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Archive for the ‘Amusement Piers’ Category

52c – Brighton Part IV

Posted by Jody on June 17, 2013

This is one of our favorite beach blogs: The Coastal Path ~ One family’s walk around the coast of Britain. This week the family is touring the Brighton Pier and Brighton’s fabulous shingle beach (a beach which is formed of pebbles). By the way, don’t even think about collecting those beach pebbles! Brighton’s Seafront Officer once told me: We do not allow stone collections from the beach unfortunately. This is because we need to maintain the level of shingle on the beach to assist with coastal defence, so for this reason it is not permitted.

 ~ Oh well, there are plenty of other beaches to comb!


You can read our family’s very own Brighton Beach memoir here: Brighton ~ A Top 10 British Memory.


The Coastal Path

We left the Brighton Wheel and headed off up the pier for the rides.  Brighton Pier started off life as the Palace Pier, built in 1823 to service passenger ships arriving from Dieppe.  Over the years it grew and grew into the attraction it is today.  I was quite astonished to find that over its long history it has not once been destroyed by fire, flood, or fractious young fellows with far-fetched foibles (ie kids with matches).  Compared to many of its brethren, Brighton Pier has fared well over the years.

Brighton Pier

As we walked up there were good views back to the east.

View Back East from Brighton PierWhat we were really looking for, however, were the rides.  My wife and aunt decided they were far too mature for such juvenile delights and left the kids and I to our childishness.  It was quite fun, really…

Wild River with insert…although some of us got a little wet…

Wild RiverThe…

View original post 191 more words

Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Monday Miscellaneous, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Beachy Keen Yarnbombers Strike Again!

Posted by Jody on May 29, 2013

I just had to share this amazing display of beach-themed creativity! Yarnbombers thrilled beachgoers last weekend by adorning the Saltburn Pier (UK) with 164 feet of very impressive yarn artistry. The whimsical display includes everything from mermaids to lighthouses and sun bathers to beach huts.

"This bank holiday weekend visitors to Saltburn Pier have been treated to another surprise display." (Gazette Live)

“This bank holiday weekend visitors to Saltburn Pier have been treated to another surprise display.”
(Text and photo: Gazette Live. Story by Marie Turbill. )

Here’s the link to the full Gazette Live story with a wonderful photo gallery and a video of the entire work of art: “Saltburn yarnbombers strike again as Pier is decorated for bank holiday weekend”

Be sure to look for the yellow submarine! ~Very cool!

The seaside piers around the coast of Britain stand as a powerful reminder of the achievements of Victorian engineers and entrepreneurs. There are currently less than 54 pleasure piers in existence around the UK coastline. Saltburn’s Victorian pier was the first iron pier to be built on the North East Coast, is the most northerly surviving British Pier and the only remaining pleasure pier on the North East coast. Built in an exposed position and facing due north into the cruel and unforgiving North Sea, the history of Saltburn Pier tells a tale of survival against the elements. The pier was commissioned by the Saltburn Pier Company in 1867, designed by Mr John Anderson and completed two years later, opening in May 1869.

Source: Saltburn by the

Saltburn Pier – National Pier Society link: History of Saltburn Pier

I want to be a yarn bomber when I grow up! Can somebody teach me how to knit?



Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Beachy Keen Art | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Southwold Sea Glass and Pottery Shards

Posted by alainaflute on May 17, 2012

Thank you to underatopazsky for letting us share her post today! We really enjoyed reading about her beachcombing trip to Southwold, England.

Under A Topaz Sky

We spent the Bank Holiday with my parents in East Suffolk and one day we took the girls down the coast to the little town of Southwold to visit Southwold Pier. It’s gorgeous to visit –  fabulous places to eat, quirky things to see and buy and best of all, great beachcombing!

The soft East Anglian coast between Southwold and Lowestoft to the north is eroding rapidly and the debris of roads, houses etc that have fallen into the sea inevitably wash up further down the coast. My 14yr old picked up an interesting piece of what looked like conglomerate which actually turned out to be an unmistakeable lump of tarmac!

I’ve had some of my best sea glass finds from this beach, including a glass Victorian bottle stopper on New Year’s Day and even though our visit was cut short as  it was raining and bitterly cold, I still managed to…

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Posted in Amusement Piers, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Navy Pier, Chicago, Ilinois

Posted by Jody on September 23, 2011

A trip to Chicago is never complete without a visit to Navy Pier!  Extending into Lake Michigan just east of Downtown Chicago, this 3,300 foot long historic landmark is an absolute must for your “Windy City” to-do list. You’ll be  just one of the 8,600,000 annual visitors to enjoy this incredible lakefront playground.  Why? Simply put: Chicago’s Navy Pier has something for everyone with its 50 acres of entertainment and recreation.  Navy Pier has shops, restaurants, and attractions including amusement rides, the Chicago Children’s Museum, and the 32,000-square-foot Crystal Gardens. One of the best things about Navy Pier is the amazing views of the famed Chicago skyline and the grand sprawling shoreline of Lake Michigan.

Navy Pier in Winter (©Jody Diehl)

Another “Best of Navy Pier” is that entry is free. Here are just a few of our family’s favorite free things at Chicago’s Navy Pier, straight from their very thorough website:

“Dock Street, which runs the length of the Pier’s South Dock, is reserved for pedestrians, bicyclists and joggers. In season, four performance areas feature entertainment ranging from jugglers, mimes and stilt walkers to comedians, singers and musicians. Chicago’s dinner cruise ships continue to operate from Dock Street. And, on select summer evenings, fireworks entertain the Pier’s evening visitors.” 

Photo ©Jody Diehl

Ferris Wheel on Navy Pier (Photo ©Jody Diehl)

“The Smith Museum of Stained Glass Windows is a permanent display of 150 stained glass windows housed in an 800-ft.-long series of galleries along the lower level terraces of Festival Hall. Open since February 2000, it is the first museum in the United States dedicated solely to stained glass windows. It showcases both secular and religious windows and is divided by artistic theme into four categories: Victorian, Prairie, Modern and Contemporary.”

“At the eastern-most edge of the 3,000-foot Pier is the historic East End. Offering the city’s best view of the spectacular skyline and lakefront, the East End also is the perfect place for lunch or a sunset stroll. Period light fixtures, a myriad of flags, picnic benches and wide pedestrian promenades mirror the Pier of the past.

Another Navy Pier family favorite is the Chicago Shakespeare Theater.  They put on excellent productions with stellar performances,  clever twists and very creative costuming. Tickets are rather reasonably priced for these first class presentations.

Finally, is a visit to Chicago’s Navy Pier really complete without a ride ($) on the 150-foot-high Ferris Wheel where you’ll have stunning views of the beautiful City of Chicago and its gorgeous Lake Michigan shoreline? I think not.

Navy Pier is the perfect family getaway in any season!

Posted in Amusement Piers, Great Lakes Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Top Ten Piers” in Britain

Posted by Jody on August 23, 2011

Close on the waves of last Tuesday’s “Top 10 Piers” in the USA we have the Top 10 Piers” in Britain.

In both England and Wales coastal piers are a true celebration of Great Britain’s rich seaside heritage.  According to “Piers are true icons of the British seaside, unique feats of Victorian engineering and as British as black cabs and bacon and eggs.”

Southend Pier in Southend-on-Sea, Essex, England is the world’s longest pleasure pier. At 1.33 miles, you can walk the length or take the pier railway service to the pier head.  There you’ll find a gift shop and a sun deck where you can enjoy the sea breezes and stunning views. While in Southend, you might want to enjoy windsurfing, kite surfing, sailing or kayaking. Or, if you’d like, you can simply be entertained by building sandcastles on their seven miles of award-winning beachfront.  The area is known for having some of the cleanest shoreline in the UK.

Southend from Southend Pier, England (Photo by Velela, from Wikimedia Commons)

Brighton Palace Pier in the City of Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, England is packed with amusements!  You’ll find a carousel, thrill rides, arcade games, entertainment events, and food choices galore on  the 1,772 foot long pleasure pier. Brighton Pier has a rich history dating back to 1823.  It’s no wonder this pier made the “Top 10 Piers” in Britain!  While in Brighton, you can enjoy beachcombing on the award-winning pebble beaches. You might also want to take a leisurely stroll along the Brighton and Hove promenade.

Brighton Pier (Attribution:, from Wikimedia Commons)

Brighton Pier, England (Attribution:, from Wikimedia Commons)

Bangor Pier in Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales has been fully restored to its earlier Victorian splendor.  The 1,550 foot pier originally opened to the public on May 14th, 1896. With ornamental lamps and handrails, the Bangor Pier takes visitors back to the heyday of traditional promenade piers. This popular pier reopened in May of 1988.

Boscombe Pier east of Bournemouth in Dorset, England is a very modern looking, cleanly designed structure. The restored pier reopened in May of 2008, and was voted “Pier of the Year” by the National Piers Society (United Kingdom) in 2010.  That’s quite an accomplishment!

Rounding out the “Top 10 Piers” in Britain are Southwold Pier (Suffolk, England), Clevedon Pier (Somerset, England), Blackpool Piers (Lancashire, England), Ryde Pier (Isle of Wight, England), Bognor Regis Pier (England), and Penarth Pier (Wales).  Check out all of these British piers in the article from Visit  Cheers! -J-

Would you like to read more on the Beaches of Great Britain? Here are a few posts from our collection:

“Britain’s Top 10 Beaches”, “Beach Hut: Home Away From Home”, “Brighton, A Top 10 British Memory”

Let us know what you’d like to see! Please leave a comment, and don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook.  Thanks!

Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of Great Britain and Ireland, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

“Top 10 Piers” in the USA

Posted by Jody on August 16, 2011

When I was a child spending summers in Powers Lake, Wisconsin, piers were simple wooden structures.  Piers were boat docks; the standard starting point for a day of water skiing.  They were the place you could find kids fishing for the family’s evening meal. Piers were the jumping off point for an afternoon spent swimming and splashing at the lake.

Amusement Piers are another story!  The earliest evidence of Pleasure Piers dates back to the early 1800’s, in England.  According to Wikipedia: “Pleasure piers were first built in England, during the 19th century. The earliest structures were Ryde Pier, built in 1813/4,  Leith Trinity Chain Pier, built in 1821, and Brighton Chain Pier, built in 1823. Only the oldest of these piers still remains.”

Post Card of Chelsea Piers, circa 1910 (author: Americasroof, from Wikimedia Commons)

Head for a seaside pier today, and you’ll be able to enjoy everything from maritime museums to ice skating. Of course, good old-fashioned strolling and shore breezes are still available.

In an article by Steve Millburg of Coastal Living Magazine, somehow the author was able to pick the “Top 10 Piers”.  All of the top 10 “piers” on this list are located within the USA, and all of them are on the ocean.  Here’s a rundown of just a few of his choices.

If you’re in New York City,  you can go bowling, play basketball or hit golf balls at Chelsea Piers on Manhattan’s Lower West Side.  Chelsea Piers, originally a luxury liner passenger terminal, is actually a four-pier sports and recreation complex that even includes spa services. (In all my life, I’ve never heard a single soul say: “Let’s head to the pier for facials today”!)

Chelsea Piers, 2006, New York City (Photo by Marcel René Kalt, from Wikimedia Commons)

Crystal Pier, in Pacific Beach (San Diego) California, is actually a hotel!  This really is a beautiful place! Twenty nine blue and white cottages are perched past the pier’s gated entrance. The Crystal Pier Hotel recommends 8 – 11 months notice for summertime reservations. This Top 10 Pier is open during the daylight hours to those not fortunate enough to have made their reservations far enough in advance.

Crystal Pier at Sunset, Pacific Beach, California (Photo by Phuoc Le, from Wikipedia)

At The Pier, in St. Petersburg, Florida, you’ll find dining, shopping, special events, and live entertainment all week long.  Of course, pelican watching is still an everyday choice.

The Pier, St. Petersburg, Florida (Photo by Texx Smith, Wikmedia Commons)

Rounding out the “Top 10 Piers” are Morey’s Piers (Wildwood, New Jersey), Ocean City Pier (Ocean City, Maryland),  Cocoa Beach Pier (Cocoa Beach, Florida), Santa Monica Pier (Santa Monica, California), Santa Cruz Wharf (Santa Cruz, California), Pier 7 (San Francisco, California), and Bell Street Pier (Seattle, Washington).

Now, where can I just set a spell and dangle my feet in the water? -J-

Click here for more on all of the “Top 10 Piers” and links to their websites.

Feel free to leave us a comment &  let us know what your favorite US pier is!  I’m casting my vote for Navy Pier (Chicago, Illinois)! Please remember to share us with your friends and “Like” us on Facebook. Thank you!

Posted in Amusement Piers, Beaches of North America, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

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