Ever since I started to plan my trip to London, I knew I definitely wanted to visit Brighton. I heard great things from friends who had been, and a lot of my favorite British celebrities live there or visit quite often. Plus, I knew it would be great material for my vlog series.
We decided to go on the Fourth of July, seeing as we wouldn’t be missing any celebrations in London, so that we could have some time on the beach and make our own little holiday. We easily booked our train tickets online a couple days before, and began to map out our day. We were able to take a train directly out of Victoria Station to Brighton; it was only about an hour long and round trip it cost about 20 pounds (about thirty dollars).
When we first arrived in Brighton, we could instantly detect the signature, salty beach smell, and headed in that direction. Of course it’s not the “typical” beach that comes to mind for most Americans; in lieu of sand Brighton Beach is covered in small pebbles. It was still quite early in the morning, so we were able to grab some chairs and sit in the sun for a while. We then ventured off to the Lanes, a popular and unique market-style section of Brighton filled with various shops and restaurants. After perusing the many jewelery stores, we decided it was time for the
main event, the Brighton Pier.
The Pier is a mix of your typical county fair and a small-scale amusement park. It had everything from roller coasters, food and ice cream stands, to tarot card readers and just about everything in between. We opted for the 20 pound bracelet that allowed us unlimited attractions, and started exploring the park. For the most part, the rides were actually quite fun, and we definitely got our money’s worth out of the bracelets. Next, we decided it was time for some food, as we had been eyeing an American diner that was having a celebration for the fourth. We settled into the 50’s-style booths after a short wait, and I was ecstatic to see honey mustard on the menu (a staple in my day-to-day diet back home). We all ordered our favorite sodas and got a plate of cheese fries to share.
As our food arrived I knew it would not satisfy my American food craving. While it was fine food, it just wasn’t authentic American. In retrospect, my expectations were probably set too high for the small beach town, and the waitresses wearing leg warmers and Elvis posters everywhere should have been a tell that this was going to be a British interpretation of “American” rather than what I was really used to. Nonetheless, we finished our meals, and headed back to the beach to enjoy the sunshine a bit longer. A couple more rides and an ice cream later, we found ourselves back at Brighton Station, heading back to Victoria. And before we knew it, we were back in the place we call home.
It’s quite interesting actually, my friends and I all seem to feel a bit of homesickness when we go on our weekend trips, but for London rather than our respective homes in America. Overall, Brighton was the perfect getaway for our Saturday. Cheap tickets, and a quick train ride got us out of the city for the perfect amount of time to have a little 4th of July celebration, even if we were in England.