Brighton is a bustling, seaside resort on the south coast of England. Londoners have been travelling to Brighton for beach getaways ever since the railway first arrived there in 1841. Only about an hour away from London, over the years Brighton has continued to be a very popular destination for short breaks away from the city.
Getting There: Brighton is located about 50 miles south of London. Travelling to Brighton is quite easy and there are lots of travel options depending on what suits you best.
Southern and Thameslink trains arrive in Brighton from London Victoria, London St Pancreas and London Bridge Stations. The direct train takes around an hour. Ticket prices vary depending on when you are travelling and how far in advance you book. Coaches also travel from London Victoria to Brighton and once again prices vary.
Driving to Brighton from London is quite easy. The drive takes around an hour and a half, depending on traffic. Parking in Brighton can be tricky though, with lots of parking restrictions in the city centre, even on Sundays. Paid parking can also be expensive. There is a park and ride service if you want to park outside the main area and get a bus into the city centre. Due to time constraints I decided to park close to the pier at the Regency Square car park, where parking for the full day cost me £13.00 on a weekend. Compared with parking prices in London I personally didn’t find the cost too bad.
Things to see and do: Brighton has so much to see and do, depending on your interests, there is something for everyone. Of course Brighton is a sea side city and so Brighton Beach and Seafront is one of the main attractions.
The beach is mainly pebbly with apparently around 614,600,000 pebbles! You can obviously sit along the beach, enjoy the views, dip you feet in the water or go for a swim. If you are looking for more to do then there are an array of options available including beach volleyball, kayaking or paddle boarding. There are also lots of different play areas for families. Along beachfront promenade are different shops, artists and and independent traders. Also along the promenade you also find interesting Victorian structures that have been restored like the Band Stand and Madeira Lift. You can also hire bikes to ride.
Of course an iconic sight of Brighton Beach is the Brighton Palace Pier. The Pier is a Grade 2 listed building, originally opened in 1899 and at over 1700ft long, it stretches out into the sea. The pier is home to a range of rides, eateries and attractions. The pier also offers lovely views of the sea, beach and promenade.
For me personally the best thing to see in Brighton has got to be the Brighton Pavilion. This beautiful Grade 1 listed building was completed in 1823 and was built as a seaside retreat for King George the 4th. It was was the work of architect John Nash and built in the Indo-Saracenic style prevalent in India at the time. The building really stands out in the middle of the Brighton in contrast with its surroundings. In recent times the Pavilion has changed from private residence to a public attraction.
The Pavilion sits with the Royal Pavilion Garden, which you can explore for free. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit the inside of the Pavilion. If you are looking to go inside this beautiful structure then tickets cost £15.00 for adults and £9.00 for children. If you buy tickets online then you get 10% the cost. I do personally plan to go back to Brighton to visit the inside of the Pavilion and explore the interior structures and design. Also within the Pavilion Gardens is the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery.
Along the West Pier is the British Airways i360, a 162-metre observation tower, offering incredible views of the sea and city below. The tower opened in August 2016 and tickets start from £15.00 for adults.
The Lanes are an interesting part of Brighton to explore. The Lanes are a maze of narrow alleys lined with an array of creative and quirky shops selling all kinds of treats and antiques. Across the way in the North Laine is the bohemian quarter with more than 300 independent shops. The North Laine is also home to great street art including art from Bansky. You can spend a few hours wandering around both areas, stumbling on interesting and exciting stores and vendors.
Depending on how long you are visiting Brighton there is lots more to see and do. This includes the Sea Life Centre, museums, galleries and parks. You can also take tours of the city including a cycling tour, food tour or street art tour. Various events and exhibitions take place throughout the year.
Other notable places near by include the Brighton Marina and Kemptown. You can also visit other near by coastal towns including Eastbourne or Worthing.
Accommodation: There are lots more things to do in Brighton so if you are looking to stay longer there an array of accommodation options depending on your budget and how long you are staying.
Food: I personally did not look for Halal food when in Brighton. I was happy to indulge in traditional sea side food and treats. All along the beach and promenade you can find all kinds of food and treats to enjoy, including fish and chips, ice cream, fresh doughnuts and of course rock. If your eating on the beach be careful of the seagulls who are always on the look out for food they can grab 😛
In the Lanes and North Laine there are lots of different cafes, bakeries and ice cream shops. Some notable places are Cloud 9, the Flour Pot Bakery and Choccywoccydoodah. There are lots of restaurants all across the city.
Prayer/Masjid: Of course you can pray anywhere quite along the beach or in a park. If you are looking for a Masjid to pray in then there are a few options around Brighton. We went to the Al -Medinah Mosque, which is a 20 minute walk from the pier and a 5 minute walk from the bandstand.
Final Thoughts: Brighton is just a short drive from London and has such a variety to offer. It is a great location for a day trip from the hustle and bustle of London. With so much going on there is something for everyone to enjoy.