February 24, 2013
The Best of Brighton
Brighton is one of the most famous seaside towns in Britain, and for good reason. The charmingly alternative town is home to a thriving art and music scene, nightlife to please even the most fussy, fine dining, and some of the best shopping in England outside of London. Another advantage of the East Sussex town that it’s incredibly easy to reach from the capital. This means that you can hop on the train and be there in under an hour or just head straight down the A23 by car.
Trains run from early til late out of London Victoria, but the line is often plagued by engineering works on a Sunday – if you’d rather avoid negotiating the rail replacement buses with your shopping bags/holdall full of hair straighteners, a cheap car hire is probably the more flexible option.
To provide you with some focus that will hopefully stop you getting distracted by the lights of the funfair – here are five ideas for Brighton that will guarantee an entertaining day or two.
Mosey around North Laine and The Lanes
A maze of cobbled streets and intriguing boutiques and cafes, you will find a shop that will draw you in, no matter what your tastes. Be it one stocking rare vinyl, second-hand books, vintage clothing or every variety of the most delicious fudge ever invented – you could kill a whole day wandering around here, with regular stops for tea, coffee and fresh locally prepared food. As well as thrift stores, there are designer shops galore and if you are looking for that special “I love you” piece of jewellery– it might be worth noting that neighbourhood is famous for its sheer number of jewellers.
Parade around the Pier
You can’t say that you have been to Brighton until you had the obligatory photo of yourself taken on Brighton Pier! Get this out of the way, and then stuff yourself with sweets and candy floss before investing in those special tokens which allow you to ride the ghost train, log flume, or for those of you with metal stomachs – the waltzer! Once you’ve turned a bit green at the gills trade your cash in for 1p and 2p pieces and try your luck in the arcade. The recently built Brighton Wheel will give you a gull’s eye view across the town, too.
Take a stroll around this bohemian area and discover bric-a-brac shops, tempting delicatessens, wonderful cafes serving healthy but delicious food and a great range of cosy pubs and livelier nightspots. For those of you who dare to bare, Kemp Town is also home to Brighton’s nudist beach.
Brighton Royal Pavilion
As you negotiate the streets of Brighton trying to locate a parking space, you will no doubt pass by the Royal Pavilion. Designed by John “Marble Arch” Nash – the outlandish palace, which combines Indian, Chinese and gothic influences, was once used as a Royal retreat. Although a stroll around the grounds should prove sufficient – if you can believe it, the inside is even more over-the-top!
Sample the nightlife
Brighton by day is one thing – bright, brassy, and colourful – by night; it’s a whole other ball game! Revellers from all walks of life flood onto the streets to drink in the coolest cocktail bars and dance the night away to live music or the biggest name DJs. No matter what you consider your “scene”, Brighton has somewhere for you.
*Note: the cover photo in this post is by M Rasoulov on Flickr.