London Day Trip: Visit Brighton for a low-cost seaside getaway
Dare I say it, but London has been enjoying a great summer so far and long may it last. But sometimes we just need a change of scene, especially when temperatures are scorching. So if you’ve had enough of picnicking in the park or cooling down at London’s lidos, a day trip to Brighton might be just what you need.
Southern Railway is currently offering excellent value £10 return train tickets on trains departing from St Pancras, Blackfriars and London Bridge, making a trip to Brighton even easier on the wallet. The cheaper fares are on a slightly longer route (the journey takes up to 1 hour 20 minutes as opposed to 55 minutes), but it’s well worth the extra travel time to save those pounds for an ice cream (or two) on the beach.
You can save even further by taking advantage of the 2for1 offers available to day trippers who travel by train. With a little forward planning, you can download vouchers with reduced entry and special offers for a number of Brighton attractions by claiming your voucher here. When you arrive at the museum / bar / restaurant / attraction of your choice, just present your voucher with your train tickets to take advantage of the deal.
Stroll through the Lanes
When you emerge from Brighton train station you’ll find yourself at the top of a relatively steep hill, which you just need to follow all the way to the bottom to reach the seafront. En route towards the beach, a great first stop is to dip into the Brighton’s famous Lanes, which are packed with quirky shops nestled within the twisting, narrow streets. Straddling either side of the main thoroughfare, North Street, you’ll find endless corners to explore in North Laine and the Lanes, all bursting with antiques, vintage clothes, jewelry, music and juggling shops, as well as lots of coffee shops and really tasty vegetarian cafes.
Explore the Royal Pavilion
Carrying on down towards the sea, you can’t help but stumble across the Royal Pavilion—a building that looks like it might be more at home in India, but yet sits proudly in central Brighton. This original “pleasure palace” was built for the Prince Regent (later King George IV) between 1787 and 1823 as a summer house by the sea. It’s lovely to explore from the outside in the pretty gardens, but if you do want to go inside, be sure to print off your 2for1voucher and present with your train ticket to save on the entry fee.
Hit the beach
On arriving at Brighton’s enormous pebbly beach, you may well be tempted to make like the rest of us during the Great British Summer and rent a deck chair or lay down your towel and have a paddle in the (icy) water. If the weather isn’t fine enough, there’s plenty to do along the beach, with tons of bars and restaurants serving up everything from traditional fish and chips to fine oysters. A nice spot for lunch is the Brighton Music Hall, with a big outdoor seating area where it’s easy enough to get a table even on a busy day, and free live music to set the summer scene. The food is reasonably priced and the Ocean sharing platter comes highly recommended—it’s big enough for three people and gives you a real taste of the sea!
Fun at the pier
And before you take the journey back to London, make sure you leave enough time for some fun and games on Brighton Pier. It may be tacky, but who can say no to candy floss by the beach? Some of the roller coasters and bigger rides at the end of the pier will eat into your budget, but you only need loose change to while away hours in the arcade—air hockey tournament anyone?