A day in Brighton

It usually takes a lot to convince me to wake up before 10 am on a Sunday, but the idea of escaping the spontaneous rain and general busyness of London for a day had me rolling out of bed at 6:30 am, in a bus at 8 am, and strolling along the British seaside by 10 am. Brighton is a quaint seaside town about 2 hours south of London most known for its pier, quirky shops, and thriving music and arts scene. It is one of the most popular day-trip locations in the UK, so Alison, Carlos, Josh, Bobby, Todd, and I decided to go check it out for the day.

The National Express bus stop was right across the street from Brighton Pier, so we naturally decided to check it out first. The pier had a very old school carnival vibe, complete with your typical arcade games, slot machines, and slightly run down rollercoasters. It was extremely windy and cloudy in the morning so we spent most of our time on the pier huddling against the cold instead of spending £20 trying to win oversized stuff animals and eating greasy carnival food.

Marwood Coffee Shop

After filling our stomachs with full English breakfasts and platters of fish ‘n chips, we wandered around North Laine. North Laine is a quirky residential and shopping district full of very bohemian pubs, restaurants, and shops. We received multiple recommendations to check out Marwood Coffee Shop, so we ducked in for some lattes and mochas before deciding what to do next. Needless to say, this was by far the most eccentric coffee shop I have ever been to. It’s not every day you drink a latte underneath a framed taxidermy moose wearing an orange afro.

Later in the afternoon, we decided to hop onto a bus from Churchill Square in Brighton out to Sussex County for a change of scenery. An hour later, we found ourselves in Seven Sisters Country Park, which is part of the greater South Downs National Park. Walking through endless stretches of grass alongside families of bunnies and herds of grazing sheep and cattle was arguably one of the most peaceful experiences of my life. I am still constantly amazed by just how green it is in England. It was definitely a very welcome change to the unending fields of dying yellow grass along the I-5 in Central California.

Brighton was the perfect location for a breath of fresh air before returning back to the fast pace of London. We got a taste of everything: completed our duty as tourists on the pier, wandered around the shops to experience the slight quirkiness of Brighton’s local culture, and soaked in the sun and sea breeze along the coast. England, you’re not too shabby.