Non-rotating - means struggle to get the good views and photo spots
Very reflective structure
Brighton on the Southern English coast is an entertainment wonderland. There are a lot of tourist attractions. Unfortunately, due to heavy storms on the second day of my stay, I was not able to check out many of them, while I was in the city for the Olivia Lane show in Hassocks in February 2020. At least, I made it to British Airways i360. The i360 is the iconic watch tower of the city. Here is my review.
British Airways i360 – Location & Admission
The British Airways i360 tower is located right at the beach of Brighton. The famous Brighton Pier is some 500 meters away. The first picture you see below has been taken from the balcony of the hotel I stayed in, Hilton Brighton Metropole. You have countless other attractions and bars in the area. The route from Brighton rail station down to the beach is quite steep and also not too straightforward by local bus services, which my especially notable if you are physically limited in any way. It is also possible to have a day-trip from London – depending on the train you take, the one-way trip is between one hour and 90 minutes.
You typically buy a ticket for a 25 minute “flight” in advance. The walk-in rate is 16.50 GBP, but there are numerous combo tickets, codes and – of course – also a discount if you pre-book online, which I would anyways highly recommend in busy summer times.
British Airways i360 – The Visit
British Airways i360 is a 162 meter needle-alike tower. However, the pod of the tower, in which you travel in, only makes it to 138 meters. The capacity I found for the 18 meter doughnut-alike structure is 200 people – in that case, the place is definitely very packed. You enter the observation ride from the beach side. After security, you are can inform yourself about the tower and its construction in the waiting lounge. Funnily, the tower has been advertised has the world’s tallest moving observation tower initially, but in fact, this record belongs to the Top o’Texas Tower at Fair Park, Dallas, Texas (150m).
Though you likely may imagine something like that, the platform is online elevating, it is not rotating. In order to enjoy the full view, you have to walk around – which may be a bit of bothering when people block certain spots for a longer time.
There are seats in the middle of the pod, while you stand at the window. What you already see on these pictures is that the bend glass structure is not too ideal for taking pictures. In general, I do not feel that they made the best choice regarding the glass they chosen, but (similar to the Dubai Frame, for example), you just cannot avoid reflections by the way it is constructed).
I felt that my ride was rather 20 than 25 minutes, which is absolutely fine. There are also a couple of signs which point you to the most important viewpoints and sights.
British Airways i360 – The View
Below, there is a collection of pictures I took from British Airways i360. The views are definitely nice and as you see I had a really nice day as well. On the other hand, the area is not too spectacular. Still, if you had some enjoyable days at Brighton Beach, you likely feel that you should see the world from above as well.
British Airways i360 – Services
A very classy way to spent your time up in the pod is to have a drink, either a champagne or a cocktail. You can also buy packages, which already include the bubbly. For that reason, the pod has a bar on the Channel-facing side. The prices are surprisingly moderate.
Of course you can spent your travel budget on all kinds of souvenir stuff as well. The shop is located in the entrance / reception area. The pod bar has some very merchandise as well, for example the panorama book.
Obviously, there are no bathrooms in the pod, but only on the ground.
British Airways i360 – My View
If you look into the reviews of British Airways i360, the typical average rating is quite high. It is definitely a nice place, no doubt. There have been minor lacks of organisation during my stay. The reason why I am not that overwhelmed of the viewing platform is simply that watching Brighton from above would also be fine with a 60 meter high platform – the area is not that much of a stunner. The reflections and the struggle to get to the good spots and views is additionally bothering me. Finally, if you are in Brighton, you will visit this place anyway… And I am sure it is amazing during a sunset or other light situations.
Flyctory.com Views from Above
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