So as I mentioned last week, I have no travel plans for the future. That has somehow become profoundly untrue in the course of two days. I think I mentioned we will be hitting the West Coast for a trip in June. This has turned into a weekend in Seattle at the moment, which is exciting because Dave has never been. We will be there for a wedding, shocker, but we will also be staying in Seattle instead of where the wedding is so we will have time to explore as well!
We have a few other small trips in the works, possibly a trip to Cape Cod in the summer, and I really want to go to Gettysburg in October for the maximum hauntedness effect! We also just received another wedding invitation in the UK for November, plus I think we will try and sneak in a long weekend in September over labor day. And of course it wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to London (it will be my 4th annual !). So I definitely will not be short on things to write about for the rest of 2020.
In the meantime, I’ve thought a lot about what I can write about until I actually go somewhere. I think it will be nice to write about some other cities/places I have visited in the UK and would recommend. I decided to start today with Brighton, as I have been there three or four times and only have the nicest things to say about it. Genuinely, if we didn’t support Crystal Palace, we might end up living there we love visiting so much.
Brighton is located about 60 miles south of London, and can easily be reached by train. In fact, when we’re in Croydon, it’s about a 30-45 minute train. From London, it’s about an hour, but that’s still better than a two hour drive. The interesting thing about London is that there are no highways like the US. Obviously route 95 runs from Maine to Florida and 80 goes from NJ to California, and there are a lot of highways in each individual state as well. But for whatever reason, the highways in the UK don’t exist really. There’s the M25 which goes OUTSIDE all of London in a circle, and genuinely I almost googled who came up with that because I think it’s just dumb. But I digress.
I’ve been to Brighton in the January, September, and December. Each time, it was lovely. I’ve been there in the pouring rain, and the gorgeous sunshine. Here are a few things to do when you’re actually down there!
Hotels: I highly recommend staying in a hotel on Kings Road, or the A25. The one time I did stay (the other two times I took the train down for the day) I stayed at The Grand. Fun little history fact about The Grand, it was built in 1864. It was bombed in 1984 during an assassination attempt by the IRA on Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. I love a hotel that has a lot of history, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s STUNNING.
If you don’t want to splurge for The Grand, which is understandable as it’s one of Brighton’s most expensive hotels, there are plenty of other hotels available. I even saw recently Brighton has an Ibis, which is always budget friendly and not miserable! I also took a look on Airbnb a few months ago and it looks like there’s some really nice flats to stay in as well.
Brighton is technically a Uni town. There is the University of Brighton (hi Maddie) and the University of Sussex, where a few of our friends went. From what I’ve heard, Sussex students go out in Brighton as well, so if you’re looking for a young crowd it’s definitely a good place.
Food: I’m sure Brighton has really nice places to eat, but most of my suggestions are going to be casual. When Dave and I went, we ate down on the beach and shoved our faces with hot dogs and chips.
When my brother, Dave, and I went, we opted for a pub lunch. I don’t remember the pub, there’s a billion of them in England, but it was a good choice as well. I do have to say though, you should try the fish and chips. I used to not be a very adventurous eater, until about the middle/ end of college. Certainly not when I studied abroad. However, I was a huge fan of Louise Rennison’s Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging (or Perfect Snogging if you’re talking about the film). In the book/film, the girls often go to the Eastbourne Pier and get fish and chips. I neeeeeeded it. So on my very first trip down to Brighton with my best friend Farah, we stopped for fish and chips in Eastbourne on the way back.
The thing with fish and chips though, is that it’s quite sickly. It’s literally fried fish and potatoes. It’s delicious, but you won’t want to do much after eating it. Also, this happened to be at a pub which is a chain called Wetherspoons. You can tell from the plates (which i hunted down and got Dave for his 30th birthday and we now have a full set in our house). I definitely would eat it actually on the pier next time, it would feel very authentic.
While Farah and I were in Brighton, we also went to The Creperie on Ship Street. I was delighted to see it’s still there as it is a really fun little breakfast spot.
What to do: Okay, here’s the fun part. Brighton’s Pier is amazing. They have indoor and outdoor games, as well as rides outside and lots of little shops too. You can get donuts or cotton candy (fairy floss to the Brits) or ice cream and walk along the pier above the water.
Another really fun shopping district in Brighton is called the Lanes. It’s basically a bunch of alleyways that have been turned into shops. Last time we walked by we went to a record store and saw a lot of antique jewelry. I would highly recommend walking through, even if you don’t buy anything.
Brighton is definitely a place I will keep coming back, especially as I haven’t been to the Royal Pavilion yet and I really want to go!
till next time