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We Get High inside the Seaside Resort’s Iconic ’Space Doughnut'
Brighton i360

My three-year-old names it the “cloud lift,” my daughter “the space doughnut” - whatever you call it, the futuristic Brighton i360 is very, very high in person.

I realise this on the day I arrive at the seaside resort to take on the Walk 360 - a casual, open air stroll, 450 ft high on the roof of its giant, glass viewing pod.

Although you are strapped into a harness to a safety rail, the top of the landmark I am booked to walk around has now melted into grey clouds, which are currently unleashing apocalyptic rain.

walk 360

So I have a mixture of disappointment and huge relief when the Brighton i360 team contacts me to say that my sky walk will have to be postponed. 

Instead, we return the following day for the Sky Bar i360 experience, a 25 minute journey skywards inside the observation tower, including a drink from the South Coast’s highest bar.

The weather gets its act together and cloudless, blue skies pleasingly bounce off the bottom of the speared, UFO’s base as we arrive. Crowds gather for arty shots of their reflections in the mirrored bottom, as it descends.

i360 bar

While we wait, we grab drinks and snacks in the beautiful terrace of the i360 Bar and Cafe.

It feels like a festival VIP area, full of colourful bean bags, deckchairs, giant lawn games and a Nytimber bar, serving Sussex goodies like Nytimber sparkling wine, Brighton Gin and Harvey’s beer.

We’re surprised by the size of the pod, when we enter - it is made by the same engineers behind the London Eye, but the capsule is ten times bigger, holding up to 200 people.

brighton i360

In the middle, sits the Nytimber bar, where the cheerful staff pour our bubbly, while sharing interesting facts about the pod - it’s the world’s first "vertical cable car" and made the Guinness World Records as “world’s most slender tower.”

There is also comfy seating in the middle, for those who might prefer to be further away from the 360 degree views, 138m above the city. But we are not those people.

The ascent is so gentle, it takes a while for us to realise we are moving. Before we know it, the cars and buildings look like a toy town and our excited children barrel around the pod, gawping at the sights beneath us.

i360 views

The sea sparkles on one side and Brighton’s hotels, painted rooves, restaurants, shops, pubs and houses spread out beneath us on the left. 

On a clear day like ours, we can see wind farms, The UNESCO Biosphere, South Downs and beautiful coastline from Seven Sisters cliffs to the Isle of Wight.

I am one of the few to stop gazing down, and look up at the top of the pod - on a glorious day like this, I can’t think of anywhere more exciting to hoover up the buzzing carpet of Brighton, than strapped to the top of this pod, with the wind in your chops.

So I vow to chase the high, on my next visit Brightonwards.

Brighton i360, Lower Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2LN. Skybar 360 experience - Adults £28.80 pp. Children (4-15) £12.25 pp. Under 4s £3.50. Tickets include drinks to a value of £13.50 per adult and any soft drink per child.

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