Brighton is a city I’ve loved since I first visited at the tender age of 13. Move forward 10 years and it became the place where I took my first real job, bought my first home, met my partner and had my baby.
It’s a bohemian, eccentric, hedonistic place, that challenges and inspires you every day.
I love the tackiness of the pier and the sickening smell of donuts that surround it; I can put up with the wailing seagulls even though they’ve stolen my lunch on more than one occasion and woken me in the early hours many times; I love being within easy reach of the beautiful sea that is refreshing on a hot summer day and fascinatingly violent on a grey winter’s day, and I still get energised by the extraordinary creativity of the famous Laines.
That’s why, even though I don’t live there anymore, this is the place that I continue to call home.
Take a stroll to Yellowave’s volleyball courts, where you can sip on a coffee or a health-juice and play ball while your kids mess around in the sandpit or the nearby Peter Pan Playground (a must-go in summer).
You must go to the North Laines for independent shops, lots of buzzing cafés (my favourite is Temptation – very child-friendly and serves locally-sourced food), and the always fun indoor market Snooper’s Paradise. If you find yourself in Brighton on a rainy day with kids, I’d suggest a trip to the city’s library, where the children’s area is filled with toys and books, and there’s a café ready to replenish your caffeine levels.
The South Laines is where the city’s most labyrinthian streets are, lined with jewellery and designer shops. In good Brighton fashion, you will also find indy bargains shops and great pubs like the Bath Arms.
If you can, take a bus and go up to Rottingdean where the views over the white cliffs and the glistening sea are breathtaking.
Goodbye Brighton, until we meet again…