diamond geezer

 Tuesday, August 28, 2012

It being a bank holiday yesterday, I went to the Sussex seaside.
I went to as much of it as possible, nine different resorts in all.
I took the train, and walked from each station to the seafront and back.
It was all a bit knackering, and a bit bonkers, but a grand day out.

Here's a tweet, and a link to a photograph, from each resort.
(but four extra photos from Bexhill, because, woo, dangly bus!)

Hastings: red flag flying, blue sky now clouded over, beach mostly empty, pier bereft #sussexseaside [photo]

St Leonards: mostly closed, one metal detector on the pebbles, one party of French teens, brief patch of sun, red flag flying #sussexseaside [photo]

Bexhill: sunshine, strolling, coffeetime for the retired, a bus dangles precipitously off the roof of the De La Warr #sussexseaside [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo] [photo]

Eastbourne: short sleeves, bags of town centre shopping, grey rinse, seagulls on the Grand Parade, art at the Towner #sussexseaside [photo]

Newhaven: ferry-free docks, silence at the ghost station, tidal silt, industrial hum, kites aloft on the shingle #sussexseaside [photo]

Brighton: the town's buzzing, stripey deckchairs and gelato on the beach, slots on the pier, preening teens, dads in sandals #sussexseaside [photo]

Shoreham: a first shower of rain, the smell of seaweed, kitesurfers eye the waves, shops shut, houseboats beached at low tide #sussexseaside [photo]

Worthing: an expanse of damp pebbles, afternoon tea on the pier, extra vinegar on whelks, nan & mum & the kids, no tan today #sussexseaside [photo]

Littlehampton: a heavy shower, yachts and cruisers, Look & Sea, dipping lines in the harbour and storing crabs in a bucket #sussexseaside [photo]

Bognor Regis: postponed due to inclement weather, poor rail connections and tired feet. But next time... #sussexseaside

I would tell you more, but I only spent about 40 minutes in each location, which is long enough to get a flavour but not long enough to enjoy in depth. Plus I've been to most of these places before, and told you about them then. What was different this time was how I got there, which was using a rail rover ticket.

All of these resorts, and several more besides, are served by the Southern railway network. And they do a special one day e-ticket called the All Network Downlander, which allows you to use any Southern train for the princely cost of £12.50. You have to buy it at least two days in advance, and it's only valid off-peak (that's after 10am on weekdays, or any time weekends and bank holidays). You have to print it out yourself, and you have to carry round some ID like a driving licence or utility bill to prove you're not a fraud. I had to wave my print-out a lot yesterday, especially to get through ticket gates, but then I did travel on 12 different trains to get about from one end of Sussex to the other. My journey would have cost a fortune on umpteen separate tickets, so the rail rover is an absolute bargain. For those of you who live along or near the Sussex coast there's an even cheaper version, the South Coast Downlander, which costs only £10 so long as you stray no further north than Haywards Heath. You don't have to do the madcap 12 hour bank holiday marathon, but if you fancy a varied day out, bear this bargain in mind.

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