MorningBefore you start exploring a city, it pays to get a bird’s eye view in order to understand the way the place is laid out. When it comes to Brighton, you are in serious luck — this place is home to a massive observation tower that sits right on the sea. We suggest heading to the British Airways i360 first thing, getting some astounding views of the city in the process. You can even get a coffee at the South Coast’s highest bar. The UK’s first ‘vertical pier’ is well worth a look.
You won’t be able to get out to it, but Brighton’s West Pier might just be the most haunting image in the city. Time (and the sea, mostly the sea) have done a real number on the UK’s first Grade I listed pier, but the ravaged remains of this beaut make for quite the photo. Get that perfect shot of what is left of it before nipping into the Fishing Museum to learn about Brighton’s relationship with the briny deep. To continue the theme, head next to the Sealife Centre, Britain’s oldest and best aquarium.
AfternoonTime to wander down the Palace Pier, the only functioning water walkway left in Brighton. Stretching some 525 metres out to sea, ambling down this pier might just be the quintessential British seaside experience. That and fish and chips of course, so pick up a battered cod and chips before you begin the walk. You might even be tempted to give the slot machines a go, for that complete English seaside experience. You won’t win, nobody ever does.
With the Pier behind you it is time to wander into town. Nip up to Blaker Street first to photograph the city’s most adorable street, a thoroughfare of colourful houses that will give you that perfect seaside shot. Move from here to The Lanes, the old centre of Brighton and one of the UK’s most endearing shopping areas, one full of cafes and restaurants. If we could design the perfect English city, this is where the shops would be.
But we’re not here to shop (unless you are), we’re here to admire Brighton’s past and its unwavering commitment to restoration and development. The Royal Pavilion is the best example of this, as well as being the city’s most iconic attraction, a stunning piece of architecture that was built purely for the boy who became George IV. The 5th British monarch was integral to the development of Brighton from a charming fishing town into a seaside resort, and the Pavilion and its gardens are quite the legacy.
EveningBrighton is one of the most exciting nights out in England, as the stuffiness and snobbery of London is left behind in favour of character, charm and cheer. Komedia is the place to start, one of the finest comedy clubs in England and an almost guaranteed winner. If comedy isn’t your thing then see what is going on at the Concorde, a regular spot on the touring schedule of bands across the country.
Where to next? Well, we’re hoping to cover the many boozy joints of Brighton next year, but here’s a few pointers to start with; for an old British pub, go to The Lion & Lobster. If you’re after craft beer, The Craft Beer Co. will sort you out. Looking for cocktails and spirits? The Plotting Parlour and Gungho! never fail to impress. There are almost 1000 bars here, so you’ll almost certainly find something that floats your boat.