As I explained in my previous post, it’s been a fair few weeks since I returned from beautiful, sunny Brighton. And I’m still sad.
It was my first time visiting, initiated by my lovely American boyf on his trip over from the United States. I’m still astonished how I managed to overlook this gorgeous little seaside town for 26 years of my life so far. It’s seriously something else.
Situated on the southern coast, an hour’s train ride away from London, Brighton doesn’t feel like England. Its unique pebble beach, colourful Regency-era buildings and charming back streets make you feel like you’re somewhere else. Somewhere abroad. Somewhere that gives you the magical “I’m on holiday” feeling that you only get when you’re overseas.
Brighton is breathtaking.
I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely convinced at first. When we arrived off the train and walked down to the ocean for the first time, it was overcast, it was rainy, and it just looked like any other coastal town in England.
But then the sun came out. And I saw the pier. And the travel butterflies started. You know, the butterflies that kick in when you see a new place for the first time? The butterflies that fill you with excitement at the prospect of exploring a new area? The butterflies that make you feel alive?
And, all of a sudden, I was overcome with love for a town I’d only stepped foot in a couple of hours prior. And I couldn’t wait to get to know it better. Here are 5 reasons why Brighton is bloody brilliant (IMHO):
1. That broad shingle beach.
All of the English beaches I’d ever visited before Brighton had sandy beaches. Brighton’s pebble beach makes it stand out a mile. In a good way.
Sure, the pebbles are hard to walk on, hurt your feet and give you pebble-shaped imprints at the bottom of your soles – but that’s all part of the fun! Right?
The important thing to note is that the beach looks super impressive, especially from the pier. And it photographs like a dream.
2. The shopping.
Brighton has a wide range of shopping opportunities, from high street stores in Churchill Square, to vintage boutiques in the Royal Pavilion area.
If you’re a high street gal like myself, you will want for nothing in the Churchill Square zone as they have every high street store you can think of – and then some!
Churchill Square is where I visited Pull & Bear for the first time in England (read my blog post all about it here) and picked up a couple of bargains.
3. The Lanes.
The Lanes backstreets (similar to The Shambles of York if you’ve ever been there) also have an abundance of little stalls and shops where you can pick up some unique trinkets. In fact, Nathan and I have never seen so many jewellery stores in one place before. There’s literally one on every corner!
In addition to shops, The Lanes has lots of restaurants, cafes and pubs to check out. Put it this way: you’ll never go hungry or thirsty!
The area itself is so quaint and adorable. There’s currently multi-coloured bunting hanging off the buildings which looks ever so summery in the sunshine. Nathan and I rather enjoyed grabbing a coffee or an alcoholic beverage down one of these backstreets, sitting outside and simply people watching the day away.
4. The vast choice of eateries.
Brighton is home to every cuisine imaginable, but I can’t do a post on the town without mentioning one of the best dinners that I’ve ever eaten in my life.
For goodness’ sake, if you live in Brighton or you’re visiting, go to vegetarian restaurant Food For Friends. The food is insane, even if you’re a meat-lover, and very reasonably priced!
Also check out Lucky Beach Cafe on the seafront. They have a seating area at the edge of the pebbles where you can sit out and enjoy their tasty brunch. All of their food is locally produced and organic. (And did I mention scrummy?)
5. Palace Pier.
Ah, the pier. One of my absolute favourite things about Brighton! Yes, alright, England has a few decent piers. But this is the best one I’ve been to yet!
Not only does it have two arcades packed with games where you can quite easily spend an afternoon, but it also hosts a variety of rides, free deckchairs to sunbathe on, refreshments, and bars with beer gardens. There’s plenty to keep you occupied – and the view of the beach from the very end of the pier is just incredible.
It’s like England’s version of Santa Monica Pier in LA.
And they have sugary doughnuts. So, you know. There’s that. Drool.
You can’t help but fall in love in Brighton. Especially in the summer. The sun is shining, there are people visiting from all around the world therefore the atmosphere is electric, and there’s never a shortage of things to see and do.
It’s just so lovable! I hope to visit again soon. But I’ll never forget my first time in Brighton.
The memories of being in such a beautiful spot with my American love are etched into my mind, and my heart, forever.