"We had a fabulous one week home exchange in Brighton thanks to Terry and Simon, who swapped their terrace near the city centre with us in June 2017. What a lot Brighton has to offer! We knew about the Pier and the Lanes, but it hadn’t registered that the South Downs Way passes so close to Brighton. We arrived during the annual Festival, which brought a lot of excitement and fun but also a lot of noise, so once we’d had enough we headed out of town for a walk. The residential areas are amazingly peaceful and pleasant, and also very hilly, so there’s plenty of walking exercise to be had. We went up Ditchling Road and found ourselves near Hollingbury Golf Course. There’s a lovely bit of forest and you’re allowed to walk on the golf course (with due caution of course), so we had a very peaceful escape from the bustle of the Festival.
Also near Brighton, and easily reachable with the bus that goes up Ditchling Road, is Ditchling Beacon on the South Downs Way. At 248m above sea-level, the Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex and the views are spectacular. The Beacon was once the site for a beacon that sent out a warning if invasion was imminent. We wandered slowly back towards Brighton, getting only slightly wet as a shower caught us along the way. Thanks to the rain we headed towards a forested area that led us eventually, through a fairytale-like woodland, to Stanmer House. Here we stopped for lunch which unfortunately was really disappointing. We should have tried the van parked near the outdoor eating area - I bet the hot dogs are fine! After lunch we walked to the bus stop for the ride home. If you go to Brighton make a point of visiting the Ditchling Beacon and make a day of it! There’s an ice-cream van at the parking area (in summer) and a 360° choice of directions to walk.
Other things to do in Brighton are – of course – to visit the Royal Pavilion, the seaside home of George IV. Nothing can prepare you for the amazing mix of Regency grandeur with Chinese and Indian influences, it’s definitely a must-see! There are also museums which we didn’t get around to inspecting. Then there’s the Pier of course, with its games hall, funfair with an incredible choice of rides, and food. The beach is round pebbles – shoes essential! One newer addition to the seafront is the i360, a remarkable “needle with a glass doughnut” that goes up and down. We had to try that, and the views were terrific. You drift slowly up until you can see all the way to the South Downs, out to sea where the big wind farm is barely visible, and up and down the coast. Definitely worth the £13 or so that it costs.
There are many eateries in Brighton of course, and we can recommend the ones we tried. One was Bardsleys, and traditional fish & chips place with friendly service and excellent fish. Our favourite tea room was That Little Tea Shop in the Lanes, where they served the most wonderful cakes. The best restaurant we tried has to be 64°, right at the seafront edge of the Lanes – tiny like all the Lanes places, but super innovative and terrific food. You choose 4-6 items from the little menu and the chefs serve them in the most suitable order. We had a fish dish, a salad, a veg dish and a meat dish (duck). Each little plate comes to be shared, and each is a little work of art with ingredients that are prepared in unusual and delicious ways. We loved the concept, the service was friendly and attentive, and the food really special. Highly recommended, but booking is best as the place is very popular!
Thanks to Terry and Simon for giving us the chance to experience so much of what Brighton has to offer, and for looking after our flat and all our plants so beautifully!" - Bea
This excellent trip report was sent in by long time Home Base Holidays member, Bea Fitze. Bea is a very experienced home swapper and has a wonderful home in St. Gallen, Switzerland.