Two days in Brighton/Seaford: What do see and do

Brighton is one of those towns that you always want to go back to. I’ve been to Brighton many times, but it was a few years since I last was there, so during the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend (2022), we decided to book two days in Brighton and take our dog Bambino with us.

We left on Friday morning and arrived in Brighton around 11 am. As our check in at the hotel was only after 3 pm, we just parked the car in a car park nearby and started our explorations of the town.

The first stop was the Royal Pavilion, and to get there we passed through the town centre and all the nice shops that they have. All the usual shops are there, but you also have a range of exclusive boutiques and independent shops that makes the trip very attractive and tempting. However, we focused in finding the Royal Pavilion and just glanced at the shops.

In front of the Royal Pavilion is the palace gardens and we quickly found a café with tables out in the garden where my husband could enjoy a cup of coffee and Bambino could relax while I would get into the palace and check out all the beautiful rooms.

Royal Pavilion

I couldn’t remember how nice the Royal Pavilion was, but once I stepped in, I was taken by the beautiful rooms and decorations of this palace. In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful from all the Royal Palaces.

The present palace was built between 1815 and 1822 by King George IV, with an exterior inspired Indian architecture style. The interior is lavish with lots of influence from China and India. The decorations get richer and richer as you move into the building.

The Banqueting Room is one of the most opulent ones with a 9 m chandelier and weighing 1 ton. Going on, you get to the Great Kitchen that was considered very modern for its time, with copper canopies and a mechanical spit for roasting meats. From there you go to the Banqueting Gallery where guests would retire for card games and liqueurs and sometimes dancing. Then comes the Saloon, that was restored and opened in 2018, and considered the grandest in the Palace. Further along are the Music Room gallery and The Music room itself. This is another of the lavishly decorated rooms in the Palace, all in red and gold. It suffered an arson attack in 1975 and had storm damage in 1987, but it was carefully restored after these events. You follow up to visit the King’s apartments that were intended for comfort rather than public display, The Yellow Bow Rooms, and Queen Victoria’s Apartments complete the visit.

I really enjoyed my visit to the Royal Pavilion, and I recommend the visit to anyone on a trip to Brighton. After the visit, I joined my husband and Bambino, and we had some sandwiches at the café as it was lunch time, and we were already hungry.

After lunch we walked in the direction of the beach and passed the Brighton Pier. We did not get inside the pier as they do not allow dogs, so we followed on our walk via the promenade until we reached the BA I360 attraction. There is a bar next to the BA attraction, and we sat in one of the tables outside admiring the nice beach that was packed with people, as it was a lovely sunny day.

The BA I360 attraction is a doughnut shaped glass pod that goes up and down a very high tower, allowing unobstructed panoramic views of Brighton and the South downs, and on clear days even the Isle of Wight. Views from the top are impressive and the flight last about half an hour.

After the visit it was already about 5 PM, so we decided to walk to the car park to get our suitcases and walk to the hotel. We booked the Travelodge Seafront as it was a very good location and the best price for one night. They also accepted dogs, so that was ideal.

The hotel was perfectly adequate for what we wanted, the room was clean and modern with a large and comfortable double bed. We relaxed a little bit before having a shower and going out again for dinner.

We went for dinner at The Walrus, a pub on Ship Street, very close to the hotel. They accepted dogs in the bar area and serve the same food as if it was in the restaurant. The pub was very busy, full of people coming and going but we were lucky to find a table at the back of the bar. The food was very good, and I had the Mozzarella, tomato, artichoke & basil salad with pesto; my husband had the Honey seared halloumi. Both starts were lovely but big portions.

For the main I chose the salmon & prawn fishcakes with lemon mayonnaise and my husband had the miso roasted mushroom & spring vegetable kebab. Both dishes were lovely, but we couldn’t finish everything because of the big starts we had before. We always do that and order too much food. We drank a bottle of Provence Rosé wine between us; it was delicious. After dinner we just walked back to the hotel and enjoyed the rest of the night. It was a Friday, bank holiday evening, and the streets were packed. There was a night club opposite the front of the hotel and the noise was quite high, even though we were on the 8th floor. We had to close the window to avoid the noise and manage to get some sleep.

Next day we went downstairs for breakfast at about 8:30 am. The breakfast was buffet style, and you could eat as much as you wanted. It was OK, but not the best breakfast I had in hotels.

After that we packed, checked out and went to get the car. Today the plan was to drive to Seaford and walk to see the Seven Sisters cliffs.

Seaford Beach

We arrived at Seaford and parked the car very close to the end of the beach in the esplanade car park and started the walk.

We stopped a little bit at Seaford Head for some photos and then headed to the coastal path.

The first part of the path is a very steep hill, but afterwards it is mostly level. We were planning to walk all the way to Cuckmere Haven, cross via the beach and stop for lunch at The Cuckmere Inn. We could catch a bus back to Seaford esplanade and get the car. Looking at the map it looks like it is doable and didn’t look very far, but from when we actually started the walk it took us 1 hour to get to the Coastguard Cottages in very difficult terrain. We got very tired, as we are not very fit people and when we got to the cottages, we decided to go back the same way which took us another hour. By the time we reached the car park at the Esplanade we were exhausted. Do not underestimate this walk, it is very hard. However, the different views you get from the Seven Sisters are splendid. It is worth to go even if it is only to the cottages like we did. But fill up you water bottles and the dog’s bottle and wear appropriate shoes.

Once we were in the car, we drove to Cuckmere Inn. This pub is lovely, and the food is very good too. They accept dogs inside in the bar area, so we grabbed ourselves a table inside as outside was full, and relaxed with a beer. We ordered some starters and shared a stone baked peperoni pizza that was delicious.

The plan was to drive from there to Beachy Head, another beautiful viewpoint of the cliffs, but we were too tired to do anymore walk on that day. We drove there anyway and had a look around but didn’t walk to the cliffs this time. It will have to be left for next time we visit the South Downs.

We had a lovely two days visiting Brighton and the Seven Sisters. We will certainly be back and will base ourselves in Eastbourne next time.

What to see and do in Brighton and Seaford in two days:

1 – Explore the centre of town and the nice shops

2 – Visit the Royal Pavilion and its gardens

3 – Walk on the Famous Pier

4 – Walk along the Promenade

5 – Choose one of the seafront bars and have a beer while people watching

6 – Visit BA I360

7 – Visit the Upside-down House

8 – Visit the Lanes

9 – Drive to Seaford and walk the coastal path to see the Seven Sisters

10 – Have lunch at The Cuckmere Inn

11 – Walk in the Beachy Head Cliffs (if you still have the energy!)

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