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Friday, July 01, 2011

Visit To Brighton and Worthing- Part 3

We spent some time wandering around Brighton, and, as I've said in the last post, we went to see the Royal Pavilion, but didn't go inside. That can wait for another visit, although I have been inside in the past and it is quite remarkable and spectacular. We were going to get something to eat but decided that we'd wait until we got back to the hotel in Worthing and have our meal there. 

What we did find, quite by accident (how often serendipity plays a part in our lives, as with discovering Fanny's Farm and other places we've been to.) was an amazing ice-cream parlour called Cloud 9. I'll give them some free advertising here, as it's at Unit 15 Brighton Place, Brighton, BN1 1HJ. They do an amazing range of icecreams, probably quite expensive, but it's all made in store, and made of real ingredients. I had a double scoop of vanilla and honeycomb and I have to say that it has to be one of the best icecreams I've ever tasted. Some many commercial icecreams taste artificial and nasty, but this most certainly didn't. The cone itself was huge and really tasty in itself, not those horrible cones you usually get which taste as if they're made of cardboard (not that I've actually tasted cardboard, you understand.) A really large portion, almost a meal in itself. The shop is painted in really muted colours, stripes and ice-creamy colours, and there tables and chairs to sit on, those rather attractive clear plastic tables that look as if they're made of glass, as well as deep leather armchairs and sofas that we sat in to eat our icecreams. Also for sale a range of brightly-coloured cupcakes which seem to be all the rage at the moment as well as some delicious-looking chocolates of all sorts of shapes and flavours. The website you can visit is www.cloud9brighton.co.uk and you can find them on Facebook and Twitter.

We didn't hang around much longer in Brighton. We did get to the seafront, but it was so windy we could barely stand up. So we decided to head back to the busstop and get back to Worthing. The bus didn't take to arrive, so we were able to find a seat and enjoy the journey back along the coast to Worthing.

Something about Worthing I didn't know until we did some research on the internet before we went. Oscar Wilde visited the place at the end of the 1890's and wrote his final play "The Importance of Being Earnest" there. Which might explain why the character John Worthing is so named.

On arrival back at the hotel we had our meal in the restaurant. Not exactly busy. Infact, we were the only guests in there.

The following morning we had around an hour or so to kill before the parking ticket ran out so we walked along the beach at the front of the hotel. We took some photographs and then we decided to head off home. On the way we had decided that we might stop off at a National Trust property. We stopped at a Tesco to get some cruissants and Danish pastrys to eat on the way home. And so we hit the road back to the M25.

When we originally decided on going to Brighton and Worthing when Daniel said that he'd pay for our hotel for a night, we had planned to visit a National Trust property. There are plenty we could have visited on the way down south and on the way home, one of them being Petworth House, which is within easy reach of Brighton, but it turned out the journey down was taking far longer than anticipated, so we didn't make it to this particular house.

Instead of a National Trust property we made for Arundel. The castle was the inspiration for the castle in Gormenghast, the series of novels written by Mervyn Peake. It just so happens that this year is the centenary of his birth. We could see the town, and the magnificent castle that stood above the town of Arundel, so it was easy why it could be such an influence on an author such as Peake.

We soon found a carpark. The place isn't that large, so finding parking wasn't too difficult, fortunately.

Arundel Castle

There were signs up for 'Flower Carpet' and 'Corpus christi' which we didn't understand. What was it all about? We were intrigued to know why the carpark should be so signposted. We decided to walk into the centre of Arundel and have a look around, and perhaps have something to eat and a coffee somewhere. The town is built on a hill, and it was a steep climb up towards the castle which loomed over all. We stopped in several bookshops, and took in the history and architecture of the place. We saw lots of coaches going up the hill, and quite a few people going in the same direction. Could it be something to do with this 'Carpet of Flowers' which we soon discovered was in the cathedral, further up the hill past the castle. We stopped and chatted to a lady who was coming DOWN the hill, and she told us all about this 'Carpet of Flowers' in the cathedral.

 The  Corpus Christi Flower Carpet in Arundel Cathedral

It turned out that the day was Corpus Christi (as I'm not a Catholic I don't know what it's about.) and the 'Carpet of Flowers' was put down the central aisle of the cathedral. More intriguing than anything else. As it was about to rain, we decided to shelter in the porch at the front of the cathedral, where other people were gathering and where coaches were setting down their passengers and people were queing to go into the cathedral. So, we decided to follow and go inside the cathedral.

The place was thronged with people snaking around the cathedral. We joined the queues, and saw some quite amazing floral decorations, and then we saw the Floral Carpet. I can't actually do it justice here and I'll attempt to put some photographs on here if I am able to upload what we took as we went round the cathedral. This carpet of flowers stretched up the central aisle of the cathedral and had a complex pattern in it's design.

Having had a good look round, and managing not to trip over the countless zimmer frames of many of the visitors, we left the cathedral. We had a further wander around Arundel. Carol had wanted to have a walk around the castle, but I had to persuade her that it was going to be very much longer than she anticipated, so, the rain having stopped, we walked back down the hill to the centre of the town. We found a really nice cafe to have a coffee and we bought some pasties to eat in the car on our way home. We returned to the car and made our way out of Arundel.

 Arundel: The main street

The journey home was quicker than the journey down. We stopped in the carpark of one of the service areas on the Motorway, and came back through Aylesbury and High Wycombe. We got home to find the house surprisingly tidy, considering what Daniel and his mates must have got up to the previous night. The dogs were pleased to see us, although I think they must have been wondering where we'd gone and why we'd gone off without them!
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