In July I went on The Nature Sessions retreat at Elmley Nature Reserve and met a lovely, inspiring group of women. Some of these ladies I now consider good friends and we chat away on various social platforms. Lucy from @lucylucraft lives in Hove and a couple of weeks ago I ventured to Brighton to meet her for lunch. Well known for its pride parade, I mean this year Britney went, and the pier, Brighton is also heavily hit with weekend revellers celebrating impending weddings. Stag and Hen fun galore! With this in mind as Lucy showed me around Brighton and Hove I came up with a few tips for your next visit.
The Train. Be prepared that the train to Brighton is busy. There are families, couples, hens and stags and there is a lot of chatter and probably a Spice Girls singalong! Bring some snacks. Not because you need them just because I love snacks!
Arrival. You’re here and as you exit the station with the throng of the crowd it is easy to be swept down the road and straight to the beach. You can see the seaview as soon as you arrive and the temptation to get to the Pier is strong. Do your best to ignore this and take the first left into Trafalgar Street. As you walk down past the graffiti walls and streets of colourful houses you’ll see local street markets and find your self dropped into the Brighton Lanes. Perfect timing as they will be virtually empty so you will have your pick of stores and photo opportunities.
Eating. There is a lot happening in Brighton food wise but its all very touristy and pricey. No, no, no we need to save our pennies for the shopping. For a snack go to Glazed for vegan donuts, the best kind, and a hot drink. This is a local spot where you are likely to be greeted by the owners two dogs! Bit more hungry? Try Dough Lover for delicious sourdough based dishes, fresh omelettes and bakes eggs. Everything can be made gluten free and vegan if you prefer and the selection of cakes at the till will make your head spin.
The Lanes. This glorious mix of independent stores is going to make your wrist hurt with all the payment card tapping you are about to do. Spend time at Magazine Brighton taking in the smell of paper as you peruse the independent magazine selection. This took me back to my teenage years when I worked in a newsagent purely to read magazines! Look out for Gunns Florist for their on trend flower bunches and house plants. Replenish your stationary supplies at Papersmith. Buy more snacks from The Flour Pot Bakery.
Pavilion Gardens and the Royal Pavilion. I’ve been to Brighton before but it wasn’t until Lucy lead me to this historic house that its charm overcame me. It is something our of Aladdin and you can imagine a middle eastern world playing out around it. The gardens are also sweet and wide paths are great for buggies and large groups.
Walk Along The Promenade. Take in the Pier and also the British Airways i360. Snack on some fresh chips and if the weather is good spend time in a deck chair on the pebble beach. Lot of people watching and some great photo opportunities along here.
Visit Hove. Practically next door, Hove is the Brighton that you were expecting. Full of locals and rarely touched by the hens and stag groups that flood Brighton post lunchtime. There are gorgeous Edwardian houses, local markets and a high street full of independent stores but non of the crowds of Brighton.
Trains from London take approximately an hour and a half and tickets start from £20 return. Book a few weeks in advance for the best deal.
I’d love to hear about your day trips and any ideas of where I can go next. Leave a comment below. PF xo