Thursday, 22 May 2008

Day trip of the day - Brighton

Brighton's just about the classic daytrip from London, and has been since the 1840s. Nowadays, about an hour on the train (two an hour from Victoria, four an hour from St Pancras International / Blackfriars / London Bridge) or two hours on the coach will whisk you out of London and down to the seaside. If you can co-ordinate with some friends, a GroupSave train ticket is excellent value for four people.

A day spent messing about on the beach (yes, that pile of stones is a beach), promenading on the pier, and poking about in the shops in the Laines wouldn't be a day wasted, but if you'd like a little bit more direction than that, there are two companies offering MP3 walking tours - CoolCityWalks and Tourist Tracks (get £1 off with a voucher from DaysOutGuide)

John Nash's Royal Pavilion is one of my favourite 'stately homes' - it was built as Prince George's pleasure palace and is suitably frivolous and OTT. Entry is £8.50 adults / £6.50 students, and I think it's worth every penny. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery (free) is just across the beautiful gardens, and covers the wider history of the city - I particularly like the fashion and style gallery, which is fantastically eclectic.

If that's not enough to keep you busy, taking the 77 bus from Brighton Pier to Devil's Dyke is a lovely way to get out into the countryside, or the sea life centre, the oldest operating aquarium in the world, is fun, if a little expensive (£12.99/£10/99). I'm glad, from an animal welfare point of view, that they no longer have performing dolphins, but I must admit that my strongest memory of the Aquarium was going to see the dolphin show with my gran when I was a kidlet. Now, if you want to see dolphins playing, you need to look out to sea, as it should be.

Or skip all of that and head down for a day at the races instead, with tickets in the £9 - £20 region for most events, and a courtesy bus running from the station from about two hours before the day's first race.

There's no shortage of good places to eat and drink (I like Food for Friends, or The Greys, especially for Sunday lunch) and no shortage of clubs, gigs, and events either, but beware: check the time of your last train home - it's pre-pub closing for the Victoria route, and only 11.37 on the London Bridge line.

1 comment:

Tvor said...

We went to Brighton when mom and i were over in March. did the North Lanes and Laines and the Pavillion. Saw the sea for about 10 minutes as our feet were far too sore by then :))) brilliant place though