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View to Brighton Pier from the New Steine, Brighton

Archive for March, 2012

Spring weekend in Brighton: Damn it’s hot!

Hey, if you haven’t noticed, the first spring weekend in Brighton was more like summer! So, what’s happening with our weather – and the million dollar question: Is it going to last?

I can pretty much guarantee it’s not going to last – this is England. Saying that, if you’re coming here from abroad after a cheap bed and breakfast in Brighton, you’d probably be disappointed if it didn’t rain heavily for at least some of your stay.

Pimms o'clock was early this year

Pimms o'clock was early this year

However, it is glorious and the town has again been transformed into seafront playground, complete with the first successful BBQs of the year – in March! And even a few very brave skinny-dipping attempts – in March!

As surreal as it might be, we were sat on the beach having our first BBQ of the year, drinking Pimms – as you do – and heard the ‘Beach Boys’ drifting along the shimmering airwaves.

The group next to us were so inspired they got their kit off and got in for a dip. Well, the girl did. The two guys bottled it!

So where is all this unseasonably good weather coming from? Apparently it’s the Mediterranean and North African wind – had that on holiday once, very nasty.

And while we can’t guarantee every spring weekend in Brighton will be as warm, we can promise the beach is great in all weathers, the pier is open all year, and there’s fun to be had in this town, sun up or sun down.

If you are feeling like a dip, first take a read of our beach safety guide. Maybe get your head examined, then take a read of our…

Or check out what’s on in Brighton this month

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Cycling Breaks in Brighton

We don’t wait till summer to cycle. Cycling breaks in Brighton are popular from early spring. And to prove just how much this town is into/onto two wheels, there’s the Brighton Bike Fest running from April 16-22.

So true, so bring your bike to Brighton!

So true, so bring your bike to Brighton!

And in true Brighton style, it’s not just about the bike: There will be DIY bike maintenence, a 12V bicycle sound-system building workshop, cheap vegan meals laid on and a celebration of bike films.

If you’re beginning to think cycling is all too commercial, you’ll be pleased with a sewing workshop set up to help people make their own high-viz vests and there’s the critical mass rides too – although we’re not sure that riding all over the road to prove a point helps drivers understand – if anything it makes things worse.

Footy fans should forget the train for a day and join in on the Bike Train up to Falmer stadium, perhaps decorate their bikes in blue and white – made a lot easier if they attend the ‘beautify your bike workshop’ running the night before.

And if it’s action you want, there’s also the ‘bike jousting’ on The Level, and a cycle treasure hunt also on the Saturday afternoon. A bike polo taster session as well as a session from mega-mechanic Dr Bike on the Sunday, more bike jousting and ‘Awkward Races’ help close the event, before some solar powered cinema by ‘One Way Theatre’.

So, if you fancy bringing a bike or two we can help you with a cheap Brighon B&B. Or, if you want to hire some over the weekend of the 21-22 April here’s a few links for you to try.

And if you are coming down the week before and end up cycling through Hove, watch out for a Naked Bike Ride Skinny Dip – and some very small cranks.

Bike Hire in Brighton

Cycle Training in Brighton

Cycling for Women in Brighton & Hove

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Forget London: Stay in Brighton hotels for Queen’s Jubilee and party by the sea!

If you’re coming from abroad then don’t bother with London, instead stay in Brighton hotels for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and get massive discounts.

Not 'The' Queen, but she's on a horse with the flag so..

Not 'The' Queen, but she's on a horse with the flag so..

Pick any of the spring or summer weekends in Brighton and you’ll guarantee there’ll be queens visiting – it’s just that kind of place! Diamonds are optional, but when it’s the Queen were talking about, you can guarantee she’ll tip up with a rock or two.

Ok, cryptic blog over. It’s the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration this year and Brighton’s doing its bit to wish her well – we did get an extra bank holiday out of it, so it would be rude not to.

The Woodland Trust has said it will get 6 million trees planted in time for the celebrations, and a number of Diamond Woods. Well, 100 of these trees have already found their way into Tarner Park, off Sussex Street in Brighton.

The main celebrations will be lead from London, but if you are visiting Brighton looking for special hotel offers for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee you can expect an outpouring of street parties and bunting-fringed British fun.

St Barts in Brighton is having a festival concert on the night of May 26th – bit early, as the main party doesn’t get going till the following weekend.

On Sunday May 3rd there’s an initiative lead by The Eden Project called The Big Lunch, which encourages people to have lunch with their neighbours – sounds like the perfect incentive to help kick off a street party.

And just launched is a year-long exhibition at the Royal Pavilion. Charlotte: The Forgotten Princess documents the short life of Princess Charlotte, George IV’s only daughter, through her clothing and letters.

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is holding a special display ‘Fashion & The Flag’ throughout May. And as the Queen’s celebrations are in the same month as the Brighton Festival and The Brighton Fringe, weekends in Brighton promise to be more colourful and intriguing than ever.

Visit London: Stay Brighton – that’s what we are saying

Picture from: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery’s ‘Fashion & The Flag’

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Visiting Brighton? You should visit Hove, too

Planning on visiting Brighton, you really should make the effort to get yourself along the coast to Hove. The two overlap somewhere and it’s pretty difficult to tell them apart.

Get this far and you're in Hove

Get this far and you're in Hove

That is until you get further into Hove, where you’ll notice fewer large stores and shops, and more residential buildings. Top Tip: Walk along the seafront until you get to an Italian café/ ice-cream shop called Morrocco’s. You’re in Hove.

Hove actually makes for an excellent visit, with all sorts of cultural events going on. This month is a great example. Here’s the main events going in Hove this month.

Sussex Beer and Cider Festival (8-10 March)

A regular on the calendar, this will be the 22nd Sussex Beer and Cider Festival. Look of for some top independent brewers, and you’ll need to be quick with tickets as this is one festival that you can guarantee will sell out! As well as beers and ciders, there are perries and country wines to be sampled. And there’s one bar set aside just for local ales. There’s also live entertainment planned and hot food!

And walk back to Brighton

And walk back to Brighton

My Favourite Toy (From 10 March)

My Favourite Toy (not an adult show) opens at the Hove Museum and Art Gallery on 10 March. You’ll be able to look at our fascination with toys and enjoy work created by children and young people in Brighton & Hove. Great one for the family enjoying a long weekend in Brighton – especially after you blagged your way free to get into the beer festival…

And the following weekend it’s the vege festival.

Vegfest UK ( 17-18 March)

If you think you need meat to make a meal tasty, thing again. Get your primitive urges in check and check out the piles of food products all laid out around Hove Town Hall. As always there will be bits and bobs to try, and special offers to tempt the eye and wallet.

Then finish your weekend visiting Brighton with a long walk back to town along the seafront. It’s not far, and let’s face it tofu doesn’t weigh anything anyway!

For more family friendly events in Brighton look up this great resource ChildfriendlyBrighton

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Sports Weekends in Sussex: Visit Brighton

With the weather ever improving there’s plenty of sports weekends in Sussex coming up. So instead of booking a Brighton B&B and just visiting Brighton for its shopping and clubbing, make it a base for more active weekends.

Summer activities, and Brighton play all year round

In Brighton we play all year round Photo: Flickr/garynight

Here’s a look ahead to what the county has on offer:

Brighton and Hove is hosting the annual Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile Event. So get the family involved, get a cheap weekend in Brighton booked and do your bit by the seaside. The run takes place on Sunday 24th March on Madeira Drive and you can register at sportrelief.com

In April there’ll be thousands of people putting in the miles in the Brighton Marathon. Places are still available – if you’ve a last minute fancy for 26 and a bit miles…

Cyclists not prepared to wait till the London to Brighton can get their wheels spinning through the night on the BHF Night Ride. It’s an over-nighter, so you can either book a Brighton B&B and make a weekend of it or go back on the train after a full English to finish. You could always cycle back – you may laugh, someone will do it!

Third week in June is the main London to Brighton bike ride. Expect there to be 27,000 other riders taking part. If you’ve not done it before, you really should.

And to get the summer of sport going there’s the annual Take Part Festival in Preston Park where you can try out all sorts of new sports.

That’s the main sports weekends in Sussex, but there are hundreds more activities you could do on a weekend in Brighton: Zorbing on the South Downs, sailing classes off the beach and at the Marina, and some wakeboarding and kitesurfing at Hove Lagoon.

And you’ll still get to go shopping in Brighton – I don’t care how fit you say you are, or how tight your cycling pants are. Once it’s all over you’re still wanting to get away from work, get a weekend break and get to the beach. And if you can’t fit in any sport, so what. Come down anyway. Brighton is just waking up from its winter hybernation and it’s definitly the place to be when the sun’s shining

And we’ve got two sets of beach volleyball courts. People were playing on them over the weekend – in February!

So we’ll see you soon!

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