First time I ended up in Brighton was by a mere accident. Back then, due to the bad weather, we ended up spending a couple of hours at the train station. There was something about it that made me research the place a bit more. It was then that I knew I wanted to go back and explore. (We even considered it as a place to relocate to when moving to the UK. However, work-wise Reading was a better fit).
We set off early in the morning, right after breakfast. Plan was not to spend too much time there, as we wanted the little one to have his afternoon nap on the way back. In addition, the weather was expected to be mostly rain so we were going mainly for Sea Life anyway.
My better half had made a research about parking in Brighton. He said it was super expensive, but still we did not have a reservation and were counting on our luck to be able to get away with less money spent on this necessity. We managed to find a place in Hove, near the water and within walking distance of the shopping centre of Brighton.
I know it may sound obvious and unnecessary to people living in the UK, but for everybody else I need to mention this. We did not know how to pay for the on street parking (there were no parking meters were you buy a ticket) or how much it was. There were some vague signs with location number that we did not understand. That’s why we asked one lady for help. Turned out it could all be done through a phone app. You just enter the said location number and it tells you how much it is per hour. In addition, it also counts back the time you have left and gives you the opportunity to renew easily if you’re running late. Even though, as you can tell, I was utterly impressed with this, I am not going to go on about it. I have a lot more to say about Brighton itself. However, if you’re interested let me know and I’ll do a separate post about it 🙂
So despite the cold weather and the rain forecast, we decided to walk to the centre, following one of the main streets that went parallel to the coast. There were some seriously beautiful buildings on the way. All this got us dreaming about living there and looking at the ocean every morning.
The Royal Pavlion
The street itself had some nice, inviting cafes and restaurants. Unfortunately, it got less and less attractive the more we approached the centre (that’s why we agreed that maybe Hove was the better place to live in this area). We wanted to reach the Royal Pavilion, without actually going inside, as we did not have the time, but wanted to see it on the outside at least. The garden in front of it was beautifully arranged. There were even some street musicians who added to the overall impression ( not my kind of performance but was ok). The Pavilion itself was a bit too much like an oriental building not too typical for England. It was beautiful and impressive, but something felt odd. Maybe next time we’ll have time to go inside as well and see if it gets even more absurd for its own good. Verdict was : beautiful but not in place.
There we headed to SeaLife, which, unfortunately, did not have a ramp for the buggy but we managed to get down the stairs somehow. We had pre-booked tickets and entry was easy. Even the little one got a stamp on the back of his hand. We loved it there even though this was not the first aquarium we visit. Our son got glued to every window with fish in it and seemed deeply impressed. I am not going to spoil it for you so here are some teasers.
The Brighton promenade
Our last planned activity for the day was a walk by the coast promenade on our way back to the car with a late lunch at the end. The shore there was beautiful. We took the little one close to the water and found an empty shark-egg. That, I’m not going to lie – freaked me out. Walked down the pier with nearly a 1000 other people but it was still super nice. Then continued admiring the meandering pathway by the beach, filled with little cafes and restaurants.
At some point we reached the BA 360 tower, which we had to skip going up on. We didn’t have enough time and by the looks of it it seemed like it takes a while to go up and back down again. It was, however, very impressive to look at and we’re definitely going back to give it a try next time.
Getting lunch seemed easy but turned out to be quite the impossible task when you don’t have a reservation. We ended up going to some Mexican place. It was a bit shabby but food was good. They were also nice enough to help us warm up the food for our son ( we brought our own).
Our daytrip ended in a cafe Nero with some warm drinks for the way back.
Whole experience was quite nice and we agreed to go back again in nicer weather to have coffee on the beach. I definitely recommend even though we didn’t do much. But Brighton itself is a very nice place to be without needing to be going somewhere all the time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little story. Let me know if there’s something in Brighton, which we most definitely have to visit next time if you know its hidden secrets.