most frequently use.
Lynn is a 50-something-year-old woman whose incarnations in this life have included graphic designer, children’s book author and illustrator, public speaker, teacher, fine art painter, wine educator in the Napa Valley, and world traveler. Through current circumstances, she has found herself single, without a job or a home, and poised for a great adventure.
“You could consider me homeless and unemployed, but I prefer nomad and self-employed, as I pack up my skills and head off with my small backpack and even smaller savings to circumnavigate the globe (or at least go until the money runs out). Get ready to tag along for the ride…starting now!”
Reprinted with permission