To say that the morning was a bit hectic might be a bit of an understatement. It actually played out much like a movie. Lindsay & I had tickets for a 9:56AM train to Brighton. We decided to leave our flat at around 9:15, fairly leisurely actually. This was probably the first bad choice.
Our train was meant to leave from London Bridge, which is about 20 minutes away by tube, so we were cutting it close. We arrived at the London Bridge tube station at about 9:50A and had to collect our tickets for the train. No surprise: the line was lengthy and we had five minutes – maybe less – to collect our tickets and board. At 9:54AM we were at the ticket machine, in the process of collecting our tickets after waiting very impatiently; literally counting the seconds. As soon as our tickets were printed, we ran full force (imagine a girl running in heels across the station… comical, to say the least) to the gate where the train was to leave from. It was still waiting, doors open. I put my ticket through the machine and crossed through and waited for Lindsay as she frantically tried to find the right ticket to shove through the slot (we were clearly disheveled at this point). She finally made it through and we ran to the train just as the doors were shutting. We maniacally pressed the ‘open door’ button on the train and watched as the travelers sitting ever-so-comfortably inside the cars stared at our faces as they took off. Seriously. It was a scene out of a movie.
We were so close, yet so far. As luck would have it though, there was another train to Brighton leaving at 10:15AM (a train for which our tickets would work!), so we grabbed some much-needed caffeine and quietly chose our seats on the train. Moral of the story: cutting it close is not fun; 10 extra minutes to get ready means frantically running around town to make it on time.
Needless to say, we spent a good while exploring the pier, enjoying delicious fish & chips and wearing sunglasses because we finally actually needed them. It wasn’t quite the same beach smell as in California – not as salty and sandy – but the wind on the pier was definitely a bit nostalgic.
We crossed through the lanes on our way back to the station, loving all of the fun shops that decorate the streets of Brighton. The town is so cute and so fun! They have the most eclectic selection of shops and very few chains. In true beach town fashion, the main shopping thoroughfare is dotted with loads of vegetarian, vegan and organic restaurants and shops… so perfect. It made for an absolutely perfect day trip. I can only think that a summer trip to Brighton is a must!
Out of all of the little towns that I’ve seen since my move to the UK (Canterbury, Cambridge, Bristol, Chester, etc.), Brighton tops my list. I may be biased but it reminds me a bit of that beachy carefree central California vibe (think Santa Cruz and Monterey). For anyone living in London looking for a quick day trip that feels worlds away from city life, this would be a lovely spot for a weekend escape!
As a side note, something else that makes Brighton awesome? Street art. Everywhere. Banksy has left his mark here in a few places. Check out the photos from our day to the vibrant beach town.
Lots of love and happiness,