Brighton, baby! So, you’re thinking of moving to one of the UK’s most vibrant and exciting cities, complete with a thriving arts scene and a stunning beachfront?
Before you pack your bags, have a read of our top tips for moving to one of the most picturesque places on the English south coast.
1. Know where to live
Renting a place with your mates in the center of town or finding an apartment with a sea view might sound like the Brighton dream, but homes like these come with a pretty big price tag. Instead, set off for some of the city’s young suburbs like Kemptown, mostly home to flats filled with young professionals and students, or Hanover, where rows of colourful and quaint English terraced houses are great for sharing.
2. Be wary of seagulls
The white and grey seagulls that swirl above the city and perch on every bench or streetlight might look pretty, but Brighton’s most famous and loudest residents (seriously, those guys can screech) are actually a bit of a nuisance. These birds are bold and brazen; they’ll literally grab your sandwich from your hand given half a chance. If you’re going to dine outside, keep watch for these beady-eyed birds and scoff your fish and chips as if you were competing in a speed-eating competition.
3. Getting around
Brighton is pretty compact, so walking and cycling are easy and very popular, but the regular bus network connects all the central parts of town – definitely handy when that English rain makes an appearance. You can pay for journeys in cash or with a contactless bank card. Click here for live departure times and to plan your route or download the app. You can also get to Hove in under five minutes by train, and London Victoria in under an hour.
4. It’s a great place to be vegan (or vegetarian)
Brighton has one of the highest densities of plant-based restaurants in the country. From fine dining to street food and takeaways, there’s a delicious meat-free dish around every corner, to suit every taste and mood.
5. Have a ‘backup’ beach For sunny days
On the south coast, Brighton gets some of England’s best weather and is famous as a historic seaside holiday town. When the sun shines, almost everybody heads to Brighton beach (which is covered in pebbles rather than sand, don’t forget.) So to live in Brighton like a real local, you’ve got to find a different stretch of beach to get your sunbathe on whilst dodging the crowds: Explore Hove, Saltdean and Rottingdean to pick your favourite.
6. But be prepared for rainy days
Brighton might be one of the sunniest spots in England, but it’s still in England, which means that soggy weather and rainy days are unavoidable! Pack a decent coat and invest in an umbrella, also known as a ‘brolly’, for the inevitable grey days.
7. The Christmas sea dip
If you’re staying in Brighton over the festive period, don’t forget to pack your beach gear! There’s nothing that many Brighton-ers like more than burning off some of those Christmas calories with a ‘refreshing’ dip in the sea on December 25th. Some say it’s good for the soul, others simply say, ‘You go ahead, I’ll watch from the beach.”
8. Brighton Pride
A fantastic hub for creatives and artists, there’s never a shortage of events, music or festivals in Brighton. The greatest event in the annual calendar, however, is Brighton Pride. Famous for attracting bigger and bigger crowds every year, the seafront hosts the UK’s most popular pride parade, with a festival in the park, parties in the street and an incredible atmosphere. This is not a weekend to miss.
9. Register with a doctor
With any luck, you won’t need to find yourself in a doctor’s waiting room during your time in Brighton, but that’s the thing about getting ill: you can’t really plan for it, so it’s always best to be prepared. Once you’ve settled in your new house or flat, take your ID card and a proof of address down to your local GP surgery, so you don’t have to deal with paperwork when you’re feeling under the weather(this is classic English code for being ill: because English weather can be totally rubbish.)
10. Look beyond the beaches
Brighton sits just on the edge of the absolutely stunning South Downs, an area of beautiful green countryside punctuated with rolling hills and quaint villages. Don’t forget to spend some of your weekends swapping the beach for the beautiful walking trails, hikes and bike tracks that take you through the country’s newest national park. Climb aboard buses 77, 78 and 79 to reach some of the most popular spots in the South Downs.