Brighton is located in England south of London, on the English Channel in the East Sussex territory; together with Hove they create Brighton & Hove and can be visited in one day, perhaps even two by combining it with a nice visit to the Seven Sisters.
If you were told to think of England, I bet your mind would always run to its main icon: London. Of course, how can I blame you, a destination like London cannot help but catalyze all your attention. In this post, however, I want to describe to you a different destination, a very particular one that since ancient times has always been a landmark as a tourist destination related to the gay world, but not only. Brighton can be categorized with many adjectives: crazy, eclectic, eccentric, open, peculiar…as many adjectives as there are so many things to see in this beautiful city.
Where is Brighton located?
Surely you have already heard of it; located in England about 70 km from London, it could be called the English rimini. Precisely because of its proximity to the capital, it can be reached in less than an hour by train and in summer it is taken by storm especially by Londoners looking for a bit of sunbathing…weather permitting.
First, let’s see where it is located-I’ve been telling you about Brighton for 200 words or more already and I haven’t explained where it is located yet. So, as usual I always try to be very direct: take the map, or, if you want to be a 3.0 tourist, Google Maps. Find London and pretend you are drawing a vertical line across half of England, lo and behold Brighton is located on the sea and is exactly below London.
Brighton as a gay destination? Not only that
Brighton has consolidated its important position at the same time as the rise of LGBT tourism. Every year in August there is theimportant gay pride that involves and animates the entire city. It actually has more than just this attraction. Over time it has developed numerous cards to play in the tourism sphere, and with this post I will try to make them known to you.
WILL YOU VISIT BRIGHTON? HERE IS AN INTERESTING POST:
The 6 Best Things to do in Brighton
It might seem that Brighton has little to offer tourists, in fact it is a must-visit city in England. It is vibrant, full of initiatives, with many major events taking place every year in addition to the aforementioned gay pride in August. And that’s not all, culturally it is also very interesting. You can visit the Royal Pavillion, the Brighton Museum or the beautiful medieval church set in the context of the beautiful Preston Park.
If you want to indulge in some wild shopping you are spoiled for choice, you can dive into the south lan es or the north lanes rather than strolling around Churchill Square, I swear you can lose whole hours in the lanes.
Do you feel like becoming a child again? Brighton Pier is just the thing for you, a playground built on a pier that extends directly out to sea. You can really find everything: giant colorful lollipops, hundreds of video games, myriad slot machines and finally, at the end of the pier, a real amusement park.
And shall we talk about the scenic aspect instead? Brighton’s waterfront is very interesting and distinctive, so many people go for barbecues on the beach and spend evenings with friends this way. But this is not Brighton’s greatest strength. In about an hour and a half it is possible to reach the Seven Sisters Cliffs and hike through the English countryside, which always holds some great surprises.
Changing the subject but still remaining in the theme of things to do; Brighton has established itself as one of the cities of reference for those who are intent on learning or even simply improving their English, in fact there are many who choose Brighton as a study destination and several schools specializing in this field have been established.
What are the unmissable things to visit in this southern English city:
1 – The Old Pier: the West Pier
The history of the West Pier begins in 1866 when it was built. Initially a pier then expanded to also house a hotel, it had become a social spot in the city. Over the years the economic situation led to the dismantling of the Pier.
Around the turn of the third millennium, arson fires occurred that completely destroyed it, and now only the framework of the structure remains. The Brighton administration decided not to renovate it because it was too expensive and also represents the city’s history. Unfortunately, in February 2014 there was a severe storm that damaged the structure causing it to even split in half. If you stand in front you can clearly see the split.
2 – Brighton Pier
It is the city’s new pier. A giant platform that goes into the sea. It’s practically a playground, it really feels like going back to childhood, it’s almost like stepping into the Pinocchio movie.
Outside is a riot of stalls with candy, sweets, waffles, popcorn…in short, a riot of things that are unhealthy but in one way or another draw you in until you buy them.
And inside? Imagine a big casino, here the Brighton Pier is a big casino of slot machines and video games suspended over the sea. You can have a great time there and you can also have a nice day with your children, should you be traveling with them.
At the end of Brighton Pier you can see a kind of amusement park with many attractions that you can try. Certainly there is one that if you don’t have stomach problems allows you to have a beautiful view of the whole city.
Another special feature is that from the pier, if you go up the stairs near the slides you can catch a glimpse:
- Brighton Marina, one of the largest harbors in England and Europe.
- Rodin Middle School, aka the second most expensive school in England.
- The Seven Sisters, although far away you manage to see them.
Within Brighton Pier you will also find a good and not too expensive fish and chips restaurant; it is not the best in town, in fact the best restaurant to try this distinctive food is Bankers.
Near the pier you will also find the Sealife Aquarium, which is supposed to be the oldest aquarium in Europe. It is very nice but a bit expensive and it is strongly recommended to buy entrance tickets directly online so you have a chance to save 30%.
3 – Brighton’s waterfront and beach
Although in this post I referred to the city as the English rimini, forget the sandy beaches. Here it is composed of pebbles and you can get a tan a few times a year, maybe you can count them on the fingers of two hands.
Nevertheless, it is very lived-in and there are several pubs on the waterfront. In Brighton it is customary to have many barbecues , and there are plenty of guys who don’t miss a chance to get together in front of some ribs over the coals. Disposable barbecues, or disposable grills, are very fashionable.
4 – Churchill Square and the Clock Tower
Churchill Square is simply a shopping mall where you can amuse yourself by shopping; it is not very large but is well stocked and also moderately expensive. Not far away is Clock Tower , which since it is right on an intersection can be understood as a junction of the city. From Clock Tower northward you reach the Brighton train station while going south you reach the sea and in this area there are numerous pubs famous for live music and also a cinema.
5 – The North and South Lanes
Proceeding from the Clock Tower toward the Royal Pavilion we find ourselves in the territory of the lanes.
What are the lanes?
They are narrow lanes and lanes means just that. Brighton started as a fishing town and therefore the structure of the city in this neighborhood reflected the needs of the fish market, of course now the buildings are not the same but the conformation has remained the same. These are the streets where people now shop in Brighton, they reflect a very bohemian Brighton, they are very small and quaint, and they are divided into the northern part and the southern part. The difference between the two “factions” is that the southern part is the one that is a bit more chic with major brand stores.
In the northern part we find more popular stores. Check out Vegetaria Shoes, Fudges Shop, Bonsai-Ko, and Snapper Paradise, which is the “dated,” second-hand paradise where you can find a plethora of items.
6 – The Royal Pavilion in Brighton
Very important and a must-see, it was the residence of King Charles V, I will not tell you the history of the Royal Pavillion, I will tell you a curious anecdote. Between the Royal Pavillion and the Brighton Dome, the stables where the horses were kept, there is a tunnel connecting them and it was built especially for the king. The reason? He had become so fat that he did not want to be seen by his subjects.
How to get to Brighton from London?
There are several ways to reach Brighton, I point out the ones leaving from London because I assume you necessarily pass through the capital.
You can take:
- The train from London from Victoria Station which costs about £26 and takes just under an hour to reach Brighton train station, you can find tickets on the Southern Railway rather than on the National Railway.
- Buses that leave from London Victoria Coach Station and reach Brighton Coach Station in about 2 hours and 15 minutes, prices average between £8 and £16. One of the most widely used companies is National Express.
Tip: The train is the most convenient way to get to Brighton from London, plus if you are a group of 4 or more people you can benefit from pretty big discounts. Just go to the website and try to do a simulation, you will be able to spend as much as £10 less per person.