London Stories and Tips

Brighton in a Day

Coloured cottages in the North Laines Photo, Brighton, England

One of our day trips was to the seaside city of Brighton. Mind you, we only actually saw the sea for about 10 minutes. By the time we go there it was far too cold and we were tired and footsore.

We took the train from Victoria station in London, the journey takes about an hour and trains are frequent. It was 19 pounds for a cheap day return ticket.

We arrived at the station and made our way out with a little map we got in the tourist information booth. We were planning to shop our way through the North Laines and the Lanes primarily, stop in my favourite store Past Times and visit the Oriental style Pavillion.

We headed down the street facing the train station and then followed the signs leading us through a narrow passage to the North Laines where there are streets lined with terrace cottages painted in multi colours, or brick faces or plaster with wooden beams. A few blocks further we came into the shopping area. The first shop was called Retail Therapy and it's windows were chock full of crafts and gifts. The owner was really nice and told us a bit about the area and shops and gave us a little map.

The Lanes have lots of independently owned shops and cafes, many are vegetarian friendly and Brighton is a city that is overall friendly to alternative lifestyles. There are three main streets of shops that are pedestrianized and the cross streets are shop and pub filled as well. We stayed mainly on the pedestrian streets to start with, browsing many of the interesting stores. There was fashion, accessories, food, antiques, ephemera, gifts, crafts and gifts. It would take too long to tell about every shop we went into and all the interesting things we saw!

We stopped for a light lunch in one cafe along the way. Mom had a really delicious carrot and coriander soup and i had a jacket potato. Further on, we reached one of the main streets, traffic and busses included. It was North Street and was more or less a "high" street. The Brighton town clock was up the hill a little but our goal was a gift store called Past Times. This is one of my favourite shops in the UK and they carry gift items from which are modeled on many different historic eras. Needless to say, our credit cards didn't get out of there unscathed!

After visiting the Royal Pavillion, we made our way through the even narrower and older Lanes shopping and pubs and cafes. Again, this is pedestrianized. It's the oldest part of Brighton when it used to be a small fishing village, centuries ago. I loved the shops and the mixed architecture styles, most of it 300 years old or more.

From there we finally made it to the sea front but by then were so foot sore and chilled from the ocean breezes that we took a few photos of the pier and seafront beach and headed back to the train station and back to London. We were pretty tired but it was a grand day out!

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