It was my first time in Brighton this summer, sometimes known as little London by the sea. I love coastal cities. I love the way they bring two worlds together and offer everybody everything all in one beautiful sprawling landscape. But Brighton has more…
In Whitby, North Yorkshire, England, the old ruined abbey on the hill overlooks the bay and pulls tourists up the 199 steps it takes to reach it, like the tide pulls the sea. The focal point of the town and a major tourist attraction, this ruined abbey was originally built in the 1200s and is an incredibly atmospheric ruined building to wander around, not least because it forms part of the backdrop for Dracula’s arrival in England in Bram Stoker’s classic.
He stepped from The Tube and walked through the station. It was still a sun-filled early evening when he emerged onto the street. He carried a cream shopper bag over his shoulder with meat-free burgers and halloumi nestled together inside.
He thought, more than anything in the world, that there was nothing worse than holes.
The last straw came when he was walking down the street one day in London. He was looking at how Tower Bridge stood majestic against the pure blue spring sky, its two sibling towers tall above The Thames, and then the next minute his knee hit the pavement and his hand darted out in front of him to take the strain, and he was staring at the stone path so close to his face it took him a moment to fathom what had just happened.
From one side of the building, down the sandstone steps, the library hugs the corner and the theatre waits below a yawn of concrete plaza. On the other side, through the double doors, fountains leap from the pavement in the square and Italian restaurants work from lunch till late at night.