First impressions are everything, and when our first day included a Hop-on-Hop off Bus tour of Brighton, we knew working for Experience Days was going to live up to its name! With the sun shining and the wind blowing, Rina and I were whisked away from the office down to the pier to find our bus and embark on a tour of the city.
Just opposite the Poole
Valley coach station, the pickup point awaits outside Brighton Palace
Pier. Beginning by the sea was excellent, as the lively atmosphere and sound of
the seagulls really made us feel we were in the heart of Brighton! The buses run every
60 minutes throughout the day from 10am until 5pm, so there’s plenty of choice
to find a time that suits you.
As we boarded the bus, we
received a warm welcome from our driver, and collected our free headphones and
maps displaying discounts and deals to enjoy the local attractions. Of course
we chose to head upstairs to the open top deck, and despite the wind blowing
our hair everywhere, the views were worth it! Sitting comfortably, we plugged
our headphones in and the audio guide began. I’ve lived near Brighton my whole
life so know the area well, but it was interesting to learn a lot of things I
didn’t know about the history, architecture and culture of the city. We were on
the red route city tour, so our first sight to
see as we glided down the seafront was the stunning British Airways i360. Built in 2016, it was designed by
the same people who designed the London Eye!
Heading West, the bus tour took us around Hove to pass through Grand Avenue and Palmeira Square. Brighton and Hove were unified in 1997, but they have not always got on. Years ago, Hove wanted to separate itself from its ‘noisy neighbours’ in Brighton. When asked if they live in Brighton, Hove residents are known to humorously reply ‘“Hove, actually’”, in order to distinguish themselves from ‘Brightonians’. It is thought the phrase was coined by local actor Laurence Olivier and was even used by Hove borough council in the 1990s to promote Hove’s tourism!
Moving away from Hove, we passed by Brighton station to continue down Queens Road and wave at everybody inside the office! Now in the centre of town, we had arrived at the clocktower. It was originally built in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, and there was even a time capsule containing coins and a newspaper from that year buried beneath it! Nowadays, you can alight here for Churchill Square and North Street, a perfect place to get your shopping fix with so much choice. Next, we travelled down the busy high street toward Old Steine, where we could see the Brighton Dome. The Dome was once known as the King’s stables, but has since transformed into a popular music and arts venue that hosts some of the city’s most eclectic evenings. It even staged the Eurovision song contest in 1974, when ABBA won for Sweden with the song Waterloo - talk about history!
With the air salty and the sound of the waves crashing, we knew we had arrived back at the seafront. Passing by the pier, the tour took us on our final leg towards Brighton Marina all whilst providing spectacular sea views! The bus takes you right down into the Marina, and you can alight here for restaurants, bars, the cinema and boats. If you wish to stay for the evening, your hop on hop off bus tour ticket is valid on the No.7 bus that can take you straight back to the Old Steine in central Brighton so you’re free to stay and enjoy as you wish. As we departed the Marina, we continued back toward the Pier once more, but not without a stop at Volks Railway, the longest lasting electrical railway in the world! With our journey coming to an end, we returned to hop off the bus the same place we embarked on our journey, thanked our driver and enjoyed the rest of the nice weather whilst it lasted!
Overall, the bus tour gives you a fantastic overview of the sights, attractions and the heart of Brighton. If you're planning a trip here, it's a brilliant way to get around smoothly, quickly and learn a little too! If you're local, why not travel in style for a day and see the city from a new height? Thanks to City Sightseeing Brighton for our fun journey.