13 APR 2017: The UK city of Brighton may not have an international airport but tourists are boarding flights daily on British Airways i360, the world’s tallest moving observation tower. Guests go through a security check and are greeted by uniformed flight attendants, but the captain does not turn on the seat belt sign and passengers are not expected to sit at all.

Bench seating is provided, but the i360 experience is enjoyed more with a walk (or roll, as wheel chairs and strollers are both welcome) along the pod as it rises into the sky.

The British Airways i360 is a vertical cable car designed by the same architects responsible for the London Eye.

The pod will hold up to 200 guests as it ascends to a height of 138 metres (450 feet) allowing a 41 km (26-mile) view of the south coast on the English Channel.

The diversity in Brighton’s landscape and cityscape are impressive from an aerial view but the city warrants an up-close visit.

It is within a range of chalk hills that extend for about 670 km (260 square miles) across the southeast coast of England where hikers enjoy the footpaths and bridleways.

The most popular seaside destination in the UK for overseas visitors, the beach draws sunbathers, volleyball enthusiasts and sand builders who can stop for fish and chips at the Brighton Palace Pier, a venue for games and rides.

The beach is also an exhibit for art installations.

Brighton’s cityscape is a combination of meandering streets with quirky artisan shops and ethnic restaurants among splendid Regency architecture.

The city is home to the Royal Pavilion built for George, Prince of Wales as a humble seaside get-away in 1786. It was redesigned with an Indian influence when he became the Regent Prince, and today the grand residence is a museum and event venue.

Brighton has many monikers, often being called London by the Sea. It is referred to as the UK’s most hip city, and the happiest place to live in the UK. Certainly, the strong music and arts community as well as the label as the ‘unofficial gay capital of the UK’ reflect the appeal to the eclectic locale on the Sussex coast.

The view from the summit of the British Airways i360 is indeed spectacular, but the 8.7 km of beach and the history in the streets of Brighton suggest that a walking tour could certainly be a highpoint.

Check out the British Airways i360

 

Brighton
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Pam Stellini

Pam Stellini delivers her original spin on alternate Tuesdays in her column Without Reservations. (Formerly titled, Notes from A Broad)

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