A February 2000 trip
to Brighton by moatway
Quote: Travels through Sussex, Kent, and London during an English winter from a base just north of Brighton.
Our extremely spacious unit, two beds, two baths, dining, kitchen and living was on the second floor. The views from the windows were wonderful. Units in the former outbuildings, "The Mews" would lack some of the atmosphere, but I understood that they were quite attractive.
The lawns and gardens are lovely and extensive and peacocks wander about at will. The resort features a nice restaurant, covered pool, and all the amenities that one could wish for. Frankly, it felt as though we were living in a dream, a wonderfully satisfactory experience.
You will need a car here. The village of Handcross is close by and features a carvery and a pub. There is another pub-restaurant in the other direction, near Balcombe. The "New Town" of Crawley also has restaurants, grocery stores and a large mall (just opposite the station). There were suggestions of guided tours into London, but it is easy to go into Crawley to the station and take the train. The resort recommended Two Bridges station but it was easier to find parking and board at the second station, just down the road in Crawley. It is possible to buy a ticket that will cover your return fare and cover the day's transportation on the London Underground.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 8, 2003
The Old Sawmills Copyhold Lane
Attraction | "Leeds Castle (Maidstone)"
Leaving the parking lot, you will follow a long path that provides beautiful views of the palace as you approach. On the way you will be entertained by flocks of ducks, geese and peacocks. Inside,you will begin your tour in the Norman cellars, pass through the Henry VIII banqueting hall (he was once an owner) and move on to the lovely rooms occupied by Lady Baillie and decorated in the style of the 1920's and 30's. That would be enough, but there is more. There is (of all things) a dog collar collection in the gate tower. It is interesting. There is a large aviary containing over 100 species of rare birds, the purpose of which is conservation and education. There is also a maze and grotto, extensive gardens as well as restaurants and shopping. It is possible to spend a fair amount of time here . . . I would advise continuing on after you have seen the house, you can make up your mind how much of the rest you want to see as you go. You will need at least an hour and a half.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 9, 2003
Maidstone, Kent, England ME17 1PL
01622 765 400
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on August 9, 2003
Chichester, West Sussex, England PO19 1PX
Just a word about getting to the site. If you drive to Canterbury on a major route, you will see park and ride sites. Use them. The bus comes every 10 minutes or so, and once in Canterbury, you will appreciate the wisdom of your choice. It is a popular, busy destination.
Canterbury Cathedral is the seat of the Archbishops of Canterbury who are the leaders of the Anglican (Episcopalian) Church. It has been thus since the time of Saint Augustine. This structure's construction started after the Norman invasion of 1066 but it was the murder of Saint Thomas a Becket in the west transept as he went to evening prayers in 1170 that led to the church's lure as one of the worlds most popular pilgrimage sites. For a wonderful fictional version of the early cathedral, I always recommend reading Kenneth Follett's "Pillars of the Earth".
Access to the cathedral is through Christ Church Gate, an early Tudor structure built in memory of the eldest son of Henry VII who died in 1502. Having passed through the gate the church lies before you, the second largest in the world after St. Peter's in Rome. Like many churches of its day, it took centuries to complete and the western towers and nave are 14th century while the quire is late 12th century. The central tower (the Bell Harry tower) rises 235 feet and wasn't completed until 1498. As you enter through the southwest porch, the statues you notice are actually mid-19th century.
The nave soars above you . . . and there is so much to see. The self-guided tour book here is quite thick and filled with coloured pictures so it is extremely useful. To catalogue everything here would be pointless but there are a number of things that stand out in memory. The west window at the end of the nave dates as far back as the 12th century while other pieces of glass feature the faces of 15th century kings. The martyrdom transept is still one of the main focal points of the cathedral; it is both stark and symbolic. The western and eastern crypts are considered solemn places: the western contains the Treasury and the eastern culminates in the Jesus Chapel.
The quire is one of the earliest parts of the cathedral, built after a fire in 1174 on the ruins of the old quire. As you tour the church, you are always aware of the soaring nave, but it is standing under the vaulting of the Bell Harry Tower that one gains an enormous apprediation of the site as an engineering/architectural feat.
Needless to say, millions have visited Canterbury for reasons religious and out of curiousity. Of all English sites in the southeast, it is encumbent on you to visit this one.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 10, 2003
11 The Precincts
Canterbury, England CT1 2EH
01227 762 862
Attraction | "The Canterbury Tales"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 10, 2003
City center - St. Margaret's Street
At Birley Gap, it is possible to descend to the beach . . . do it. From the vantage point near the water, one can appreciate the "Seven Sisters". These cliffs are the white chalk that one would expect further east at legendary Dover. As such, they are beautiful . . . it was one of those natural attractions where I couldn't stop taking pictures. The seaside resort of Eastbourne lies very visible at the water's edge, to the east.
Near Eastbourne, England
+44 1323 728060
In the meantime see the Warrior . . . a deck plan is available and the tour is self-guiding. The Warrior is a steel-hulled steamship circa 1860.
The Mary Rose (Henry VIII's flagship) exhibit is both interesting and disappointing at the same time. Disappointing because it didn't survive in better condition, interesting for its artifacts and the fact that it survived at all. Don't pass on the naval museum. It is extensive in several period buildings and with the Royal Navy's rich history, it is interesting. Add to all of this the fact that you are in a very busy naval harbour, it is an interesting site.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 9, 2003
The approach from the ticket office is down a path, across a long wooden bridge and then through an impressive gatehouse. The drum towers at the corners of the castle are climbable and afford a good view of the castle courtyard and the surrounding countryside. On the walls, numerous fireplaces and supports indicate the complexity of the structure that the castle was at one time.
This is a castle in which it is easy to imagine the past: riders on horseback riding across the bridge and soldiers manning the walls as a local population went about their business in the courtyard.
13 miles from Rye on A268
Attraction | "Preston Manor (Brighton)"
As a visitor, you are allowed complete access to more than twenty rooms in the house, requiring a guide only for the basement...and that is what this house is all about. There are the main rooms, the comfortable Edwardian life "upstairs", and the life of servitude "downstairs".
The visitor is left with the impression that the owners suddenly left the house, taking nothing with them. It is a incredibly intact time capsule of life one hundred years ago. The impression is largely correct. The house was purchased by the Stanford family in 1794. Ellen Thomas -Stanford moved into the house with her husband in 1903 and created the ambiance that is prevalent in the house now. When they passed away in 1932, the house was left to the Corporation of Brighton, some restoration was done and the house was presented to the public.
Brighton, England BN1 6SD
+44 1273 290900
Attraction | "The Lanes (Brighton)"
These are the original streets of the city which were originally called Brighthelmstone. When George IV took up residence at the Pavilion, the name of the city became Brighton and as it grew, the Lanes fell into disrepair. Fortunately, they were rejuvenated. Fortunately, the local traders' association offers a map as it does get confusing in there. A charming shopping area.
Attraction | "The Royal Pavilion (Brighton)"
This is a self-guiding tour that covers approximately half of the rooms on each of the two floors open to the public. You will see everything worth seeing, the King's apartments, the kitchen, the banqueting room, Queen Victoria's apartments, etc. In the summer, if you need a break, there is a tearoom on the second floor.
For a thorough explanation of each room, follow a bus tour, but the pamphlet provided will do for many people. You will need about an hour. Like to know more before you go? Try royalpavilion.org.uk.
Royal Pavilion and Museums
Brighton, England BN1 1EE
+44 (1273) 290900
Riverview, New Brunswick