“There is no place like the beach… where the land meets the sea and the sea meets the sky”
Hi all, welcome back to the blog and to yet another travel guide. I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been focusing on destinations right here in the UK this summer and I’m so excited to bring you the lastest installment… Brighton!
Having grown up by the seaside, there is nothing I love more than walking along the promenade, ice cream in hand, breathing in that fresh sea air. Last week I got to spend three days in the beautiful Brighton. Considering it’s only a short train ride from London it’s a place I should visit far more often, however other then the odd day trip here and there and a stag do I went on a few years back, I’ve never really had the chance to fully explore. At this point I just want to give a big thank you to Visit Brighton for organising this trip and to my friend and fellow blogger Kelsey for being a fabulous travelling partner!
So where to start, as I briefly mentioned before – Brighton is super easy to get to and has great transport links no matter where you’re travelling from. I opted for the train from St. Pancras International which takes just under 1 hour 30. Prices vary but if you book in advance you’re able to get some really affordable fares. I booked quite last minute and paid £30 for a return ticket, which in my opinion is still pretty good. We had a huge selection of experiences and tourist hotspots to visit whilst there so buckle in and maybe grab a brew while I share the top things to do in Brighton.
– Where To Stay –
A stones throw away from the beach itself we stayed at the Harbour Hotel & Spa. It’s a ten minute walk away from the station which makes it really convenient and offers a range of 79 rooms with vibrant, nautical themed interiors. The room was simple and clean with a huge bed (which was very comfy) and complementary decanters of gin and sherry for each guest! I will say, with the bed being so large there’s not much room to move around within the room so bare that in mind if you decide to book. Another thing worth mentioning is the lack of aircon. We really lucked out on the dates we visited as the weather was glorious reaching tempertures of up to 30 degrees! This is all well and good but sleeping with no aircon was a struggle. We were told some rooms do come with aircon depending on the room-type so it’s definitely worth asking before you make a reservation. That aside, the spa was excellent with a range of pools, jacuzzi’s and relaxation areas. Another shoutout goes to the ajoining bar and restaurant which serves the most incredible cakes! They serve meals too but… I’m all about the cake! All in all it was a pleasant stay but during the warmer months perhaps a bit too hot!
Brighton Harbour Hotel & Spa, King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 1NA
– Other hotel options I would recommend include –
Artist Residence Brighton
Creative, bohemian and downright eccentric.
34 Regency Square
The Grand Brighton
Brighton’s landmark hotel established in 1869.
97-99 King’s Road,
Drakes Hotel Brighton
Brighton’s most luxious boutique hotel.
– Where To Go/What To See –
Brighton has such a wide range of activities available, from the traditional to the modern there is something to do no matter what your age or interests. The pier and the seaside experiences are an obvious point of call but there are so many unique offerings out there too. Below is a list of the things we got up to whilst visiting but be sure to leave any recommendations you might have in the comments so I can discover even more on my next visit! Once again, our trip to Brighton was in collaboration with Visit Brighton tourism board and so all our activities were kindly gifted but as always my opinions on each remain unswayed – I tell it like it is…
Upside Down House
Have your world flipped upside down in this seaside installation. It’s a fun little detour to do whilst strolling along the promenade with lots of great photo spots inside. Plus just outside you’ll see one of Brighton’s fabulous rainbow crossings. Tickets cost £5 and opening times vary.
Kings Road Arches
British Airways i360
For a view like no other hop onboard the i360 viewing tower to see Brighton from a different angle! We went for the standard ‘ride’ costing £15 per person however there’s a tonne of different experiences to choose from including yoga sessions and fine dining. It’s a great place to ‘cheers’ the end of a seaside trip and the views really are the best that Brighton has to offer!
British Airways i360
Lower Kings Road
Brighton Palace Pier
The most obvious location to start any trip to Brighton is at the famous Palace Pier. At 1,722 ft long it has pretty much has everything you could ever want as far as seaside entertainment goes. My favourite rides are the Turbo rollercoaster and the Waltzers and I can never resist a go on the old fashioned hook-a-duck stall. Snack wise there’s everything from fish & chips to candy floss and lots of bars offering fruity cocktails too. It really is a fantasic pier (dare I say the best we have in the UK?) No trip to Brighton would be complete without it!
Hove Beach Huts
Less of an attarction and more of a picturesque spot for those of you keen on photography. A short walk along the seafront will have you wondering past the bright and colourful beach huts situated just a short distance from the beach. Each one is painted in a different colour and it really is a beautiful sight to see.
Are we still in Brighton? Yes, but you wouldn’t think it. Escape the beach and find yourself transported to a place like no other. Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, this historic house mixes Regency grandeur with the visual style of India and China. Tickets cost £15 for adults and £9 for children (family/group tickets available.)
4/5 Pavilion Buildings
No trip to Brighton is complete without a visit to the beach. When the sun is shining you can pay a couple of pounds, grab yourself a deck chair and soak in those sun rays whilst breathing in that fresh sea air. Although you can’t build a sandcastle, if you’re looking for a keepsake you can find some very pretty shells and pebbles right there at your feet!
Stretching alongside the beach itself is Brightom’s beautiful promenade. No matter what the weather, a brisk walk along here will always clear the mind. Lined with an array of cafes, shops and seaside attractions the promendade is a great way to stroll alongside the sea taking in all its beauty. Old-school carousels and ferris wheels are always a good shout and of course – ice cream… we all love ice cream!
Sea Life Brighton
A great little experience for all the family. Home to over 840 sea creatures it’s an aquarium like no other. There’s heaps of different tours available with tickets starting from £10.50. Colourful clownfish, magical seahorse and captivating jellyfish are just some of the species you’ll see on your visit. Although we didn’t get a chance to go this time round I have been in the past and it’s great!
SEA LIFE Brighton
– Where To Shop –
Time to admit something… whenever I go away on trips, shopping is rarely high on my to-do list! I’m usually to busy wanting to see all the sights than to spend a day walking in and out of stores. I’m please to say however, that Brighton’s shopping streets are slightly different to the norm and so getting to explore all the various boutiques, independant stores and vintage treasure troves ended up being one of my favourite parts of the trip. There are so many amazing shops and I’m sure I only discovered a small portion but here are my top finds and places I would 100% recommend addin to your itineray the next time you visit Brighton.
Starting off my shopping guide is Brighton’s mecca itself – The Lanes. The infamous row of streets and markets full of cafes, boutiques and unique stores. It really is the heart of the highstreet and where you’ll find all the locals getting their shop on. It’s home to some of the most wonderful vintage stores as well as fabulous flower vendors and foodie hot spots. The Lanes area itself is fairly small however the area stretches out further into the North laine. Everything listed below is within walking distance (exact addresses included.) Here’s some of my favourite stores that I think are worth a visit:
If you’re wanting to get your hands on your favourite independant magazines then The Brighton Magazine store is the best place in town! Find yourself a new publication to take home or simply enjoy browsing their incredible collection of publishers.
23 Trafalgar St
Ok so Snoopers Paradise certainly lives up to its name. For me, this place was pure heaven! A vast space of antiques, vintage finds and collectables. Everything from records to clothing to french newspapers dating back to the 1940’s. With a group of astonishingly knowledgable collectors and staff to give you a little back story for each piece, you could quite easily spend hours walking around this treasure trove. It was by far my favourite shopping experience whilst in Brighton and I would encourage everyone to check it out regardless of age. It’s just so interesting! I ended up treating myself to a hand-held mirror dating back to the 1930’s and some french magazines from the 50’s and 60’s because the imagery was so beautiful!
7/8 Kensington Gardens
A vintage store opened by fellow blogger – Sara Waiste, Waiste Vintage is a one stop shop for all your upcycle needs. The collections are well thought out and offer a wide range of era’s in both mens and womens. I was particulary impressed with the collection of vintage converse and mens shirts/jackets however the dresses were also very beautiful and certainly got me wanting to buy a whole new (boho inspired) wardrobe.
3 Gardner St
Just upstairs from Waiste Vintage is the Spiderplant shop. A jungle of sorts cramming in as mainy house plants as possible into the attic space of the store. An abundance of fragrance and colour it’s definately worth heading up the three flights of stairs to get there!
3 Gardner St
– Where to Eat/Drink –
During our trip we were totally spoilt when it came to food and drink. The options are endless in Brighton as there are so many top-notch locations worth visiting. During our stay we managed to squeeze in the best offerings for breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner so fear not – I’ve got you covered for every eventuality… including a little cocktail hot-spot for my fellow gin lovers!
Breakfast : The Flour Pot Bakery
When I first announced I was going to Brighton SO many of you messaged me recommending the Flour Pot Bakery as a must for fresh pastries and coffee. We actually visited the Flour Pot Kitchen which also serves some yummy cooked brunch options but I opted for an almond croissant and flat white instead. I can hand on heart say that it was the best croissant I’ve ever eaten! With a view of the sea and Brighton’s old (derelict) pier it was the perfect location to start the day off right.
85 – 90 Kings Road Arches
Brunch : Redroaster Cafe
My favourite meal by far is brunch! I like to think of myself as a brunch connoisseur of sorts and have tried brunch at some of London’s top restaurants. So needless to say, Brighton had a lot of work to do. Redroaster was a suggestion from Kelsey and I’m so unbelievably glad she made it because wowza, it was insane! First thing’s first, the interior is dreamy! Light, bright and beautiful and the food – to die for. I went for the Avocado Toast (avo mousse, soft boiled egg, redish, candy beetroot & toast – £9.70) and Kelsey opted for the Fish Tacos (local tempure cod, avocado, lime, herb slaw, iceberg, hot sauce – £8.90) with cocktails and coffee as a side… cheers!
1D St James’s St
Lunch : The Ivy
The Ivy In The Lanes is Brighton’s very own version of the popular London restaurant. Serving all day dining, you are met with the most incredible decor, full of colour pops and prints. The Ivy is always a go to of mine and Brighton was no different. The menu you was diverse and good value for money in comparison to other high profile restaurants. We ended up ordering a whole mix-match of things to share including – Zucchini fritti (crispy courgette fries with lemon, chilli and mint yoghurt – £5.95) Chargrilled halloumi with Padrón peppers (Red pepper sauce, toasted fregola, San Marzanino tomatoes, olives and a chilli and mint sauce – £13.00) Steak tartare (hand-chopped beef striploin with a Tabasco mustard dressing, cornichons, shallot, parsley, egg yolk and toasted granary – £9.50) We also ordered a couple of truffle fries which were really filling but tasted amazing! I also had the seabass however personally found it far to oily and so couldn’t eat much. The rest of the food however was excellent. We finished with a glass of champagne along with The Ivy’s signature cocktail – The Ivy Royale (Beefeater Gin infused with hibiscus and rosewater, sloe juice and Cocchi Rosa Vermouth topped with The Ivy Collection Champagne – 10.75)
51A Ship St
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Dinner : The Chilli Pickle
A suprising one for me as Indian has never been my cusine of choice however The Chilli Pickle completely altered my perception. Using quality ingrediants they serve creative twists on traditional recipes. A mix of street food and regional dishes. A huge shout out to the staff who were super knowledgable and offered lots of recommendations including my favourite dish, the starter – Pani Puri (crisp puri shells, chutneys & tamarind water – £6.5) which I would 100% advise everyone to try for a fresh light-bite filled with flavour! We also ordered Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani (riatta, peanut salan – £15) and Mangalorean Beach Shack Prawn Curry (tempered chillis, spices and roasted coconut , stir fried samphire, toasted curry butter brioche – £19) all that along with a whole lotta garlic naan and poppadoms made for an A* dining experience!
17 Jubilee St
Cocktails : The Gin Tub
One bar and over 130 different gins. Count me in! I’ve always been a gin girl so when we heard about The Gin Tub there was zero hesitation. We headed there one afternoon and left eager to share this little treasure with the world! The drinks were soooo good and the choice of gins – amazing. We actually went whilst it was happy hour so we may have had a fair few tipples before heading off to dinner, including one of their famous ‘gin sliders.’ A slider featuring four different gins. We chose a selection of rhubarb, violet, bulldog and blood orange gins, each with their own specific garnish. It was a great way to taste a wide range of the different gins available and well worth the £12 price tag! The decor is cute, including phones on which you can ring the bar to make your order. The Gin Tub also encourages conversation and so has blocked all wifi and 3g/4g signal within the bars radius. We had a fabulous afternoon there and will for sure be heading back upon my next visit.
16 Church Rd
Wow, well that was quite the marathon! But I reckon I’ve just about squeezed everything in there. I really hope you’ve enjoyed this guide and that it’s hopefully encouraged you to book a trip to the sea-side soon… or next summer when the sun is shining. Brighton really is a nucleus for so many things, perfect for all ages and a great location for a mini get-away. Considering its short distance from London I’ll definitely be heading there much more going forward. This travel guide was yet another focusing on places to go right here in the UK. You don’t always need to spend the big bucks to go on holiday and Brighton is the perfect destination for a getaway that’s slightly closer to home. Thank you so much for stopping by and supporting this little blog once again. I’ll be back with lots more travel content in the coming months so keep your eyes peeled! See you back here soon.