Brighton. The colourful and vibrant seaside city. One so close to London, yet I’ve only visited properly once. Yep, just once. And that was mainly for a colour run. Even when I was with Alex, who grew up in London, we never took the opportunity to head to the seaside for a day or two. Not one time. Before this July.
Brighton is only about an hour away from London by train. That’s nothing. The flamoyant little seaside city is pretty easy to navigate (I did have Google maps out a couple times when I wanted something specific), and lovely to just take your time to wander through. It’s home to lots to see and do, including the cute cobbled lanes, The Royal Pavilion and the legendary Brighton pier. Which yes, I had to go on. The competitive side could not be restrained.
The pier was a lot bigger than I expected.
With two indoor arcades, there were SO many penny machines and games to try. We spent a good couple of hours the first day, and an extra hour the second day there with our eyes on the prizes – you can collect tickets from a number of the machines (if you’re good), and choose a prize after! We went on quite a few, including The Walking Dead shooter game (I loved it…got really into it!), a reaction game with lights and plenty of 2p machines. At the end we only managed to get a frisbee. But we had so much fun, and many laughs, it didn’t matter at all.
There are fair rides on the far end of the pier too. Rides start from £2.50, and you can get a day pass for £22.50 for an adult. We just did the one – the Galaxia which was so fun! (£4.50 a ride)- as we were more into the arcade that day. Food stalls run along the length of the pier too, for lunch, snacks and treats.
Brighton beachfront is where we spent most of our time.
The pebble beach is comfortable enough to sit on. Take in the view. Play silly games. Or top up the tan. It’s a pretty long stretch with little stalls, restaurants and clubs along the front too.
It’s not necessarily one for walking along (Although it’d work those leg muscles), and you definitely need shoes if you fancy a paddle.
To the left of the pier is a bit quieter but I can imagine it having been super busy during any heatwaves. So do walk further along the path, towards Hove, if you’re after a more peaceful spot, as I’ve heard it’s not quite as buzzy.
I had to make a visit to The Royal Pavilion too.
Even though it had suffered the heatwave along with everywhere else (meaning it was looking quite brown), it was still a cute spot. There was building work being done too, so gives another reason to day trip back someday soon.
The Lanes, those little narrow cobbled streets everyone goes on about..
…are actually pretty cute. They’re filled with jewellery shops, and quirky places to eat and drink. There’s a duck shop, which just sells rubber ducks. Yes, you read that right. It’s actually pretty fun, with all different varieties including a Spider-Man duck, ducks in cars and even doctor ducks.
But the one place to make sure you visit is Choccywoccydoodah. It’s a chocolate lovers heaven. The window feature is made from chocolate. It’s amazing. And inside they have all sorts of choccy things to buy, as well as a cafe upstairs. We’d not long had brunch but definitely heading back at a later date.
Talking about brunch and places to eat… it’s a tough one!
I had SO many recommendations from friends, it was impossible to try everywhere I wanted. Here’s a little roundup of the places we tried
The Chilli Pickle
A contemporary Indian street food restaurant, the dishes all sounded (and looked…yes, I checked insta first) amazing! I can confirm, the ones we had were fab. The dishes were full of aromatic, rich flavours and the ingredients were cooked beautifully. We had such a fantastic dinner. There were plenty of drinks options too! – £69 for dinner for two (mins, a shared starter, 4 drinks & service).
Churros on the pier
These were heavenly. Served warm, straight from the fryer, these sugary long doughnuts, were delicious. Especially when dipped into the Nutella. If you can resist the Nutella, they have salted caramel too! We got four each, with a pot for dipping. It was only £6.50 from one of the food stands at the entrance to the pier, which isn’t too bad at all.
There are actually several branches across the UK. My brother had been to one and loved it! Ever sice I was jealous and dying to try it. So being close enough to pop in, this pancake, waffle and gelato bar was our brunch spot. We created our own, adding toppings, choosing different gelato – not a usual breakfast choice, but it was for a celebration so we decided it was worth treating ourselves. And it really was! Look at these…
£24.70 for two create your own waffles, two coffee frappes and service.
Fish and chips on the pier
fish by the sea is a must. It’s where it’s at it’s most fresh. The best. It’s well known you can’t go to the seaside and not try it in some capacity (if you eat fish of course!). Having passed on the oysters and fresh seafood on the beachfront, fish & chips were a must for the final evening. Again, we popped to the stalls at the entrance to the pier. Service was pretty quick, food was hot, and there was plenty of it…
The fish was SO much better than recent takeaways in London. It was meaty and tender (not too flaky), flavoursome and well-battered. The scamp however blew the fish away. It was fantastic! We ate on the pier, a little more undercover to escape the seagulls. It made a great spot.
£17.40 for two meals & two drinks.
If you’re staying the night…
I stayed at My Brighton. Upon entering it doesn’t feel like a budget hotel. The rooms are pretty spacious, super clean and comfortable. Although it did feel weird that there wasn’t actually anything separating the bedroom from the bathroom – you’ll want to already be super close to the person you’re sharing a room with. The bed was reasonably comfortable though (although I struggled to sleep after a few good hours – I think it was being somewhere I wasn’t used to).
The bar downstairs was really cool too. They do some awesome cocktails and a fab happy hour. There’s also a coffee shop on-site, a Tesco Express opposite (for any last minute needs) and it’s pretty much next door to The Chilli Pickle! Perfect for dinner.
At £89 it’s really well-priced for somewhere so central! It’s only a short walk to pretty much everywhere!
Getting to Brighton:
As mentioned, getting to Brighton from London is super simple. Tickets from London can start from £xx, if you book in advance, which is fantastic. Booking two weeks before I managed to get returns for just over £20 each, taking the slightly slower train (only by about 15 minutes).
I know a few people who have been by car too. It’s pretty easy, although parking can be difficult, with finding spaces and can get expensive. It’s worth checking out parking on the B2185, which is where one of my best friends parks when she makes the trip. She says “it’s pay and display but there are often spaces available and you get a nice walk into Brighton either through Hove or along the seafront past the beach huts.”
And there you have it. That’s how I spent my 33 hours in Brighton. Have you been? What did you do? I’m after more suggestions as I’m definitely heading back!