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View to Brighton Pier from the New Steine, Brighton

Archive for the ‘Brighton Parks’ Category

Spotlight On: Seven Sister’s National Park

0809 017No uniformed tourist knows about Seven Sister’s. Consider yourself in the know. Seven Sisters has woods with a capital W and is about 1 hour from Brighton. The number 12 or 12A buses will take you there from Churchill Square, in Brighton Central.

The great thing about this particular open space is the diversity of the landscape. When you arrive at the park, head over to the tourism office.  Get a free map of the woods or buy one of the Country Park, for 1 pound. The Country Park has a lake and rolling hills and clearly definable paths.

Many people row on the lake. I didn’t spend much time in this part of the park but I will on my next visit. There is a sign illustrating the potential to see Badgers, which is inately facinating to me hailing from a concrete jungle. The Badgers can be seen more near dusk because they are nocturnal animals.

There is a country pub at the top of the hill, selling overpriced food and Real Ales but I recommend eating at one of the other restaurants near the Tourist Information.

As I said before the woods was the real draw for me and many mountain bikers. You can actually rent a bike here. Both the Country Park and the woods are bike friendly and paths are all easy to follow. 0809 010

In the woods, people can go Orienteering, which is a game where you find landmarks. The great thing about these woods is that they are huge and fairly dense but it is hard to get lost. If you wanted to not see a soul you could.

I also saw some lovely butterflies whilst here. There are many different kinds of birds that live here but you need to go a little thicker than the entrance to hear them. Some the park is quite hilly but while you would need to think about  proper footwear if it rains heavily, a lot of the paths are rocky with small stones and therefore less muddy than one would think.

As Seven Sisters is right near Eastbourne, if you want to make a day of it head over to the town afterwards. Eastbourne is fairly large with a good selection of restaurants and a pier with amusements like Brighton. The vibe is kind of similar to Brighton but less urban.

I really enjoyed visiting this park. If I lived closer to it, I would have gone back today. If you’re a nature buff you’ll really like this park. It is worth the one hour ride to visit it.

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(Ob)scenically Yours

If  you are dying to go ob-scenic, check out the wildlife scene in Brighton and Hove. If you think our town is just a seaside resort, you are totally missing the boat. Brighton borders the South Downs, some the most incredible park-land around. aug09 027

Let’s stay near the main path for a while. In Brighton Central, there is the enormous Preston Park, a perfect place to picnic or stop and play. Don’t miss the Preston Manor or the insanely beautiful Japanese rock garden across the street. Sit by the pond or climb up the rock steps and feel like a king/queen. Benches dot the garden so you’ll be sure to find a spot to sit and take it all in. This is arguably my favourite scenic spot in Brighton.

Nearby there is also the lovely Withdean Park and which has the most beautiful flower gardens and is a short 10-15 minute walk from Preston Park.

If you are looking to do a spot of Sunbathing in Kemptown, try the lovely Queen’s park. This park is huge! Check out the lovely lake or if you are really lucky, catch an event here. I went to a fantastic show here as part of the Brighton fringe festival, where the entire park with a-light with lanterns. It was amazing. This park also has 6 tennis courts if you fancy a game of doubles.

In Hove, there’s choice between Hove Park or St Anns Well Gardens. St Anns is an underrated park with a playground, flowers and the annual Crofts dog show. Hove Park is comprised of a small cafe and rolling fields. Across the street, in a blink and you might miss it way, is a Bridlepath which has a nice wilderness feel.

I had a friend visit me recently and she really felt such a sense of bliss biking in Hove Park and eating dried fruit from Tescos. This park is also great if you have family because there is a playground here and Toys R US is across the street.

Without mentioning the seafront which is obviously ob-scenic, there is also Hove Lagoon where you can take a sailing class. This area is very family-centric with a wadding pool and a children’s playground. On another note, if you aspire to be a “yummy mummy” or like hanging out with them, they are all at Vbites eating meatless meats, whilst their kids play.

If you are hitting the most scenic of attractions, the sea, don’t swim if you see a red-flag. That means the water is dangerous to swim in.  Lifeguards at situated at several points and dog-friendly or barbeque-friendly beaches are marked. So you’ll find the right spot to go (ob)scenic in Brighton and Hove. aug09 023

For more information about all the parks  in Brighton and Hove, click here.

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