British Airways so kindly invited me to one of their Preview Flights a few days ago to experience the world’s tallest viewing pod “The i360” in my hometown of Brighton!
It’s amazing to think the i360 story began in 2006, and took 10 years to open to the public! In my opinion it was worth the wait as no corners have been cut with the construction of this beautiful masterpiece.
Architects David Marks and Julia Barfield the brains behind the UK’s most visited attraction “The London Eye” are also responsible for the new i360, although that’s where the similarities end. The London Eye is a rotating wheel of pods which enables visitors to see the sights of London, however the new i360 is actually a static observation tower which glides through the sky to reach a massive 450ft! The WORLD’S TALLEST observation tower and shows of the wonderful views of Brighton and its surround areas.
I am so happy that Brighton was made the destination for this new and innovative attraction, and equally happy it sits near the remains of the once loved Brighton West Pier which was sadly closed in 1975. The new and old in the same location is great, and being able to see the West Pier wreckage from the £46.2 million viewing pod really puts things into perspective. I truly think the i360 will be as much-loved as the West Pier was and still is today.
As soon as I stepped into the i360 ticket office I was greeted by staff in full BA uniform, which I thought was great! It really sets the scene and makes it that little bit more special, along with The Flower Duet (Lakmé) music playing in the background.
After the rigorous “flight like” security checks, I was on board and could not believe the sheer amount of space there was! It holds a capacity of 200, although the preview flight was not at its full capacity It was still very spacious so there will no doubt be a lot of room to walk around the tower to make the most of the sites of Brighton & Hove.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great, so when we were at the very top it was hard to see anything however the lower levels were clear and make for great viewing! Form my understanding, if you do encounter fog during your flight British Airways will allow you to re book for free to attend another flight to get the full experience which I think is great customer service. The daytime flights (up to 6pm) last a total of 20 minutes, and all evening flights (after 6pm) last a total of 30 minutes, plenty of time to observe Brighton & Hove from every angle.
Something I am really looking forward to is the Nyetimber Sky Bar which is set to be the most unique bar in the UK. Wine tastings, date nights and live music performances are the events to expect at the British Airways i360 Sky Bar. And to make that special occasion of yours even more special the i360 pod can be hired exclusively for receptions and events! What a dream location. And If after your i360 experience you’re in the mood for food, then head down to the The Belle Vue Brighton restaurant for locally sourced Sussex food and beautiful sea views.
Overall I absolutely loved my flight on board the British Airways i360, and urge all local residents and visitors to Brighton to book tickets to experience the flight yourself! A standard adult ticket will cost £15 (£13.50 if purchased online in advance) £7.50 for a child (£6.75 if purchased in advance) £12.50 for students/60+ (£11.25 if purchased online in advance) and under 4s go free. To book your advance tickets click here.