Starting (finally) my Summer 2022 England series is a trip to wonderful Brighton, a seaside town on the south coast of England. It’s a popular day trip from London famous for its beaches, nightlife, inclusivity and great food. It’s always alive and busy and full of fun. We visited for a night on a scorching July weekend in 2022 and had the absolute best time – I’d definitely say it was one of my top England breaks in the last few years (and I do a lot of them so that’s high praise indeed).
Here are 8 fun things to do when visiting Brighton.
1. Royal Pavilion & Gardens
The Royal Pavilion and its gardens is a former royal residence – and today the is the only former Royal residence not under ownership of the Crown. It was built in 1787 by King George IV as his summer residence, in an Indian style. It’s also decorated internally in Chinese decor – albeit George had never been to either India or China so they are English interpretations of both (in fact the Chinese lettering inside often makes no sense).
George IV’s successors William IV and Queen Victoria also used the Pavilion, but Queen Victoria decided that Osbourne House on the Isle of Wight should be the royal seaside retreat, and the Pavilion was sold to the city of Brighton in 1850.
2. British Airways i360
Another great thing to do is to head down to the sea front and take a ride on the i360, an observation tower which gives visitors a 360-degree view across Brighton, the South Downs and the English Channel. It also serves some really nice gin cocktails so that was a bonus!
3. The Lanes
The Lanes are one of the most picturesque areas of Brighton. It’s a labyrinth of narrow streets, quirky shops, places to eat and corners to explore. I was a particular fan of the rubber duck shop and mayyy have purchased a couple.
4. The Pier
You can’t come to Brighton and not enjoy the pier. There are of course the traditional pier slot machines and arcades (I love the 2p games and won a grand total of 8p!), as well as the obligatory candyfloss/icecream/donuts/crepe stands. There are also lots of rides at the end of the Pier – one of my best friends used to work here while he was at Uni and recommended trying some out, so I paid a visit to the helterskelter, carousel, waltzers, log floom water ride, haunted house and a few rollercoasters. It was fun to be a big kid for a couple of hours.
5. The Beach
Brighton has a beautiful stretch of beach, which is perfect for strolling along any time of day. Along the front are many shops, rides, food courts, restaurants, bars and even art galleries. I loved exploring during the day and enjoying the sunshine, but the sunsets are also really gorgeous.
6. Adventure Golf
We had loads of fun playing Adventure Golf at Brighton Jungle Rumble. There are two courses to choose from, so we chose the one in the shade and through water as it was so hot and my face was already burning off. The course took about 45 mins and was super fun – I even got a hole in one (though still lost abysmally to my semi-pro golfer husband)!
7. The Amex Stadium
Brighton is home to the Amex stadium, and this was actually the reason for our visit to the city as we had tickets to a match there – to watch the Lionesses (England women’s football team) play at the European Championships. We saw them beat Norway 8-0 in a good game.
8. The Grand Hotel
The Grand is a Brighton icon, built in the Victorian era in 1864 when seaside trips for the upper class were booming. It’s hosted everyone from ABBA to Jessie J and is also known for the 1984 Conservative Party conference bombing, where the IRA attempted to assassinate Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Today it’s a great option for a hotel if you’re staying overnight but also worth visiting the bar for a drink or the restaurant for a delicious lunch, or even just nipping in to take in the amazing staircase!
So, what do you think of Brighton? We loved our overnight stay there and had the best time in the sunshine. There is so much to do in the city and it really exceeded my expectations. I hope you enjoyed the tour – stay safe and happy travelling everyone!