As much as I love London, and it’s super easy to travel around, find something to do or explore new places to eat, sometimes I just need a little break to escape all the business that is the capital. Brighton is literally the easiest place to do this because one of the perks about living in my patch of SW London it’s just a short, and cheap, tram and train journey away. So a couple of months ago, Vanessa and I decided to make the quick trip, for a long weekend, of much-needed R+R.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotels literally line King’s Road, the main road that runs along the seafront, and all are a short walk away from the beach; so, it’s literally about the price that you want to pay.
I’m, as my dad likes to say, “in between jobs”, and at the time Vanessa was trying to spend pretty frugally herself so we spent an afternoon on Booking.com looking for something cheap and cheerful, which came in the form of a 3* hotel. It was a pretty dire hotel/B&B, but it was clean, the rooms were pretty cosy and the TV had Freeview, which was all we needed.
Cost: 3 nights, twin room £263 or £131.50 (breakfast included)
To be honest, breakfast there was pretty shambolic but as all the hotels were within a 5-minute walk we headed out to the Hilton down the road for the breakfast buffet for £20 on the first morning and headed to Costa / Starbucks on other days.
Brighton Palace Pier
Can you really go to Brighton and not go to the Pier? After a quick round of hot doughnuts and churros we headed into the first arcade. BIG mistake. We literally spent about £50 between us in the 2p and 10p machines for a whole bunch rusty keyrings, and tokens for prizes that cost about a quid in any shop on the street. The addiction was real, and it literally took about two hours for us to tear ourselves away, but I did get a pirate rubber duck for my window so small wins!
And, of course, you can’t forget the rides.
Cost: This one is all about willpower
It’s not until you leave London you realise you have no idea how to navigate public transport outside the city, but from the Seafront to the Marina was only a bus ride away. Brighton Marina is the largest in the UK, and whilst we wanted to check out the picturesque waterfront, I was also gagging for TGI Fridays and some cocktails. It’s definitely worth a trip up for the photos, and there are so many places to eat around the Marina,
Cost: £5 for an all-day travel ticket
The Royal Pavilion
Even if you don’t have the time to go inside you need to see the Royal Pavilion. The grounds are free to access if you just want to sit and chill out, but the building itself is stunning. And SO different to anything else around Brighton, or even London for that matter that it is a must see for anyone visiting.
Cost: Grounds are free to access, Adult admission (16+) £13
SOME OTHER THINGS TO DO
Go above and beyond in the British Airways i360
Got a spare 25 minutes? You might as well check out Brighton, and the South Coast, from the sky!
Designed by the same creators of the London Eye, the i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower, and on the clearest of days you can see the Isle of Wight! This was an opportunity Vanessa and I couldn’t pass up especially after seeing the price.
Cost: Adult (16+) £16 on the day
Get lost in The Lanes
Every. Single. Time.
Seriously, there hasn’t been a single time I’ve successfully navigated my way around The Lanes, even using the map on my phone, but every turn brings you to another little gem. From jewellery shops and homeware to Choccywoccydoodah and Breakfast Club, there’s so much to see (and eat!).
Cost: Phone battery using the map, but it’s a small price to pay if you’re looking for something specific… or the way out
Take a snap of West Pier
Just a short walk away from the BA i360, there is admittedly an eerie-feel about West Pier. but there is something about its architectural remains that is still mesmerising and worthy of attention.