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An easy day trip from London is a visit to the seaside resort of Brighton, located on the South Coast of England. I’ve wanted to come to Brighton ever since I read Graham Greene’s novel Brighton Rock as a teenager and as much as I love London, sometimes it’s lovely to escape the city to be by the sea. Brighton is regarded as the LGBTQ capital of the UK and the vibe of tolerance and diversity makes it an exciting and fun place to visit. Before going I consulted two of my favourite websites for suggestions of things to do – Atlas Obscura http://bit.ly/2Mi6oEf and Culture Trip http://bit.ly/2W77Adr. Atlas Obscura is a great source for all the weird and wonderful things there are to see and do in places around the world and Culture Trip (which also has an App you can download articles to read offline – invaluable when I was in Cuba with little Internet access) is brilliant as various articles suggest essential sights, restaurants etc. Armed with a rough list of key sites, I set off for my day trip.
I booked my train ticket through the Trainline App the day before going. Using the App I was able to select the cheapest journeys and I paid £19 for a return ticket (including booking fee). A ticket bought on the day at the station would have cost me £27. It was cheaper to travel from London Blackfriars station with Thameslink than to travel from London Victoria. London Blackfriars is easily reached using the Underground. The journey time from Blackfriars to Brighton was only 1 hour 13 minutes. There are regular trains running to and from Brighton. When you exit the station, take the road straight ahead to walk down to the sea front.
- Visit Brighton Palace Pier – free to walk along.
- Enjoy fish and chips by the sea – but watch out for seagulls who like to steal your food!
- Buy a stick of Brighton Rock at The World Famous Brighton Rock Shop on the street parallel to the sea front (55 Kings Road).
- Grab a drink at one of the many bars and restaurants and watch the waves and the sun go down – I had a glass of wine at Tempest Inn. The interior is designed to look like caves. The outside seating area is perfect for people watching.
- Go up the British Airways i360, a 162-metre observation tower. An adult ticket is £16.50 if you buy it on the day at the venue.
- Visit the newly opened Upside Down House – next to the i360 tower – in which all of the rooms are inverted. Tickets cost £4
- Walk along the sea front to the colourful Hove Beach Huts, a short walk from the i360.
- Visit the Sea Life Centre – the World’s oldest operating aquarium. An Adult ticket bought on the day costs £20. Tickets are currently 40% cheaper when bought online.
- About a mile west of the Palace Pier lies Brighton Marina and the start of the Undercliff Walk if you fancy some scenic exercise.
Away from the Sea
- A must-do is a visit to the absolutely stunning Royal Pavilion. Built as a holiday home for King George VI, the opulence of the Chinese-themed interior is breathtaking. When I visited there was an exhibition of Stephen Jones’ Hats. Tickets cost £15 when bought at the venue. Tickets are cheaper online. Take your smartphone with you and you can access two free audio tours, using the Pavilion’s free wifi.
- Also in the same grounds as the Royal Pavilion, you can visit the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. Tickets cost £6.
- Visit The Lanes – an area of narrow lanes, with small shops, pubs and restaurants.
- Go on a Ghost Walk – meet outside the Druid’s Head Pub. An adult ticket is £8.
- Mooch around the shoppers paradise of North Laine, a bohemian area full of vegan cafes, vintage clothing stores, bars and restaurants. This area boasts the largest selection of independent retailers on the South Coast. Highlights include This is Not A Butchers gift shop and the quirky Snoopers Paradise, Brighton’s biggest antiques and vintage emporium.
- Pop into St Bartholomew’s Church, which has one of the tallest interiors in England. Some say that it was built to the measurements of Noah’s Ark.
- Near to St Bartholomew’s Church is Bardsley’s Fish and Chip restaurant, lauded as one of the best in Brighton. Loved my chips and mushy peas takeaway from here so I can recommend.
- Also nearby is the Brighton Open Market. Redeveloped in 2014, it is now home to 50 local producers and creators. Opposite The Gnarly Trunk gift shop you will find the Brighton Fairy Folly, created by artist David Mayhew as a home for ‘fairies, hobbits, mermaids and witches’.
- Street Art fans will enjoy finding hidden gems all around Brighton.
*Something I’ve read on other blogs as a suggestion is a Brighton Sewers Tour but note that this is now permanently closed.
Getting Around Brighton
The key sites of Brighton are easily accessed on foot but there is also a Hop On Hop Off bus tours operating around the resort. Tickets cost £14 and can be bought here http://bit.ly/2YUGZ4M
Selection of pictures from my day trip: