Brighton is your quintessential British seaside town. You’ve got colourful Victorian buildings lining the seafront promenade, the large pier full of arcades and pebbled beaches which stretch on for days. Wander through the maze of laneways in town or chill out at the trendy bars and restaurants which line the beach. And with Brighton less than an hour away from London, there’s no reason to miss out on this laid-back city.
Start the beach-side fun with a visit to the famous Brighton Pier built in 1899. The arcade inside the palace is full of classic games. Keep up the thrill with a ride on the Turbo Coaster and the dodgems.
Take a walk along the coast towards Hove (a smaller town nearby Brighton) passing by the brightly painted wooden beach huts. You’ll see seaside bars and restaurants before getting to the British Airways i360 observation tower. The views from the moving tower are stunning and definitely worth a visit. You can also walk in the opposite direction, towards Kemptown, and do a spot of skinny dipping at Britain’s most accessible naturist beach.
Next up is a walk through the lower laneways of town. In The Lanes, you’ll find a whole host of independent stores selling jewellery, antiques, and art while jazz players do their thing in some of the little squares. Nearby, is the jewel in Brighton’s crown, the magnificent Royal Pavilion , an Indian-style pleasure palace built in 1823. The surrounding park is an ideal spot to have a picnic or little pre-dinner drink while listening to roaming buskers.
Brighton has a vibrant cafe scene with The New Club, Cafe Plenty and The Coffee Counter leading the way. And the zero waste, wholly sustainable and ethically minded Silo make amazing breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes that don’t ruin the environment. Its ground-breaking stuff! And they’re perfectly located within the North Laine district even more cool pubs, bars and restaurants are at.
Try local favourite Burger Brothers for juicy burgers stuffed with gourmet toppings. You can’t visit the beach without getting some traditional fish and chips with mushy peas. Bardsley’s, Regency Restaurant and The Dorset serve some of the best in town.
Catch a live show (or two!) at Komedia, a hotbed of live music, cabaret and stand-up comedy. Other places to check out are Theatre Royal Brighton and Brighton Dome for theatre, dance and spoken word performances.
Artist Residence Brighton at the top end of Regency Square, has fabulous sea views and is one coolest hotels in Brighton. Each room has been decorated by a different artist, giving each space its own character special. Nineteen is a stylish, compact B&B with seven bedrooms. For a special treat, book the Japanese Courtyard room with its wooden bathtub and private Zen garden.
Brighton Fringe, May
Throughout May, the city is taken over by local and international comedians, artists and performers for one of the largest arts festivals in England. Expect theatre, cabaret, circus, comedy and bucket-loads of fun.
Brighton Pride, August
Brighton is the UK’s 'unofficial' LGBTI capital and hosts a Pride festival in August. Hundreds of thousands of visitors flock down to the seaside town to watch the huge parade before partying the night away in Preston Park.
Brighton is situated on the south coast of England, less than one hour from London by train. Gatwick Airport, situated halfway between London and Brighton, is just a short train ride away.