In a bid to combat the constant battle I have of being a travel blogger who rarely can get on a flight somewhere sunny as much as I’d like (as I have a full-time job and limited holiday allowance to play with) I have decided to kick start a new series on Staycations in the UK. Not all holidays involve jetting off to the Caribbean and our tiny country has a lot to offer if you’d rather stay put, only have a small budget or just have a little bit of time to play with.
I’m kicking this series off with one of my favourite areas of the UK – Brighton, and it’s linked to my love of English seaside towns. It’s not often I rave about growing up in Kent, but one of the definite advantages of living there when I was a child is that we were very close to the sea. This ultimately meant trips to the beach any time the sun was even slightly promised to make an appearance, and meant I have a lot of happy memories at the English coastal beaches in Summer, freezing cold dips into the English channel and all. Not only that but every summer we would go ‘up North’ to stay with my Nan, and that brought with it hours of fun at Morecambe beach, spending all our pocket money at the arcades, and overloading on ice cream (favourite flavour is Raspberry Ripple, FYI).
We would visit Whitstable and Deal (still my favourites and would recommend if you’re visiting Kent), and Margate and Hastings, but the absolute pinnacle of all the beach-trips, was a trip to Brighton. All these years later and I still have a soft spot for Brighton, with its big stretches of beach, shopping opportunities around The Lanes, and plenty of places to stop for something to eat. We went back to Brighton recently as a little staycation for our anniversary and we had the perfect weekend, so I wanted to jot down a few things to do if you’re heading to the beach side town yourself…
Visit the Pier
Brighton Pier is the town’s most iconic landmark, along with its burnt-down older sister situated further down the beach. It’s topped with a fairground, plenty of arcade games and lots of sugary concession stands that waft out the smell of fried doughnuts and candy floss to entice you.
If you grew up near a seaside town or spent any summer’s at one, you’ll remember the absolute thrill of going to the arcade and spending all your pocket money trying to get as many tickets you could to possibly win the chance of trading them in for a bag of Haribo, or something equally as not-worth-it. I still remember working out with my sister the best games at the arcade that would give you the most tickets for your money, #hustlers I know.
Even if arcade games aren’t your thing, it’s fun to walk around the pier and take in the view of Brighton from the sea. If you’re peckish you can grab a multitude of sickly sweet snacks, or a drink in the sun.
Explore the lanes
The Lanes are another of Brighton’s well-known gems if you’re visiting, and they’re get for a peruse. You can lose a good few hours exploring the vintage shops, independent cafes, or just ogling at the chocolate masterpieces in ChoccyWoccyDoodah.
For vintage shops my favourites were Waiste Vintage and Starfish Vintage and for little independent shops, Silverado for jewellery and Our Daily Edit for high-end shopping (if you’ve been saving up your pennies..). Don’t forget to stop off in Photomatic for a keepsake of your weekend, and then for a tipple at one of the local coffee shops or pubs, for a rest and a spot of people-watching.
Take a Walk down the Beach
Obviously this is an absolute must when visiting a sea side town, but Brighton beach is really lovely for a walk (weather permitting of course). The beach itself is lined with bars and restaurants, and also little shops to explore as you do so. If you’re brave/stupid enough, take a dip in the English channel, and then sunbathe on the beach afterwards.
Obviously, traditional beach food is your standard fish and chips, but there’s plenty of little cafes an restaurants down the beach strip with a variety of options, which brings me on to…
Stop For Something To Eat
One of my favourite parts of Brighton is the extensive range of spots to eat. We passed so many spots in the lanes and along the beach that turned our heads, but we ultimately settled on the following two, and I would heartily recommend..
A gorgeous menu with Instagram-able presentation, a dreamy decorated space and even a beautiful toilet for a toilet selfie – Cowshed toiletries included. The menu was huge, and had a range of options for brunch that were a little different to the usual. All of this and it didn’t come with London-prices that we’re used to, so we used this opportunity to treat ourselves to Bellinis and waffles topped with maple bacon, black pudding, bacon jam, egg and APPLE – pictured below.
I am a big advocate for Fish & Chips when you’re at the seaside, but considering we had that the evening before, we ended up at Lucky Beach for their incredible burgers. Not only were the burgers really gorgeous, but they also come with hauuuge G&Ts, in addition to Lobster-topped-fries (I know).
I would heartily recommend Lucky Beach as I’ve been before for the calamari tacos, and can confirm they’re an absolute treat as well. There’s seating inside, but if the weather is good then don’t miss the opportunity to sit on their beach seating area and enjoy the view.
Fancy a Snack?
If you’re not looking for a big meal, stop by The Croque Shop, for homemade food that smells absolutely gorgeous. Their window is filled with delights, with incredible sausage roll fillings and vegan pies too. There’s nowhere to sit though, so it’s more of a takeaway treat – and I’ve just discovered they do home delivery if you order through their website, so excuse me whilst I go and order 10 sausage rolls…
I’m sure I’ve missed plenty of recommendations for this gorgeous seaside town, so please let me know if you have any in the comments. In the meantime though, check out my Instagram at GrundyTravels for more travel snaps.
If you’d like me to write a guide on any other British staycations, please let me know! Thanks for reading x