The United Kingdom is a huge island. As an island there are some pretty fantastic coastal areas. Brighton is one such coast. The city is only about an hour train ride south of London and relatively cheap to travel to on weekends. You can find tickets for as low as £10.50 round-trip; cheaper if you decide to go with a few friends and use a group saver discount. The city is small but has a few famous landmarks. Also, being by the coast you can expect plenty of options of seafood, but nothing beats having seafood fresh on the beach.
An interesting building to marvel at is the Royal Pavilion. It has this sort of Indian-esque design on the outside. Inside is a museum but it’s more about the architecture and the interior design. I believe it was built by someone in the royal family as a vacation home centuries ago. Now open to the public as a museum (more city profits). There really is no shortage of grassy parks around the city too. Around the Pavilion you can find lots of space to have a picnic or just chill out. The area which the Pavilion sits in is an area famously called the “Lanes”. It’s basically the main shopping district. Locals and tourists will likely spend most of the time in this area. There’s also a number of really interesting boutique shops and markets line across several streets. If you need coffee you’ll likely find a cafe at every corner in the area.
After exploring the Lanes, you’ll likely make your way to the coast. Here you can find things like seafood stalls and the famous Brighton Pier. You should definitely try the two seafood stalls found near the beach. You really can’t miss them. They are rather close to each other and you’ll likely pass them on your way to Brighton Pier. Here are some of the things you can expect from the seafood stalls.
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There’s actually two Brighton Piers. However, one was burnt down years ago and the one standing is the rebuilt Pier. You can see the old Pier’s frame still standing; albeit rusted and unreachable. Brighton Pier is essentially a carnival. It has all your typical activities. It has a games area to win tickets for prizes, rides that look like they’ll fall apart at any moment, really terrible food, and grumpy carnival workers. That being said, I was still surprised by a couple things. You wouldn’t believe what classifies as carni-food in the UK; Chinese stir-fried noodles. It’s the most bizarre thing ever and most definitely a UK thing. This comes from being Canadian, but typical carni-food to me would be, corn dogs, cotton candy (candy floss in the UK), and mini doughnuts. Not really worth the try but it’s a bit of culture you won’t see anywhere else; so it’s still worth a visit.
Seven Sisters Country Park
Brighton on its own is quite small. You could literally walk the entire city and do everything within half a day. If you want to look for something to do that’s a bit more adventurous, I would definitely recommend visiting Seven Sisters Country Park. The area is famous for it’s white cliffs, the Seven Sisters Cliff, and numerous hiking trails. It’s not far at all from Brighton. It’s an hour bus ride but well worth the trip. No need to worry if you don’t think you’d be physical fit. They do have paved routes if hiking isn’t your thing but still want to see some fantastic sites.
To get here I recommend downloading the Brighton & Hove bus app. You can buy a discount day pass that will let you travel anywhere from Brighton to Eastborne. It’ll only cost you £4.20 or £7.90 for two. If you can’t get the bus app, the bus drivers will sell you a day pass for £7. There is another option to get a PlusBus pass for £3 with your train ticket. But, be WARNED that this will not allow you to travel all the way to Seven Sisters Country Park. It will get you to the stop before Seven Sisters. Getting the day pass will give you a lot more flexibility on which routes you can take back to Brighton. The bus numbers you’ll look out for are 12, 12A. These ones will take you straight to Seven Sisters Country Park. Depending on what time of the year it is, you can catch the 13x on Sunday or Saturday. During my visit it was running on the Sunday. You can click here for details. This route is really handy. You can walk from Seven Sisters Visitor Centre to Birling Gap and take a bus from there to return back to Brighton. That way you won’t have to walk all the way back to the main street to catch a bus.
There are a number of trails you can choose from. You could even go rogue and venture to your hearts content but that’s probably not advisable unless you have a good GPS. There’s also the option to rent bikes at the visitor centre. The only thing I would say be prepared to encounter is lots of sheep poop. Quite literally, if you decide the more grassy routes, you’ll encounter lots of sheep stool everywhere. However, once you’re at the cliff, you’re in the clear. All you really need for your adventures here are some bottles of water and a good pair of shoes you’d feel comfortable in. The hikes go up and down a lot of steep hills, so be prepared.
Overall the trip there was quite amazing. I haven’t been to a lot of places like it. Hopefully I will be doing more of these kind of adventures though. I have Gotland, Sweden on my list which will involve a lot of hiking too! There are some really death defying images down below for your viewing pleasure. If you have any questions leave them in the comment section below. Thanks!
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