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A guide to Brighton and why it’s so undeniably cool

Brighton is a cool place.

But on the face of it, Brighton really doesn’t seem like anything special. It’s a little coastal town in the UK that used to be a resort where the posh Londoners could “get away from it all”.

 But somehow, against all the odds, it has managed to avoid the decay suffered by other British resort towns following the advent of cheap flights to Europe. (Maybe after Brexit they will see a resurgence…)

Brighton has managed to reinvent itself into a hub of creativity and pure randomness. And remains to be a ridiculously cool place to visit.

But why is it so cool? Well…

The dogs of Brighton

Having a sister at Uni (college) in Brighton definitely helps me to explore the local areas. But it has also opened my eyes to the intense obsession with dogs in the town. Whenever we go exploring in Brighton, all I hear from her is, “there’s a dog”, “omg look at that cutie”, “that’s a cool doggo”, “SO FLUFFY!!!”.

Granted, it may just be that she likes dogs. A lot. BUT I have to admit, wherever you look there is a dog. It’s almost like they have infested the town and are the real ones running it. In a good way.

So head on down to Brighton if you’re missing a furry friend in your life and up for a bit of dog-spotting.

Independent Cafes

Games and Tea in Boo Didley's, Brighton

Like most popular British towns and cities such as Cambridge or Edinburugh, Brighton has an amazing array of independent cafes…

Looking for something Vegan? You’ll struggle to find somewhere that DOESN’T offer a plant-based brownie.

Want to find a hidden gem? Head up the stairs to the Balcony cafe where you will find delicious brunches to cure any hangover.  

Wanna play some retro video games as you sip some tea? Then grab a table at Boo Diddley’s in the North Lanes.

Looking for a taste of the USA? Grab a heart attack in a milkshake at JB’s American Diner on the seafront.

And these examples are just the icing on the cake. Explore the fascinating streets of the North Laines or walk along the seafront and you will find endless cafes ready to cater to every and any niche or requirement.

It's a shopper's heaven

So the main shopping area of Brighton is actually pretty good – it ticks off all the key high street brands. But aside from the normal high street, there are ENDLESS charity shops and vintage shops full of treasures just waiting to be found.

And then you have The Laines. The Laines are beautiful old streets lined with ancient shops mostly selling antiques and beautiful jewelry. (The perfect place to make a hint along the lines of, oh darling, look at this ring). However, my favourite area is the North Laines. Here you will find multiple cafes and vintage shops as well as fabrics, toys, plants, house stuff and basically anything else you can think of! This is also where the hipsters and cool arty students hang around. Just by being there you’ll become sooo much cooler darling.

Lets go to the beach

Ice Cream on Brighton Beach

It’s physically impossible for me to write a post on Brighton without mentioning the beach. As you explore the streets of Brighton, you’ll occasionally gain a glimpse of the sea, down the high street or from the windows of the cafes. You’ll gradually be pulled in by the gorgeous ocean view and find yourself exploring the seafront.

Brighton is lined by a lovely pebble beach, so you don’t have all the hassle of sand getting EVERYWHERE. Then all along the seafront, nestled in the West Pier arches, are gorgeous little shops and stalls selling everything from random souvenirs to beautiful pieces of art. And of course, it’s the perfect place to stuff your face with some ice cream and DELICIOUS fish and chips – just look out for the seagulls stealing your food. They have no fear. They’d steal small children or dogs if they tasted like chips.

The Brighton Palace Pier

The Brighton Palace Pier is the most iconic landmark in the town. The Pier is filled with overpriced sweet shops, rides, games and a large arcade. Ok, that doesn’t sound like LOOOOADS of fun, but it’s literally at the heart of Brighton and everything that makes it such a great place for a weekend trip. So stop being a snob and slide down the helter-skelter, try winning at the penny drop and pick up a stick of Brighton Rock (pure sugar) to break your teeth on.

I love a good sunset, I do

Sunset

The Pier and the Beachfront are ideal locations to watch the sunset. I don’t know what it is about sunsets, but I absolutely adore them. And the sunsets in Brighton are no exception. Nowhere else will you catch the varied colours of the sky changing against the cool blue sea and light pebble beach. And once the sun goes down, you’ll really see the magic of the Pier as its bright lights dominate the skyline. So on a clear day, grab a blanket, sit on the beach and just watch the sun go down – sometimes the simplest things are the most memorable.

Going OUT OUT (going clubbing)

There is no question that a student town with a passion for creativity is the perfect mixing bowl for a great night out. So, getting sloshed (drunk) and going out-out (clubbing) is usually high on the list for those visiting the town. And of course, there are endless hen dos (bachelorette parties), including my own, crowding the streets every Friday and Saturday night. Who wouldn’t want to roll out of a bar onto the beach??

Most nights there is some form of club night on and there is a huge array of gay bars and club nights across the town. However, you will be spoilt for choice when choosing a pub or bar to share a few drinks at. Places like The Mesmerist or The Tempest Inn are perfect hangouts if you’ve left your dancing shoes at home. (But if you’re coming to Brighton why would you do that??) Some such as Casablanca even run live music nights which just radiate energy (and a few drunk students if you are willing to put up with that).

All the colours

Brighton Grafitti

Brighton is a creative place so it only makes sense that the town is covered in colours. You can find streets lined with little townhouses, all in a different shade or covered in a unique design, my personal favourite was the Rick and Morty house… Apparently, the people living in the house had no idea this was going to happen and woke up to find this new… unique … design one quiet morning.  

You’ll also find graffiti across the city – but not just scrawled names, some of the pieces are beautiful works of art or political statements, highlighting Brighton’s love of creativity and willingness to speak its mind.

The Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion (also known as The Brighton Pavilion) was built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV. It is a beautiful example of architecture, demonstrating the king’s love of grandeur and exotic design. At the time it was very progressive, filled with new technologies and design features. Today it is still home to many stunning pieces of furniture and art, the highlight being a HUGE dragon chandelier in the Banqueting Hall.

It is massive, ridiculous, and the most amazing thing I have seen in a long time. So if you’re looking for inspiration for your new house beyond what Pinterest can offer, definitely check this place out and get the real definition of “extra”.

The Royal Pavillion

I adore Brighton. There is always so much to explore, new cafes to sample and a new weirdly wonderful experience. Last time, I saw a group of people on what looked like a silent disco tour around the town – they would stop at random locations along the route and their earphones would begin blasting music and they’d dance. I have no idea what or why but I’m just glad that it was.

The pure unadulterated randomness of the town is what makes it a brilliant place to visit and one of the coolest towns in the UK.

This is by no means a complete guide to Brighton, just a few of my personal highlights. So go and explore and tell me what you find!!

Have you been to Brighton? What did you love about it and is there anything I should try out next time I’m there??

2 Comments

  1. Sounds like a place I would love! I have been to Bristol and it was super eclectic, sounds like this would be similar plus the addition on the seafront!

    • Ellen Ellen

      Oh yes, if you like Bristol you’ll love Brighton. They’ve both got a very similar vibe and are A LOT of fun haha!

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