During the week I headed to my hometown of Brighton and filled my time taking photographs.Since moving away I see Brighton from a different perspective, feeling more like an in-the-know tourist. So I decided to create a City Guide.
Brighton City Guide
Just an hour away from the hustle and bustle of London lays Brighton, a seaside city with a lot to offer. It’s famed for its quirky social scene, plethora of restaurants and pebble beach. Over a quarter of a million people call this place home and this might be why.
Being a resident offers many perks including free entry to the Brighton Museum. The museum is a mix of permanent and temporary displays with a heavy focus on local culture. Often referring to the local football team Brighton and Hove Albion, currently in the second tier. You can find them at the American Express Stadium; tickets are highly sought after for any games being played in this state of the art stadium. Designed by London based architects KSS who designed the redevelopment of Court No.1 at Wimbledon. The football club runs a successful charity, which aims to increase engagement and participation in sport in the local community.
Brighton is bucking the trend of having run-down areas surrounding the main train station. Adjacent to the station is New England Quarter, built on land previously owned by British Rail. It offers affordable housing; pedestriansed areas, cafes and some-much needed parking spaces.
A more controversial addition to the Brighton skyline is the British Airways sponsored i360. Offering a 360 view at 136 metres high its not been as successful as some may have hoped. It’s early days and something a bit of re-branding and ticket price reductions could potentially solve.
As with any busy city having well-designed open spaces and public parks is a must. In previous years finding a safe place to relax and let children play was a struggle in some areas, but this is beginning to change. The Level , underwent a much-needed restoration in 2013, it is now a vibrant open space, home to a skate park, play area and a diverse community. The purpose built £50 million library and 19th century theatre royal & Royal Pavilion offer greenery and benches for tourists and residents to take the weight off their feet.
The infamous pebble beach is a very popular choice for tourists in the summer and locals in the winter to sit back, take a break and enjoy the sea view. The art scene is thriving in Brighton and these open spaces are often utilised for art & photography exhibitions. Including the Brighton photo fringe and Photography biennial – the UK’s leading curated photography festival.
Home to an annual food and drink festival the city is filled with food enthusiasts and has the restaurants to match. The diverse restaurants dotted around the North Lanes cater for almost everything dietary requirement imaginable. Including vegans and vegetarians at the highly recommended Wai Kika Moo Kau (literally pronounced as why kick a moo cow).
For those wanting to brave the Sea breeze there are a number of potential venues for you too dance or drink your night away. Voted the best venue in the south 13 times The Komedia is a safe bet with weekly comedy nights, a cosy bar now housing a picture house cinema. Alternatively you could follow the route of the oldest working electric railway along the seafront to one of Europe’s largest man-made marinas. A curved side-walk leads you around the 30 newly opened restaurants which sit beneath luxury apartments.
Brighton is an inclusive city that is moulded around its diverse residents. Although improvements need to be made like increasing the number safe cycling routes the laid back atmosphere and happy-go-lucky culture can make it hard to leave.
Key Brighton Dates:
Brighton Marathon: 9th April
Brighton Festival: 6th-28th May
Artists Open Houses: 6th-28th May
Brighton Pride: 4-6th August
Burning of the Clocks: 21st December
Brighton Food & Drink Festival 2017: TBC
Brighton Photography Biennial: End of 2018
I am very excited to be flying to Iceland in the early hours of tomorrow morning! I have packed both digital and film cameras along with a range of film; portra, lomochrome purple and ilford black & white. I will be posting an Iceland travel diary on this blog and photos on my Instagram so stay tuned!