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View to Brighton Pier from the New Steine, Brighton

Archive for the ‘Brighton on a Budget’ Category

Visiting Brighton and its ‘Greeters’

Many cities claim to offer a warm welcome, but to put out teams of ‘Greeters’ for people visiting Brighton is unheard off. What do these people do? Is it free? And will they just drag you off to a pub for a pint and some midday drag act?

Let your Greeter take you there Photo: Flickr/OliverN5

Let your 'Greeter' take you there Photo: Flickr/OliverN5

Well, we’ve been looking into it. And sadly there’s no boozing or man-serenades – bit early in the day.

But, you can ‘Book your Greet’ and get matched up with a Brighton resident who will guide you towards the best things to see in Brighton.

Each session last up to six hours and you can get as many as five friends to come along with you. So for people visiting Brighton it’s perfect. Hop of the train and get a guided tour. How good is that!

Not just for Brighton virgins; if you’ve visited before you can still get in on the initiative – run by Visit Brighton.

You book online, giving details of the hotel in Brighton or the Brighton B&B you’re staying in, and the preferred date and time of your Greet.

Although not guaranteed – visits are ’subject to Greeter availability’ – if you book in advance and schedule it for the first part of your trip to Brighton, there’s a good chance you’ll get one.

And if you don’t, not to worry: there are lots of day trips near Brighton to see and do in Brighton – and there’s always somewhere you can grab a pint – drag act might have to wait till later, mind.

And if you’re Scottish, this whole blog post could mean something completely different. But don’t greet about it…

Book your Greeter

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Walks in Sussex from your Brighton B&B

It’s all too easy to just step outside of your Brighton B&B and only ever walk up and down the seafront. Ok, when it’s really cold you probably aren’t going to venture much further than the edge of town.

Seven Sisters from Cuckmere Photo : Flickr/marcberryreid

Seven Sisters from Cuckmere Photo : Flickr/marcberryreid

But with the weather set to warm up soon (ish), it’s time you checked out the walks in Sussex and walks near Brighton, and got yourselves out into the countryside proper.

So wrap up warm, carry some warm clothes and some food, and pack a flask. Tell the kids it’ll be good for them, and before you know it you’ll be having a great family day out.

To help you get underway and leave behind the Brighton hotels, clubs, bars and shops, here are five routes to suit.

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Brighton UK: 5 very British Brighton attractions

Planning on visiting Brighton UK this year, you’ll be looking for those traditional British attractions. And as much as we like to avoid stereotypes around these parts, there’s no doubting the south coast has its fair share of Britishness for visitors from Europe to enjoy.

Brighton Rock, crunchy not movie Image Flickr/lilvanili

Brighton Rock: crunchy, not movie Image Flickr/lilvanili

Here’s our 5 favourite British attractions proving we’ve still got it.

Brighton Architecture

A weekend in Brighton is just enough time to pass some of the finest English houses and architectural styles you can find. There was a surge in house building during the reign of George IV and these regency styles continued to be popular long after he died. Local firm Wilds & Busby built much of Kemp Town and Brunswick Town. And all around these are lesser streets copying the familiar regency style terraces and squares. Check out Brunswick Square and walk east from our Brighton B&B towards the marina – you’ll find many others.

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Brighton UK : Why our friends from Europe start and finish in Brighton

Brighton UK is not just a weekend favourite, it’s also traditionally where many visitors from Europe start off and finish their whirlwind tours of the UK.

Europe's coming to Brighton

Europe's coming to Brighton

Now, you’d think they’d just jump off the plane and rush into overpriced London digs. Well, they don’t; they get a weekend in Brighton, chill out and plan their route from here.

And, often they also finish their trip with a night here, too.

So, why would you choose to stay your first weekend in Brighton?

Here are five good reasons:

Close to the airport

Flights into Gatwick drop off passengers from all over Europe, and it’s just around the corner. Well, Brighton UK is just 30 mins by train, but it’s still better than heading the other way into London.

To help prepare

If you’ve arrived after hours of connections and faffing around, the last thing you need is to be chucked in the middle of it all, when really you should be taking the time to chill and prepare for the next 7, 10 days of holiday.

Brighton’s a special place

You know it, we all know it, and by the time they leave, they’ll know it too: Brighton UK is unlike any other town. And if you make the effort to come here, you’ll enjoy special offers on Brighton Accommodation and soon see why.

It’s the beach, stoopid!

Yes, everyone loves a beach. And given the chance, most people would rather wake up next to the sea than between two tower blocks. So what if it’s not summer! Get a bit of sunlight going and Brighton brightens, regardless of the temperature.

To wind down

Yes, not only do tourists spend their first few nights in Brighton, they also book a weekend at the end to check out the things to do in Brighton before they leave. It’s a bit of a treat and a time to relax and reflect on their holiday – most tourists stick to the south, but often roam all the way to Cornwall and back, so resting up at the end often helps finish their trip to Brighton UK in style.

And of course they come for the nudist beach! But probably just to laugh at the 10 or so Brits brave enough to put their crown jewels on display.

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Visiting Brighton on a Budget

Visiting Brighton this summer you’ll be keen to keep costs down – there’s the cost of transport, food and entertainment, as well as the price of your bed and breakfast in Brighton.

Free fun in Brighton

Free fun in Brighton

Sticking to our reputation of being the best value and most characterful Brighton BnB, we’ve put together a list of things to do in Brighton for the family that are either cheap, or free.

You’d be very surprised just how much you can offer your family, with no need to break the bank.

Here goes:

All Month

Dinosaurs in Churchill Square. Thanks to a partnership with the Natural History Museum, Churchill Square shopping centre is now home to some of the most impressive animated dinos you’ll ever get to see. Price: FREE and not to be missed!

07 July

SOURCE New Music – Upcoming stars of the Brighton music scene and special guest perform at the Brighton Dome. Price: just £4 –

07 July

‘Bloomsbury in Brighton’ walking tour. Rose Collis,  author of ‘The New Encyclopaedia of Brighton’ leads a tour of Brighton that reveals the town’s artistic and creative contributors. Fans of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Duncan Grant, Edward Le Bas and Lytton Strachey will love it! Price: 2-for-1 tickets on the day. Tickets £6.50 Meet at Brighton Museum 2pm/6pm

10 July

Johnny Boy – Young people from local education groups take the legend of Don Giovanni and give it a modern twist. Price: £6/£3 at the Brighton Dome

13 – 17 July

Young at Art 2011- Perfect for families harbouring a young artist. An exhibition that helps young people get their visions up on the walls and presented in a professional exhibition. Price: FREE

14 July

Antigone – for less than a fiver you get to see the award winning West Sussex Country Youth Theatre present its latest play, Spring Awakening, again at the Brighton Dome.

06/24 July

North Laine Summer Walks – Don’t spend the weekend in Brighton walking around aimlessly, when you can pick up a great history lesson as you wander. Price: from £3, leaves from outside the Brighton Museum

23 July

Young Artists’ Day – Drop-in events run by local talent that will inspire the junior Picassos and would-be Wagners. Price: FREE – Brighton Museum

24 July

Love it Local Summer Fair
Local arts, crafts, hippie heaven and fun for the family at the Hanover community centre. Price: Yep, it’s FREE!

And there are the downs, and Hove lawns, and the piers (well, one pier) and all the Brighton parks to explore. Check out more free stuff and free events

It just goes to show, you don’t need loadsa money when booking a Bed and Breakfast in Brighton, just a little local knowledge and a splash of imagination – oh, and don’t forget the beach: it’s cheaper than chips, it’s free!

For comprehensive what’s on and Brighton local events

Special offers on Brighton accommodation

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Shopping in Brighton? Pick up a dinosaur

Leaving a hotel in Brighton off on a little shopping trip? The temptation must be to get the kids doing something they love while you get right into the retail.

Natural History Museum

Bringing real dinos to Brighton

Well, shopping in Brighton’s about to take an unexpected twist next month, one which will have every member of the family excited: Dinosaurs are coming to town!

And they will be allowed in Churchill Square, thanks to an event set up in conjunction with the Natural History Museum – so don’t think for a minute these will be moth-eaten waxworks – this is the real deal, provided by the museum’s touring exhibition.

Star of the show is likely to be T-Rex. At more than four metres long and six metres tall, this pre-historic predator will dominate proceedings.

Although, the vegetarian option – an armour-plated Ankylosaurus – will also draw gasps from the kids, distracted from shopping in Brighton by the size and complexity of the plates of bone grown into its hide.

Shopping for a dinosaur?

Shopping for a dinosaur?

Dotted around Churchill Square there will also be ‘touch and feel’ boxes to keep visitors busy, as well as a real T-Rex skull. And if dinosaur junior is getting a little too excited, there’s always the intimidating Oviraptor, a six-foot, bird-like dinosaur that used to pick up and carry off children – especially the disruptive ones…

There’s plenty here to keep imaginations driven wild, as Churchill Square’s Marketing Coordinator, Tara Philips pointed out: “The exhibition promises to be a truly lifelike experience which aims to transport people back to a time when dinosaurs ruled the land!”

Churchill Square is probably the best place to start shopping in Brighton: As well as being home to the bigname brands, it’s central, served by just about all the bus routes and links through to a multi-story car park.

The Dinosaur Encounter exhibition runs from 1st July to 4th September 2011 at Churchill Square Shopping Centre – and don’t worry about finding a Spendalotasaurus, the exhibition is completely free!

Grab hotel offers for the family

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Visiting Brighton: Bikes and birthday suits

UK has really clear laws about public nudity and us Brits have a bit of a reputation as prudes. Well, this weekend anyone visiting Brighton for the first time will get a very different view. That’s because it’s not just in the Brighton bed and breakfasts where the action is happening…

Visiting Brighton - be prepared: it's naked bike ride!

Visiting Brighton - be prepared: it's naked bike ride! Pic: Flickr/Elsie esq

It’s on the streets and it’s on two wheels. And if you want to see bums, bushes and bits of all shapes and sizes you will have come to the right town. Ladies and gentlemen – and very embarrassed old ladies – it’s the Brighton Naked Bike Ride!

Last year, a marvellous 800 people bared all and pedaled around the streets of this oddball town. They had a ball, all to demonstrate the vulnerability of cyclists – although, if you look closely – if you must – you’ll probably notice that many are just happy to get their kit off!

If all this skin is too much, get yourself to the beach; but not to Black Rock Beach, because as Brighton’s naked beach it’s in a constant state of undress.

The spokesperson for the ride wasn’t available for a comment, but the only real complaint we’d expect to hear is likely to be from the tandem rider – the one at the rear!

If you’re here for a family weekend, don’t worry or shut yourselves into your Brighton bed and breakfast, just look at our Brighton local events pages – you’ll see there’s a lot happening for the clothed community too!

Our favourite activity this weekend – after Brighton’s contribution to World Naked Bike Ride:

North Laine Summer Walks – Starting from outside Brighton Museum & taking

you back in time to when the North Laine was the industrial and commercial centre

of Brighton, 11am, £3

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More half-term fun in Brighton!

Cinderella in Churchill Square
Theatre Royal Brighton present a fun-filled half term week with FREEstorytelling sessions, craft activities, competitions and a Cinderella trail. Children are invited to come in fancy dress on Friday as Cinderella herself will make an appearance! Monday 25 – Friday 29 October 11am – 4pm at Churchill Square Brighton.
Half term activities at King Alfred Leisure Centre All week from 25-30 Oct:
Mini Fun, Mini Mayhem, Artworld, Junior Fitness, Sports. Low cost activities, the age range for activities are from under 5s right through to 12-16 years. See my website events calendar for details: http://www.childfriendlybrighton.co.uk/half-term-activities-at-ki…ng-alfred
Spring Barn Farm Park
Come and enjoy a Spooky Halloween week on the farm. Activities take place daily from Sat 23rd – Sun 31st October.
Wear your spookiest outfit when you come to the farm on these dates.
Prizes for best dressed
On the 31st theFarmhouse Kitchen will be open until 8.30pm and the farm open until 9pm so come along and enjoy the Halloween fun on the farm. Normal entry applies. A small charge will be made for face painting and pumpkin carving.
Wizard Weekend at Bluebell Railway Bluebell Railway is a heritage steam railway running through Sussex.
There will be Wizard Shows at Horsted Keynes at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm, Scary Subway, Hunt the bat competition, Face Painting, Fancy Dress Competition at Horsted Keynes at 1.20pm, Scary story telling and Special train service.
For details on ticket prices and how to book please visit www.bluebell-railway.com/event/wizard-weekend/

Picture 7There’s so much organised for this weekend in Brighton, we just had to do another post!

So, with a little help from Child Friendly Brighton & Hove we’ve got even more activities to get the kids playing and enjoying the half-term in Brighton.

Cinderella in Churchill Square

Theatre Royal Brighton present a fun-filled half term week with FREEstorytelling sessions, craft activities, competitions and a Cinderella trail. Children are invited to come in fancy dress on Friday as Cinderella herself will make an appearance! Monday 25 – Friday 29 October 11am – 4pm at Churchill Square Brighton.

Half term activities at King Alfred Leisure Centre All week from 25-30 Oct:

Mini Fun, Mini Mayhem, Artworld, Junior Fitness, Sports. Low cost activities, the age range for activities are from under 5s right through to 12-16 years. See website events calendar for details:

Spring Barn Farm Park

Come and enjoy a Spooky Halloween week on the farm. Activities take place daily from Sat 23rd – Sun 31st October.

Wear your spookiest outfit when you come to the farm on these dates.Prizes for best dressed

On the 31st theFarmhouse Kitchen will be open until 8.30pm and the farm open until 9pm so come along and enjoy the Halloween fun on the farm. Normal entry applies. A small charge will be made for face painting and pumpkin carving.

Wizard Weekend at Bluebell Railway Bluebell Railway is a heritage steam railway running through Sussex.

There will be Wizard Shows at Horsted Keynes at 11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm & 3.30pm, Scary Subway, Hunt the bat competition, Face Painting, Fancy Dress Competition at Horsted Keynes at 1.20pm, Scary story telling and Special train service.

For details on ticket prices and how to book please visit www.bluebell-railway.com/event/wizard-weekend/

We’ve plenty of half-term offers, take a look:

For more information from Child Friendly Brighton & Hove, visit their web site here.

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Visiting Brighton: Half-term children’s activities in Brighton

Picture 8

Booking your family into a hotel in Brighton? We know you’re on the lookout for child-friendly places and events they can enjoy. So, we’ve teemed up with the town’s experts on the matter Child Friendly Brighton and Hove to give you a half-term heads up.

Here’s what’s happening on the coming half-term in Brighton:

This is an older post, so look here for half term events for October 2011

(Keep checking back as we will be updating this as new events are announced)

October half term week (25-31st October 2010)

Halloween Fun at Newhaven Fort – a week of Halloween themed activities for children, sounds great! 25th-31st October, 10.30am-5pm daily. Web: www.newhavenfort.org.uk

Brighton Dome – theatre show for young children: “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus”. 29th-31st Oct. www.brightondome.org

Little Big Draw at Brighton Museum (FREE drop in and draw workshops for 2-5 year olds, as part of the “Big Draw”) – 26th October.

Mega Beasts at Booth Museum (book in advance!). My children love this! They get to meet a tarantula, giant snail, lizards and other mega beasts. 27th October. Further details are on the museum web site:

We’ve plenty half-term offers, take a look.

For more information on Child Friendly Brighton and Hove, please visit their site, a really good resource for families staying over in hotels in Brighton or just visiting for the day!

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Wine and dine, it’s food time!

Food fest

Food fest

In case you haven’t noticed, we are in the middle of the Brighton and Hove Food Festival. This week is set to be a special one; not only is it right in the middle of the best foodie festival ever hosted in Sussex, it’s also packed with wine and food tasting sessions – always your favourites!

Some of the events cost, so we’ve compiled the best of the free ones, that way even people who aren’t so interested in foods can learn about good fresh produce without paying for the privilege.

So, here’s what’s on the menu.

Wednesday 15th: Churchill Square farmers market and live food kitchen.

Don’t expect herds of sheep, country types in tweeds, or cows with rings through their noses – that would be a load of bull. However, what you will find is excellent local produce, seasonable fruit and vegetables from local farmers, fresh meat and fish, cheese and breads, and food demonstrations – and those samples, mmm.

Saturday 18th: Cheese tasting at Infinity Foods, North Road/ Wine tasting at 21 Prince Albert Street

If you are new to the town or staying in a hotel in Brighton there’s a chance you haven’t visited Infinity Foods. You really should if you care about organic foods and cosmetics; it’s the largest supplier of both we know. Well, High Weald Diary will be running cheese tasting sessions, so you can tuck into locally made organic vegetarian cheeses.

Ridgeview, a local winery, will be at the Sheridan Coopers Wine Cellar to show off their award winning sparkling wines, so pop along for a frizante or glass of fizzy pop.

Cockney food night, lovely jubbly!

Cockney food night, lovely jubbly!

Now, if you’re planing on eating out anyway, why not set aside the cash for one of the paid events?

There’s Pudding Club at Temptation in Gardner Street, fruit cookery workshops, a Champagne mini festival, a Brazilian night at the seafront Umi Grill, Sake testing at Moshi Moshi, and our favourite: Cockney Night, when under Kings Road Arches £20 gets you fish and chips, drinks, entertainment and a ride on the carousel – all the fun of the food fair!

For more information and tickets, see here.

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