Brighton, England: a charming city situated on the southern coast around an hour’s train ride away from London.
And it doesn’t really feel like the rest of England.
Why? Well, its unique pebble beach, colourful Regency-era buildings and quaint back streets make you feel like you’re somewhere abroad. (Perhaps in a place that gives you the magical “I’m on holiday” feeling that you only get when you’re overseas.)
Simply put: Brighton is breathtaking.
I have to admit, I wasn’t entirely convinced at first. When we arrived off the train and walked down to the ocean for the first time, it was overcast, it was rainy and the city just looked like any other coastal town in England.
But then the sun came out. And I saw the pier. And the travel butterflies started.
(You know, the butterflies that kick in when you see a new place for the first time? The ones that fill you with excitement at the prospect of exploring a new area? The butterflies that make you feel alive?)
Then, all of a sudden, I was overcome with love for a town I’d only stepped foot in a couple of hours prior. And I couldn’t wait to get to know it better.
If you’re thinking about heading there soon, here are 5 reasons why you should visit Brighton. Pronto.
Firstly, you should visit Brighton purely to see its distinctive pebbly beach.
Sure, the pebbles are hard to walk on, hurt your feet and give you pebble-shaped imprints at the bottom of your soles – but that’s all part of the fun! (Right?)
However, it’s still super impressive, especially if you see it from the pier. And did I mention that it photographs like a dream?
It’s no secret that Brighton has a wide range of shopping opportunities, from high street stores in Churchill Square to vintage boutiques in the Royal Pavilion area.
Therefore, you can quite easily spend a day picking up a cool bargain or two.
Your wardrobe may thank you for it, but your savings certainly will not. (Oops!)
Speaking of shopping, The Lanes backstreets remind me so much of The Shambles in York. They have an abundance of little stalls and shops where you can pick up some one-of-a-kind trinkets.
In fact, the boyfriend and I had never seen so many jewellery stores in one place before – there’s literally one on every corner (a bit like Starbucks in the USA!).
In addition to their shops, The Lanes has lots of restaurants, cafes and pubs to check out. And in good weather, it’s just a super nice area to sit outside and people-watch the day away.
Three words: a must see.
Another reason why you should visit Brighton? Well, it’s home to every cuisine imaginable!
And I simply have to mention Food For Friends, the vegetarian restaurant in The Lanes.
FYI, I had dinner there and it’s one of the best dinners I’ve ever had in my life. Even if you’re a meat lover, you will enjoy the food. (And it’s very reasonably priced!)
Also, be sure to check out Lucky Beach Cafe on the seafront.
As well as having a seating area at the edge of the pebbles where you can enjoy their tasty brunch while basking in the sunshine, all of their food is locally produced and organic.
(And did I mention unbelievably yummy?)
Lastly, Palace Pier one of my absolute favourite things about Brighton!
Not only does it have two arcades packed with games where you can quite easily spend an afternoon, but it also hosts a variety of rides, free deckchairs to sunbathe on, refreshments, and bars with beer gardens.
There’s plenty to keep you occupied – and the view of the beach from the very end of the pier is just incredible.
I’d say it’s like England’s version of Santa Monica Pier in LA. (And there are hot sugary doughnuts on offer. So, you know. There’s that. Drool.)
The bottom line is that you can’t help but fall in love in Brighton, especially in the summer.
The sun is shining, there are people visiting from all around the world (and the atmosphere is electric) and there’s never a shortage of things to see and do.
That’s why I’ll never forget my first time in Brighton. And I can’t wait to go back!
Have you been to visit Brighton before? If so, what did you make of it? Let me know in the comments below!