From Newhaven the coast road trims the clifftop villages of Peacehaven and Saltdean. There is no access down to the beach along here, only a wonderful panorama of the coastline as its curves and slopes stretch into the distance.
Some consider Brighton to be the queen of British seaside resorts. Its centre piece is the Royal Pavilion, created in the early 19th century by the Prince Regent, later George IV. Fashionable society followed and the town expanded, its elegant terraces and squares surrounding the old fishing village of Brighthelmstone. The narrow streets of the old village are pedestrianised and known as The Lanes, their many antique, clothes and jewellery shops popular amongst visitors & townsfolk alike.
The beach of smooth pebbles is lined with bars, cafes & restaurants, seaside paraphernalia, crafts, rides and spaces for basketball, beach volleyball and other sports activities. The British Airways i360 a 162-metre observation tower is a new addition, opened in 2016. A wide path weaves its way around, linking them all up together. A series of steps lead up from here to a wide esplanade and a cycle path and crossings over the road into town.
Brighton has two piers. The Palace Pier, with its arcades and funfair at the far end, keeps company the skeleton of its poor relation. The old West Pier remains a wreck after it was destroyed by fire in 2003.
Volk’s Electric Railway, the first such railway in the UK, opened in 1883 and still rattles along the sea front.
Hove merges seamlessly into Western Lawns and Portslade-by-Sea. Brighton’s sister resort along the beach is more sedate with many elegant crescents and terraces.
The road then moves away from the beach along a small inlet, the commercial part of Portslade with warehouses and timber yards, until it reaches Southwick. On the landward side residential homes keep an eye on the comings and goings on the water.
The River Adur flows downstream through the busy port and village of Shoreham. In the summer, a ferry takes passengers across the estuary to reach the beach which has been built on a shingle bank between the river and the sea. The Adur enters the sea at Southwick and the modern lifeboat station.