Posted by Sarah
I guess one great thing about the credit crunch – for the UK’s travel industry, anyway – is that people seem to be rediscovering local seaside destinations like Blackpool, Bournemouth and Brighton as they stay at home for their holidays. Of the three, I have to say I think I like Brighton the most (no offence to the other two!). If you get a fast train, it’s less than an hour from London and the environment is instantly more holiday-like.
What’s more, although Brighton might look swish, with its ornate Royal Pavilion and impressive Regency architecture, there’s still plenty of ways to enjoy the delights of the city on a budget. Its main attraction – Brighton Beach – is completely free, though it helps to have good weather of course! And Brighton Pier, though not the cheapest place to buy things, is great to explore. What’s more, you don’t actually have to go into the Royal Pavilion to bask in its splendours – personally, I think its gorgeously flamboyant exterior looks its best from the outside at twilight.
Brighton’s vibrant cultural landscape also means that it’s home to a great range of art galleries, many of which have free entrance, while its sprawling culinary scene means that you’ll always find somewhere to eat that won’t break the bank. Better still, if you’re a vegetarian (and you’re tired of feeling like your non-veggie friends have to go out of their way to accommodate you), Brighton will welcome you with open arms – it’s home to some of Britain’s best vegetarian eateries (and some cheap ones too).
However, there’s one thing that I’m looking forward to the most in Brighton this year: the Brighton Fringe! It’s the second biggest arts festival in the UK (after Edinburgh) and is held every year in May. I’ve been to the Edinburgh Fringe loads of times, but never Brighton, and I’m planning to change that this year. Like its Scottish cousin, I hear that Brighton’s festival can get a bit pricey – especially when you’re buying tickets to multiple shows at once. But if it’s anything like Edinburgh, I’m guessing that you don’t necessarily have to spend much to really revel in its lively atmosphere.
Hopefully, I’ll be able to report back at the end of May with even more news on cheap stuff to do in Brighton. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed that we’re in for a nice warm summer!