Brighton: A Mini Trip Report

I tend to like reading the stories posted at Frugal Travel Guy authored by Christine Krzyszton — and the article pertaining to what to do in England instead of going to London is no exception…
…but I would like to amend that list — as well as simultaneously start writing and posting trip reports occasionally here at The Gate. I personally would include Dover, Stonehenge and Avebury. I plan on writing short trip reports about those places in the future.
I have a passion for travel — always have — and one problem with weblogs these days is that many of them are about such topics as manufactured spending, “mistake” airfares, how to live a life of ultra-premium-class for 43 cents per month, and how to calculate the best return on every frequent travel loyalty program mile and point you earn and redeem using complex algorithms and math worthy of a doctoral degree.
Don’t get me wrong — I have had my share of caviar and premium upgrades myself — but where is the passion for travel? Some weblogs do have it — but it seems to be a small percentage when compared to the number of weblogs posted by hundreds of authors.
I am going to start off slowly and work my way towards providing you with trip reports which you can not only experience vicariously; but also learn from them and be compelled to venture off and participate in your own unique travel experience which you will always remember…
…and do not hesitate to ask me any questions or offer me constructive criticism on how I can improve the trip reports — or anything else I post at The Gate, for that matter.
What am I saying?!? You are a FlyerTalk member — of course you will not hesitate to let me know how you really feel! Please get those comments posted below after you finish reading this article!
With that, let us get started…
…Christine Krzyszton recommends visiting Brighton, Leeds Castle and Southampton to Hythe. I can only comment on Brighton, which I visited on a brief overnight visit in November of 2008 during my journey from Atlanta to San Diego round-trip.
You read that correctly: it was less expensive for me to include London in the itinerary — both ways — than it was to fly non-stop between Atlanta and San Diego…
…and there was no extra charge for me to stay five days in England during that time on my way to San Diego. After my stay in the San Diego area had concluded, I flew back to London Gatwick Airport simply to turn around and fly back to Atlanta on the return trip.
I am originally from Brooklyn; so it was a special thrill to visit the other Brighton Beach. I stayed overnight at the historic Hilton Brighton Metropole for a room rate of £79.00 — not a bad room rate, which you can still secure today — give or take a few pounds. Unfortunately, parking the blue Fiat I rented cost me an additional £14.00 for the night — although I probably could have found free parking behind the hotel property or several blocks away had I felt like putting in the effort; so you can most likely avoid the parking charge if you can. I was given a room with a view of the English Channel — not “on the ocean”, as incorrectly stated by Christine Krzyszton in her article.
Although this grand old hotel — which had clearly seen better days but still is a fine property and is easily recognizable by its red brick façade — had no executive lounge, the breakfast in the restaurant was definitely one of the better breakfasts I have ever had in a hotel property. There were plenty of buffet stations — breads, fruits and pastries, for example — from which you can eat as much as you like; and there was a chef who cooked your eggs and other hot items to order. Even the interior of the restaurant was ornate in a tasteful sort of way, suggesting the elegance this property once enjoyed in days gone by.
After breakfast, the chill of the gloomy autumn day greeted me as I crossed the street to explore the beach. Rather than sand, rocks and shells of various colours — hey, this is England — comprised the beach as the small waves of the English Channel lapped on shore. The area was rather deserted, save for an occasional dog walker, jogger or bicyclist. I will let the photographs speak for themselves.

This photograph of King’s Road and the English Channel facing west was taken from my room at the Hilton Brighton Metropole hotel property. Note the pier that appears to have been destroyed. Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

A gloomy day in Brighton, facing east from my hotel room. Photograph ©2008 by Brian Cohen.

The cold air was rather refreshing, as the room was rather hot. Hearing the waves of the English Channel wash onto the rocks and shells of the beach set a rather relaxed and peaceful mood for me on that desolate shore. I imagined how noisy and crowded this area would be in the summer, with vendors hawking their wares and vehicles choking King’s Road with heavy traffic…
…and I decided that I would have rather been in Brighton in November than in July — for that moment, anyway.
Because I was there overnight during the late autumn, I certainly did not experience nearly as much of Brighton as Christine Krzyszton — but at least I know that visiting it again is an option whenever I return to London, as it is an easy 95-minute trip by car. London Gatwick Airport is located approximately halfway between London and Brighton; so having Brighton as the last place to visit while in England before catching my flight back to the United States was logical to me.
Here are some discussions posted on FlyerTalk pertaining to Brighton:

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