“You were wonderful, you were mystical, And the envy of all of my friends, seems like only yesterday, under the stars on Brighton beach..” as Rod Stewart strung his tuned guitar while putting thoughts into lyrics about his young love. And it seems like yesterday when I moved just a few miles from Brighton after university with the hope of getting a job, but I made good not just with academia or employment, but also finding myself gracefully and build a second home. I met a lot of people, some of them whom I’ll never see again but most whom I considered my family. Yet there were crazy days, but stupendous most of the time. It is a busy place to be but full of youthful promises, so when my friend pull out the tired analogy of working-as-whoring, we all sympathise and we down cocktails as the highlight of those days.
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Brighton wasn’t the first city I’d lived in, but it was certainly the most diverse and zealous. Anywhere else there is always the chance of seeing someone from different backgrounds; a tanned-skin girl with a funky braided hair, an eastern Asian students who splurge themselves with some posh clothing’s and accessories, some cheerful Italian ladies greeted each other “buongiorno”, some middle-aged men holding each others hand while walking along North Lanes, or a smiling face calling you either “mate” or “love”. Commuters crowd the trains and buses, all day long and all night, eager to outshine their fellow travellers in an escalating war of newspaper, headphones, and iPads.
How to get here
Get to Brighton with Southern Rail from London Victoria which takes an hour ride.
There are also regular National Express coaches from London Victoria coach station.
Let’s talk about Brighton
Where to Stay
Because of it’s easy accessibility from London and increasing it’s popularity with the masses, Brighton opens the gateway to large number of tourists each year. Finding the right place to stay in this city wouldn’t be challenging due to it’s vast selection of hotels, hostels, and guesthouses and it can vary to your budget and needs. It can be expensive during weekends and the summer months between June and September.
Try to find some local guesthouses with Homestay.com to experience what the unique community could offer while saving your pocket. Become a Brightonian for a day would be your most upbeat and fun experience that you can have with Homestay.
Where to eat and enjoy night life
In the morning, walk around Kemp town and smell the freshly baked buttery croissant and a strong aroma of Italian coffee. There are French and Italian cafes around. Alternatively, you can stuff yourself with a full English breakfast in local pubs.
Landmarks and Museums
The Royal Pavilion
It is a former Royal residence of the monarchy of Great Britain. the unique architecture of the pavilion is influenced by Indo-Saracenic style state-of-the-art in India. The Brighton council purchased the pavilion from Queen Victoria and marked the beginning of the site’s attractions as a tourist destination.
The West Pier
One of the grade 1 listed pier in the UK. The pier suffered from structural damage due to storm and fire. The West Pier Trust was adamant to do restoration but has left abandoned up to date due to lack of funds.
It commemorates Queen Victoria’s jubilee. Nowadays, it’s the intersection of Brighton’s busiest roads.
Volk’s Electric Railway
It’s the world’s oldest operating electric railway.Runs along the Brighton beach up to Brighton Marina.
The Grand Hotel
The Brighton hotel bombing happened in the Grand Hotel in October 1984 when the former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet stayed for the conference. Fortunately she managed to escape,yet 5 people were killed and 31 injured.
The Brighton Wheel
A transportable Ferris Wheel started to operate from October 2011 until May 2016.
British Airway i360
It is the world’s slimmest observation tower and is 162 metres high, while the ascending and descending circular viewing platform, can hold up to 200 people. It was designed and engineered by the same team responsible for London Eye. With tourists paying 15pounds for almost 30 minutes up the air, you could see the whole city of Brighton, the white cliffs from Seven Sisters National Park, and the hills from South Downs.
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
It houses some collections of the Royal Pavilion. It has some decorative art collection, sculptures, paintings, prints and drawings from 15th to 20th century from Asia, Africa, America, and the Pacific’s arts and designs. Admission fee of 5 pounds.
Brighton Fishing Museum
A museum dedicated to Brighton fishing history. Free to enter.
It is the largest marina in Europe and one of the largest in the world. It covers 127 acres along the bottom of the cliffs at Black Rock. It took 7 years to build and it was opened to the public in July 1978. It has a working harbour, residential housing, retails shops, restaurants, cinemas, gym, health club, bowling complex, and casino.
Home of Brighton and Hove Albion football club.
The Lanes and North Laines is a shopaholic haven to find predominant clothing stores, jewellers, antiques, and loads of avant-garde shops. It is characterised by narrow alleyways that makes it unique and quirky. For a modern place to splurge your cash, Churchill Square is just around the corner. It has 80 shops, several restaurants. and huge parking space.
Brighton Beach and Pier
It stretches out almost 9 kilometres pebbly beach which certainly gives the beach goer more than enough space to stretch their legs and relax. It has bars, cafes,alfresco restaurants, nightclubs, gym, the Brighton Sea life centre, and amusement arcades. There are also some colourful beach huts if you walk towards the neighbouring Hove and brick walled chalets.
If you fancy some active afternoon, it offers some sports complex for beach volleyball, table tennis, basketball, and frisbee. Walking towards the eastern end of the beach, you will find the Britain’s first Naturist beach called the Cliff beach.
Let’s go outside near Brighton
Alternatively, you can also visit the Seven Sisters National Park between Seaford and Eastbourne. Take 12, 12,12a,or 13x(also goes to Beachy head) take the bus Bus from Stop E opposite Churchill Square.
So, when are you going to visit me?
Whatever you are after, from the quirky to extravagant, music and arts, the colourful Pride Festival, or just relaxing by the beach, Brighton has something to offer everyone. No matter where you’re from, Brighton is a place for the diverse because..”you can experience more with those who call it home” (homestay.com )
About the Writer
Arione Stewart’s passion for travel was ignited when she persuaded her mother to allow her to leave her home in the Philippines and go study for a post graduate degree in England. She then braved the uncertainties of a complex, new environment living in a new country, and exploring a new culture, which has become now her second home. Her feet has been itchy ever since and luckily, being a free spirited person allows her to indulge her travel lust. Always yearning for nothing but a sack on her back and shoes on her feet (sometimes). She has been to over 30 countries and still craving for more adventures. For a long time living abroad, Arione used to dread being asked: ‘Where do you come from?”, to which she learned to reply, “I’m a citizen of the world!”
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Note: This personal article was made in partnership with Homestay.com