Monday, May 18, 2015

A Day Trip to Brighton

One of the first places I visited on my first trip to England 12 years ago was Brighton, so I was excited to go back for a visit to see if it was as fun as I remember and it was. Easily accessible by train from London, Brighton is a lovely place to visit for a wonderful day by the sea!

The Seaside and Brighton Pier
Seaside toys for sale along the promenade...
The Brighton Pier and promenade is only a short walk from the train station and a thoroughfare that takes you on an instant time warp to the Edwardian seaside of days gone by. Though it's more shabby than chic these days, if you use your imagination, you can almost picture a young Queen Victoria and her contemporaries frequenting the beach with their bathing machines for a bit of sun & surf.

Fresh seafood
Vendors crowd the shore selling all kinds of wares from children's toys to flip flops and you're never too far from a donut stand or a place to pick up some fish & chips to nibble on the beach.

One of the many fish & chips stalls along the promenade...
Unlike other beaches, you won't find much sand in Brighton, but pebbles… It does make walking on the beach in shoes a little easier, but sunbathers would want a chair for a more comfortable day of relaxing by the water.

Afloat - also known as 'the donut sculpture'
Along the coast, you might see a gigantic bronze donut, but in fact it's a sculpture called Afloat by Hamish Black. It seems appropriate that it would be a donut with vendors selling them all over, but it's actually meant to resemble what it a black hole would look like.

Can you see me?
Brighton Pier
The famous Brighton Pier is a great source of amusement… It's nothing glamorous to be fair, but a great way to spend a couple of hours playing games, riding roller coasters or having a drink, all while taking in the beautiful views of the British coast. I took the opportunity to ride one of the coasters on the pier, which is something I've always wanted to do… Coming down the incline on the tracks, it looks like you'll plunge right into the sea. It's thrilling and lots of fun!

Harry Ramsden's
Harry Ramsden's is a chain of restaurants that serve traditional fish & chips, which might not seem that remarkable. What is remarkable, for me anyway, is that this particular location just steps from the Brighton Pier is where I had my first ever fish & chips back in 2003.

I Have Great Desire, My Desire is Great
Walking seaside in Brighton, you can choose to go below and walk nearer the beach or to look out at the view from the street level above. I was glad that I chose the lower route because I saw this inspirational quote, which is actually a temporary art installation by artist Naoimh Looney.

Steve Ovett Statue
 A statue of local Olympic gold medalist Steve Ovett can be seen running along the beach…

Gorgeous architecture
Away from the seaside lies a lovely town full of personality, shopping, delicious food and tons of character. The architecture is rather impressive too.

Victoria Fountain in Old Steine Gardens

For shopping, you can't beat The Lanes, a vast shopping area with all the great brands and a few quirky independents too. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the fabulous vintage shops that seem to be everywhere too. Also worth noting is Kensington Gardens, a street full of bookstores, homeward shops and quirky finds. While you're there, you simply must grab a drink at The White Rabbit, a funky Alice in Wonderland themed bar that's more hipster than Disney and boasts a rather cool, eclectic crowd.

Statue of King George IV

The Corn Exchange

Brighton Fringe Festival
Love this cow outside a Mexican restaurant in Brighton!
Great name for a pub…
Max Miller statue

The Royal Pavilion
In its heyday, Brighton was a popular resort town that holiday makers visited either to vacation or because they believed that salty seawater could cure many ailments. Because the Prince Regent (later King George IV) was a fan of Brighton, the town prospered and became a rather fashionable place to visit. George loved it so much that he built the Royal Pavilion, a sort of pleasure palace that he could escape to when he needed a break or a bit of seaside fun that was a bit looser than the trappings of London society. He could be free to enjoy his decadent preferences for food, women, drinking and gambling while hidden away in Brighton.

Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion looks Indian from the outside and is a magnificent structure to behold. Unfortunately no photography is allowed inside the Royal Pavilion which boasts incredible Chinese decor contrasting the outside completely. 

My favorite part of the tour of the Royal Pavilion was seeing the kitchen, table staging room and the dining room. The ornate dining room is of course rather grand, but the magic happened in the quarters just behind. The massive kitchen was only one of three, yet is bigger in square footage than most London flats. The table staging room is a smaller room with a long table, similar to the dining table where the staff could stage the table settings to work out how everything would fit and how it would look. I found that all very fascinating. Another thing about our visit to the Royal Pavilion that I loved was having tea on the balcony. Because it was a gorgeous, sunny day there were people everywhere on the grounds taking in the sun and having picnics. We could enjoy the view with coffee and cake from above, which was absolutely brilliant on a warm day. The tea rooms are located halfway through the tour, which offers a nice break in the middle of the experience.

The Indian Gateway to the Royal Pavilion
From 1914 to 1916, the Royal Pavilion was used as a hospital for Indian WWI soldiers who were wounded in the Western front. As a gift to say thank you, India gave the Indian Gateway to Brighton.

George IV spent a lot of time in the Royal Pavilion and it also hosted Queen Victoria for time, however this grand structure is no longer a royal residence. For more information on visiting the Royal Pavilion, visit the website by clicking here.

 Wall Art

We stumbled upon some epic wall art while strolling through Brighton… It was so amazing and detailed, I thought it deserved to be shared. For more information on the street art in Brighton, click here.

All in, a day in Brighton is great fun! There are plenty of things to do and see, great restaurants and pubs all over and the shopping could keep you occupied for hours. Well worth a visit! For more information on planning a trip to Brighton, check out

1 comment

  1. Brighton is indeed a very interesting and beautiful place. I can't help but be astounded with the structures I see in it as well as the beauty of nature that it offers. This is the kind of place that will definitely give you a treat in terms of enjoyment and relaxation. Thanks for sharing!


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