Last night temperatures in Brighton plummeted to 0°C or possibly below. This morning the city was covered by a light dusting of snow, which had mostly melted by lunchtime. Snow is something I rarely see, so I still get excited about it.

Brighton Pavilion with a light dusting of snow
Brighton Pavilion with a light dusting of snow

A snowman on Brighton beach
A snowman on Brighton beach with the remains of the West Pier in the background

Snow in January in Brighton! This shouldn't be allowed!
A view from my window this morning

Another view of the snow from my window
Another view from my window

This little bit of snow and ice caused the usual transport chaos – many trains were cancelled or severely delayed and there were long tailbacks on the roads.

This entry was posted in Brighton.

26 Responses to Snow

  1. Joanne says:

    Oh, it looks lovely!

  2. Jamison says:

    I had to look up to see which Brighton these pictures were. Judging by your comments about snow, I guess it isn’t the Brighton Ski Resort outside of Salt Lake. 😉

    The photos look very nice. How is it in the summer?

    I’m from Minnesota, this is unfortunately all too common.

  3. Polly says:

    I don’t know where Brighton is (other than Simon’s home), or even what it is – city, county, state, province, neighborhood, enclave, burrough, burrow, bureau, burro… but it’s really charming! I would never have guessed that top pic was of anyplace in England/Scotland?/Wales?.

    I get excited about the little bit of snow I get to see each year, too. Lately, snow has been tentative even in the mountains here in Southern California. (The west coast of the USA near the border with Mexico.) Just out of curiosity, does everyone know about the USA’s 50 political sub-divisions (states) and that California is one of them? Is this common knowledge or does it need explaining in international circles?
    I ask because my own geographical expertise is lacking. In my mental map of the world, each country has exactly one city TOTAL, located in the geometric center of the country. 🙂

  4. Zachary says:

    Snow is awesome! I live in Canada (Ottawa), so I’m completely used to it. This year was weird though; there was barely any snow in December to mid-January. Some people liked the very warm weather, others didn’t. But everyone agreed that Global Warming is having a huge impact on the weather here. Celebrating Christmas and New Years was sort of depressing without seeing the snow… Now there is some snow, but usually there should be like a meter high more :/ .

    I also find it very amusing to hear about snow in countries where it usually doesn’t snow; which often leads to chaos because everyone is unprepared 😛

  5. BnB says:

    The last two times I’ve been in the UK have been brutally cold. About three years ago (I think) things ground to a halt, and we were waiting for a taxi at the airport outside for about 45 freezing minutes. I ended up lending a sweater to a woman’s daughter who was shivering terribly.

    Last year I was there, and it was bright, clear, and cold. But as I drove around, you could see snow squalls in the distance. They looked like giant white mushrooms with a fluffy base. Very pretty. But cooooold…

  6. Nikki says:

    That top picture is amazing.

    But how about something more languagey to go with this post? How many languages do you know the word for snow in, without resorting to a dictionary? 😀

    I only know der Schnee (German), 雪 (pronounced yuki in Japanese) and snø (Norwegian).

  7. Simon says:

    Polly – Brighton (& Hove) is a city on the south coast of England in the county of East Sussex. The population is about 250,000 and London is about 50 miles / 80 km to the north. You can see a few more photos here.

    Brighton’s Royal Pavilion was built in the early 19th century as the summer palace of the Prince Regent, who became George IV in 1820. He was the son of George III (the one who went mad) and stood in for his father between 1811 and 1820, a period known as the Regency. Quite a few of the buildings in Brighton, including the one I live in, date from that time. The Pavilion has an Indian style outside and a ‘Chinese’ style inside.

    Nikki – here are the words I know for snow: neige (French), Schee (German), eira (Welsh), sneachta (Irish), sneachda (Scottish Gaelic), 雪 (xué – Mandarin, yuki – Japanese), and sníh (Czech).

  8. Josh says:

    I live in Charlotte, North Carolina… and when it DOES snow here, the city pretty much shuts down and you can’t find a loaf of bread or gallon of milk ANYWHERE. People completely freak out. Everyone forgets how to drive and everything closes. I hate it when it snows here, it’s such an inconvenience.

    Oh, let’s see… I know, la neige- French, yuki- japanese, der Schnee- German… and uh… wow. Isn’t it “la nieve” in spanish?

  9. “Tailback”? That’s a new idiom for me.

    Here in the U.S. we would say “backup” or “traffic jam.”

    BTW, I didn’t realize British cities were so ill-prepared for snow. I always thought the climate was like the northeastern US where they’re ready for that.

  10. P Terry Hunt says:


    “Snow is something I rarely see.”

    Yer soft suthern bastud! .

    ‘Proper’ snow is indeed increasingly rare round these parts (I currently live in Eastleigh [by Southampton], hence near the same coast and latitude as you): the last deep and lasting falls I remember here are around 6 years ago.

    I’ve previously lived in Norfolk, Yorkshire, Kent and Fife (Scotland) amongst other UK locales, in all of which falls of a foot or more regularly occurred over periods of weeks (in Scotland, months) without any noticeable disruption and hysteria such as we have seen lately.

    Linguistically speaking, I hope no-one comes up with the ‘snow-clone’ about Eskimos having x words for snow! (where x = an arbitrarily large number). Much discussion of this myth can be found on the excellent Language Log blog at

    How many snow-related words can we come up with *in indigenous English*? (e.g. powder, slush, blizzard, drift). Ski-culture borrowings from foreign languages, and cribbing from Roget, not allowed!

  11. Polly says:

    Thanks, Simon. Interesting, my first impression of the pavillion was that it looked very Russian – St. Petersburg, maybe.

    снег (Russian) snyek/g
    ցուին (Armenian) (tzouin)
    la?/el? nieve (Spanish)
    Die?/Der? Schnee (German, I hate Deutch gender)
    雪 (Japanese) yuki

    yip yip yip (Pomeranian)

    Did you know that Eskimos have 148,625 words for snow! 😉
    Seriously, though, I have an Inuit dictionary and there was only one word for snow, and a few that would correspond to the English words for slush, flurry, etc. Nothing remarkable in that.

  12. Stuart says:

    Ooh, always nice to see my home town with snow, not that it happens that often.

    But I do now know where you live now Simon…!! Always nice to be near the restaurants in Preston Street! Ever been to Casalingo – a great Italian place. Don’t worry, I won’t be stalking you 😉

  13. We Texans were in the winter weather a few weeks back, and it was really funny how the news made it sound like it was such a big deal. It’s as if it never snows around here (we usually get it at least once a year). It’s feeling more normal outside now, though.
    In the tongues I’m familiar with:

    η χιών/το χιόνι — Greek (Ancient/Modern)
    nix — Latin
    la nieve — Spanish

    One question I have Simon, I noticed you used centigrade in your blog post. Is this commonly used nowadays in Britain? It seems like the United States are the only ones who still use Fahrenheit these days…

  14. Nikki says:

    Polly: I thought it looked Russian too! It’s so pretty though. I can hardly believe we have something like that!

    Minstrel Ayreon: Britain is woefully unprepared for most types of weather. Too much of anything and the planes are cancelled and the trains delayed, like a few weeks ago because of the fog, or a few years ago because of the sun/heat. I also remember a tornado that knocked down the wall of someone’s house making headline news, and lots of talk about an earthquake that hardly anybody felt.
    I think the only thing we’re prepared for is weeks and weeks of partly cloudy, drizzly weather, on the cold side with a bit of a breeze.

    Tailback sounds normal to me, I can just imagine hearing something like “tailback on the M62 near Leeds” on the radio! I have said traffic jam before, but I wouldn’t say backup — that’s something I do to my files! To me though, a traffic jam is more chaotic (e.g. in a town with roads going in all sorts of directions), whereas a tailback is more linear (e.g. along a motorway).

    P Terry Hunt: I’ve lived in Lincolnshire and South Yorkshire (not at the same time!) for most of my life, yet I don’t ever remember seeing deep snow. I guess it depends entirely on exactly where in the country you are.

  15. Polly says:

    In S. California, it doesn’t have to be snow. Hard rain generally makes the headlines! Or, if the temperature, God forbid, drops below 70’F.
    “Oh brother” is all I can say to that. I’m originally from Pennsylvania and I remember a fair amount of snow and actual seasons, too – 4 of them as I recall.

    One thing though, earthquakes, the “left” coast does take in stride. We hardly notice them anymore…unless they’re really big.

    Nikki – I guess that’s the natural offpsring when east meets west, architecturally. There seems to be a pattern.

  16. AR says:

    In New Jersey, near the coast, it used to snow at least a few times a year. Now, because of the el nin~o weather pattern, it is one of the years where we don’t even get a dusting. The most snow I’ve gotten here is three feet but my neighbors who have lived in the area for their whole lives say their front doors used to be buried.

    BTW Brighton is a very nice city. And I shall have to try out the new word “tailback”.

  17. ISPKN says:

    In my hometown of Orem, Utah, we get temperatures lower than 10 degrees during the daytime! At night it goes way below 0. (I’m speaking in Fahrenheit by the way).

    Jamison, have you been to Brighton Ski Resort or Salt Lake City? I used to live there and I actually never even thought Simon was referring to the Ski Resort (I had never heard of Brighton, UK before this website) That’s interesting.

  18. Travis says:

    Brighton looks fantastic in the snow. I’ve seen pictures of the building before in books, but never in the snow. Britain has historic links with India, so it’s not surprising to find influences there. The architects went the route of fantasy instead of copying the traditional Mughal style. I think it’s a particularly graceful gem of architecture.
    Here in Southern California, the cold weather brought some snow and freezing even into its inner sanctum of Hollywood. Though the snow and ice were light, they caused quite a stir. Angelinos were excited with the rare concept of chill. Unfortunately there were grave consequences. A very large percentage of crops were lost leaving farmers at a terrible loss.
    In Turkish, snow is KAR. In Hebrew it is SHELEG. In Hollywood it is NEWS.

  19. Osman says:

    Wow, is that Brighton of England?! Especially the first picture looks great! I had seen some sunny pictures of Brighton. So this is a first 😉

  20. Nikki–That definitely would be freak weather for you guys to have a tornado, wouldn’t it? I live in the part of the U.S. where we have tornado sirens and it weirds me out to think of something like that happening without a warning.

    About “backup,” the most common thing you hear on the radio is for it to be used as an adjective: “I-95 is backed up all the way to the Ocoquan,” although sometimes it’ll be used the way I said it.

    A “tailback” is a position you can play in American football (what about the European kind?).

  21. Simon says:

    Benjamin – both centigrade and Fahrenheit are used in the UK. Weather forecasters often use both. I prefer centigrade, but others, particularly older people, prefer Fahrenheit.

  22. Declan says:

    I associate tailback with the actual line of cars that devolops behind a blockage. A traffic-jam is what I call the blockage and the line of cars and I never really hear backeed-up.

  23. renato says:

    beautifull photos Simon, but made me sad, I was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 1988 I have been living in southern Brazil which is a colder place, but unfortunately I never saw snow in my life, only ice in my refrigerator. I would like to made a snowman. buá, buá!

  24. P Terry Hunt says:

    Nikki –

    I was born in Romford, Essex (UK) in ’56; and lived in Gorleston-on-Sea, Norfolk from ’58 up to about ’61 and for brief interludes thereafter; Reading, Berkshire about ’61-2; Halifax, Yorkshire around ’64-66 (bit approximate as Ah were still nobbut a nipper); Canterbury, Kent ’66-75; and (near, later in) Winchester, Hampshire about ’69-73 and ’83-90 [the overlap due to boarding school in Canterbury]

    Of those three locales, the deepest and longest-lasting snows I remember were actually in Canterbury. though the Yorkshire winter of ’64-5 was quite hard, expecially as we’d moved there after spending ’62-4 in Hong Kong and Singapore! (Father in the British Army, in case anyone was wondering; “home” after ’73 included Bedford, Leicester, Manchester and Moenchengladbach; I also went up to University at St Andrews, Fife in ’75, and lived in Fife full-time ’79-83.)

    What are these ‘centigrades’ being spoken of, and how many do you get to the shilling?

    Minstrel Ayreon –
    ‘Tailback’ isn’t a position or term used in Association Football (Soccer), or as far as I know in Rugby (League or Union) Football which are closer to American Football. Anyone know about Australian Rules?

    I used to play Union (formerly the Amateur version of Rugby as opposed to the professional League) in which the ‘Forwards’ (comprising the Props, Hooker, Locks, Flankers and No. 8 ) formed the scrum and both attacked and defended, the ‘Scrum Half[-back]’ passed the ball from them to the mostly attacking ‘Three-quarter[-back]s’ (including the Fly-half, Outside Centre and Wing[-back]s, and only the Full-back mostly defended (though occasionally counter-attacked).

    For *really* interesting sports terminology one need look no further than Cricket, in which a slow left-arm Spinner may position a Short Fine Leg to help him bowl a maiden over, and a Tail-ender may dig out a googly only to be caught at Silly Mid-on.

  25. P Terry Hunt says:


    Reference my last – a ‘smiley’ has appeared where I intended the numeral 8! Not sure how that happened.

    Sorry the post came out a bit long, I got carried away.

  26. Polly says:


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