If you feel like cooling down in August, but still don’t want to give up on the sea, Brighton is the right place for you. This small town, located one hour south of London, is the perfect destination for diving into the past, and discovering something in England that is not the capital. It’s only a two-hour flight away from Italy, so it’s perfect for a weekend break for us. We spent 48 hours in Brighton, here are our tips.
Of course, you might want to start with the famous Brighton Pier. It used to be a very important entertainment center, it was built in 1899. Since then, the Pier has been providing entertainment for tourists and Brighton – and nearby Hove – locals. There are still a few carousels and game arcades today, but in the past, there was even a theater here! Do come and try to win a souvenir, after all you can try for just a few pounds.
From the Pier, you can walk towards the town center, on the way to which you will see another peculiar building, whose architecture distinctly reminds us of the Taj Mahal. This is the Royal Pavillion: it was originally designed by King George IV as his summer residence, to show the locals the beauty of Oriental architectural styles. If you don’t want to go in for a visit – though we definitely recommend that you do – get a sandwich at Hell’s Kitchen, and enjoy it in the park. The view on this complex is just perfect for a pic-nic!
After lunch, it’s time to go shopping! You must wander around the Laines, the small maze of streets that make Brighton’s city center. They host beautiful stores, as well as inviting coffee shops where you can stop by for a snack: our personal favorite was The Plant Room Coffee. When you’re ready to go on shopping, go to the vintage markets in North Laine, they are wonderful. For dinner, we recommend booking a table at Food for Friends, a veggie restaurant you really shouldn’t miss: even your omnivore friends will be happy to go there. All dishes must be ordered to share, so just let your imagination run wild and try out all the wonderful dishes you will find on the menu. After dinner, we suggest a walk along the coast: the Pier, with its lights up, is really something special.
The second day will not be spent walking, but riding! The cycling tradition is strong here, and once a year there is even an event called Naked Bike Ride, during which, as the name clearly explains, everyone rides naked. Don’t attend the event if you blush easily. 😉 Ride along the promenade, towards Hove: after a few kilometres, you will bump into one of the most Instagrammed locations in the area: Hove’s colorful beach huts, decorated in pastel colors and vintage patterns. They are adorable! After snapping a few photos, you can direct your attention to the sea. You’ll see a building that looks similar to the Pier, but it’s in the water: these are the remains of the old West Pier. It was shut down in 1975, and subsequently damaged by fire and storms. The leftover ruins became a Brighton landmark. Not too far from there, you can also go and change your perspective by looking at the world from up high, since British Airways’s i360 panoramic tower recently opened. Don’t go there if you are afraid of heights: you will go all the way up to 137m.
If you’re hungry, we recommend Silo, a unique place that serves locally sourced food. And it’s not only good for the environment, it’s also tasty! They even bake their own bread every day, and it’s an amazing experience: have it with salted butter, you will never get enough! So here we are, our 48 hours are up — we have to make our way home, and get ready for our next destination, while organizing the pictures we took in the last two days.
Have a look at our gallery for inspiration, and have a good trip! 🙂