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London to Brighton

Home > London > Day Trips
by Kat Parr Mackintosh (subscribe)
Young and coffee in varying degrees, Kat also says stuff @ThoroughlyMode
Published March 18th 2010
In the beginning the trip to Brighton from London used to be bucket and spade holiday pilgrimage.

In the 60s the Mods on their chrome covered Vespas with girls in straight skirts and neckerchiefs riding tandem, and the rockers on their motorbikes decorated with girls in leather jackets, used to zoom down to Brighton each weekend to dance, drink and have a spot of a fight.

These days the trip out of London along the A23 them M23 to Brighton is a popular escape route for anyone who needs a fix of sea air.

There are a few possible routes on the motorways if you're in a hurry to see the sea, or via the B roads if it's just as much about the journey for you. Either way the official route, used by car rallies and charity rides, starts in Westminster, then passes through Brixton, Croydon and Purley, then passes round Gatwick Airport and into the part of the world known as The Weald over the North and South Downs, then it's down the hill right down to the front to the famous Kings Road arches where Quadrophenia was shot.

This is the nostalgic seaside holiday you can have in an afternoon. Once you get to the front there's an old pier complete with end-o-the-pier-games and an even older pier that's been burned down. There's also a few miles of pebbly beach lined by stalls selling jellied eels and whelks or fish and chips, pubs, bars and cafes, also all selling fish and chips and tourist-y shops. There's usually also people doing interesting things with water craft and one or two brave soul's daring the water.

Once you've had your fill of old fashioned family fun in the sun or the wind, which is almost as enjoyable those with money burning a hole in their pockets can explore the boutiques of The Lanes, good for browsing for bric a brac and men's clothing. The restaurants, bars and clubs aren't cheap but they, like everything else in Brighton, benefit from being by the seaside and stand up to the often scrutinising tastes of the local gay community.

For an extra something time your trip to coincide with one of the car rallies: the Mini Run, the largest gathering of Minis in the world is held on the 3rd Sunday of May, and the Veteran Car Run is held on the 1st Sunday in November.

If you're staying overnight consider the unique charms of the individually designed rooms of Blanch House. It's relatively new and pretty soon you'll have to book a long way in advance to get in.
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Why? It's a seaside holiday in an afternoon
When: Whenever you need a taste of freedom
Where: South East
Cost: Depends on your fuel efficiency
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