The Brighton Palace Pier is surely one of the top tourist destinations in Brighton. The city on the seaside is only an hour from London by train. In the height of summer, one can imagine it would be absolutely packed with families. You could be scrambling onto the roller coaster and bumper cars, slurping on ice creams, and getting sticky with cotton candy. But by November, that’s unlikely to happen!
Visiting in the Off-Season
If you’ve missed the height of summer – or if you’re feeling a little on the introverted side – the Pier in autumn could be the best place to be. And you’ll save money; a wristband for the Pier (when it’s fully open) can set you back 30 pounds for an adult. Exploring the eerie fairgrounds is free. It reminded me of the scene in the old Madeline movie when she’s creeping around the carnival after all the other little girls have gone home with the nun.
No need to visit the haunted house (though you can if you like!). The fairground and Palace Pier takes on an eerie, abandoned feeling with the crowds gone, and the wind howling through the carnival rides. Most of the stalls were closed – though you can still find a cotton candy. And because of the wind many of the rides were closed for safety (not surprisingly, given the size of the waves!). You could just imagine being thrown from your roller coaster seat into the ocean if you weren’t careful.
For the Introverts…
For the introverts among us, this is probably the best way to see the Brighton Palace Pier. There were no screaming children the day we went. Just some rogue tourists and teenagers on their lunch break from school. The complete absence of crowds was a lovely change from the crowded streets of London.
Heading to the UK as a Canadian? Find out how to get an ancestry visa to live, work and study
Meanwhile in town, shops are open, restaurants are busy, and there were young people skating on the rink at the Pavilion. Visiting Brighton in the off season certainly isn’t a bad idea.
In fact, as a way to avoid some of the crowds, it may be the most wonderful time of the year.