A couple of weeks back we spent a heavenly weekend in sunny(ish) Brighton, culminating with local playwrights Kefi Chadwick, Fin Kennedy, Sue MacLaine and Judy Upton telling us the secrets of thier home towns in COME TO WHERE I’M FROM.
Afterwards, we asked them to tell us about their favourite places in Brighton so we could compile this for you – a natty little tour guide with a personal touch. Here is a playwright’s guide to Brighton…
KEFI CHADWICK’S favourite places in Brighton
My home. It’s where I feel safest. I love being at home more than anywhere else. I work from here, live here, have friends round. It is full of great memories and wonderful times. Every time I put my key in the door I think ‘thank God I’m home’.
Chili Pickle restaurant – because it’s the best food in Brighton. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach when I come here.
The beach down from Morrocco’s in Hove. It’s sandy when the tide goes out and if you look to the right it has an uninterrupted view of the sea. Some days you can see France, apparently. Not that I ever have but I do look for it. You can get French radio on that beach so when it’s hot you can listen to eclectic French pop on FIP and eat homemade Italian ice cream and paddle. It’s where I go with my daughter to swim in the sea (for the twenty minutes in stops raining during British summer time).
King's Esplanade - for French radio, Italian ice cream and paddling
Dyke Road park/BHASVIC playing fields. One back on to the other. I’ve got up to all sorts of mischief in there so walking past always makes me smile and reminds me that life isn’t always so serious. It’s also where I go running when I’m struggling with work. I always find solutions to problems while I’m slogging round the playing fields. Something about running always opens up my imagination and the playing fields have no distractions. And you can see the sea while you run.
BHASVIC Playing Fields for runs with a sea view
Moorish on Dyke Road. I get my lunch from there when I’m working at home. Sometimes they are the only other adults I speak to all day!
SUE MACLAINE’S favourite places in Brighton
Locally called ‘top of the world’ or Hollingbury camp. It is the remains of a Roman hill fort set in the middle of a public access golf course. Quarter of a mile circumference every inch affords views across Brighton; out to the seas, across to the race course, to Bevendean, Coldean, Stanmer and Hollingbury. Looking to the sea, on a clear day, you can glimpse the Isle of Wight floating in the east.
Top Of The World - Hollingbury Camp
Ovingdean cafe is situated within the Undercliff walk, a seashore walk that stretches from the Marina to Saltdean…a bright white path concrete path with the sea on one side and the shorn cliff on the other. When the tide is out a sprawling city of rock pools are revealed and the remnants of the old Volks Railway, a toy railway whose tracks used to run through the sea. The train had spider legs that elongated, rose up and up, it’s feet in the water and the carriage in the air. From end to end the Undercliff walk will take about 60 minutes. Then, looping back, an additional 30 minute stretch and the reward is Ovingdean Cafe…chairs and tables nudge the beach, home-made cake, bacon buttes and tea, or coffee….we sit, we sit and we look at the sea.
Volks Railway at Undercliff Walk
My flat. As the train draws into Brighton station, look to your right, look up and there is my home. Always there. Always kind.
FIN KENNEDY’S favourite places in Hove
The charred skeleton of the West Pier is pretty mysterious and iconic, and still something I strongly associate with the area. Apart from that there’s only really restaurants and other grown up things like that which I’ve discovered since being back as an adult. Actually, there is also Hove Museum which is still there, though much updated. It used to be quite a creepy place in an old church, with dusty medieval artefacts and elderly staff who seemed to date from the same period. So that’s two to be getting on with, I’ll let you know if I think of any more. Does the beach count? I’d spend ages there, examining dead crabs and jellyfish and things like that. If it does then there’s three!
The creepy remains of the West Pier
JUDY UPTON’S favourite places in Shoreham-by-Sea
Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex is a great place for daytrip. Plenty of cafes, lots of interesting smaller shops and great places to walk; it’s close to the countryside and has its own quiet beach. Here are some of my favourite places around the town:
The walk/cycle path up or down either side of the river Adur – great views, fresh air and wildlife watching (access close to Ropetackle Arts Centre off the High Street).
The river Adur at sunset
Widewater. A freshwater lagoon between Shoreham and Lancing, accessed from Shoreham Beach. There’s an outdoor cafe for an icecream, tea or a lunch and it’s right next to the beach too.
Marlipins Museum at 36 High Street, Shoreham. Although currently without the squirrel from the monologue, you can look at a model of the old film studio and marvel (or mourn) at how close the town came to being Hollywood! The building dates in part from at least 1120 and there’s plenty about the town’s seafaring and smuggling history here too.
St. Nicholas Church and surrounding area of Old Shoreham. A Saxon church and some picture-postcard-pretty thatched cottages. Many artists came here to paint the scenery in bygone days.
St Nicholas in the snow
Mill Hill has no windmill these days but great views and in the summer, butterflies and poppies too.
Poppies on Mill Hill
Ropetackle Arts Centre – theatre, films, music, art and a cafe. It’s just off the High Street. Plus, I’ve a play here in September 2012
Go and see Judy's play here in September, ok?