Brighton, England City Guide
Escape the busyness and crowdedness of London and relax in this fun, quirky coastal town.
When a lot of people think of traveling to England, they think fashionable London or the historically famous Oxford and Cambridge. These places are wonderful and worth a visit but there are also some other places in the England that should not be overlooked. One place in particular should definitely be at the top of your list to visit: Brighton.
Brighton is a seaside town on the southern coast of England in East Sussex and is about an hour train ride from London. During the early 16th century, the town was primarily a boarding point for boats traveling to France and used as a health resort for sea bathing to cure illness. Brighton started to develop more as a destination for visitors when King George IV started constructing the Royal Pavilion and spending much of his time there. In 1841 railways, the Grand Hotel, and the Brighton Palace Pier were built and contributed to the city’s growth even more.
While London is fast-paced and modern, Brighton has an eccentric and unique vibe. It has frequently been called the UK’s “hippest city” and “happiest place to live in the UK”. It’s a charming town with various things to explore and get lost in.
The Lanes and North Laine
The Lanes are classic Brighton. They are a series of alleyways (that seem to be in no organized order) that are filled with shops, cafes, and boutiques. There are so many unique little places to stop, like the historic Blackbird Tearoom or Choccywoccydoodah, an one of a kind chocolatier that has it’s own TV show!
The North Laine district has a more bohemian vibe, with more than 300 independent shops selling an immense array of things. The North Laine is filled with personality and is often described as quirky, funky, retro, vintage. Various old bookstores and thrift stores can be found here with perfect souvenirs to take home with you.
You could spend hours getting lost in the lanes and not get bored.
No seaside beach town would be complete without a pier! The Brighton Palace Pier is like an old school carnival. The pier has candy stores, ice cream stands, restaurants, and a bar. Of course, it is home to classic carnival rides such as a merry go round and a roller coaster. It’s free to walk around on and enjoy the fun environment!
Brighton’s beach is actually pebble instead of sand and contrary to what you may think, the pebbles are quite comfortable. If you are looking for something that won’t cost you anything, go spend a few hours on the beach. There’s not many better ways to spend an afternoon sitting on Brighton’s beach, eating fish and chips, throwing pebbles, and staring out at the beautiful, vast ocean in front of you.
Brighton Marina is a great place to spend an afternoon or a whole day at!
You will find entertainment such as a bowling alley, movie theater and a casino. There are also various boats, jet skiing, and other watersports companies that you could book with to spend time enjoying the beautiful ocean water. Afterwards, there are plenty of restaurants with a wide variety of cuisines to eat at.
Brighton is home to some amazing street art. It’s hard to walk around and not feel inspired by the creativity and colorfulness of the city. One of the most famous places in the city for street art is the side of the Prince Albert Pub on Frederick Place. Here you’ll find Banksy’s Kissing Policemen and tributes to musical legends. Trafalgar Street is right by the train station and is lined with colorful artwork. Kemptown is a small community right at the city center next to the ocean and features various painted buildings. Walk through the North Laine to also find cool and reputable street graffiti that is sure to catch your eye!
Lastly, the best way to get around and experience as much of Brighton as you can is definitely by walking. Brighton has a lot to do and see but it is a very walkable city. It’s almost better you walk or you risk missing out on a tucked away gem that you most likely with come across throughout the city.
There is really something for everyone in Brighton. The city is always very entertaining. Next time you’re in England, spend at least a day wandering around and discovering this quirky, laid-back, seaside town.