After one month in London the question still remains; ‘Why do people live here?’ I don’t want to be (too) dark on London; a city (country) sans beaches, good weather but heavy on pollution, people pushing and far too expensive rent but like me 8.63 million people live here, and most often love it (it is pretty great).
However, there is only so much city I can take without a welcome break and in all necessary ways a trip to Brighton was indeed a welcome one, if not tentative to have all my preconceptions about what a beach should be, challenged.
Taking the train to Brighton is only a touch over an hour affair with a beautiful insight into the English countryside, and only a touch over £10, just make sure to be at the train 15 minutes early if you want a seat on weekends.
Arriving in Brighton I was greeted, quite literally, by 1000 rainbows as I had by chance timed my visit with Brighton Pride, wandering down the main street and choosing my spot to catch the parade. Brighton is known for its diversity and acceptance, with it’s amazing GLBT scene out in full show on this perfectly sunny and boozy day.
Desperate then to be by the sea I continued wandering the short distance to Brighton beach, tentative, of this stone laden wonder. I was in love. Perhaps due to my far too long separation from endless water or, perhaps because it’s bloody amazing. There is no need for lugging towels, no children gleefully flicking sand, wind is a lesser enemy and your feet won’t be unmercifully dusted in sand for the days remainder. It was all levels of comfort to simply lie down amongst the crowds (rainbow clad), enjoy the (still English) sun and read a decent book. Thank you, stone beach.
Brighton itself is a charming place, wander around ‘The Lanes’, a central hub of wayward cobblestone lanes that offer beautiful cafes, bars and shopping before making your way to the city’s Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, Brighton’s Hindu temple, because that’s just how this city is, diverse, interesting, unexpected. If you want another cultural fix visit the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, currently exhibiting ‘Wildlife Photographer of The Year’.
Brighton Pier amazes me, it must be the only place where gaming machines and show rides reign supreme as adults and children alike get caught up in the youthful delight these things bring, it’s also the best way to get rid of those hoards of useless 2p coins that weight your wallet. Walking to the end will also provide a beautiful view back along the beach.
Importantly, most importantly, the coffee scene is Brighton is distinctly and unarguably better than that of London. Now that’s a reason to go.