We only live about 150 miles from Brighton, so I can’t believe we haven’t visited before! It’s only an hour on the train from central London too, so it would make a great day trip if you’re staying in the capital and fancy a break from the city. The train station in Brighton is right slap bang in the centre of the town, so it’s easily accessible for day trippers and longer holiday makers alike. It’s packed full of history, great restaurants and quirky bars as well as fascinating museums and points of historical interest.
Here’s a few things you should do if you are lucky enough to visit this beautiful and very typically British beachside town!
Fish and Chips
Eat some Fish and Chips! Just do it, it’s an unofficial rule in British beachside towns that you have to indulge yourself with this national dish. You will find a fish and chip shop around most corners in Brighton, but try to eat at one on the sea front, or at least where you can see the sea to enjoy the whole experience. Try some mushy peas, too…
Spend some time wandering in The Lanes
The Lanes are a collection of narrow, windy pedestrianized streets in Brighton – a lot like The Shambles in York – and are famous for their independent boutiques and shops.
The Lanes make up much of the town’s historic quarter, and there are lots of little cafes and bars nestled within them, so you can take plenty of breaks from some serious shopping and admire the history of the area.
There are antique shops, high end jewelry shops, alongside more modern mainstream brands – so there is something for everyone.
Make sure you check out the flagship Choccywoccydoodah shop, too – a whole shop dedicated to chocolate with lots of free samples on offer. People queue outside until it opens most days to get their fix, and there is a café on the first floor offering some chocolate treats as well as impressive chocolate sculptures and creations of all shapes and sizes to admire within the shop itself.
Walk on the famous Brighton Palace Pier
Brighton Pier originally opened in 1899 and is still standing today! It offers a taste of traditional British seaside attractions – from slot machines and fairground rides to tarot readers and numerous bars and cafes to sit and admire the view from. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch some daytime live music, a night time firework display, or even a mini music festival.
Brighton Pier is a great way to spend a couple of hours if you are travelling with kids, but even if you aren’t, it’s worth a look and a walk to the end of the Pier or stop for a lazy coffee.
Considering its age, the Pier is incredibly well kept and is now a Grade II listed building. Brightonians consider it the finest Pier ever built – judge for yourself!
Take a stroll on the beachfront
One a nice day, Brighton’s beaches can rival most, and the colour of the sea is a usually beautiful turquoise green for the British coast!
If you’re at the entrance to the Pier, facing the sea, take a right down to the beach and explore a mish mash of shops selling quirky, homemade goods, bars, cafes and museums. Brighton Fishing Museum is tiny and free to enter, but is packed full of interesting history about the beach and the fisherman that used to work there; along here are also some water sports rental shops if you fancy heading out onto the water.
Take a look at the old West Pier too, that was destroyed in 2003 by two consecutive arson attacks. Now it’s charred and crumpled remains eerily jut out of the calm ocean and contrast with the lively Brighton Palace Pier just a short walk away.
Get a different perspective on the i360
The British Airways sponsored i360 is a 360 metre observation tower adjacent to the West Pier. In fact, it’s the world’s tallest moving observation tower. As long as you don’t spend all your time in Brighton staring at the floor, you can’t miss it so it shouldn’t be too hard to find, but head for the West Pier for the entrance.
From the top, you’ll get 360 degree views of Brighton and, on a clear day, the Isle of Wight. There’s a bar at the top too, so you can enjoy a drink in style.
Tickets cost £16 for adults and £8 for children over 4 years of age, but make sure you book in advance online, as it gets very busy in the summer months – there is an online booking discount too!
So, consider enjoying a very British day out in Brighton next time you are in London for a few days!
Pairofpassports.com is a travel blog by Hannah and Rob from Peterborough, UK. They're happiest when they are exploring a new place or planning their next trip. One day they want to travel full time, but until then PairofPassports.com is the place where they will record their travel experiences and tips as they explore the world. firstname.lastname@example.org.