Brighton is the English Seaside at its Best
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.
- Grand Pier Guest House
Brand new boutique hotel in the heart of brighton
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
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 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's Royal Pavilion
Indian-styled Royal Palace of King George IV
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.
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.
- Brighton Tourist Information Board
VisitBrighton offers the latest Brighton tourist information and Brighton tourism guides. Plan your visit and view Brighton tourism information online now!
- Sea Life Brighton - Aquarium
SEA LIFE Brighton offers a fun and educational day out whatever the weather. With over 150 species and 57 displays, you will be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable day for the whole family!
- Ghost Walk of The Lanes
Join actor and master storyteller Rob Marks, as the mysterious Silas the ghost walker, for a 70 minute walk around Brightons famous Lanes. The area occupies what was once the original fishing...
- Coral Brighton and Hove Greyhound Stadium
Coral Brighton & Hove Greyhound Stadium offers a range of trackside and restaurant packages that cater for every budget and occasion. You are guaranteed a thrilling night, filled with excitement and...
- Brighton Toy and Model Museum
An Aladdin's cave of toys and models for all ages. Historic undercroft arches of Brighton railway station transformed into over 4000 square foot of toys and models including trains, boats, dolls,...
- Brighton Racecourse
Brighton Racecourse is the fun and friendly seaside racecourse overlooking the Brighton and Hove, the South Downs and the English Channel. It stages 20 race meetings between March and October.
- Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
A 10 million redevelopment has transformed Brighton Museum into a state-of-the-art visitor attraction. Dynamic and innovative galleries - including fashion and style, 20th century art and design,...
- Brighton Marina - Marina in Brighton
A 2,000 berth yacht marina with outlet shopping, quayside bars and restaurants, leisure, fishing and sailing, offering something for all the family.
- Brighton Fishing Museum
A free walkaround quaint little fishing museum which you will find beachside under the Promenade.
- Open Top Bus Sightseeing Trips
On these pages you will find information about all our open top bus tours worldwide, including leaflets, maps, timetables, photos and much more. Why not book tickets online today and save time!
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.