A week or two ago, I decided I wanted to go somewhere that I could see water other than the Thames. After all….I’m on an island. It just seemed natural. 🙂 So, I looked at a map, and Brighton jumped out at me. I’d seen travel shows on it before, and it looked like fun. Once I found out that it was less than an hour away from London, and the train fare was SUPER cheap, I was sold. 🙂
Brighton was a big deal for royals in King George IV’s day, but fell a bit out of favor when Queen Victoria sold his palace later on (it’s now the Royal Pavilion…a tourist attraction). For all you Pride and Prejudice fans, it’s also where Lydia Bennett absconded with Mr. Wickham (that’s where the title of this post came from). 🙂 Rick Steves described Brighton as “south England’s Coney Island,” which is exactly what I kept picturing while I was there. The pier (in the picture above) has all sorts of arcade and carnival games, rides, and food, and the views of the coastline are fantastic. There are little shops and restaurants all along the beach, but a lot of them seemed to be closed today. Whether that was due to the time of year or the intense wind, I don’t know.
The actual town of Brighton isn’t fancy, but I like that about it. It’s small, and it’s easy to see everything in a day. There are a couple of old churches, including the 11th century church of St. Nicholas (I can’t ignore an old church). There’s a museum near the Pavilion (it’s free), and there’s the Pavilion itself:
It cost a pretty penny to get in, so just enjoyed the exterior. 🙂
Here’s some of the other things I saw in my wanderings around town:
I had some time to kill after I’d seen the town, so I walked down the beach to Hove (the next town over). When I say “beach,” I actually mean “paved walkway next to the beach.” Brighton’s beach is rocky, not sandy, and it’s tough going to try and walk anywhere. It’s about two miles from the pier to the end of the walking path at Hove Lagoon. The Lagoon wasn’t anywhere near as cool as the name makes it sound. It’s really just a fence blocking off a private section of beach, near a really scary looking part of Hove. I didn’t linger. 🙂
I can’t recommend Brighton enough as a day trip, if you’re going to be in London long enough to consider day trips. It beats Canterbury in my book, although the shopping isn’t as good. I was in Brighton for about 9 hours, and I kept busy for most of that time. A good chunk of it was spent just walking around and getting a feel for the town, though. If you’re not into that and you’d rather be doing and seeing things, you could easily cut down your time by a few hours. Plus, it’s a cheap day out, if you bring your food and don’t plant to spend a fortune on ride/game tickets, or a night out at the theater. Brighton gets two thumbs up in my book. 🙂