Places to visit
Whether you are a English homestay student or living in the city, here are some suggestions of things to do in Brighton.
# The Royal Pavilion
Designed by John Nash, the Royal Pavilion was the home of the Prince Regent in the 18th Century. It is a spectacular building with an Indian style exterior and Chinese style interior – amazingly exotic and not to be missed. A trip around the Pavilion is one of the best things to do in Brighton. At Christmas there is an outdoor ice rink in the gardens.
# Brighton Pier and Promenade
Opened in 1899, the Pier is all about fun. There are amusement arcades, fairground rides and lots of kiosks selling candy floss, fish and chips and souvenirs. It’s fun to sit in a deckchair and watch the world go by. Why not try some fish and chips before you start the walk along the promenade towards Hove? Walking along the seafront you will come across the Artist’s Quarter and the Fishing Quarter. It is well worth popping into the museum in the Fishing Quarter and also tasting some delicious seafood from one of the kiosks. As you walk towards Hove you will come across lots of bars, restaurants and cafes and as night falls there is a vibrant club scene. Walking further along the seafront you will also pass the Bandstand which hosts free concerts on Sundays during the summer months. The Bandstand, which has recently been restored to its original Victorian glory, is also a venue for wedding ceremonies. Near to the bandstand is the i360, a 450 feet tower. It is currently under construction and due to open in summer 2016. The i360 will be the world’s first vertical cable car and on a clear day you will be able to see places up to 26 miles from Brighton.
Hove starts at the Peace Statue and is a more relaxed area. Take time to look at the stunning Regency architecture which is a feature of the Hove seafront, as are the brightly coloured beach huts. If you have the energy, carry on walking to the Lagoon where you can have an introductory lesson in stand up paddle boarding, windsurfing or even cable wakeboarding. For the less energetic, there is The Big Beach Café overlooking the water which serves tasty refreshments and has a licensed bar.
# Sealife Centre
This is the world’s oldest aquarium and although thoroughly refurbished, the building still looks like it did in Victorian times. The shark tunnel is a must and so is the glass bottomed boat. More details about opening times can be found here.
# Brighton Marina
Brighton Marina is a 25 minute walk from the centre of Brighton or a short bus ride. After exploring the shops, you can eat in one of the waterside restaurants, overlooking the boats, and watch the world go by. Most restaurants have outdoor seating. There is also a cinema and bowling alley.
In the summer, an alternative way to travel to the Marina is by the Volks Railway, the world’s oldest operating electric railway which dates back to 1883.
When visiting, one of the best things to do in Brighton is to equip yourself with a map and just start walking. It is such an easy city to explore on foot and you will come across all sorts of exciting places. People are friendly and so if you get lost, you can always stop and ask your way but if you feel that you need more help then why not try a guided walk? Only in Brighton offers a range of interesting walks around the main tourist attractions as well as some of the more hidden corners of the city.
Shopping in Brighton
If you want to find popular chain stores such as Zara, Marks and Spencer and Next then the area around Churchill Square is best for these. If you want to discover independent and often quirky shops then you should head to The Lanes and the North Laine areas of Brighton. These two areas are crammed with shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. There are plenty of vintage clothes shops in the North Laine area and be sure not to miss ChoccyWoccyDooDah in the Lanes. All of their cakes are amazing works of art.