Brighton can feel so small when left unexplored; so let’s change that! After tapping onto the 23 bus, head upstairs and claim a front seat for the full tourist experience. You can now relax for the next half an hour as you sail up Elm Grove, and wind through Brighton’s back streets. I recommend using this time to note the requirements of your hypothetical purchase; the size, the colour palette, the price range, the decking.
Step off the bus once you have reached Brighton Marina Cinema, pass McDonalds and head towards the steps straight ahead, leading you to The West Quay Wetherspoons. Leaving those temptations behind, continue down the boardwalk keeping the flotilla of stationed boats on your right. Some more humble than others, lacking a metres-long mast pointing to the sky, but displaying a proud Latin name on the side nonetheless. A boat or two may have caught your eye; however, I urge you to wait till the end, because there are plenty more hidden away to see. On your left you’ll pass future dinner prospects Pizza Express and Nando’s, both offering student discounts to further entice you and your friends. Carry on down the boardwalk as far as it goes, crossing a short bridge to reach the Eastern end.
From here, the cliffs should clearly be in sight. As you head towards them, take a peek into the fenced off area where boats are being repaired and polished. Descend the steps to the beach, and bask in the sun as you lay on one of the groynes you are explicitly told not to climb on. This is your first sedentary stop, and it’s a good one. I suggest removing your headphones and closing those eyes, reminding yourself why people who live by the sea are said to be happier. Listen to the waves murmur beneath your feet, inhale the briny seaweed clinging to the rocky floor, and spot the odd sailboat coasting out to sea. Although there are noticeably fewer than in town, the marina does share its space with the guileful seagull – getting too close for comfort as per usual. But, for now rest easy, you haven’t a treat for them and merely take comfort in their squawks of disappointment.
By now you must be getting peckish, my favourite spot is actually located away from the boardwalk, tucked away beside the Asda. How to get there is really a matter of personal choice. The options are to go back the way you came, turning right into the residential area before you reach the strip of restaurants, or continue your exploration and follow part of the Undercliff Walk, keeping the cliffs on your right. The latter will bring you behind the Asda and back around, passing charming houses with their grandiose yachts parked in front. My tour of the marina is complete when you reach The Laughing Dog cafe where I insist you try the bruschetta. There is stable wifi, plenty of tables and plugs all around. Although, if you aren’t here to study, take a look around the quirky shop or take a coffee outside and face the yachts for sale, resisting the urge to claim one of them.
Now you can hop back on the bus and open a book, settling into your journey. For those of you who aren’t ready to leave, why not stay for dinner, a movie or even a round of mini golf in the famous Globalls? These things tend to be cheaper than purchasing a boat!