Running The Grand Brighton Half Marathon? Here’s the lowdown on how to make the most of your stay by the seaside.
Brighton does eclectic better than anywhere and the North Laines are home to vintage boutiques, cupcake shops and cafes galore. Snooper’s Paradise is a dusty curiosity shop packed to the rafters with memorabilia from childhood and well worth a mooch around if you have any time spare around race day.
The seafront and Palace Pier
Brighton’s seafront has had a bit of a makeover in recent years, with seaside-shabby now seaside-chic. New boutiques have popped up under the arches close to the beautiful Victorian Band Stand and new-ish landmark the British Airways i360 now stands majestic on the seafront, offering views to France on especially clear days. There’s a collection of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs on the seafront. And you can’t leave the seaside without a mosey on the Palace Pier, where you’ll find quintessential British seaside fodder: fish and chips, ice creams and candy floss.
The Royal Pavilion
Former Royal residence the Pavilion was a party palace, a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. The building is Brighton’s answer to the Taj Mahal, with opulent Indian architecture on the exterior and contrasting Chinese décor in the interior. It’s unlike any other building in Britain – and it epitomises this eclectic, vibrant city rather perfectly.
Steve Ovett statue
Eagle eyes won’t have to walk far to see the statue of local Olympian Ovett on race day of The Grand Brighton Half Marathon – the bronze statue erected ahead of the London 2012 Olympics lies in the race village, a fitting tribute to the Brighton-born runner who went on to break the world record for the 1,500m and mile run in 1980.
Independent coffee shops are thriving in Brighton and Hove and the locals have followed their noses and shunned the big chains in favour of indies producing great roasts. Small Batch has a number of outlets dotted throughout the city, then there’s Flour Pot Bakery, Café Coho, Marwoods, Bond St Coffee, plus plenty more.
You’ll need to put your feet up after the race and Brighton is home to four cinemas, all within walking range of the race village on the seafront. The Odeon on the seafront and Cineworld at the Marina are the places to watch blockbusters, while Komedia and the Duke of York tend to screen art house films. The latter also claims to be the oldest cinema in continuous use in Britain.
Hotel, food & drink close to Race Village
Hotels close to race village
The Grand Brighton – 4*
Premier Inn, North Street – 3*
MyHotel – 4*
Seattle Hotel – 3*
Blanche House – 3*
Hilton Brighton Metropole – 4*
Hotel du Vin – 4*
Royal Albion – 2.5*
Umi hotel – 3*
Queen’s hotel – 3*
Ibis – 2*
See more suggestions, including B&Bs, on our accommodation page.
Basketmakers Arms, the North Laines
The North Laine Brewhouse, the North Laines
Brighton Rocks, Rock Place, Kemptown
The Black Dove, Kemptown
The Fountain Head, North Road
Pub du Vin, Ship Street
Earth & Stars, Windsor St
British: Bill’s, Pub du Vin
French: Mange Tout, Plateau
Veggie: Food for Friends, Terre a Terre
Meat & fish: The Coal Shed, The Salt Rooms
Pizza: Pizzaface (takeaway)
Burgers: Burger Brothers (takeaway), MeatLiquor
Pub food: The North Laines, the Bristol Bar, the Basketmakers, The Dorset, Yeoman, Earth & Stars
Sports massage, physio & osteopathy
Sundial, Queen’s Road
Body Rehab, Hove
Back in Brighton, North Street