DreamPirates DreamPirates


Author : cymora
Publish Date : 2021-02-27 09:19:23

This trip to Brighton was a press trip. I was one of a few selected travel bloggers to take part in a wonderful MicroGap with VisitEngland. MicroGaps are essentially having adventures in one day. Taking part in refreshing experiences, trying new food, and getting the most out of a whole day somewhere new. This really appealed to me as I'm a BIG fan of MicroGaps. Places I can get to easily, there and back in a day. So far I've enjoyed old-fashioned seaside fun at Margate, sampled fresh oysters in Whitstable and even popped to the White Cliffs of Dover and back (where you're so close to the English Channel, you pick up a French phone signal!). But today was all about Brighton. A city I've only visited a couple of times, despite only living about an hour away, so I was keen to learn more and boy was I in for a real treat (in ways I had not expected!).

Start your day in Brighton with a walking tour
Home to around 230,000 people, Brighton is known for it’s artistic and liberal vibe. Some call it ‘Little London by the sea’. And I can see why. A gentle mix of independent boutiques, sublime food, unique art and a thriving cafe culture. Plus the added bonus of that glorious beach and the sea air. Something I’m craving more and more these days.

Brighton day trip itinerary
To kick off, we started our day with a walking tour with Julian, from Brighton City Walks. Julian has lived here all of his life and is clearly passionate about sharing the best of the city's history and charm. He also knows some excellent little known facts too. It was also a great way to get our bearings.

Brighton day trip itinerary
We started our walk in the pretty Royal Pavilion Gardens, a great way to approach the magnificent Brighton Pavilion. Thanks to Julian I now know why this beautiful building came to be.

In an unhealthy state, (mainly due to excessive eating and drinking), The Prince Regent came to Brighton in the late 1700s to visit an uncle who was renting a house here. And having fallen in love with the city and her revitalising sea air, he decided to build his decedent palace here. Adorned with oriental dragons on the inside and Indian influence on the outside, this was a place built for parties. You can take a
tour of the Pavilion to get a detailed look inside.

The rest of my Brighton walking tour
Our tour took us on to Brighton Beach, where two piers stand just half a mile apart. The cheerfully old-fashioned Palace Pier (known as Brighton Pier these days) is home to funfairs and fairground rides and dates back the the 1890s. Just a little further along the beach, you can still see the skeletal remains of the Victorian West Pier. Built in 1860, it was the star of Brighton’s pleasure boom, and even had a concert hall added during the First World War. However a decline in popularity and expensive maintenance costs saw it fall into disrepair by the mid 1970s. And a fire in 2003 finally saw the end of The West Pier. 

Brighton day trip itinerary
Julian guided us through tiny Quadrophenia alley (made famous in the iconic ‘mods’ film from 1979), showed us the oldest pub in Brighton, and guided us through the atmospheric Lanes area. Full of jewellers, and um.. rubber ducks! I would highly recommend a walking tour - it’s such a great way to spend an hour or two soaking up Brighton’s colourful history.

A delicious Vegan lunch in Brighton
And I’m not even Vegan! But hey, when in Brighton.

Brighton day trip itinerary
We popped in to Terre A Terre, a short stroll from the beach, and honestly, the food in there was enough to turn this carnivore into a veggie. Creative dishes like Korean Fried Cauliflower, and smoky tofu with sesame had me drooling.

So many friends of mine are veggie so I'll be coming back for sure. I was full up, but without that heavy feeling. And it's always great to try something new. Perfect.

The yoga studio on the beach in Brighton
Brighton day trip itinerary
So after a busy morning of learning, walking and eating, it’s off to the beach for some seaside yoga. When I heard about Yellowave and their beach yoga, I assumed it would be outsde and we would have to hope for good weather! But the yoga studio is actually in their clubhouse, sitting right on the sand with wonderful sea views.

One of the things I love about a MicroGap, is that you are perhaps more likely to try new things if you only have one day to explore. And beach yoga is definitely a first for me. I am by no means a yogi (or in fact, in any way bendy!), but having the sea to focus on helped me concentrate and really added something to the class.

Brighton day trip itinerary
A cleansing experience in the hottest sauna box in Brighton!
The last activity of the day was a visit to the sauna at Beach Box.

Brighton day trip itinerary
Now I thought I knew what a sauna was like. A hot wooden room with hot stones generating a dry heat. And I was right to a point, but it turns out, the saunas I have experienced are the ones attached to a swimming pool or spa on holiday.

This was a whole new level.

The sauna is on the beach, and there are outdoor showers and deckchairs as you arrive. I've never had to wear a hat in a sauna before but apparently this headgear is essential, to stop your head from overheating, so that you can enjoy the sauna and sustain those high temperatures for longer. And boy was it HOT!

A unique sauna experience on the beach. From hot to cold to hot to cold!
Brighton day trip itinerary
So in this type of sauna, you don't just sit there getting hot. There were a few different sauna treatments on offer. We tried the German treatment 'Aufguss'. Involving a wonderful hit on your senses;  intense heat generated by towel wafting, and energising oils such as basil, cedar and peppermint. You feel like your body is getting a reboot.

The heat was so intense but somehow bearable (maybe it was the hat!?), but I welcomed a cold shower and some lemon mint water afterwards. This was the first time I've ever done the extreme hot to cold thing and it felt amazing! So refreshing and what a way to banish those city stresses!

Not quite done with the sauna just yet, and craving another experience, we tried the Lithuanian treatment, which involved fresh oranges (we sucked the juice out then rubbed the fruit on our wrists), a floral salt scrub and 'leaf whisking' - a cleansing rub down. My body was positively glowing after this, and again, the heat was intense, so I threw caution to the wind and ran down to the beach to have a refreshing dip in the sea. Another hot to cold experience and I am now addicted!

I can see why the Swedes love the sauna now and I haven't even tried it in Sweden yet. But if you're at all stressed or even just have the sniffles, the sauna will sort you out. Thanks so much to the warm welcome at Beach Box.

I caught the train home way less stressed, and much happier than I was when I set out. Plus a little more shiny after that salt scrub! 

Huge thanks to VisitEngland and of course Traverse events for inviting me along to my MicroGap. Time truly well spent!

Have you ever been exploring for just one day? Tell me in the comments!







Category : world

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