This academic year is one of the most expensive of my life… gift wise. All of my friends are turning the big 2-1. And due to a severe lack of alcohol fuelled fun in our lives due to a gruelling final year at University, they always seem to need to be big, big, big.

But going away and doing something a bit more exciting than the usual clubs and pubs doesn’t have to break the bank. When people have said ‘going away’ to me, I usually panic about costs of flights and hotels and general abroad-expense thoughts, but for people that live in the UK, I think that people forget what a great country we live in for doing exciting things right here.

For example, Brighton. I’ve never been to Brighton before last weekend just because it’s pretty far south of me. But I absolutely fell in love with it this weekend, and here’s a few reasons why…

1)Β The Pier

The pier is full of slightly (slash,Β very) tacky, nostalgic things to do. Such as play on the 2 penny arcades, or the claw machines in which it is almost definitely a dead certain that no matter how many 50p coins you put in that slot, that giant stuffed animal is just going to slip right through that damn claws ”grip”. There’s also the fair! Complete with a shaky looking rollercoaster and old school ferris wheel contraption.

2) Icecream

Icecream is acceptable at any time of the day in Brighton. Well, at least, I didn’t get any funny looks whilst very happily eating mine at 10am…

3) The People

Brighton is renowned for its gay scene, being one of the most accepting locations in the UK. It makes for a very good night out and in my opinion, a great atmosphere. Everyone we met was extreeeeemely friendly. Loved it.

4)Β Fish and Chips

Fish and chips sat on a lovely pebbly beach with the sun shining, and the near Arctic temperature wind whipping around you is something that just cannot be missed. And the floods of decidedly savage looking seagulls always ready to pounce on your food just adds to the fun of it all.

5) It’s the seaside.

And it’s not just any seaside, it’s the British seaside. This means that instead of white sand, it’s pebbles… instead of lovely, bath water temperature crystal blue waters, it’s kind of blue, and very icy. Instead of locals walking around selling some sort of delicious tropical fruit, dressed in little to nothing, your more likely to be sold some greasy fish and chips by a slightly dodgy looking man in a even dodgier looking clothes. This may sound a bit of a step down, but it needs to be EMBRACED. There’s no other seaside like the British seaside… and whether you think this is good or bad, it deserves to be thoroughly enjoyed.

(and to add to the whole not breaking the bank theme, we stayed at Smart SeaView Brighton Hostel, 18 Bed Dorm, Β£12 each. Also, london-midland trains from brum and then a seperate train from London to Brighton through Southernrailway worked out at about Β£15 return Birmingham – Brighton. Lovely.

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