When I was living in London, me and one of my friends decided very spontaneously to pay Brighton a visit. Brighton is a approx. 273.000 population city right at the coast of the English Channel in the shire of East Sussex, 54 mi / 87 km south from London.
I haven't spent much time in Brighton but I fell in love with the city immediately and it's a great destination for a day-trip if you want to get out of London.
Best is to visit Brighton is on a nice and sunny day. The glistening ocean speaks already for itself. The Pier is also a great thing to visit but just a little hint: Don't eat anything while you're on the pier otherwise the seagulls will start attacking you and those birds are pretty damn huge ;)
How to get there
It's absolutely easy to get to Brighton. Take the train from London, departing either from Victoria or from St. Pancras International, it'll take only one hour to get there and the nature is quite beautiful. You can buy an anytime day return ticket for £25,30 / 29,58€. Check out >>thetrainline.com<< for more information, rates and time tables.
What to expect
Brighton on a beautiful day won't be empty, especially not at the beach but despite the bad reputation and prejudices some people might have relating to the combination English people and seaports (looking at you, Blackpool), I've experienced a very relaxed city with friendly and polite people. It's nice to take a walk along the historic pier or visit the Volk's Electric Railway, the oldest electric train in Great Britain.
Besides, Brighton is venue of the annual Brighton Festival (happening this year between 6-28 May) where music, theatre, dance, circuses, art, film, debates and family events get together and are celebrated. So, it's all about culture, colors and catharsis at the sea.
What to do in Brighton
- You don't have to be gay to visit Kemptown ;) The colorful and funky community is a great place to do some shopping or enjoy one of the dozens cafes and restaurants and just sit there, savoring the great atmosphere.
- If you want to do some more shopping, visit the North Laine, the so-called soul of the city. It's very vibrant and there are hundreds of shops for everyone and everything.
- If you're traveling with a dog, Brighton is the place to be. It's one of the most dog-friendly cities in Great Britain. All you need is a valid EU – animal vaccination record. There are load of hiking routes around the city, your four-legged friend will definitely enjoy.
- Visit the Royal Pavilion. The palace that looks a lot like an Indian one has been built over 200 hundred years ago for King George IV. It has also served as world war hospital. Admission charges are £12.30 / 14.40€ for an adult.
- Relax inside the Queen's Park. Sheltered in a valley and with a beautiful wildlife garden, it's the perfect place to calm down and enjoy some sunlight while sitting at the lake.
- Brighton has a great variety of vegetarian and even vegan restaurants since the hippies brought the meat-free food culture with them along before it became such a great trend. Iydea offers great AND affordable vegetarian food. Meals range is from £4.70 / 5.52€ up to £7.70 / 9€. If you're in Great Britain, you can't leave without having tried Fish & Chips. Bardsley's, located at Baker Street, is open from Tuesday to Saturday and is the best place to try some of the national dish. If you want to try a bit more of fine dining, the award-winning and vegetarian restaurant Terre à Terre is your choice. You can book a table online. Last but not least: Lucky Beach Cafe. Located right at Brighton beach, they offer organic burgers, sandwiches and salads. Unwind and delight in the great view.
As everyone knows, pubs are the real thing in the United Kingdom, so don't miss out on a great pub visit while your in Brighton.
- The Great Eastern – not just your average boozer since they have a great range of selected Whiskeys and Bourbon. So, enjoy a glass of fine liquor and listen to some live music in a cozy atmosphere between the wooden paneling.
- The Tempest Inn - a seafront bar with a neat cave-like and modern interior
- The Lion & Lobster – this vintage pub has dozens of crannies and nooks and looks as beautiful from the inside as it does from the outside but the best thing is the big and secluded garden terrace.
- The Prince Albert – no, I'm not talking about the piercing but about live music, coziness and several rooms with different styles and interior. It can get crowded but you'll have a great time for sure.
As you can see, you can have it all when coming to Brighton – relaxing at the beach or a park, culture, great food and even greater British boozers and it can be a fantastic haven for one day, if you need a time-out from London. Oh, by the way, talking about London. Next time, I'll present you my food-guide for one of my favorite cities in the world.
Until then, happy traveling.