English Seaside Escape: 2 Days in Brighton, England

Maya Hernandez | Live the World

June 16, 2023

Enjoy a tranquil two-day getaway to this picturesque city, where you can explore Brighton's colorful North laine and unwind on the serene beach.

Located just south of London, is a vibrant coastal gem: Brighton. Nestled on the sunny coast of England, this enchanting city is bursting with character and charm. During the 1780s, Brighton became a fashionable seaside resort as it became a regular destination for the Prince of Wales, who would later become King George IV. His frequent visits led to the transformation of the city and the construction of the magnificent Royal Pavilion, a stunning architectural masterpiece.

Brighton's development as a seaside resort continued throughout the Victorian era, with the construction of the iconic Brighton Pier, originally known as the Palace Pier, in 1899. This historic pier offers a variety of amusements, attractions, and stunning views of the English Channel.

Brighton boasts a vibrant nightlife and a lively LGBTQ+ community. The city is home to a multitude of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues that cater to a diverse range of tastes and preferences. Brighton's charm extends to its stunning seafront and pebble beaches. Visitors can take leisurely walks along the famous Brighton promenade, explore the shops and restaurants along the historic North Laine, or relax in the beautiful gardens of the Regency-era squares.

Know Before You Go:

Getting there

Gatwick International Airport offers a comprehensive network of global connections, welcoming direct flights from 191 destinations spanning across 59 countries.

With Gatwick as your starting point, a swift train journey of just 30 minutes will transport you to Brighton Station. Brighton is also conveniently located approximately one hour away from central London.

One of the city’s many charms lies in its walkability, as all that is required for transportation is a good pair of walking shoes.

Brighton enjoys a mild and temperate climate, with the weather embracing the coastal charm. However, It’s important to note that the seaside breeze can be quite sneaky and surprisingly strong, so it's advisable to hold onto your hats and embrace wind-blown hair.

Day 1: City Centre

Brighton City Center

At the heart of the vibrant city of Brighton, the city centre pulsates with energy and a vibrant mix of culture, history, and contemporary delights. The city center is a hub of activity, boasting an eclectic array of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues. From the iconic Brighton Pavilion to the bustling shopping lanes, there is something for everyone in this captivating urban playground.

The Open Market

The Open market is known for its vibrant and colourful array of fresh produce, local food stalls, and speciality shops. Visitors can explore a wide variety of goods, including fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, baked goods, spices, flowers, and more. With its bustling energy, friendly vendors, and a wide selection of goods, the Open Market creates a vibrant and immersive shopping experience for both locals and visitors. If you’re lucky enough, you might catch the Kilo sale hosted at The Open Market. This shopping experience offers a vast selection of clothing, shoes, and accessories, all priced by weight. Visitors can explore racks and tables filled with a diverse range of styles, from vintage gems to contemporary fashion trends. Make sure to regularly search Brighton’s Vintage Sale to keep up with when it happens.

Toy & Model Museum

Toy & Model Museum

The Toy & Model Museum is an enchanting destination of miniature wonders and nostalgic delights. As you step inside, you'll be transported into a world of imagination and childhood memories.The museum showcases a vast collection of toy models, ranging from classic vintage pieces to modern creations. Each display is thoughtfully arranged, allowing visitors to marvel at the intricate details and craftsmanship of these tiny works of art. From miniature cars and trains to dollhouses and action figures, the museum offers a diverse array of toys that span different eras and themes.The atmosphere inside the museum is filled with a sense of joy and wonder. Visitors can explore various themed exhibits, interactive displays, and dioramas that bring the toys to life. The museum often features rotating exhibits and special showcases, ensuring that each visit offers something new and exciting.

North Laine

North Laine

North Laine is a vibrant and eclectic neighbourhood situated in the heart of Brighton. With its narrow, winding streets, the area is known for its charming, historic architecture and quaint shops. North Laine has a rich history that dates back several centuries. It started as a fishing village and evolved into a bustling commercial district known for trades and crafts. During the 18th and 19th centuries, North Laine thrived with industries like jewelry-making and leatherworking. Today, it maintains its historical charm and provide a unique shopping experience, featuring a wide array of independent boutiques, antique stores, art galleries, and cozy cafes.

Snoopers Paradise

This antique mall is a treasure trove of items you never knew you needed and more. With its maze-like layout, wooden floors, and old-world feel, the store embodies the essence of the Lanes and its eclectic spirit. The exact number of stalls in Snoopers Paradise may vary over time, as the emporium's layout and configuration can evolve. The stalls are owned by a diverse group of independent vendors and collectors. Each stall is like a mini-shop within the emporium, offering a unique selection of vintage treasures and curiosities. This variety of stalls contributes to the diverse and ever-changing selection of vintage items available in Snoopers Paradise, ensuring there is always something new to discover. The stalls often have specific niches, such as vintage clothing, vinyl records, antique jewelry, or retro homeware. My most unexpected encounter was a giant foot-shaped planter that I was very tempted to purchase solely from shock.

Komedia

Komedia-PaulWyde

Make a stop at Komedia, a prominent entertainment venue and versatile space that hosts a diverse range of events and performances. The venue offers a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, known for its eclectic programming that includes comedy shows, live music concerts, theater productions, film screenings, and more. Duke's at Komedia is an extension of the renowned Komedia entertainment venue. It is a cozy and intimate cinema located within the same building as Komedia. The cinema offers a diverse range of films, including independent and arthouse releases, as well as classic movies and cult favourites. It provides a unique cinematic experience, combining the vibrant atmosphere of Komedia with the magic of the silver screen. This extension lives up to its well-deserved reputation, and its distinctive feature of red striped legs jutting out from the top ensures that it catches the eye, impossible to overlook.

Resident Music

Music lovers, this one's for you! Resident Music is a haven for music and is home to a vast selection of vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes. Their selection covers a wide range of genres, from mainstream hits to underground and niche releases, catering to music enthusiasts, collectors, and casual listeners alike. The store's vibrant and inclusive atmosphere makes it a go-to destination for music lovers seeking to discover, explore, and purchase a diverse array of records.Keep an eye on their website, as they host a variety of events that celebrate the vibrant music culture. From intimate live performances to in-store signings and album launches, the store offers unique and memorable experiences for music lovers.

Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion-DaveBright

Originally built as a seaside retreat for King George IV, the Royal Pavilion now serves as a versatile venue for hosting various events, from extravagant parties to art exhibitions, immersing guests in a truly regal experience. Its distinctive appearance combines elements of Indian and Chinese design with classic English architecture. The exterior of the pavilion showcases intricate minarets, domes, and ornate details, all set against a backdrop of elegant white stonework.As visitors step inside, they are greeted with interiors that continue the fusion of styles. The main Banqueting Room features a soaring domed ceiling adorned with exquisite chandeliers, intricate carvings, and vibrant colors. The Music Room boasts impressive gilded dragons and a majestic organ, creating a lavish and enchanting atmosphere. This ticket grants day admission to explore this historical gem.

Brighton Museum

Just steps away from the Pavilion is Brighton Museum, a captivating cultural hub, where history, art, and interactive exhibits come together to engage and inspire visitors of all ages.Brighton Museum is a captivating building that showcases a blend of architectural styles. The museum's exterior is characterized by intricate stonework and large windows. The entrance is adorned with columns and a notable staircase, inviting visitors to explore the treasures inside.Inside, the museum houses a diverse range of exhibits and galleries, each with its own unique character. The interior combines modern design elements with the charm of the building's historical roots. The collections feature a mix of artifacts, artwork, and interactive exhibits, displaying a wide range of topics, including local history, fashion, fine art, and cultural heritage.

Brighton Dome

The Brighton Dome is a beloved and vibrant venue that has been enchanting audiences for over a century. Originally a royal stable for horses, it transformed into a splendid concert hall and assembly rooms known as the "Dome Corn Exchange." Today, the Brighton Dome brings people together to enjoy the magic of live entertainment, hosting a vibrant array of concerts, stage productions, exhibitions, and more. Its modern Corn Exchange auditorium, adorned with its iconic copper-clad dome, is a sight to behold and serves as a testament to the city's enduring love for the arts.

Where to Eat:

Kenny’s Rock and Soul Cafe: another nod to music enthusiasts, this cafe is adorned with photographs of legendary musicians. As you browse the menu, you’ll discover that their dishes bear names inspired by beloved musical icons.

Dead Wax Social: Pizza and beer! What else is there to want? The decor includes an assortment of vintage game tables and an enchanting showcase of records, all while the captivating neon sign rivals the enticing aroma of freshly baked pizza. Adding to the allure, a DJ spins an eclectic mix of genres, ensuring a dynamic musical atmosphere. The nightlife here is exceptional, with themed nights that are extensively promoted on their social media platforms.

MEATliquor: Despite its intense name, this place surprises with a vibrant pink exterior and an interior that resembles a neon paradise. When I first discovered it upon moving here, I couldn't help but be captivated. Don't let any initial intimidation discourage you from stepping inside, because once you delve into the menu, all hesitations will be forgotten.

Where to Stay:

Budget Friendly - Selina Brighton

Offers a range of room options, from shared dormitories to private rooms, providing flexibility for different types of travelers. In addition to accommodation, Selina provides communal spaces and amenities such as a shared kitchen, lounge areas, coworking spaces, and social activities.

Mid range price - Cappadocia Guest House

Perfectly nestled in the heart of Brighton's bustling lanes, offering not only a prime location but also a warm and friendly atmosphere that guarantees a delightful stay for all guests. Right below, you'll discover a hidden gem of a cafe, adorned with an abundance of lush plants, creating an enchanting secret garden ambiance.

Luxury - My Brighton

A retro-inspired Brighton hotel, where every floor immerses you in a vibrant and groovy 70s aesthetic reminiscent of an Austin Powers dream, while our spacious and impeccably clean rooms offer a comfortable and inviting bed for a truly relaxing stay.

Day 2: Seafront

Nestled along the picturesque southern coast of England, Brighton seaside captivates visitors with its unique charm and lively atmosphere. With its iconic pier, pebble beaches, and a wealth of attractions, this seaside destination offers a delightful blend of relaxation and excitement. Whether you seek the thrill of amusement rides, the tranquility of sun-soaked shores, or the allure of historic landmarks, Brighton seaside beckons with its endless possibilities for enjoyment and exploration.

Colourful Huts

colorful huts

These charming beach huts are small, wooden structures painted in a kaleidoscope of colours, from pastel shades to bold and bright tones, that create a cheerful atmosphere that perfectly complements the seaside setting. The history of these colorful huts can be traced back to the late 18th century in England. Initially, they were created as private changing rooms and storage spaces for those who wanted to enjoy seaside activities while maintaining their privacy and convenience. Today, the owner's range from families who have been passing down their beach huts through generations, to newcomers who have recently acquired a hut as a way to immerse themselves in the coastal community. Make sure to get an iconic Instagram-worthy picture with these huts as your backdrop, ensuring to indulge in a delicious ice cream (complete with a flake) from the beach cafe while you capture the perfect snapshot!

Upside down house

upside down house

The upside-down house defies gravity and sparks curiosity! Designed to challenge our perception of reality, this whimsical structure stands inverted, with its roof on the ground and its foundation suspended in the air. Every detail, from the windows and doors to the furniture and decorations inside, is meticulously crafted to create the illusion that the world has been turned upside down. The interior of the upside-down house in Brighton is often designed to encourage interactivity and playfulness. You can pose for gravity-defying photos, interact with the inverted elements, and marvel at the unique perspective it offers.

I360

Prepare yourself for a journey to see all of Brighton from a new perspective as you step aboard the I360. It is a spectacular observation tower that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its stunning surroundings. Designed by Marks Barfield Architects, the same creators of the iconic London Eye, this impressive structure stands at a height of 162 meters (531 feet). Fun fact: The i360 holds the title of being the world's tallest moving observation tower! This Ticket will get you entrance to enjoy the sky high views!

Fishing Museum

The Fishing Museum not only provides a glimpse into the fascinating history of fishing, but also pays homage to the enduring spirit of the local community, especially in the face of challenges like the Burnt Pier. The Burnt Pier, a once iconic landmark that stretched out into the shimmering waters, held great significance to the town and its fishing industry. Sadly, in a devastating incident, the pier was engulfed in flames, leaving behind a poignant reminder of loss. The Fishing Museum preserves the memory of the Burnt Pier, commemorating its significance and the resilience of the community. Through photographs, stories, artifacts and interactive activities, visitors can learn about the pier's role in facilitating fishing activities, the memories it held for generations, and the collective efforts to rebuild and move forward.

Pier/beach

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier is an iconic symbol of the city’s rich history dating back to 1899. Originally known as the Palace Pier, it has been a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike. The pier offers a plethora of attractions and amusements that guarantee a thrilling experience for visitors of all ages. From classic arcade games to delectable food stalls and charming shops, there's something for everyone on Brighton Pier. If you're daring enough, prepare yourself for an adrenaline rush like no other as you enjoy the exhilarating thrill of hanging above the water on one of the many heart-pounding rides.

After the commotion of the pier, you might find yourself in need of a break, so be sure to take some time to unwind on the beach and even take a refreshing dip in the water. The pebble beach offers a hassle-free experience without any sandy mess. You can even indulge in a delightful cocktail at one of the beach clubs that remain open throughout the summer season!

If you're craving an extra dose of excitement after enjoying the pier rides, consider renting Jet Skis and gliding across the water for an exhilarating experience.

Volks Train

The Volks Train, also known as the Volk's Electric Railway, holds a remarkable place in transportation history. Established in 1883, it holds the distinction of being the world's oldest operating electric railway. Located along the seafront, this narrow-gauge railway was originally intended as a temporary attraction for the summer, but the Volks Train quickly gained popularity and became a permanent fixture. The vintage-style carriages, adorned with vibrant colours, evoke a sense of nostalgia.

Fun Fact: During World War II, the railway played a significant role by transporting troops and supplies along the coast. It has also endured challenges, including severe storms and the temporary closure in the 1970s. However, thanks to dedicated restoration efforts, the Volks Train was able to resume operations and continue enchanting visitors.

Where To eat:

Shelter Hall: The hall features a wide array of food stalls and vendors, offering an eclectic mix of flavours from around the world. Whether you're craving fresh seafood, mouth watering street food, artisanal coffee, or delectable desserts, Shelter Hall has something to satisfy every palate.

Fish and Chips: A classic British dish that holds a special place in the hearts of many. Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, accompanied by thick-cut chips, and the quintessential touch—the tangy tartar sauce or a splash of vinegar for that extra zing. This can be found anywhere along the seafront but I recommend Fish & Chips on Ship Street. The battered sausage for non fish lovers like myself is delicious!

Where to Stay:

Budget Friendly -Legends Hotel

The perfect affordable stay that offers a memorable experience for visitors seeking a blend of comfort, style, and exceptional service. The hotel features a range of amenities, including a cozy lounge area, a stylish bar, and a delightful restaurant that serves delectable cuisine.

Mid range price - Kempfield House

A charming and elegant bed and breakfast that offers a tranquil retreat just steps away from the city's vibrant energy. This beautifully restored Georgian townhouse captures the essence of classic British hospitality. Wake up to a delicious breakfast to start your day off right.

Luxury - Blue Sky Guest House

An inviting accommodation, offering a warm and friendly atmosphere to ensure a comfortable stay for all visitors. Located in a charming neighborhood, this guest house provides a peaceful retreat from the bustling city center while still being conveniently close to all the attractions. The rooms at Blue Sky Guest House are tastefully decorated, offering a cozy and relaxing ambiance.

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