If you happen to walk along Brighton seafront near the West Pier you can’t help but notice a large, brightly painted beach house. Nothing strange about that. Except that this beach house is very strange indeed, as it rests upside down on its roof, just as if it has dropped in from Kansas.
As we waited briefly in the queue outside the Upside Down House for our socially distanced visit, the children’s main query was whether the house had been built the right way up, then had been turned upside down, or whether it had been built upside down in the first place. We probably could have asked the very friendly man in the kiosk, but we didn’t, so we are still drawing our own conclusions on which is more likely. The children firmly believe it was built the right way up then turned upside down, but I’m not so sure.
On first entering the house via the upside down doorway in the upstairs which is really the downstairs (are you following this?) I did feel very slightly seasick, but this only lasted a few seconds and then my brain caught up. You do end up staggering around quite a bit, which is fun in itself, as the floors are sloping, but you can’t tell that they are, so walking uphill and downhill across a room feels really strange. The children couldn’t work out how we were going to get from one floor to the other on an upside down staircase, but you do, and I won’t spoil how that works. The idea is to take loads of photos that you can then turn around later to create all sorts of crazy, gravity-defying poses. This bit is really fun, although a bit more difficult for children, as they aren’t tall enough to ‘lean on’ all of the furniture. They still managed to be very creative though, and the nice member of staff who walked round with us offered to take photos for us, and gave us some great ideas for how and where to pose. You don’t really know how your photos are going to turn out until you turn them upside down afterwards. Seeing what poses you have managed to get is good fun and gives you ideas for how to get even better poses on a second visit, or on a visit to one of the other Upside Down Houses – there are several round the country.
Once you leave the house, the slight dizziness and weird staggering doesn’t go away straight away, so this might not be the best place for a first date, or to meet somebody you want to impress.
This is an odd, memorable and fun experience, and you are bound to want to take lots of photos on the day, so make sure you charge your phone or camera before you visit!
Tickets can be pre booked via the website or you can buy them on the day from the kiosk.