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Brighton (England)

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Brighton is a large and famous seaside resort in on the south coast of England, in the county of East Sussex and almost immediately due south of the capital city London (47 miles / 76 km). Together with its close neighbour HoveHove, Brighton forms the recently-proclaimed (2000) City of Brighton and Hove.

brighton (england) Travel Guide :

Brighton (England)

Understand

The city is convenient for London, and increasingly popular with media and music types who don't want to live in the capital. It is sometimes jokingly / sarcastically called "London-sur-Mer" for this reason.

Brighton is second only to London as the gay capital of South East England. There is a significant gay district in Kemptown. This adds to the bohemian atmosphere of the city.

It is home to two universities, University of Sussex (http://www.sussex.ac.uk) and University of Brighton (http://www.brighton.ac.uk) (situated on the edge of the city at Falmer), but is most famous for its Pavilion, an extravagant Regency building by John Nash.

Brighton (England)

Get in

Brighton (England)

By train

Trains to Brighton run from Victoria and London Bridge stations in London, taking about an hour (faster for the Brighton Express services from Victoria). Trains also run along the coast from Hastings and Lewes in the east, and Portsmouth and Chichester in the west. Brighton is on a direct line (Thameslink (http://www.thameslink.co.uk/)) from Gatwick and Luton airports (Gatwick is much closer).
Southern (http://www.southernrailway.com/)
Thameslink (http://www.thameslink.co.uk/)
SouthWestTrains (http://www.southwesttrains.co.uk/)

Brighton (England)

By car

Brighton is a congested city, and not easy to drive or park in. The principal route from London and Gatwick Airport is the A23. The A27 runs along the coast, and is dual carriageway from the M27 at Portsmouth in the west to Lewes in the east. There are several car parks in central Brighton - expect to pay about £1.50 per hour, even on Sundays. Alternatively, parking is available at Worthing or Lewes stations, about 15 minutes by train from the city centre.

There are three days in the year when, if the weather is good, it is very inadvisable to drive into Brighton:

  • The children's parade day at the start of Brighton Festival (http://www.brighton-festival.org.uk/). In 2006 this will be on Saturday 6 May, and many roads in the centre of Brighton will be closed.
  • The day of the annual London to Brighton Bike Ride. This is on a Sunday in June - tens of thousands of cyclists plus their support vehicles are in the city, so many roads will be blocked or difficult to get across.
  • The parade day of the Brighton and Hove gay pride week (http://www.brightonpride.org/). Many roads in the centre of Brighton will be closed.
Brighton (England)

By bus

National Express (http://www.nationalexpress.com) provide coach services to London and various other cities from Pool Valley coach station, between Old Steine and the seafront. Megabus (http://www.megabus.com) also run a budget coach service to London.

Brighton (England)

By plane

Given the city's close proximity to London, and motorway access to points of arrival / departure, Brighton can be considered to be exceedingly well served by airports. Many Brightonians actually consider London Gatwick Airport to be "their" airport, rather than London's. Brighton can be reached from Gatwick by train in as little as 25 minutes.

Brighton (England)

Get around

Brighton (England)

By bus

There is an extensive bus network in Brighton and Hove. In the city centre, services are very frequent and many stops have 'real-time' bus information. The majority of buses are run by one company, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company (http://www.buses.co.uk/), who charge a flat fare of £1.50 for all journeys or £2.80 for an all day ticket (concessions are half price).

On a small number of days a year, buses are disrupted by parades etc. - the same days as in the "By car" section above.

Interestingly (?), Brighton buses are all named after celebrities and individuals who have made a contribution to Brighton city life in some significant manner.

Brighton (England)

By train

There are good local train services as well as to London. Trains to the main campuses of the universities are very frequent.

Brighton (England)

By taxi

There are vast numbers of taxis in Brighton. They are a bit more expensive than most other towns and cities in England. It is worth noting that on Friday and Saturday after midnight, the hire charge for a taxi is £4.50 before the journey starts.

The main taxi ranks are at Brighton train station and at East Street (near the Lanes). (Smaller ranks dotted around include: Queen Square (opposite Churchil Square), the north side of St. Peter's Church and the bottom of Montpelier Road.)
Streamline (Brighton) 747474 Streamline (Hove) 202020 Radio Cabs 204060

Brighton (England)

See

  • Brighton Pier 1 (http://www.brightonpier.co.uk/) aka the Palace Pier has all the usual seafront attractions. There is also the wreck of West Pier which was derelict for some time before finally burning down recently.
  • Brighton Beach. In the summer, the pebble beach is covered in tourists and Brightonians alike. Poi twirlers strike a beautiful image against the sunsets.
  • The North Laine. A wild nest of alternativism, The North Laine area is walked by dreadlocked hippies, women in bright clothing, punks, goths and lunatics. The shops sell everything from bongs to magic potions, from giant wooden hands to fairy wings and from bagels to fire staffs.
  • The Lanes -an adjacent area of small shops, the tumbled street plan reflecting the layout of the original fishing village of Brighton which was located here. The merchandise is more mainstream.
  • Sea Life Centre 2 (http://www.sealifeeurope.com/uk/brighton/home.htm) An aquarium with walkthrough underwater tunnel, adjacent to Brighton Pier.
  • The Royal Pavilion 3 (http://www.royalpavilion.org.uk), open daily October-March 10am-5.15pm (last tickets 4.30pm), April-September 9.30am-5.45pm (last tickets 5.00pm), closed from 2.30pm 24 December and all day on 25-26 December, admission £5.95 adults, £3.50 children, other concessions available, tel 01273 290900 - An interesting architectural attraction, transformed between 1815 and 1823 by the architect John Nash, at the direction of the then Prince Regent (later King George IV), into a sumptuous pleasure palace by the sea. The exterior has an Indian theme, whilst the interior was decorated with Chinese decor. Guided tours available and well worthwhile.
  • Brighton Marina with boats, pubs, restaurants, a supermarket and even a hotel.
  • Volks Railway the first public electric railway in the world, 122 years old, runs from the Aquarium (Brighton Pier) to Black Rock (near the Marina) (operates April to September)
Brighton (England)

Do

  • the Brighton Festival 4 (http://www.brighton-festival.org.uk/) in May each year is the second biggest arts festival in Great Britain (coming closely behind Edinburgh). Music (all sorts), art exhibitions, book debates, and much, much more.
  • the Brighton Festival Fringe 5 (http://www.brightonfestivalfringe.org.uk/), at the same time as the main Brighton Festival, has many additional arts (and other) events. These include "open houses" (local artists exhibiting in their own homes) and tours (haunted pubs, Regency Brighton, churches, cemeteries, sewers etc.).
  • Brighton Pride 6 (http://www.brightonpride.org/) - considered by many to be the biggest and the best Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trangender Pride Festival in the UK, attracting more than 100,000 people annually to Brighton for the week-long festival in late July-early August. In 2005, Brighton Pride Festival starts Sunday 31st July - the Parade starts Saturday 6th August, 11am at the sea front near the Palace Pier on Maderia Drive.
  • the London to Brighton Bike Ride 7 (http://www.bhf.org.uk/events/index.asp?secID=12&secondlevel=1005&thirdlevel=1015&artID=6150) - a 58 mile charity ride held each June to benefit the British Heart Foundation. The Ride has raised over £26 million for heart research since its inception in 1980, from the efforts of over 550,000 riders. Suitable for all levels of riders, the route passes through glorious countryside on the approach to Brighton.
Brighton (England)

Eat

Brighton has excellent food, especially for vegetarians. The most famous vegetarian restaurant (and, after a recent buy out, now fairly expensive) is Food for Friends (http://www.foodforfriends.com) situated in The Lanes, while The George pub, on Trafalgar Street near the train station, serves only the finest vegetarian meals and snacks.

  • Terre à Terre, 71 East Street, tel +44 01273 729 051 - wonderful vegetarian fare at a fair price, lively crowd and bright décor - voted 2nd best British restaurant in the Observer Food Monthly 2004 8 (http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmonthly/story/0,9950,1145643,00.html)
  • Due South 9 (http://www.duesouth.co.uk/) 139 Kings Road Arches, tel 01273 821 218 - great food and location at this relative newcomer
  • The Eagle, 125 Gloucester Rd. tel 01273 607765 - great vegan, vegetarian and carnivorous food
  • The Greys 10 (http://www.greyspub.com/CHRIS/pubhome.html) 105 Southover Street, tel 01273 680734 - 11th best pub in the UK in 2004. Famous for its food, and chef "Spats" (no child licence.)
  • The Open House, 146 Springfield Road, tel 01273 880102 - 20th best pub in UK in 2004. Large, child-friendly pub next to London Road train station. Good food and drink.
Brighton (England)

Drink

There are many, many, many pubs and bars catering for all tastes. The list below is far from complete - if there's a street in central Brighton there is likely to be a pub on it.

The pubs and bars around the Kemptown area are mainly gay.

  • The night club called THE EVENT is popular among international students for hanging out. Tuesday night is student night. If you've got your student ID, you can get drink discount. You can enjoy dancing with all genres of music. The dance hall is so large and there are lots of tables and seats, so you can chill out or talk to your mates when you're tired.
  • The traditional old pub called KING AND QUEEN never loses its popularity!

Especially students from the language school called St.Giles close to the pub always hang out at KING AND QUEEN. It is a meeting point for them. As the name of the pub shows, there are portraits of former English kings and queens. The pub has a high ceiling and the space is large. You can enjoy KARAOKE night there sometimes.

Brighton (England)

Sleep

  • St. Christopher's (http://www.st-christophers.co.uk/hostels/brighton_hostels): directly next to the National Express coach station, on the seafront and with direct view of Brighton Pier; bed in a – albeit fairly cramped – mixed dorm at £15 a night, continental breakfast included; hotel rooms are also available; clean, no curfew, friendly staff.
Brighton (England)

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