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Brighton is the English Seaside at its Best

Updated on June 11, 2012
Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier

Last August Bank Holiday weekend we decided to take a trip to Brighton, I hadn't been there before and didn't quite know what to expect, I ended up having the best weekend I've had in years, Brighton is fully of surprises, friendly people and luckily we had the best of weather during our stay. Brighton seems to have it's own little micro-climate, an almost Mediterranean feel to it and it was hard to believe that we were in England it was so warm and sunny, especially since the rest of the UK seemed to be having it's usual Summer wind and rainy days.

When we arrived at the Grand Pier Guesthouse in Madeira Place and were greeted so warmly by one of our hosts, Marco, we realised that we had found the perfect place, the beach was just at the end of the street, as you can see from the view from our bay window we could see the sea, always important when you go the seaside I think, the room was immaculate and the bathroom was like stepping into a little bit of Italy. It was a home away from home, so friendly, and who knew breakfast could be so good (thank you so much for looking after us so well, we miss you), the sun also arrived for the weekend, it was hot and gorgeous while the rest of England was having rain, maybe we had arrived in the Mediterranean after all.

View from the window of Grand Pier Guesthouse
View from the window of Grand Pier Guesthouse

I didn't know what to expect of Brighton, much like any other English seaside town is what I thought we'd find, but this is no ordinary seaside town. Brighton is exactly as it's name suggests, a Bright Town, gorgeous facades, with plenty of activities, great food, great people, fabulous pubs and restaurants, and amazing fun to be had. Quite frankly if I had the chance I would move there tomorrow, I've visited many places in England but never have I been so impressed that I want to move there.

For those with a sweet tooth

Don't forget to visit the famous Choccywoccydoodah shop, everything except the umbrellas was made of chocolate.
Don't forget to visit the famous Choccywoccydoodah shop, everything except the umbrellas was made of chocolate.

I can highly recommend the shopping streets in the Lanes District, with it's unique clothes, jewellery, chocolate/sweets, restaurants and cafes, keep an eye out for the mini-market areas that are dotted in and around the lanes too, but the highlight of anyone's trip has to be the Pier and the Promenade, with it's wonderful Volk's electric railway which was created in 1883 and is the world's oldest operating electric railway, yes I said world's oldest. This marvellous addition to Brighton runs is setback along the edge of the beach and will take you from the Brighton Pier along to the Black Rock and the Brighton Marina.

We did venture along to the Brighton Marina one wonderful sunset evening and found ourselves in a floating Chinese restaurant, The Floating Pagoda, as we walked down onto the wooden pier where it was berthed in all it's deep red and gold paintwork we knew we were in for a treat, nestled in a calm harbour amongst the other boats. This was recommended by a friend of mind, thank you Tammy, and turned out to be one of the best Chinese meals I have ever eaten. We were lucky enough to arrive at the restaurant just as the local starlings all decided to take roost under that particular bit of the marina, it was a wonderful and sensational greeting to a great evening. Everything on the menu was wonderful, but I have to say that the Satay Chicken was the best I've ever eaten, and I have eaten this blissful dish all over the world and I've eaten a lot of it, trust me if you're in Brighton you have to go to this restaurant.

The Floating Pagoda, Marina, Brighton
The Floating Pagoda, Marina, Brighton

The Royal Pavilion

One of my first surprises on arrival in Brighton was finding what looked like an Indian Palace within walking distance of the promenade, it is in fact the Royal Pavilion. The Pavilion was built for King George IV between 1787 and 1823. The architecture is distinctly Indian and it is open to the public and it is open daily:

October to March 10am – 5.15pm (last tickets at 4.30pm)

April to September 9.30am–5.45pm (last tickets at 5pm)

Closed 24 December (from 2.30pm) and all day on 25 and 26 December, and will be closed from 23 January to 3 February 2012 for maintenance.

If you intend to visit on a weekend it is best to book tickets in advance, you can do this online at the following link:

Brighton Pier and Beach

The highlights of our weekend were definitely centred around the Brighton Pier and Beach, not only were there tons of places to eat and drink, the Pier itself with all it's amusements and free deckchairs provided us with hours and hours of fun and entertainment.

Under the Boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah, yeah, with my blanket and my ..... dog
Under the Boardwalk, down by the sea, yeah, yeah, with my blanket and my ..... dog

Things to do in Brighton

There is soooo much to do in Brighton I couldn't possibly link them all but among the links below you will find one for the Brighton Tourist Board which provides information on much, much more.

In the meantime here are a few of the places and things that we enjoyed.

Mods and their fabulous scooters

As a child I remember the television news on Bank Holidays being full of how the Mods and Rockers had invaded Brighton and the fights happening down on the beaches and in the pubs, nowadays it's just the most glorious peaceful spectacle of the Mods and their wonderful scooters on parade.

If you're ever near Brighton on a Bank Holiday it's definitely not something that you want to miss.


For my final words on Brighton I'd just like to say that the minute I get a chance I will be back to play in the sunshine and the fun that is at the heart of this lovely seaside town. Also if you're lucky you may catch sight of something, or should that be someone, that I've never seen before, he is the quaint eccentric man that sells birdy whistles along the pier, you'll hear him before you set eyes on him as he wanders up and down the pier whistling as he sells them for £3. Even if you don't want one, he's a little bit of nostalgia in today's hectic lifestyle so - stop him and buy one.

Birdman of Brighton
Birdman of Brighton


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    • Eileen Goodall profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Goodall 

      6 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      Hi SpaceShanty, you are very, very lucky to live there

    • SpaceShanty profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Brighton is my town, I'm glad you loved it so much! We love it too!

    • Laura in Denver profile image

      Laura Deibel 

      7 years ago from Aurora

      I wish I had known about some of these exciting things aboutu Brighton when I was there! (I recall expecting a sandy beach, but that's obviously not the case!)

    • Eileen Goodall profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Goodall 

      7 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      @BrightonBreezy - thank you so much for all the information and your enthusiasm for Brighton - I would love to live there, my husband goes there quite a lot on business and my daughter and are very jealous whenever he does. We are going again this Summer and I will be updating and adding more photographs when we return - again many thanks for your comments I'm sure people will find them of interest.

    • Brightonbreezy profile image


      7 years ago from Brighton, UK

      I was really luck to study in Brighton for three years. I only live in Eastbourne which is about an hour away but Brighton is a completely different animal. There is so, so much to do, so when I heard of friends at other unis having maybe three things to do to socialise, it shocks me. There's clubs if you like that, loads of bars and places to eat. The Duke of York is such a lovely cinema and such a nice change from the usual chains like Cineworld. And then you have the actual setting by the sea if you need a few hours to relax from work. Plus ir's only an hour from London which is very handy, though it has some great venues for gigs like the Dome, Corn Exchange and Concorde. The people who live there are mainly students and young professionals, some with families and everyone is so relaxed and friendly. I hope at some point in my life to live there once again for a longer period of time, but without the student housing off course :p

    • MobyWho profile image


      8 years ago from Burlington VT

      We had a beach home in CT named "Not Quite Brighton" - a friend brought her 7 yr old niece (a Brit) with her to visit. She took her outside and looking down the shore, asked her if it reminded her of home. Niece looks up and down the beach and says, "No, Aunt Pat, It's not quite Brighton. A crushing moment.

    • Gypsy Willow profile image

      Gypsy Willow 

      8 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

      I used to live near Brighton and can completely endorse your great descriptions! Great hub!

    • Eileen Goodall profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Goodall 

      8 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      Just wanted to say thank you to all you lovely people out there for your kind comments and for voting my hub a success in the Hub Nuggets Awards - you're very kind.

    • Angie Jardine profile image

      Angie Jardine 

      8 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

      Thanks for this hub about how unusual and cosmopolitan Brighton is, Eileen.

      When you live not too far from it as we do you do tend to take these sorts of places for granted. And yes, it is a very special town ... especially the wonderful Georgian architecture. It's a Classicist's dream ...

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      8 years ago from South of France

      Great hub about a town where I (mis)spent much of my youth... I haven't been back for ages but funnily enough am planning a quick visit in the coming weeks, and now I really can't wait!

    • CASE1WORKER profile image


      8 years ago from UNITED KINGDOM

      Excellent hub and good interpretation of Brighton. You are right about the micro climate- it is always a bit warmer there. We go fairly regularly as my mum lives nearby. Last year walking off the peir with a donut in his hand, my husband was attacked by a seagull and the bird flew off with the bun!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      I'm with Simone. I enjoyed the photos as it made me feel I was there myself. :D

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination. Visit this hub and read more about it.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      I am positively ITCHING to go to Brighton now!! Goodness gracious! Your photos are gorgeous and it sounds like a truly enchanting place. I hope I might have the opportunity to visit it someday!

    • Patti Riggs Hale profile image

      Patti Riggs Hale 

      8 years ago from Burdette, Arkansas

      Interesting! Good lens. Makes me want to go there.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I love this hub ! Great information

    • Kamran! profile image


      8 years ago

      wonderful collection of photos. nice hub!!!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I know what it is to feel homesick for a place that has never been "home"--I felt that way in Greece. :-) What a lovely place, Brighton! The next time I'm in England I'll try to stop there. I've never been further south than London. Thanks for sharing! Voted up, funny, and interesting.

    • leroy64 profile image

      Brian L. Powell 

      8 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

      Looks like an interesting place. I enjoyed reading this article. I like the way you included some descriptions of the people.

    • Eileen Goodall profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Goodall 

      8 years ago from Buckinghamshire, England

      It's mad we only had 4 days there but I feel homesick.

    • lundmusik profile image


      8 years ago from Tucson AZ

      whoa,, such beautiful pics and a great representation.. voted up

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      really enjoyed the article and pictures, I have never been to Brighton but will include it on my next trip to England.


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