Brighton also has a large array of trendy bars and restaurants to keep the populus happy, although be prepared to pay London prices. There are also some great shops (the Laines is the centre of most of the best shops) ranging from record/CD shops which stock some of the rarer dance material, specialist piercing, clothing to new age shopping. There is also a large gay scene in Brighton with a large selection of gay and lesbian orientated bars and clubs.
There is also the annual Brighton festival held in May which offers a range of music, dance, film and theatre throughout the month. Fatboy Slim's Big Beach Boutique may also return to the beach this year if concerns over safety and any environmental effects to the beach itself can be allayed, last year almost 4 times as many people as were expected turned up causing Brighton to be gridlocked.
The weather in Brighton can get very nice in the summer with the sea breeze moderating the temperature, although the winter weather can be quite bracing!
Brighton is easily reached by train from London Victoria or Croydon and takes approxiametly between 50-70 minutes depending on whether you get a fast train. The fare from Croydon is about £11 for a return, so expect to pay about £4 more from Central London. Brighton is also easily accessible by car, if you are coming from the M25 motorway, take the M23 and then follows the signs. Be aware that parking in Brighton is quite a task, your best bet is to head to the NCP Car Park which is very well signposted and remember to check the closing times!
(I have no idea what any of these places are like, but expect to pay at least £30 a night for a hotel room)
Baggies Backpackers, 33 Oriental Place, Brighton, +44 (0) 1273 733740
Brighton Backpackers Hostel, 75-76 Middle Street, Brighton - from only £12, $18, Euro 18 per person per night, +44 (0)1273 777717
Coward’s, 12 Upper Rock Gardens, Brighton (01273) 692677, from£30
Hudsons, 22 Devonshire Place, Brighton (01273) 683642 - £28 (mid-week), £30 (w/end)
Millards Hotel, 23 Broad Street, Kemptown, Brighton BN2 1TJ, 01273 694 314
Palace Hotel, Grand Junction Road, Brighton, Telephone 01273 202035, Rates: From £25 p/p
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Things to do
Palace Pier (Seafront) - Amusements, Fairground rides or just relax back on one of the many deckchairs and watch the hours melt away.
Sealife Centre - Enjoyable aquarium down on the seafront in which to spend an hour or so if the rain starts to fall.
Basket Weaver's Arms (Cheltenham Place) - Popular local pub with walls covered in cigarette cards and tobacco tins. try opening the tins to see what people have left in them!
Earth and Stars (Windsor Street) - Homely bar selling organic drinks and food playing chilled out tunes, shouldnt be too hard too miss as the building is painted bright turquoise!
Heart in Hand (North Street) - Small friendly local pub serving the delicious Leffe beer.
The Coach House (59 Middle Street) - Beautifully laid out restaurant bar with outside seating and nice food
The Dorset (Corner of Gardner Street) - Victorian style cafe bar and restaurant in the North Laine area
The Font and Firkin (Union Street, The Lanes) - Large Firkin Pub in a large converted church serving good food and a large selection of ales
The Hop Poles (13 Middle Street) - Great bistro food at reasonable prices and a large selection of wines, also has a courtyard bar.
The Sussex (33-34 East Street) - Friendly town centre pub with home-cooked pub food.
Western Front (11 Cranbourne Street) - Close to the shopping centre this place is a pleasant place to enjoy some food and a drink in the summer with outside seating, the interior is decked out with big wooden tables ideal for a more cosy environement in the colder months
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Auberge (Unit 2153, Whitgift Centre) - Top floor mainly french cuisine
The Coach House (59 Middle Street) - Beautifully laid out restaurant with outside seating and nice food
Fringe Restaurant (North Laines) - A great place to have breakfast with a balcony overlooking the laines, serves great fruit juice, you may have to wait to be seated
Mai Ped Ped Ped (11 Market Street, The Old Laines) - Small welcoming thai tapas and restaurant serving a great selection of dishes.