The sea and shoreline of Brighton, England taken from Brighton Palace Pier.

Adventure Awaits: Brighton

By Brittany Anderson
Web Content Contributor

Although London is an adventure all on its own, it’s certainly not the only city worth visiting in England. As Texans who are used to warm weather and being within driving distance of a beach, the south England city of Brighton is the perfect scene for college students looking for a sunny coastal break while abroad.

Brighton is a special place for many reasons. It’s a cultural hub for many young, emerging artists, musicians and foodies. They’re big on sustainability and push eco-friendliness through their many vegetarian and vegan spots. They also have a large LGBTQ+ community and have been named the unofficial gay capital of the U.K.. There’s something here for everyone, so here’s a basic rundown of Brighton to get you prepared.

A photo of Brighton Railway Station with bright glass ceilings and a line of train cars.
Brighton Railway Station offers easy access to and from the city. Photo by Brittany Anderson.

Getting there:

Brighton is only an hour train ride from central London with many direct trains — so it’s the perfect day trip or short city break. Alternatively, it’s only a 30-minute train journey from London Gatwick Airport.

A photo of Brighton Palace Pier’s colorful light up sign.
Brighton Palace Pier’s neon, carnival letter sign which welcomes guests onto the pier. Photo by Brittany Anderson.

Can’t miss it:

Brighton Palace Pier is a pleasure pier that spans just under half a mile long with sweet treats, arcade games and roller coasters. Brighton Beach stretches out along either side of the pier, and the shoreline is filled with shops and sites ranging from fish and chip sit downs to trendy nightclubs and bars.

The Lanes is a collection of narrow streets near the coast packed with restaurants, coffee shops, bakeries, pubs, tattoo parlors, jewelers, and vintage and antique shops. Keep an eye out for all the beautiful and tasteful street art that add pops of color to every corner.

As with many big cities in the U.K., Brighton loves a good market. Whether it’s farm fresh produce, street food from local vendors, art or retro finds, it’s easy to spend an entire day wandering about in pursuit of yummy bites or a unique souvenir to bring back. Try Brighton Open Market, Brighton Flea Market, or one of their many farmers markets or car boot sales.

Brighton Beach’s shoreline is made up entirely of different sized dark and rusty colored pebbles.
The pebbles that make up Brighton Beach make for a perfect coastal keepsake. Photo by Trevor Anderson.

Know before you go:

Brighton Beach is rocky and the water will probably be too cold to swim in — if you’re used to the warm, sandy Gulf of Mexico, you might not fare well. Instead, pack a picnic lunch and join the other sunbathers along the seafront.

There are a lot of hilly areas, so get ready for constant uphill and downhill walking. Of course, it’s nothing a Texas State student can’t handle.

It’s no wonder why Brighton has consistently been named one of the happiest places to live in the U.K. This cosmopolitan, seaside gem is worth making a trip out of if you find yourself in England craving some salty air and good vibes.

Featured image by Brittany Anderson.

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