Words by Hal Keelin, Inès Bussat, Elizabeth Strange, Margaret Arabambi
Pavilion and gardens- One of the places you will notice when going into Brighton with its minarets and domes is the Pavilion. When travelling for the first time into Brighton I could not miss it. This former palace now museum was built for King George 4th. Go explore the building where the Mad King is alleged to have met his lovers in a secret underground passageway beneath the city. The building’s interior is just as amazing as its exterior with its many magnificent rooms, including the banquet hall. If you want refreshments there are wonderful tea rooms, that do amazing cream teas and spill out onto the beautiful gardens.
The gardens themselves are a beautiful spot for a picnic, catchup with a friend or some quiet alone time. Hidden within one of the busiest areas of town for restaurants, bars and street traffic, and yet typify the special atmosphere and spirit of the whole city in microcosm. On a typical day a steady stream of buskers performs all types of music from ballads to afrobeat while circus performers hone their trade and when the music stops all you can hear is the friendly buzz of chatter from the numerous fellow revelers.
The North Laines- Many peoples favourite part of the whole city. These narrow, pedestrianised streets are filled up with independent cafés, record stores, vintage emporiums, bookshops, theatres, museums and art spaces. Wandering through this maze of passageways is an excellent way to spend an afternoon, while there are almost too many pubs and cafes in the area with the potential to becoming your go to for a long time.
The Mash Tun– Need a central pub with a spacy outside area, the mash tun is many students best bet. Probably the most popular pub on a night out, the mash tun is always heaving for a reason. Occupying a prime central location on North Laine / Church street its within easy walking distance of most of the seafront clubs.
Upside Down House– Looking for something unique to do with friends on a day out? Why not visit the upside-down house! Capture surreal images in unique poses from an inverted perspective. A great experience and fun attraction.
Lewes-A Historic old town complete with a half-ruined castle, cobbled streets, wonky Tudor houses and the remains of some medieval monks’ toilets (The Priory Ruins). Lewes is only 20 minutes on the train from Brighton and is packed with historic sites. Go for: the Norman castle, the American connection (Thomas Paine, revolutionary theorist who inspired the American Revolution lived in Lewes), peaceful gardens (The grange), and fantastic pubs.
The Depot – Lewes– Yes, Lewes is good enough to make this list twice. The Depot is an amazing cinema located less than 20 minutes by train from campus. Not only is it well priced (tickets cost £4 for young people under 25!) It also offers a very rich and diverse range of films, from the current blockbuster to very niche independent foreign pieces. It often proposes ‘Film seasons’, during which they show a selection of films based on a theme. Grab yourself a fancy drink from the bar and sit back and relax in the super comfortable seats. Going to the cinema is a great way to support the culture sector which has been, and still is, suffering from the pandemic.
Fletching – A stunning medieval English village that feels a world away from the bright lights of Brighton. Its major attractions are a ridiculously beautiful church that seems oversized for the size of the village and a terribly posh country pub -The Griffin Inn- complete with stunning views looking onto the South Downs from the back. Fletching is a good hour from Lewes on a bike but well worth a visit on a good weather weekend
The Amex: Go to a Brighton and Hove Albion Game– Yes, just over the motorway from Falmer Campus is a fully fledged Premier League club and ground. Well just about. Brighton will need all the support they can get having only just survived relegation the past two seasons. You can see the Amex from the library and may even hear something of a roar from the crowd on a Saturday afternoon. Do your best to hide from the rowdy lads packed like sardines on the train on matchday, but occasionally, maybe join them, why not, it’s literally five minutes from halls.
Devils Dyke-The UK’s widest, longest and deepest dry valley lies just a bike ride, or bus journey away. Offers one of the best views of the South of England’s famed sleek and slumbering landscape of meadows, shallow hills and feudal farm squares. Devils Dyke is a cracking picnic spot and a great way to escape the stress of the city.
Alfriston-If you fancy a stunning bike ride in the countryside, Alfriston is a brilliant destination. Start in Brighton or Lewes and take one of the B roads out beside sleek hills and vibrant meadows. Alfriston is your quintessential Sussex country village complete with pub, church and fantastically old houses.