Why the Best Cheap Hotel in Brighton is a Youth Hostel
Impossible to miss, right near the beach, on the Old Steine, the Brighton YHA is the best cheap hotel in the city. Beautifully decorated room with two single beds (off-season) it’s hard to beat. If you’re on a budget, you can buy breakfast and eat in. If you’re on a serious budget then take a picnic to the beach, or buy a fried egg sandwich at the local workmen’s cafe, tucked away to the left of Brighton Palace Pier (below). It’s five minutes’ walk from the YHA. Think mood lighting, modern interior design and luxe comfort at the other end of a one-hour train trip from London.
Save on Your Hotel and Spend on Afternoon Tea at The Royal Pavilion
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean the wallpaper won’t be smart, in a limited-edition print. In fact, the Brighton YHA has exquisite interior design that makes it a contemporary match for The Royal Pavilion, also a few minutes’ walk. Once the royal love nest for The Prince Regent, it’s now the city’s most spectacular living museum. One of the great rewards of doing ‘cheap Brighton’ is that you’ll be able to justify a grand afternoon tea on the top floor of The Royal Pavilion, after seeing treasures donated by Her Majesty the Queen.
Why Couples Love Brighton for Budget Beach Holidays
Brighton is famous for its Hens’ Nights and Stag Nights, which is why you’ll see women dressed up as chickens wandering around the beach on Saturday night, or men dragging a ball and chain along Churchill Road. It is most famous for old-fashioned ‘dirty weekends’ as they were lovingly called in the 1960’s, when Londoners having affairs would catch the train to hotel heaven and check in under false names.
Romantic Picnics on the South Downs or on Brighton Beach
Today, couples love Brighton for its long beaches, so beautiful at sunset, and lovely at sunrise after a long night out together. The South Downs is often forgotten because the sea takes all the attention, but this endless stretch of green, perfect for country rambling, begins just behind Kemptown (Brighton’s gay area) and runs for miles. Pick up picnic ingredients at any of the cheap fruit stalls along Churchill Road, the main high-street shopping location – or the Food Hall at Marks & Spencer’s at the top of Churchill Road, near the Clock Tower, or Waitrose, at the other end. Just because you want to do ‘cheap Brighton’ as opposed to the expensive, overpriced kind – doesn’t mean you have to skimp on strawberries and cream.
Tips and Tricks for Brighton Weekends and Holidays
Book Ahead for the Best Bands and Plays
The best tickets in town go quickly, so if you want to see your favourite comedian, band or actor then get on the mailing lists for all the major Brighton venues and buy months in advance. Don’t expect to just turn up and catch a good play or concert, because Brighton locals will have got there before you. Cheap Brighton gigs or theatre doesn’t exist, but at least you can bank on a good seat by planning far ahead.
Sunday Night Mini Breaks – Cheap and Cheerful
Sunday nights are cheap all over town, as hotels drop their prices. If you work in London and want to be creative with your weekend, you’ll get the train from London Victoria (around one hour) at 6.00am or 7.00am on Sunday morning, get the bright red 7 bus from outside Brighton Station (they run every ten minutes) and alight at Brighton Marina, at the bus stop outside McDonalds. From there, walk up the stairs to the very top of the multi-storey car park for the legendary Brighton Car Boot Market, held every Sunday from dawn until just after lunchtime, when the stallholders pack up. With prices from as little as one pound, this is the place where professional vintage, retro and antique dealers come with their torches, to bargain-hunt. Join them and stay overnight, then get the first train back into work on Monday morning. This is ‘peak cheap Brighton’ with bargains galore.
The Best Swimming Pool in Town is at Saltdean
The best swimming pool in town is at Saltdean, a bus ride from the centre of Brighton. Carefully rebuilt from its glorious 1930’s past, this Art Deco outdoor pool was originally opened by Tarzan actor Johnny Weissmuller, at the height of his Hollywood fame. The pool is opposite the beach at Saltdean, where the swimming is also great, if the weather is warm.