Are you studying abroad in London or going there on holiday and looking for a fun place to do a day trip outside the city? Just a 90 minute train ride away and with return train tickets costing as little as £6 with a railcard, Brighton is the perfect place to take a weekend trip from London.
Brighton is a vibrant, multicultural and free spirited town. The air is clearer, the clubs are cheaper and there are lots of things to do and see for free. This post details the things you can do, many of which are free, on a weekend trip in Brighton.
Pick a sunny weekend, take a towel and a picnic and head down to Brighton Beach. As soon as you leave the station, you’ll see the sea at the end on the road! On a sunny day, the whole of Brighton congregates here, relaxing on the pebbles and the brave take a dip in the water. You can easily spend a whole day here and watch the sunset over west pier, just watch out for the seagulls!
The pier is worth a visit if you’re in Brighton. Situated on the beach near the Old Stein, the pier stretches out into the sea and is home to arcades, sweet treats and a fairground. Although there is a cost to go on the rides, taking a walk down the pier and a quick tour of the colourful arcade is free. If there’s one thing I can recommend spending money on whilst on the pier, it’s a bag of Brighton doughnuts or a stick of Brighton rock.
The Lanes are cute winding cobbled streets that stretch down to seafront. They’re full of cafes, kooky shops, restaurants and pubs. Take a while to walk round them and get your bearings – they’re tiny but are easily the labyrinth of Brighton. Make sure to visit the Marwood Café, Choccywoccydoodah and large array of boutique shops.
North Laine is where you’ll spot the students of Brighton on a Saturday afternoon. It’s full of great vintage deals on clothes and records, great food, cafes and pubs. Check out Snoopers Paradise- a bizarre vintage clothes store with an array of trinkets and junk. Vintage shops to check out are To be Worn Again and Dirty Harry’s, both of which have stalls outside of their shops with the cheaper items. If you’re looking for a place to grab a coffee or lunch in this area, check out Kensington Gardens which is home to Kensington’s Cafe and the White Rabbit pub.
Royal Pavilion Gardens
Just by the seafront and Old Stein, the beautiful Royal Pavilion is situated in its green winding gardens. Take a break after walking round the lanes, sit in the park and listen to the musicians (who are there every weekend without fail)! The Brighton museum and art gallery attached to the pavilion is well worth a visit too.
Brighton clubs cater to students so their prices are more affordable than the clubs in London. Check out Concord 2, Green Door Store (which is free!) or Casablanca’s for a fun and cheap night out, or find Pryzm on the sea front if you prefer a bit of cheese.
Brighton is a fantastic place for vegetarian and vegans. The diverse cultures in Brighton offer great food choices for everyone, from Indian buffets for less than £5 to vegetarian cafés in the lanes selling soup, sandwiches and falafels.
If you are visiting Brighton this summer, here are a few events to be on the lookout for:
The Brighton Fringe takes place in May 1-31, 2015. It’s the largest annual arts festival in the UK, showcasing 200 free events as well as ticket shows. From comedy shows to performances, there’s no excuse not to go!
Naked Bike Ride
The Naked Bike ride is usually in June and starts at the level and winds round town, so wherever you are you’re guarantee to come across it. It’s a fun event even if you’re not taking part and shows the true spirit and freedom of Brighton.
Brighton pride takes places over the first weekend of August and this year celebrates its 25th anniversary. It’s another event that showcases the true spirit of Brighton. Prides’ highlight is a huge colourful parade by the seafront, which starts at 11am all with the aim of celebrating the diverse LGBT communities that live in Brighton.
Laura Durechova is a 2nd year history and American studies student from the University of Sussex and the online content Journalist for Graduate Recruitment Bureau. Next year, Laura’s doing a year abroad at the University of Texas, Austin.