Room with a view
Crikey, the infamous i360 down at Brighton really is being built. To be honest I'd begun to wonder if it would ever happen, but last summer things started to move at last. The poor old much-loved and sadly-neglected West Pier was dismantled and the first big challenge was to reroute a Victorian sewer and nine electrical cables known to be beneath the site - which turned out to be 12 - plus an old sea wall that also had to be excavated.
When it's finished, which is anticipated to be in 2016, i360 should be the tallest observation tower outside London and its elegant, futuristic design will be a major visitor attraction. Some of the massive parts are scheduled to be delivered from Holland and France by barge directly to the beach in the spring, which should be a sight in itself. I do love these feats of engineering, especially when they enhance an area and bring some benefit to both visitors and the local community. Whether I'll be brave enough to go up to its great height when the time comes is another matter... but you can! And I hope you will. Click here to see our choice of holiday homes in and around Brighton.
Meanwhile, if you're bringing teens on holiday, watch out for the big new skatepark being built over at Peacehaven, which should be finished quite soon. I think it'll give Brighton's The Level a run for its money (although I'm not promising petanque or tai chi) and there will be two new natural playgrounds nearby, plus a cafe and a small museum; it should also make a great base for cycling and walking in the adjacent South Downs National Park. Click here to view our South Downs properties.
At this time of year I think going out for tea - or hot chocolate and cake, more like - is one of the cosiest things to do. Whether you go for a quaint village tea-shop or a beckoning kiosk after a bracing walk, it's every bit as good as finding an ice-cream van in the summer. We're just so spoilt for choice in Sussex.