I feel more comfortable in a place like Brighton… There are so many arty, creative people, and things are less rushed, less stressed!Gabrielle aplin
I love a quote, as you guys are probably coming to realise! I also love Brighton. I grew up in and around it. The vibrant city with buskers on every corner, graffiti on every wall, and a party to be had on every street. I thought I’d write a short list of ideas for tourists wanting to spend a few days on the South Coast, specifically in Brighton! This list is by no means exhaustive but it’s not a bad place to get started for now!
- The Royal Pavilion.
The Royal Pavilion is an exquisite palatial building with architectural concepts borrowed from both British and Far-Eastern traditions.
The Pavilion has a stunning and unique design slapped down right in the middle of a beautiful park in Brighton, just a couple of minutes from the seaside.
From the ornate music room ceiling, decorated with dangling lotus-shaped chandeliers, to the beautiful Pavilion Gardens, designed by architect John Nash, there is no part of the grounds that has escaped thoughtful consideration and flawless execution.
At around £15 for an adult ticket into the Pavilion, it’s not fantastically cheap; however, you can wander the Royal Pavilion gardens to your heart’s content for free! Chill out on the grass in Summer with your mates, like we always do!
- Brighton Palace Pier.
Looking to blow off some steam? Brighton Palace Pier might just be the place to do it!
Brighton’s premiere pier, with the other having burned down long ago, is a remnant of a bygone age. The victorian structure is a legacy of the ‘bucket and spade’ seaside holiday era, and yet the pier is still geared up for your enjoyment today.
You can play all the old school arcade games including air hockey, Pac-man, and the coin tipping machines, with little damage done to the wallet if you’re careful. Moreover, the pier even has rides! From the dodgems to the Turbo Coaster, there are rides for everyone to enjoy!
You can even grab a souvenir, ice cream, and a donut, if you’re so inclined for a proper day at the seaside!
- Shop the Lanes.
Brighton’s Lanes are the heart and sole of the city. They run higgledy piggledy around the city center with no discernible rhyme or reason and everyone I know loves their unique character!
Arguably the best reason to visit the Lanes though is for the fantastic shopping experience!
Charlie’s Sweet Emporium is my favourite sweet shop I’ve ever been to, followed closely by M&M’s World in Las Vegas! The shop sells pretty much all the traditional English sweets and also a wider selection from around the globe! It’s definitely worth checking out. The little fat kid in me just wouldn’t let me leave it off the list!
Beyond Retro is my sister’s contribution to this list! Brighton has made a name for itself as a place to find vintage and secondhand clothing. Beyond Retro, although not necessarily the best value for money of all the shops, has the crème de la crème of quality secondhand clothes! My denim jacket, a number of jumpers, and as much as half of my entire wardrobe, have all been sourced from here. Have a look around for some quality garms!
Do these sound like winning options for a shopping splurge? That’s why you should come down to Brighton!
- Visit the South Downs National Park
I grew up in the South Downs National Park, on the chalk hills bearing down over Brighton.
Back then it was just the South Downs, but as of 2011 it is the newest national park in England. If you come down to Brighton, but find yourself needing a break from the city, you should get hiking into this area of outstanding natural beauty!
The lowland heath that comprises parts of the park is one of the rarest habitats on earth and is home to some of the most vulnerable species in the UK, including the beautiful Adonis blue butterfly. Moreover, in 2016, the park was granted International Dark Sky Reserve status, making it one of 16 such places on earth where you can observe the stars in all their glory!
All of these facts, and many more, are reasons you should go for a walk and breath in that South Downs National Park fresh air!
- Grab a bite.
Anybody can find food to suit their palate in Brighton!
From food trucks on Churchill Square to critically acclaimed vegetarian restaurants, Brighton has it all. Food for Friends is a fantastic veggie establishment in the South Lanes which even I, an avid carnivore, would happily dine at!
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy though, or you don’t want to splash the big bucks on a meal out, you should try out Grubs. The Brighton-based fast-food chain isn’t high society, but it does cook up a mean burger for your post night-out snack! It has a few locations and you aren’t a true Brighton tourist until you own a grub’s t-shirt!
Lastly, if you’re in town in August, maybe you can catch the Brighton Thai Festival. Authentic Thai food served from vendors at stalls in Preston Park will make you feel like you’re in Bangkok.
All in all, Brighton is a food lover’s dream with something for everyone. I can’t recommend it enough!
- Paint the town red!
Soulful Pubs, like The Mash Tun, seafront establishments like Shoosh, and bouncing gay-clubs like Revenge, all offer different and vibrant ways to experience Brighton’s nightlife!
Brighton isn’t a cheap night out. It will burn a hole in your wallet but, if you can make the money work, it is 100% worth the party!
Beyond the normal night out, on one weekend every year Brighton goes crazy for Brighton Pride. The LGBTQ+ event celebrates Brighton’s history as a city that accepts people of all types. It brings swathes of tourists from around the world into Brighton for the biggest party of your life. You can’t miss this one if you love to paint the town red!
Brighton has something for everyone. Lots of cities in England have charm coming out of their ears but what Brighton has is soul! I wholeheartedly recommend that you guys check it out if you come to England.
Still go to Cornwall, Bath, London, York, and Edinburgh, but maybe give Brighton a second glance too!