When I was a child I was often my happiest when catching an early morning train with my family for a day trip to Brighton. The bright colours of The Lanes and the vast array of styles people displayed always had me dreaming of bohemian futures and romanticising an artistic lifestyle. Not to mention the sticky-sweet smells of Brighton’s famous pier which was enough to get any 12 year old with a sugar addiction revved up.
As a teenager, Brighton became more of a place to express myself and my weekend trips became centred around seeing live bands and stocking up on alternative fashions and maybe sneaking in a new piercing. As an adult, I still love meandering through Brighton thanks to nostalgic memories and wonderful friends who populate the city now.
There’s a sense of diverse belonging for tourists visiting Brighton, as the city is famous for its spirit of inclusion. You can be anyone you like and live out more than a few fantasies, but if you’re looking for a quick taste of an extensive city, here’s my favourite haunts from over the years and why.
Brighton Railway station perches on what feels like the top of the city. As you emerge you get a direct shot of the sea which is enough to get any landlocked heart excited. Follow the crowds down Queens Road to find yourself in the centre of town, or alternatively turn off onto North Road and into The Lanes.
The Brighton Lanes are a treasure trove of independent and colourful shops and boutiques which are a refreshing alternative to the standardised high street stores found across the country. The Lanes are narrow and can fill up quickly on busy, sunny weekends but it’s worth the squeeze to browse an array of unusual, unique and uncommon rarities in the shops, bazaars, flea markets and stalls.
There is also a sprinkling of restaurants and cafes suited to everyone’s tastes with Café Pelicano, YouJuice and Larder being my personal favourites. There’s a wide variety of healthy options available which is handy because when you have had your fill of browsing the oddities and trinkets and emerge on the beach, the sweet treats of Brighton Pier are waiting for you!
Brighton is famous for its piers, one a lively hub of amusements, arcades and old school seaside entertainment, the other a haunting silhouette of metal lines against the horizon. Brighton’s Palace Pier is a must for any first time visit to Brighton (or second, or fifth…) because it is the embodiment of British seaside culture. You can try your luck at winning a prize on Victorian inspired games or test your nerve with some of the bigger rides. There are countless photo opportunities too, especially if you fancy a selfie by the seaside!
The derelict figure of Brighton’s West Pier cuts a striking contrast to the lively buzz of the Palace Pier. Take an afternoon stroll towards it along Brighton’s pebbly beach and you’ll be treated to an extensive promenade of both modern and traditional designs. The path is flat with the option to walk along the shoreline or on more even footing along the pedestrianised path. There are also plenty of break opportunities with a range of restaurants and cafes. You’ll also see the new i360 tower loom above you as you approach the remnants of the ruined pier, another example of Brighton’s ability to combine its history with modernity all at once. If you’ve managed to resist temptation so far, now is a perfect time for fish and chips on the beach before you take a stroll back to the train, or brace yourself for Brighton’s infamous nightlife.
But that’s a whole other blog post…
What are your favourite places to visit in Brighton?
Photography: Keri Bevan | Late Rooms
A designer and writer who loves helping businesses and entrepreneurs tell their story creatively.
Terri specialises in creating content which inspires connection; whether that is blog copy, social media graphics or building websites and brands. She helps small business owners identify themselves with a range of consultancy services and helps put their plans into action and share their purpose with their audience.
Having travelled extensively, Terri is a keen digital nomad who hunts out the best coffee and wifi connection any area has to offer. She adores the people, places and connections that she encounters when travelling and is grateful her freelance marketing biz gives her the chance to travel and work indefinitely. Having worked in Bali, Portugal and the Netherlands, Terri is currently based in the UK but has more than a few travel plans on the horizon.
Often found in or by the sea, Terri is infinitely inspired by the rugged grey oceans, stormy waves and cold water surfing culture. She curates a cold water surf website SeafoxCreative and loves nothing more than getting out and experiencing grey skies and green waves.