At Kingsnews, you’ll hear a lot about Brighton. Two of our contributors go to the University of Sussex, which is just outside of town. We Royal Holloway students would write articles about Egham, but unfortunately it’s difficult to write 500 words about trips to the local Domino’s. Brighton, however, has lots of things to do. Should you find yourself there, you’ll find there are plenty family-friendly activities, and it’s not all about the nightlife.
Most obviously is the Brighton Pavilion, a summerhouse built by King George the 4th (i.e. the Georgian era) in the early 19th Century. It looks like an Indian palace, or the Taj Mahal, with its pointed dome roof. The residence looks mostly the same now as it did back then, although over time reparations and restorations have been made. The palace might be based on Asian culture, but it’s a mixture of Indian, Chinese, Islamic and British tastes of the time. Queen Victoria sold the palace to the town of Brighton, as she preferred her summer house on the Isle of Wight. Since then, the stables have been turned into an art gallery, and the house was used as a military hospital in the First World War.
As opposed to many other grand houses which were used as hospitals, the Brighton Pavilion was used to cater for many non-British soldiers in the army – Muslims were given a spot to pray so that they could face Mecca, and there were many different kitchens in the palace to cater for all the different nationalities and religions that were treated there. Of course, this made the British Empire look good to Indian and other colonial subjects back home, which was important as doubt in British rule was rising at that time.
Of course, what’s attracted people to Brighton for centuries is its closeness to London, and the fresh sea air. Brighton beach itself isn’t as good as Bournemouth beach (but I live there, so I much prefer the latter!), but the pier has taken on a life of its own. It has fairground rides to entertain all the family – from teacup rides to rollercoasters, and from ghost trains to scary thrill rides, the pier is like a miniature theme park. The only trouble is, it’s pretty expensive. On average it costs £4.00 for one ride, and the food is also a bit pricey. It may be worth going on the best rides, and buying your food somewhere in town.
Speaking of food, the Brighton Lanes are the perfect place to find it. Brighton is a very diverse place, so you’ll find food for all cultures, and it’s no problem finding vegetarian or vegan food. The winding alleyways and paths can get very busy though, so watch your stuff. The buildings are short, stout, and very typical of a seaside town like Brighton. As well as food, you’ll find lots of other shops, including a smashing collection of vintage clothes and jewellery stores. If you like shopping but hate the high street stuff that’s the same everywhere, you’ll love the Brighton lanes.
Sound like your sort of place? At just over an hour away from London on the train, it’s pretty easy to do a day trip there. It’s quite cheap to get there too, especially on the coach. Besides, who doesn’t like a bit of fish and chips on the seaside?
Image credit: http://www.technopolis-group.com/offices/brighton/