Why I love living in Brighton (And Hove)

Whenever I talk to anyone about where I live, I’m greeted with the statement ‘life must be one big holiday for you.’ I wish, I reply, but living here makes me immeasurably happy. I think a lot of Brightonians can say the same.

What is it about this place that makes people fall unconditionally in love with it? I ask myself this question frequently. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint, you just get ‘the feeling’. But, that’s not really enough for someone considering visiting or even moving here. 

I’ve had the “you should move to Brighton” conversation with a few of my friends recently, who haven’t accepted “you just get this great feeling when you’re here” as an answer. So I’ve had to cobble together some real points. 

The pebbled beach

I’ll start with the cliche – you’re all expecting it anyway. Brighton beach solves almost everything. It’s the perfect place to clear your head – and living here, you’re never far from it. The pebbles make it easier to go to all year round. 

The creative scene

Phoria, The Great Escape, 2014

Phoria, The Great Escape, 2014

Brighton is essentially one big creative hub. It has its own fringe, there’s a gig of some form every night, a big comedy festival every October, at least one venue on almost all of the main streets, it hosts Europe’s largest new music festival, The Great Escape and residential houses are often opening up as art galleries – especially for the Artists Open House Festival in May.

James Bay, The Kooks, Tom Odell, The Maccabees, Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes), Rizzle Kicks and Fatboy Slim have all played on the Brighton open mic scene at some point, after all.

The parks – and their beautiful flowers

Brunswick Square

Brunswick Square

Brighton’s parks are scattered around the city – and you’re never far from one. I’m not a floral expert by any means, but each park is decorated in a gorgeous array of flowers. I’ve never seen so many bluebells in a city. 

If I’m having a park day, it’ll either be in Brunswick Square, St Ann’s Well Gardens, Queens Park or Hove Park – maybe all, if I’m feeling greedy.

The food – and how well allergies/diet choices are accommodated

Kensington Gardens

Kensington Gardens

Brighton caters so well for people with diet restrictions that sometimes it’s a challenge to find just standard English pub food. Don’t get me wrong, bangers and mash does exist down here, but veggie sausages and dairy-free sweet potato mash are just as popular. There’s even a restaurant down here that has a zero waste policy – it’s called Silo and can be found in the North Laines, if you’re interested. I’ve heard very good things.

When I lived in Sheffield it often took me three weeks to find anywhere that sold dairy free butter – now I’m never 5 minutes away from it. 

The Argus headlines

argus.jpg

I won’t lie, The Argus headlines were often used as examples as ‘what not to do’ when I was at journalism school. But, they’re bloody good entertainment. They even made it onto Buzzfeed

Image found here.

Hove

When I say “Brighton”, I’m thinking of Hove too – the two have combined to create a city, after all. Hove is the quieter, fancier and cleaner one of the two, with grand buildings and a really peaceful setting. It’s not as vibrant as Brighton, but happiness is all about balance – and that’s something that Hove provides. It’s also home to my favourite pub, The Connaught.

The huge support for local businesses

Local businesses are so supported here that they’re not only able to stay in business for a really long time, but they’re able to turn into franchises and spread across the city. The biggest example has to be the coffee shop/roasters, Small Batch, of which there are more shops than Starbucks. Their coffee can also be found in cafes across Brighton. Independent restaurants and clothes stores also find great success down here.

The community

Of course, none of this magic would be possible without the people living here. The general consensus of the people here is that it’s an accepting community – you only need to come to Pride to see that. 

Life, BrightonPippa Says