Forget Brighton rock: Brighton simply rocks! It really is a fantastic place to explore and has plenty to offer families and children. Hosting over eight million visitors from all over the world every year, vibrant Brighton is constantly evolving but always retains its sense of fun. Here are five places your children are going to love in Brighton.
1. Brighton Pier
Brighton certainly does have a lot of (sea)front, and nowhere typifies its fun personality better than the Palace Pier. With everything from icecreams, doughnuts and fish and chips to photo opportunities, arcades and fairground rides, it’s sure to thrill kids of all ages, even the surliest of teenagers! Stroll the boardwalks, enjoy the rides, join in the fun and, if you’re lucky, win a cuddly toy or two.
Heading east from the pier you’ll come to the world’s oldest operating electric railway. Since 1883 the Volk’s Electric Railway has traversed a mile of the coast, and the miniature train still delights visitors today. Hop on then hop off at Peter Pan’s Playground where structures spout water intermittently, much to the joy of younger children. Next door is a beach volleyball court and outdoor climbing wall for older children. Jump back on the train to visit the Marina where you can head out to sea, enjoy a meal or just watch the boats come and go.
Walk west alongside the beach to enjoy the array of quirky shops, bohemian cafes and colourful market stalls. You’ll soon reach trampolines, huge floating balls (which children can climb inside and ‘float’ on water) and bouncy castles. The sand-filled park and paddling pool will be a nice end to your beach stroll.
3. Royal Pavilion
The onion domes and oriental oddity of the Royal Pavilion are situated at the heart of the city. Built for the Prince of Wales, later George IV, in the late eighteenth century, the Pavilion is, like Brighton, eccentric, occasionally opulent and downright fun. If you think it’s surreal from the outside, take your children inside for golden dragons lining garish red interiors.
The surrounding gardens are a delightful place to picnic and take in the view, whilst the nearby Brighton Museum covers everything from Punch and Judy to Mods and Rockers.
4. Language schools
Brighton is popular for young language learners all over the world, with children travelling to the many excellent language schools the city has to offer. They are a fun way for children to learn to speak English, and courses at schools like ESL (esl.co.uk) always include cultural trips to the best that Brighton has to offer.
5. The Laines & Lanes
Teenagers will love the Laines and Lanes of Brighton. Like a postmodern Arabian bazaar, the Laines offer movie memorabilia, antiques, independent clothing shops, record shops, eco gadgets, fair trade gifts, comics and just about everything else that you simply don’t find in today’s high streets.
Unorthodox, but exciting, a meander through the busker-filled streets is shopping at its most pleasurable. The Lanes themselves are disorientating narrow alleys filled with jewellers and boutiques that are a pleasure to explore.