Our intrepid global nomads, Ian and Janice, briefly return to the UK to sample all that Brighton can offer
Ian and Janice contribute to various websites about their travels and experiences.
Their claim to fame is producing the very first internet travel site in the UK.
Since those heady days of internet pioneering, they spend their time being on a permanent "gap year" with an ever growing love affair with the culture of the Middle East and Far East.
Loves: Bangkok for its food; Hong Kong for its vibrancy; London for its interest factor; the Spanish; Marbella in winter; Formula 1 and fishing (only Ian).
(Photo: Lamma Island off Hong Kong Island)
Brighton offers different things for different people. It has a thriving student community and a thriving weekend break community with many Londoners travelling the short distance for a weekend break. Of course it is also an established hangout for the thriving gay community.
As such it caters for all tastes and budgets. Kemptown is the centre of the gay community and has evolved into a very upmarket and a desirable place to live or stay. It's very close to the seafront and handy for all that Brighton has to offer. The nightlife is catered for with pubs and clubs. The shopping is also good with many artisan outlets opening up and there is a cosmoplitan street cafe culture. In recent years Kemptown has seen the opening of several vibrant boutique style hotels which are worthy of consideration. Check out The Legends Hotel and Myhotel Brighton.
The area to the east of the pier is the home of the more traditional styled and more established accommodations. These include the Grand Hotel Brighton and the Queens Hotel Brighton. These are handy for the conference centre and the Lanes shopping area. The pier is only a few minutes walk to the west.
Who visits Brighton?
Trendy Londoners for the weekend; corporates attending conventions; gays and lesbians; romantic couples; politicians; students; clubbers; the marina crowd.
Upmarket; hip; cosmopolitan; close to London; cool boutique hotels; nightlife; brasseries and restaurants; the Lanes.
Where did we stay?
- The DeVere Grand Brighton in a Seaview Deluxe King bedroom
- The Holiday Inn Brighton in a standard double
- The Queens Hotel Brighton in a Seaview Double
What did we think?
- Great cafe culture
- Scruffy in parts (Western Road Area)
- Compelling and eclectic in parts (the Lanes - whats around the next corner)
- The Pier tourist trap
- The cool Kemptown
- The great nightlife
- The Marina - lacks character - disappointing and downmarket
- Brighton Pavilion
- Brighton Pier
- London to Brighton Vintage Car Rally
- Mods and Rockers in the 60's
- Fatboy Slim on Brighton Beach
- Kemptown - the gay capital of Europe
- Bacon sandwiches at 4am in the morning at the Grand Hotel
- Finding English's Restaurant
- Leaving the Brighton Casino only £50 down
Would we return?
100% yes. In fact we would love a holiday home in Kemptown.
We intend to return during October to write more about the hotels and restaurants!
Vital Statistics About Brighton
1.2 million bednights a year
6.8 million day trippers a year
11% of the workforce is tourist related
Brighton Marina has 1500 berths and is the largest in Europe
150 official attractions within a 30 mile radius
Overview About Brighton
Located in East Sussex, Brighton is positioned around 48 miles from London. It provides the perfect seaside resort with a blend of old and new which takes in neighbouring Hove.
Stroll among the pebbled beaches and check out some old style fun at the Brighton Pier which is home to a number of different retro arcade games and the odd fun fair. In addition to this, the Lanes area of Brighton is very popular among locals and tourists alike. It is where you will find a wide variety of shops, bars and restaurants with plenty of jewellery stores to boot.
One store to get your taste buds going is Choccywoccydoodah on Duke Street, a chocoholic’s paradise that will simply whip you into a sweet sensation. Meanwhile the Sea Life Centre is another local attraction close to pier whilst the Royal Pavilion is one of the most popular sites to explore. This Indian themed architecture is a real joy to behold and will make you feel transported back to the Raj era. Meanwhile there is also an iconic theatre district that takes in several buildings such as the Theatre Royal, Pavilion Theatre as well as the Corn Exchange Theatre and Dome Concert Hall Theatre. These can all be found close to New Road and Jubilee Street.
The Marina, which is outside of the main tourist areas, offers a host of restaurants and pubs while the grandiose St Bartholomew’s Church is well worth a visit. This is thanks to its gargantuan size which is coupled with plenty of ornate décor.
Direct trains run from not only Victoria but London Bridge stations in the capital and take around an hour to reach Brighton. You can also reach Gatwick as well as Luton via Brighton’s train links in less than half an hour. If you are coming by car then the main route is via the A23. There are even bus services from London whilst Brighton Station can be found within close proximity of the Lanes shopping district.
Hotel choices feature the Ramada Jarvis Brighton at 149 Kings Rd, which boasts a wealth of period architecture dating back to 1864 not to mention the Grade II listed Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel. Want to splash out but not in the sea? Check out Hotel Du Vin which is a favourite among many a celebrity.
Dining options include Bills Produce Store and Café on North Road which offers an array of pastries, brunch dishes and some cracking boiled eggs. Other culinary highlights include the Coal Shed on Boyces street, famous for its lamb lollipops, The Cricketers on Black Lion Street delivering excellent pub grub and Regency Restaurant on Kings Road where you can sample fresh fish caught daily. However if you want our advice then go straight to English's of Brighton restaurant on East Street. Its quirky with its marble oyster bar and the Red Room, an Edwardian styled dining room. This seafood restaurant was the best place we visited during our visit.