Brighton: My favourite place in the UK

If I wasn’t getting married in Holland, I’d definitely choose Brighton as my wedding location. My love affair with this magnificent city began in 2001, when I moved there from Southampton to start university. Best decision I ever made.

So, why do I love Brighton?

1. It’s quirky. Really, really quirky. Like your older brother who rebels, gets a leather jacket, a Mohawk and starts a punk band. One of my top places to visit is the Prince Albert, a 2 minute walk from the train station. From the front, it just looks like a “normal” pub, but check out the art on the side wall. Simply stunning! The bar itself is extremely studenty… so don’t expect much glamour (actually – none), but sit outside and enjoy the art!!

The Prince Albert, Brighton

The Prince Albert, Brighton

Eagle-eyes will have spotted a little Banksy here… it’s actually a replica as the original Kissing Coppers (dating from 2004) was removed and sold to a US gallery in 2011. This iconic image has become one of Banky’s most famous street works.

Banksy, The Prince Albert, Brighton

Banksy, The Prince Albert, Brighton

2. The Beach. Or the bi-atch as I like to call it. Who doesn’t love a good beach? Yeah, yeah… it’s stone not sand, but it still looks awesome!

West Pier, Brighton

West Pier, Brighton

3. Moshimo. (Formerly Moshi Moshi.) Without a doubt, this is my (and our) favourite restaurant… EVER. We’ve tried countless Japanese restaurants over the past 5 years… none as good. The conveyor belt is a genius idea and this restaurant makes me smile every time! Tip: Brighton Town Hall (dating from 1830) is directly opposite the restaurant.

Moshimo, Brighton

Moshimo, Brighton

4. The Royal Pavilion is a marvel to look at… especially by night when it’s lit like a Christmas tree! A former Royal residence, it is now owned by Brighton & Hove City Council and gets around 400,000 visitors each year.

Royal Pavilion, Brighton

Royal Pavilion, Brighton

 5. The Pier. (Brighton Marine Palace and Pier, shortened to Palace Pier and now just Brighton Pier!!) It’s a wonderful thing. Candy floss, fish & chips, arcades, fairground rides… nostalgic and fun. A grade II listed building since 1971. No trip to Brighton should be without a stroll down the promenade!

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

6. The Brighton Wheel. Marketed as “Brighton’s latest and greatest attraction”. There’s no doubt it’s great for tourists, I’ve never actually been on it… but even I have to admit, it does look cool. A great addition to Brighton’s skyline.

Brighton Wheel

Brighton Wheel

7. “Kiss Wall”. One of my favourite sculptures ever.  As you walk past and look out to sea, the light shines behind the column and the images become clear: 6 couples kissing. Different ages and genders but all displaying one thing: love. The statue “illustrates the diversity of Brighton’s population, celebrating equality, understanding and acceptance between all individuals.” (Brighton & Hove)

Kissing Wall, Brighton

Kissing Wall, Brighton

8. The Bandstand. First opened in 1884, it was restored to its former glory in 2009 and is now a popular wedding ceremony venue. I totally get it!!  I would love to have wedding photos here. It’s “considered to be one of the finest examples of a Victorian bandstand still surviving in England today.” (Brighton & Hove) Could not agree more. So beautiful!

The Bandstand, Brighton

The Bandstand, Brighton

9. More quirkiness. What looks like street art, actually has a hidden agenda. How very Brighton. Here Here is a “Biosphere project” for Brighton & Lewes Downs (covering almost 400 square kilometres of land and sea between the River Adur and the River Ouse) and aims to “look after and improve our local environment, whilst at the same time developing ourselves in a sustainable way.”

Street Art, Brighton

Street Art, Brighton

10. Change. The thing I most love about Brighton is that it isn’t afraid of change. It’s constantly evolving, updating, improving. Every time I visit, something is different, new. That’s an exciting prospect! Now I live in Holland, it’s going to be more difficult to visit my favourite seaside town… but I like a challenge! 😉

What’s your favourite UK destination?

Hayley x

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