Brighton, UK

BRIGHTON - ANYTHING GOES

WELL, ALMOST ANYTHING

WHY I LOVE

BRIGHTON
  • Big enough for big city variety, small enough to be personal & to be explored on foot.
  • Socially very tolerant
  • You are close to nature – the ocean on your doorstop & hiking or cycling in the South Downs National Park

24 HOURS IN BRIGHTON

SEE, EAT & DO

Start the day with a 10km hike along the South Downs Way, along the hilltops north of Brighton, taking in views of Brighton, the English Channel and the Sussex countryside.

 

Suggested route: Take the 79 bus to Ditchling Beacon and then follow the South Downs Way westwards to Devil’s Dyke. There’s a pub for quenching your thirst (and maybe lunch) if you arrive after opening time, which is 11:00. The service is slow, but the views are worth it. Take the 77 bus back to Brighton.

Take a wander through Brighton’s many shopping streets and alleys. Start at the north end of Sydney Street, in North Laine, and work your way southwards through North Laine and The Lanes until you reach the beach. There are many opportunities to stop for lunch along the way.

 

Then on to Brighton Pier with its tame gambling halls and fairground games and rides. It is very touristy and I don’t frequent it, but especially for someone not from the UK it is an interesting cultural experience.

 

If there’s time, take the 13X bus to Beachy Head, with its rolling grasslands perched atop high white cliffs (better than Dover!) overlooking the English Channel. There’s a pub for food and drinks, or you can have a picnic on top of the cliffs.

If you have the same attitude towards drinking as I have, then a Brighton pub crawl is a must. One of my favourite routes is what I call The Beermuda Triangle. (It actually has four pubs, but who’s counting?)

 

  1. The Prince Albert, in Trafalgar Road, just down from the main railway station. Check out the original Banksy piece “Kissing Coppers” on the west outside wall.
  2. The Evening Star, in Surrey Street, also close to the station.
  3. The Craft Beer Co, in Upper North Street.
  4. The Brighton Beer Dispensary, in Dean Street.

TOP 5 BEST

SPOTS TO EAT

Fast and friendly service, and good for people-watching if you can get a table outside and the weather is friendly.

 

Mid range – £15 – £25 for a meal.

Spanish restaurant with a wide selection of tapas and other Spanish food. Booking advised.

 

High end – above £25 for a meal.

Best pub food in Brighton. Try the Beerkins – gherkins deep fried in beer batter, dipped in a mustard mayo sauce. I’m salivating at the thought of it as I write this.

 

Budget – under £15 for a meal.

 Chinese restaurant. Don’t be fooled by its tatty appearance – it serves excellent Chinese food. Ask for the Chinese menu, not the one they give to Westerners. The number of Chinese students who eat here is an indication of its authenticity and value for money.

 

Budget – under £15 for a meal.

Excellent for a traditional English roast Sunday lunch. If you feel drowsy after lunch and need perking up, ask them to mix you an espresso martini. It’s not on the menu but they will probably oblige.

 

High End – above £25 for a meal.

BEFORE YOU GO

The Australian born singer, songwriter and novelist Nick Cave lives in Brighton, and I happened to love his music even before I moved to Brighton. Watch the movie 20,000 days on Earth, which is about his life and is mostly set in Brighton.

 

He also wrote The Death of Bunny Munro, a bleak novel about a door-to-door salesman that is set in Brighton.

 

A classic novel about Brighton (but which I haven’t read) is Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene which has been made into a film.

If you are staying in Brighton for a while, it may be worth getting the app for buying and displaying discount bus season tickets.

For drinking in Brighton this site covers it well. For out and about on the National trails check out this site.

I haven’t stayed in hotels in Brighton, however a good area for places to stay is Kemp Town, to the east of Brighton Pier. It has many boutique hotels, some of them in converted Victorian houses, and they are also close to the beach and many good restaurants, clubs and pubs. Although Brighton is overall quite gay friendly, some hotels in Kemp Town cater specifically for a gay clientele.

ESSENTIALS

If at all possible, walk rather than use public transport or drive (parking is a nightmare in Brighton anyway). Everything is relatively close together, so a reasonably fit person should be able to walk between most of the places they want to visit. Also, there should always be something interesting to see along the way – something you may have missed as it whizzes by the window of your bus or cab.

I have to admit, to my shame, that I’ve never been inside, but you should probably visit the Royal Pavilion, a summer palace that the Prince Regent, later King George IV, and by all accounts a huge party animal, had built for himself.

The Brighton Pride LGBT Community Parade. With Brighton being regarded as the gay capital of the UK, this annual parade and street party is iconic of the city.

Brighton has a good public bus system, including night buses. The main bus stop hubs are at the main railway station, around Old Steine and at the Churchill Square Shopping Centre. It is customary to say “Thank you!” to the driver when you get off the bus.

 

To order a cab, call 01273 202020

Brighton is very safe, as far as UK cities go. Try to avoid deserted areas along the beachfront late at night.

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