Brighton is one the England’s most popular seafront towns and the most popular for overseas tourists. With a shingle beach that stretches over 5 miles along a coastline dotted with amusements, piers, bars and restaurants it's easy to see why people flock to the city all year round. Renowned for its diverse communities, vibrant shopping areas, a lively music and arts scence and a large LGBT population Brighton is one of the most expressive cities in the country which has earned it the title of the “happiest city in the UK” as well as the “gay capital of the UK”. Visitors can enjoy traditional fish and chips whilst walking on the beach, pick up a bargain as they wander through the colourful shopping areas or enjoy some live music at one of the cities festivals throughout the year. There is little doubt that first-time visitors will struggle not to be taken back by this laid-back cities which is still one of my favourite UK destinations.
What you need to know....
Accommodation - Reasonably priced accommodation is easily available in the city centre with hostel shared dorm prices for as little as £8 per night up to about £45 per night for a private double room with ensuite. Private B&B's are widely available throughout the city with prices for a double room ranging from £55-£100 per night, depending on location and facilities.
Food – Food quality varies widely in Brighton from the fast food vendors in the popular tourist areas offering deep fried and sweet treats, through to high end sea food restaurants offering excellent traditional English food. Due to the popularity of the city and being in the UK prices do tend to be a bit expensive even for pretty average food, with a typical dinner out for two with some alcoholic drinks easily set you back over £50.
Transportation costs – Driving into Brighton is very simple with the seafront being well signposted, the challenge will be parking (especially in the summer on a nice day). Make sure you check to see if there are any festivals or events going on in the city as this could make getting around difficult with road closures being common. You can jump on the train from London and be in Brighton within the hour with a direct train line running into the city centre. Once in the city getting around by foot is very easy with the main attraction focused around the seafront.
Safety – With the diverse community in the city, Brighton is one of the safest cities in the country but care does have to be taken if you are walking around West Street at night as this has a high concentration of cheap alcohol bars which can attract large hen and stag parties which can result in isolated pockets of violence. Try stick to the eastern part of the city of St James Street and the Lanes where the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed.