11 reasons to visit Brighton
Many of you already know that I´m a big fan of this city. And not only because I lived there for a while but also because it’s a beautiful city.
That’s why I’m going to give you some tips and reasons why you have to go to and enjoy Brighton:
1. It’s only an hour from London and it has a beach!
This small town of 155,000 inhabitants has everything and when I say everything I mean that it even has a beach. Ok, so it’s a pebble beach without sand but it’s still beautiful. And although the water is freezing, it’s the perfect place to get away, to look out to sea while you enjoy an improvised picnic of fish & chips and a beer.
It’s also worth it to go to the Artists’ Quarter, which is made up of old fishermen’s’ houses converted into studios for local artists who sell their paintings, sculptures and craftworks, many of which are limited edition. It’s on the main beachfront.
2. Its two piers are wonders
One pier is the antithesis of others. Basically because the West Pier was burnt down and all that’s left are the remnants as a testimony of two fires that destroyed this pier in 2003 but not less so, full of beauty, because the Brighton Pier is a space dedicated to entertainment. You can find fairground attractions here, a space for games, food posts and restaurants as well as incredible views.
On both – depending on the day, the starlings usually dance as you’ve never seen. We were lucky enough to see them and it was magic. A spectacle like no other!
3. The Duke of York’s cinema
It’s not just any old cinema as there are sofas in the upper part just like those at home from where you can enjoy its escogidísima selection of films. They have ecological popcorn and you can even have a glass of wine in a wine glass.
You’ll be surprised by the ladies’ legs covered in black and white striped tights in the terrace. If it’s sunny it’s worth having a drink there, as it’s a very nice place to spend time.
4. The music scene
Brighton doesn’t fall short of London. There are a lot of artists that live there like Nick Cave as well, and the music scene is vibrant. There are concerts every day with fantastic groups.
At the Brighton Dome, which is considered to be the city’s cultural centre, dance shows, theatre, concerts etc. take place…
5. Gastronomy on offer
I’m not going to lie to you; Brighton is a little expensive. There’s a lot on offer but value for money is not always balanced.
Anyway, I eat incredibly every time I go there. In fact, these are my recommendations:
- Terre à Terre: Delicious vegetarian cuisine which is plentiful and original. It’s one of the classics and is recommended by the Michelin Guide.
- Bill’s: ideal if you want to enjoy an English Breakfast.
- Silo Market: the first restaurant with zero residual products in the UK. It’s a little expensive but it’s well worth the experience. Exquisite food in an unforgettable location.
- Riddle&Finns: a small, unpretentious place, specializing in oysters and champagne which draws people in because of its warm atmosphere. It only has eight tall marble tables lit by candles where you can sample a fresh fish or seafood menu. They do not accept reservations so it’s first come first served and you may well share a table.
- The Set: one of The Artist Residence’s restaurants. As much the location as the food and the service and presentation are excellent. The hotel’s cellar also has a ping pong table.
- Bincho Yakitori: Our personal favourite! Asian street food scores a 10! The place is small but their dishes are grandiose both in quality and flavour.
- Chili Pickle: an Indian restaurant that creates a fusion between the passion of their English owners and the Indian cuisine. Their dishes are an explosion of colours and flavours taking you on a journey of the rich cuisine of the different regions of the country such as the curry from Goa, Mumbai Indian restaurant, which creates a fusion of the passion the English owners have for Indian cuisine and India itself. Their dishes are a splash of colours and surprises, which draw you closer to the rich gastronomy of the various Indian regions with the Goa region, paos and masala dosas.
- The Lion and Lobster: ideal to enjoy the Sunday Roast, a roast made of (beef, pork, lamb or chicken) with potatoes and vegetables.
- Food for Friends: this award-winning vegetarian Brighton restaurant located in the historical South Lanes. Their cooking is tasty above all as well as affordable and honest. They use fresh produce to make their homemade dishes whose ingredients are produced by local suppliers/farmers wherever possible. The place is super cosy with excellent service.
6. Vintage shopping
There are many, but Snooper’s Paradise (7/8 Kensington Gardens), has two floors of vintage shops where you can find anything.
I also recommend Wolf & Gypsy Vintage (30 Sydney St), Beyond Retro Brighton (42 Vine St), Pretty Eccentric (10 Bond St) and PDSA (12 Oxford St).
7. North Laine
This neighbourhood is next to the train station and has over 200 shops and 30 independent cafés. It reminds us of Camden Town in London, but it is a fair amount smaller. It also has vintage and retro clothes shops like To be worn again and Dirty Harry, where you can buy items from the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s.
Here we can see street art in its purest form. The most popular one takes up a whole wall of the Prince Albert pub (Trafalgar Street) which pays homage to the music of artists like Elton John, Michael Jackson and Bob Marley, among others. This mural shares space with a piece of work by Banksy called ‘Kissing Coppers’.
This area is mythical. Its winding streets and cobbled streets are characteristic and full of clothes, bars, restaurants and jewellery shops. It’s very interesting but not apt for all budgets.
9. The Royal Pavilion
From the outside, it looks like an Indian palace with white domes that remind us of the Taj Mahal, and inside the style is more Chinese with dragons, lotus flowers and bamboo shoots decorating the rooms. It’s worth it to find out about the history of this building linked to King George IV: who was the Prince of Wales and suffered from Gout. Doctors recommended that he move to Brighton and he liked the city so much that he decided to stay there, but not under just any circumstances. He was a great fan of architecture and the Orient so he ordered the great Hindu palace to be built full of furniture imported from China.
Its gardens are spectacular! Above all on sunny days.
10. The English pub experience
The boom for beer is a reality. This means that the city is full of establishments that brew their own beer like Hand in Hand, which also offers over 40 types of beer, between bottles and tapped beer or Brewdog which stands out for its artisan beers and modern style.
11. British Airways 360!
It’s a moving tower with the highest views in the world! From the top you can enjoy 360 degree panoramic views from an 18 diametrical metre cable structure. It’s really worth it.
The tower was conceptualized and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, who also created the famous London Eye which can transport 200 passengers on each of its “trips”.
Each journey, which costs 13.50 pounds (16 €) for adults and 6.75 pounds (8 €) for children and which is free for children under 4 years old, lasts 20 minutes during the day and half an hour after 17.00 GMT.
Feel like living all these experiences up close? I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!
(*) Cover photo: Marcel Hergaarden from Pexels.