You might have seen that unfamiliar looking blue and white bus travelling through the centre of Brighton and out towards Hove and beyond? It’s the Coastliner 700. Its nothing to do with the cream and red buses that are operated by The Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company and so you probably ignore it? Maybe you’re a bit confused by it? Why is it here The Usurper? Its not one of our buses! Well no but it still has a lot to offer…

This was meant to be a bit of a sunny post, but I seem to have missed the Summer, and I am sorry about that because Route 700 offers the local day tripper a wealth of excursion opportunities. As soon as it turns right at the King Alfred Leisure Centre it hugs the coast nearly all the way down to Portsmouth and Southsea – and that’s some seaside miles!

Travelling West heading into Worthing I think you would be hard pushed to find a bus that gets quite so close to the shoreline in the whole of the UK. And sitting looking out the window at the tiny fishing boats that dot the pebbles you might as well be bumping along the beach! It stops frequently so if you feel like getting away from Brighton’s overcrowded offerings you could jump out at any bit of secluded shore you spot. There’s always a little café or fish & chip shop waiting to be discovered.

It stops nearly at the door of the dreamy Arundel Castle and Park where I remember chasing rabbits as a girl, and don’t get me started on the very regal Bognor! Does anyone else remember a little children’s zoo at Hotham Park? On to Chichester with its impressive 900 year old cathedral, then Portsmouth the home of the British Navy and finally Southsea with its very own pier (just in case you are bored of ours!) The only downside of such an excursion is the amount of time it takes – you could fill a Summer holiday with days out on this bus. It’s a sociable bus – in case you hadn’t noticed the group of oldies waiting to get on at Churchill Square – everyone is in a mood for chatting and happy to take their time.

Husband, Baby, Dog and I thought we would enjoy a trip to East Preston to visit my Nan zipping along the coast and taking in the sights – well it took over two hours to get there! There was someone waiting to get on and off at every single stop on the long slow journey, and snaking round Worthing it was plain that the bus was being used as a social meet’n’greet for local elderly shoppers. After a while we just relaxed and started to enjoy the ride and join in the conversation, the bus has a long way to travel and no one is in any hurry.

But to paraphrase the saying, its not just about the arriving but also the journey and the 700 is a delight. Plus at just £1.05 for a trip across town its cheaper than Brighton’s finest thrifty fact fans. So if you see one rumbling along why not hop on board? As an interloper its certainly good for an elope!