This past weekend, I ventured off to Brighton on a day trip to lounge on the beach and get some sun. My initial interest in the city stemmed from my love of the youtuber “Zoella”, and the numerous videos I grew up watching of her exploring, and falling in love with Brighton. Although I was eager to visit Brighton at the beginning of my study abroad trip, we waited until the sun was shining reliably in England to book the trip.
Booking tickets online will save some money and can be bought very last minute without the worry of tickets running out. At the station, (we chose to leave from King’s Cross St. Pancras) you can easily print out your ticket with the code sent to your email inbox, and catch the hour and a half train. When you reach Brighton station and make your way outside, the beach is a straight shot down the road. Several award winning cafes and bakeries line the walk, so we stopped in to grab a couple of treats and snacks for the beach. I would definitely recommend stopping into “Julien Plumart” for a macaroon or a pain au raisin.
While I was warned by some friends that Brighton didn’t have “true” beaches, I thoroughly enjoyed the rust colored rocky beach. Although I didn’t bring a towel to lay out on, the rocks were pleasantly smooth and warm. Every part of the long beach has a different view- from the Palace Pier, to the carousel, to the remains of the West Pier. Watching lifeguard and paddle board training sessions was also very entertaining that Saturday morning. There are also several small shops in huts that line the beach. In a courtyard surrounded by these shops is an upside down house that allows visitors to explore inside for 5 pounds. Inside the house are rooms set up to make it appear as though you are standing on the roof, and is a great photo opportunity and activity to do with friends.
The Brighton Palace Pier is also a great source of entertainment after a swim or lounge by the beach. Locals surrounded the fish and chips stands, and the arcade and small amusement park was bustling with excitement. At the amusement park, you can pay to ride a single ride (for 5-7 pounds) or choose to get a pass that allows you to spend the whole afternoon trying everything the pier has to offer.
After our lounge on the beach, we headed over to “Boho Gelato”, and I could not recommend going enough. It’s an absolute must. The small store has two locations, but is most popular at its location across from the pier. The gelato store has many vegan options and interesting flavors such as: carrot cake, mascarpone and fig, and eton mess. Surprisingly, this gelato was the cheapest that I’ve tried in the UK and was by far the best.
We then spent the rest of our afternoon walking on the shoreline exploring smaller beaches, taking dips in the water to cool off, and exploring small shops. While trying to find a local place to find a quick bite for dinner, we wandered through several well decorated streets and alleyways. The burger place we went to, “Patty and Bun”, was located at the end of an alley that was something out of a movie. While I’m sure locals think nothing of the narrow walkway, I was in awe of the antique looking store signs, cobbled street, and bunting.
Overall, I loved Brighton and the small beach-side-village feel it had. However, I know Brighton and Hove has so much more to offer and explore besides the beautiful beaches, so I will definitely be traveling back to explore their parks, gardens, shops, and more.