Blissful Brighton and the Sunny South Coast

Every so often when travelling you find a place that ticks all the boxes. While the UK has some lovely areas I haven’t found one yet that I felt I could live in. Brighton and surrounds have changed my thinking.

We have been here for a couple of weeks and have had glorious weather, met some very nice people and have managed to have a good look around both Brighton and some of the surrounding area.

Brighton Pier by day

Brighton Pier at night

Brighton is an interesting mix of old world English Beach holiday town, new age hippy town, large English university town and holiday spot for people from around the world. It is close enough for day trippers from London and the weekends seem to bring in the masses for a party or two. The Lanes area is very cool with lots of new and secondhand shopping and there are hundreds of restaurants with any type of food you want. The thing everyone comes to Brighton for is the beach and while it’s not the best beach I’ve been on (it’s stones) the atmosphere along the boardwalk is very chilled with lots of bars and English fish and chip joints. After the hustle and bustle of London it is a very pleasant change.

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton

Windmill in Rottingdean
To the East of Brighton is a walk called the “Undercliff Walk” which is 11km of picturesque seaside walking to a place called Telscombe. The walk passes through a lovely village called Rottingdean (the name isn’t a marketing person ideal) that has pretty old buildings, an excellent walled garden and an old flour mill on the hill. Rottingdean is the type of village the travel brochures depict when trying to get you to visit the UK. Any walk has to have some reward so we stopped at a very nice pub on the cliffs overlooking the English Channel and ended our journey with a cider or two.

HMS Warrior in the historic Portsmouth Dockyard

We also had a daytrip by train to Portsmouth to see the Historic Dockyards. This was a fascinating place with the HMS Victory, the ship that Lord Nelson died on taking pride of place (although no photos due to scaffolding around it). Other interesting attractions there were the HMS Warrior, the HMS Alliance (diesel/electric submarine), the Mary Rose Museum and the Royal Navy Museum (Kate had great fun trying to sink subs using sonar). We had planned to visit the Royal Marines Museum as well but we ran out of time. In keeping with the theme of this holiday we again concluded the day with a cider in a pub in Old Portsmouth. Sitting in the sun, sipping cider was a brilliant way to end the day.

Ferry leaving Portsmouth Harbour

On a final note I’d liked to once again compliment the English on their weather (I know, who would have believed it). It has been very pleasant here with nice sunny days. Lets hope it continues for our next excursion to Cornwall.