The Great British Bucket List: Brighton

·7-min read
Sun Loungers
Head for jolly Brighton for a holiday to remember (Getty Images)

While holidaying abroad may be back on the cards for some as coronavirus restrictions continue to ease, the confusion surrounding foreign travel means many are choosing to stay a little closer to home this summer.

Almost two thirds (62%) of British adults are planning to spend their main summer break in the UK this year, with around 46% now more likely to consider a UK staycation than before the pandemic, according to an annual report from Sykes Holiday Cottages.

But where should you go?

Whether you're in search of adventure or craving culture, the UK is packed with must-visit towns, cities and attractions, from jolly seaside to wild woods to majestic mountains and culture-crammed cities to scratch your travel itch this summer.  

Whether it's secluded scenic spots in the country or softly rolling waves and sandy beaches to rival any amber list country, there are plenty of British hotspots to add to the must-visit list. 

So if you're one of the many opting to stay put this summer. we've put together an expert-backed series of special places to visit to cure any wanderlust you might be having. 

Read more: 8 things you need to know before taking your first camping trip

First up, Brighton...

Think you know all there is to know about this popular seaside resort? Think again. There's much more to the south coast city than clichés. 

Away from the sticks of rock and souvenir shops, Brighton is a city full of hidden treasures for those who like to wander off the beaten path.

Here's six reasons to add Brighton to your British bucket list right now...

The beautiful beach huts at Hove are the perfect backdrop for a sundowner. (Getty Images)
The beautiful beach huts at Hove are the perfect backdrop for a sundowner. (Getty Images)

It's more than a seaside resort

Drawing 1.5 million overnight stays per year and 9.5 million day trips, it's little wonder Brighton is top of the most Instagrammed coastal spots from around the UK. But as well as its popular pebbly beach, Brighton is also home to a huge number of attractions.  

Of course, no trip to the seaside city would be complete without a trip onto the Pier. "Here you can bet 2p’s on the machines, have a go on the rides, enjoy an ice cream or look out at the spectacular views of the beach front," explains Tom Bourlet, travel blogger at www.spaghettitraveller.com and Brighton native. 

If you do enjoy the rides, he suggests signing up to a day pass, which gets you infinite rides for the day.

The i360 also offers you the opportunity to head up into the skies, so you can have 360 views of Brighton and Hove. "But remember to nip to the toilet before it goes up, as there are no toilets on the ride and the 'flight' lasts around 20 minutes," Bourlet adds. If you’re looking for something a little unique, you can sign up to the morning yoga sessions.

The hop-on hop-off city sightseeing buses are an increasingly popular option while visiting European cities, like Brighton, and allow you to take multiple trips throughout the day to all of the biggest attractions, while listening to an audio guide of the history of Brighton. For a slightly more unique variation on the bus tour, Bourlet suggests taking in a trip which includes afternoon tea.

If you're looking to scratch a shopping itch, Bourlet suggests heading to the Lanes and the North Laine, which offer some amazing independent shops, selling everything from Moroccan lamps to hot chillies and one-of-a-kind jewellery, and even a rubber ducky shop.

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A cycle along the promenade is the perfect way to take in the sites. (Getty Images)
A cycle along the promenade is the perfect way to take in the sights. (Getty Images)

There's amazing places to enjoy sundowners

If you're looking for something unique head to Alcotraz Brighton for an immersive themed cocktail experience. 

"This is an option for adults only, considering the cocktails on offer, but you are guaranteed to laugh your head off, as you get involved in all the action, the guards direct you to your cell and perform around you," explains Bourlet. 

Love Scalextric when you were younger? There's now a giant 16 player version set in the upstairs of a bar in Brighton. Set at the World’s End on London Road, the upstairs has an arcade, including various old-school games like Time Crisis, while there are also virtual reality games based downstairs, but according to Bourlet the star of the show is most certainly the Raceway, set with a commentator to shout out who is leading the way.

Bars in Brighton are also home to a number of escape rooms, including the Bewilder Box at the Hobgoblin, or Escape the Vault at Presuming Ed, where you will be given a set period of time to take on all the mind-boggling challenges and escape the room with your friends.

If gin happens to be your tipple of choice Bourlet suggests checking out the Gin Tub. "Each table has a phone in place, enabling you to call through to the bar to make your order, meaning no more standing up or using confusing apps," he explains. 

For something a little more classic, the hugely Instagrammable Rockwater bar on the seafront is a great place to enjoy a sundowner by the sea. 

Read more: This Scarborough B&B has been named the best in the world by Tripadvisor

Away from the beach Brighton has some beautiful scenery, pictured the rockery. (Tom Bourlet www.spaghettitraveller.com)
Away from the beach Brighton has some beautiful scenery, pictured the rockery. (Tom Bourlet www.spaghettitraveller.com)

It's a great place to cycle

Whether you’ve brought a bike with you or you want to make the most of the BTN Bike Share, which is dotted all over the city, Bourlet says there are a number of great routes which don’t involve taking the roads and dodging cars. He suggests cycling along the coast stretching all the way from Hove to Saltdean, which offers some incredible views and takes you through the Marina and by the spectacular white cliffs.

For something a little different, you could cycle up to Preston Park, where you can admire the beauty of the Rockery (the rock gardens), a little hidden gem Bourlet suggests visiting during the warmer months. 

You can take in some street art

Whether you call it graffiti or street art, Brighton certainly has some creative pieces. "The Banksy kissing policemen was spray painted onto the Prince Albert pub, near Brighton station," says Bourlet. 

Some of the other best spots to see all the incredible pieces include Trafalgar Lane, Orange Row and Regent Street.

A quiet sunny day in Brighton's North Laines. Captured September 14, 2020. Brighton is a constituent part of the city of Brighton and Hove, a former town situated on the southern coast of England, in the county of East Sussex. It is best known as a seaside resort and is positioned 47 miles south of London.
A sunny day in the North Laines (Getty Images)

It will get your adrenaline pumping

If you fancy upping the danger ante, then a go on the Brighton zip should be on your to-do list. Located right on the seafront, to the left of the Pier, this adrenaline based activity is 32m up and 300m in length. If the thought of it has your stomach churning, there's a café at the bottom so you can enjoy some fish and chips on the beach while watching everyone else brave the zip. 

Bourlet says there are also number of fun adventure based activities available in Brighton, from bubble football at sports centres, to footgolf located on a Falmer golf course - this is a great city to try something a little unique.

It's great for foodies

No Brighton round-up would be complete without a mention of the Brighton Foodies Festival, which takes place in September on Hove Lawns. "Expect to find incredible food served at various stands, live bands, plenty of drinks, as well as cooking performances from previous winners of MasterChef, as they demonstrate how to make some of your favourite dishes," explains Bourlet.  

Whether you’re a keen cook and want to learn from the extremely impressive list of chefs present, or you’d rather sit in the sun listening to music with a hazelnut rum in hand, the Foodies Festival has something for everyone. 

Watch: Changes to holiday traffic light system causes chaos. 

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