Brighton is a city on the southern coast of England, with a bohemian charm and heaps of character. It’s home to two Universities, one pier (the other one burned down) and one incredibly unique, Royal Pavillion.
I lived in Brighton for about 4 years and loved it. I went to Sussex University, which is in Falmer, just outside Brighton and then lived/worked in the city centre, before moving up to London (where I live now). I went back the other weekend to visit a friend and had the best time.
There is so much to love about the city, but somehow I managed to go a good 5 months without visiting. This is why that was a mistake…
Ok yes, Southern Rail is often an absolute nightmare to travel on – delays, cancelled trains, packed carriages… But if they aren’t, the trains are quick. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other options on how to get to Brighton (from London), including National Express and Thameslink, neither of which break the bank. I believe my Thameslink train only cost me £14 return.
I tend to stay with friends if I go down there, but I know for a fact there are plenty of amazing hotels, hostels and apartments to stay in. Brighton is super walkable and easily accessible too, so you don’t actually have to stay right in the centre. Plus, if there is ever a place to try couch surfing, I’d give Brighton a go – it’s one of the most accepting places I’ve ever been to and it doesn’t matter who you are, people will treat you the same.
Every food you can think of is on offer in Brighton. Almost too much, really. You know when you go on Netflix and can’t find something to watch? It’s the same with picking what you want for dinner there. The great thing that comes with this though, is that you can please anyone – any taste, any diet, any budget. Pompoko is a great crowd pleaser – you can eat for about a fiver, its in the city centre and the service is super quick.
So basically, if money was your reason for staying put, know that there are ways around it. Yes, it’s still not a cheap city in general – whenever I used to visit friends at Universities up North I was shocked at how little they paid for things in comparison, but there are always options.
Once you’re in Brighton, there are a whole host of things to do (some I still haven’t done). You can visit art galleries, go to the beach, go to museums, festivals (Brighton Fringe, Brighton Festival, Brighton Pride etc.), theatre, go to the Marina, vintage shopping… Take it from someone who had to buy many very strange props for work before, anything you want in Brighton (within reason) can be found. Swords? You got it. Jewellery – of course. Chocolate sculptures? Of all varieties. All of those things can be found in just one square.
Obviously, Brighton isn’t the only destination in the world and there are plenty of others with charm and character (perhaps closer to you – of course, I’m writing this from a Londoner’s perspective), but if you haven’t been, then make sure you go. It’s got something going on every day of the year, so don’t wait until the crowds arrive in summer – take advantage of the empty beach and go down now.