Brighton

A fantastic day trip for expats in London

Brighton is a fashionable Victorian seaside resort on the south coast of England easily accessible from London and major ports along the south coast.

Famous for its pier, pavilion and bustling cosmopolitan feel, you can spend hours wandering the Lanes or relaxing on the beach. This vibrant city has a lot to offer, whether spending a day or a week, you can always find something to interest everyone.

Brighton’s top attractions include the Royal Pavilion an iconic landmark palace built for George IV between 1787 and 1823. It houses many fine examples of art and furniture and a magnificent tea-room where you can enjoy that most British of all things, a cream tea.

Brighton Pier which includes restaurants, attractions and rides is open all year round (ex.Christmas Day). This is a great attraction and regardless of the weather you can enjoy the roller-coasters, relax in a deck-chair when the sun comes out, enjoy fish and chips in the restaurant and win soft toys on the arcades.

The Sealife Centre is a must for a fun and educational visit for all the family. There are over 150 species in 60 different displays, highlights include the underwater tunnel and tropical coral reef, containing a shark infested wreck and dazzling coral. Children and adults alike will love the interactive feeding sessions and rock-pool area where you can handle crabs and learn about our coastline.

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has recently undergone a £10m redevelopment and now houses a variety of 20th Century art and design as well as world art, including interactive displays that can be enjoyed by all ages.

The Lanes is one of the more quirky but unmissable shopping areas of Brighton. Filled with independent boutiques and shops which offer a huge range of products from antiques to designer names. Explore the twisting lanes and alleyways over a peaceful afternoon and stop for coffee in one of the many unique coffee shops.
For a different shopping destination visit Churchill Square, ideally situated right in the heart of the town. A modern indoor shopping centre that will give you the perfect high street shopping experience under one roof.

Festivals - Brighton is home to a wide variety of festivals throughout the year. Most famously the Brighton Festival, England’s biggest arts festival lasts for three weeks in May. It includes books, theatre, dance, circus, visual arts and music acts. Listen to talks and enjoy the many free outdoor events.

The Brighton & Hove Food Festival runs throughout September and offers food lovers a great experience, from local seasonal dishes mixed with Brighton’s famous eclectic fare. Don’t miss the Fiery Food Chili Festival and the ‘Big Sussex Food Market’ with real ale tents and demonstrations from Chefs. Every weekend offers a different food event so you’re sure to find something to suit everyone’s taste.

Paddle Round the Pier is Europe’s largest free beach and water-sports festival which happens over a weekend in early July. This annual charitable event includes live music, stalls and air and sea demonstrations. The famous ‘paddle round the pier’ attracts professional and amateur water-sports enthusiasts to the tough 20 mile race.

If live music and comedy acts are your thing head to one of Brighton’s top class entertainment venues. Brighton Dome is ideally located near the Pavilion and has a year-round programme of comedy, music, theatre and family events. Or head to the Theatre Royal Brighton for world renowned musicals, comedy and drama.

If you have a bit more time Brighton is a perfect base from which to explore the beautiful English countryside. You can choose from walks along spectacular downs into leafy forests followed by lunch in a traditional English pub. Historic houses with pristine gardens followed by exploring one of the many Sussex villages makes for a lovely day away from bustling city life. If something more active takes your fancy then you can rent a bicycle and take a guided tour around the Sussex countryside, plan your own route or even go fishing or mushroom picking.

Brighton is a nice day trip from London and is accessible by:

Car - about an hour and a half on the M23 south of the M25.
Plane - regular coach connections from London Gatwick and Heathrow airports.
Train - just under an hour from London Victoria and London Bridge stations.
Coach - coaches leave hourly from London Victoria Coach station and take between two to two and a half hours.

There is also good access to and from Northern France via the nearby port of Newhaven. Brighton is only an hour and a half by motorway from the major ports of Dover, Portsmouth and Southampton.

Further reading

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