At first glance, I wasn’t sure I was going to enjoy Brighton. The carnival rides, fair food, the lights and tourist trap attractions made my stomach churn. But, exactly as taught from a young age, you can’t judge a book by its cover. Brighton was a city full of surprises.
Thankfully, Brighton wasn’t at the height of its tourist season – if it had been I don’t think I would have enjoyed it as much as I did. Our first step onto the pier was accompanied by smiling faces and Sigala’s Sweet Lovin’, a song that pumps out a beat of pure happiness (or maybe I just associate with good times, who knows!). Instantly I was put into upbeat spirits as we made our way down the pier, past cotton candy stands, windows selling candy apples, people sitting on benches with fried dough, past signs advertising the best fish & chips you could find, and an arcade beckoning you to gamble away every last pence. It went against every moral of my being, but it had a certain je ne sais quoi that drew me in. And, what’s a trip to the pier without giving into a top fair food: lollis.
But the thing that set Brighton apart from any other seaside town that I’ve been to is that the waterfront wasn’t necessarily its main attraction. Granted, the beach and the pier are what draw you to Brighton, but it is the town that makes you want to stay.
Brighton has a part of town called The Lanes, winding pedestrian streets in the city center that house everything from antique stores, to tea shops, to clothing stores, to home decorative stores. It was fun exploring the ins and outs of The Lanes, every direction was a decision, almost like finding yourself in a labyrinth garden, where you have no idea where your decided next turn will take you. It was an adventure in itself.
What I noticed most about Brighton was its infinite amount of picturesque and instagrammable coffeeshops, which, if you have ever traveled with me before, you’d know are my number one destinations. Nothing is better than sitting down at a cute coffeeshop and enjoying the unique cultural atmosphere of the city you are discovering.
Not to mention the rows of colorful buildings and the beautiful details of the city, the nostalgic view of the West Pier, which now proudly stands as merely the bones of an old pier after multiple fires and corrosion. Its a bit eery at first, but it grows on you. Just the the old resort town itself.