Wednesday 1 February 2017

Cycling in the City: How’s your outlook for February?

Today we'll hand over to another guest blogger who will give us some hints and tips on getting into cycling and riding around the city... 

Cycle Map available from the Brighton & Hove City Council website
Brighton and Hove is a city which has a tradition of cycling involvement and it seems to be growing rapidly every year but how do you make the most of it this February? This article addresses some of the trending topics in the cycling community, with references to a few useful websites.

How to fit cycling in your fitness routine? 

A few ideas on how to do this:

Depending upon someone's level of fitness and the amount of recreational and leisure time at their disposal, a good idea would be to cycle up to four times per week for a distance which would be suitable and relevant to an individual's fitness levels.

If you can commute to work every day and if possible cycling to work is an excellent way to help with fitness and there is no shame in cycling at walking pace.

Another idea, is to record your miles on a calendar, to give that extra ‘mental push’. Like most things, if you get over that initial hurdle, it becomes much more fun.

Cycling with a group is good motivation. The ‘British Cycling Federation’ has lots of training plans for cyclists of all levels, from beginners to Intermediate.

Safety not only in numbers…but also in lights 

According to the The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, statistics mention in 2014 an overall of about 113 cyclists are killed and an alarming number of about 3401 are seriously injured, on the road.

Here are just a few tips of bike safety:

  • The most common bike safety advice is to wear a helmet.
  • Following the law is also beneficial advice. If the light is green, go, if its red, stop - Don’t jump the traffic lights!
  • Use hand signals if you can’t make eye contact with a driver of a vehicle.
  • Don’t ride against the traffic, ride with the traffic in the same direction.
  • Do not stop in the blind spot, rather stop behind a car instead of on the ‘right side’ of the car which makes you visible to traffic.
  • Refrain from riding on the pavement.
  • If you are riding at night, get a front headlight and rear flashing light
  • Wearing something bright and with high visibility, even during the day, which helps a lot for visibility.
  • Avoid busy streets and ride slowly in busy areas.

For more safety tips see what Bicycle Safe has to say or Sustrans tips for cycling on roads.

The Royal Society Prevention of Accidents 

“The moment of clarity for cyclist Emily Brooke was less like an apple falling on her head and more like the prospect of a white van slamming into her.” 

Blaze Laser lights can be preordered now and are priced at £125, ‘the light comes with a bracket to attach it to handlebars, is waterproof and the internally sealed battery is charged via a USB cable. The laser can only be used when attached to the bike. The green light is visible during the day but not effective, says Brooke, and is really aimed for night use when "you can't miss it". The bicycle symbol - instead of branding or writing - was chosen to ensure it was universally recognized.

Cycling Routes and Cycle Lanes

There are a lot of online resources to plan your cycling routes. The ‘mapmyride’ website has a few options for both cycling trails and routes:

Brighton & Hove City Council has transformed the Lewes Road, a busy 4.5km dual carriageway carrying 25,000 vehicles per day, into a rapid transit style bus and cycle corridor by reallocating an entire lane in each direction from general traffic into a bus and cycle lane.

A few examples of cycling infrastructure in and around Brighton: 

  • Old Shoreham Road, Brighton - an innovative "continental" design of cycle route along a fast road. 
  • Brighton to Eastbourne – if you’re feeling a little bit adventurous you could head out along the south coast to Newhaven traveling along the countryside of national cycle route two. The views of Brighton Marina and the costal line are not to be missed.
    Thanks to GPS and cycling walking routes we have a full description of the route
  • Devils Dyke – Venture out to the South Downs for some cross country. Perfect family day out with Food and drink facilities at Devils Dyke Inn. Check out South Downs cycling for more routes. 
A further source of information, The Cycle Brighton website, mentions 3 ‘superb’ flat cycle routes starting in Brighton:
Route 1 – Coastal Rottingdean
Route 2 – Coastal Worthing
Route 3 – Bramber Castle

The article was written by Tim Brierly of TBProcycling, who is a Brighton and Hove based consultant in commercial rights and sponsorships for professional road cycling teams, riders and races worldwide

Thanks again to Tim for today's post and don't forget to visit for more information on Cycling in Brighton

Monday 16 January 2017

Brighton up #BlueMonday

Allegedly today, Monday 16th January, will be the most depressing day of the year. There are a number of factors involved such as Christmas memories are fading but we still have a couple of weeks until payday. And of course, it's raining too!

However we've decided to blow a raspberry in the face of Blue Monday so grab your brolly and get down to Brighton as we have plenty of ways to Brighton up your day (come on, it had to be done!).

While the Pier looks stunning on a sunny day, you know it'll be quieter today so you'll be first in line for the arcade games and the doughnut stall. Plus you get some dramatic scenes of the sea when it's wet & windy. Or why not relive your youth at the Brighton Toy & Model Museum? Tucked away under Brighton Station this gem is home to a plethora of vintage toys and model railways.

The Painting Pottery Café
In the last couple of years colouring books for adults have become increasingly popular as a way to be creative and to enjoy a moment of calm, so why not take it a step further and visit the Painting Pottery Café? Select your item of pottery and the helpful team will supply you with paints and brushes so you can start decorating. 

The Open Market. Photo by Light Trick Photography

If you fancy a spot of shopping then head over to the Open Market to peruse the independent, local traders. You'll find clothes, arts, crafts and plenty of food, I've heard the falalfel is amazing and I can personally recommend McStrong's Pig 'n' Mix.

The South Downs. Photo taken by Light Trick Photography
The rain is supposed to stop this afternoon so another great way to ditch the blues is to grab a pair of walking shoes, hop on a bus and head out for a hike in the stunning South Downs countryside

For more ideas go to Let us know your favourite ways to beat the blues in Brighton & Hove.


Wednesday 4 January 2017

Looking back at Snowdogs by the Sea #brightonsnowdogs

Happy New Year everyone! Of course we should be looking ahead to what's coming up in 2017 (don't worry we will do this soon!) but before we do I couldn't resist a final post about Snowdogs by the Sea.

Just in case you somehow missed it, last year the city played host to Snowdogs by the Sea, a very cute sculpture trail featuring 45 Snowdog sculptures. Each sculpture was individually designed and they appeared at various sites across Brighton & Hove. Apart from being adorable the Snowdogs were also raising money for The Martlets hospice.

Bobby now lives at Balfour Primary School
We were delighted to be a part of the campaign and were proud to sponsor the official trail app. The figures are in and we were thrilled to see that the app was downloaded nearly 8,000 times and the QR codes were scanned 125,253 times! Plus the #brightonsnowdogs had over 11 million impressions!

While these figures are impressive the result that really blew us away was the amount raised for The Martlets.... (drumroll) a whopping £337,700! This is a fantastic achievement so well done to Sarah and all the team who worked so hard to make the event a success.

Bella will soon be found at her new home on West Street.
On a personal note it was lovely spotting the sculptures around the city, particularly seeing how happy they made everyone. I am pleased to report that three of the pooches will be staying in Brighton - Bella was bought by her sponsors One Family so she will be positioned outside their offices on West Street. Bobby is already in place at Balfour Primary School and Process Pup will also be staying but we don't know where yet...

Process Pup will be staying in the city - location tbc
If, like us, you wish you could see them all again one last time then sit back and enjoy this...

Don't forget it isn't too late to donate so you can either text SDOG16 to donate £3 or donate an amount of your choosing using the online form.


Friday 16 December 2016


Even the grinchiest of grinches can no longer ignore the fact that Christmas will soon be here with only just over a week to go!

A lot of people will still have some gifts to buy so if you're struggling for ideas why not book a quick getaway to Brighton & Hove to get the Christmas shopping all wrapped up? If you have already bought all your gifts then why not come down and get a reward for yourself? 😉 The city is truly a shopper's paradise with hundreds of independent traders as well as the big name brands.

Chocolate baubles from Choccywoccydoodah in The Lanes
With so many shops to explore it can be difficult to know where to start so to give you a hand every day up to Chrismtas Eve we will share a different gift idea on Twitter and Instagram. To see the 4 ideas we've shared so far search #12DaysofShopping and make sure you are following @Love_Brighton on Twitter and @visit.brighton on instagram. 

Washbag from Present in the Laine in the North Laine
Find out more about Shopping in Brighton on our website where you can also plan and book your Shopping Break.


Monday 12 December 2016

5 Things you will only find in Brighton

Today we welcome another guest poster, travel writer Rohit Agarwal picks his 5 favourite things you can only see in Brighton & Hove.... 

One of England’s most vibrant cities perched upon the seaside is Brighton, which is a popular tourist destination when it comes to weekend getaways. Shopping, festivals, nightlife, regal architecture, beaches and piers with arcades and amusement activities have all collectively made Brighton quite the tourist attraction in England. It being an hour away from London by train also helps if you’re thinking of a single day trip, which is usually what people choose to go by. With Brighton’s charming sights to see, here are some things that can only be thoroughly enjoyed in Brighton.

1. North Laine Graffiti

Photo by Dominic Alves, CC BY 2.0
Brighton prides itself on its incredible art that it inherits from the classical era where art was highly prevalent. It would only be natural for Brighton to have some contemporary street art that is so brilliant that you’d end up spending hours admiring the intricate work that street artists have created on the walls of North Laine. Along with North Laine being the most popular spot of Brighton what with its markets, restaurants and cafes, gift shops, hotels, and vintage stores and exhibits, the street art and graffiti blends into the appealing factors of the city. The most talented of artists and painters have designed spectacular art on the walls of North Laine, and don’t be surprised if you find an artist or two high up on a ladder spray painting their time away. It’ll be an unforgettable sight to see in Brighton, which is why North Laine is such a popular part of the seaside city.

2. Choccywoccydoodah

Photo by David Skinner, CC BY 2.0
What’s not to like when there’s a perfect blend of art and chocolate? This amazing chocolate dedicated place in Brighton goes by calling itself a ‘chocolaterie’, which brings together some of the best artists creating unusual chocolate combos and delicacies that one just can’t forget easily. They not only have expert artists and bakers working on their famous wedding cakes, chocolate toys, chocolate sculptures, gifts, pets and almost everything under the sun. You ask for it and Choccywoccydoodah will have their team working on providing you with the best chocolate experience you will ever have in your life. This is Brighton’s most popular and interesting place among the other equally amazing things one can do. But since it’s chocolate, there’s really nothing else a chocolate lover would rather do than head over to Choccywoccydoodah for an indulgent time with chocolate.

3. Brighton Dome Events

Flaming Lips Concert at Brighton Dome: Credit - Victor Frankowski
Whether it is classical arts, indulgence of heritage and history, the Brighton festival of arts, or splendid performances including those of theatre, dance, music, literature, comedy, film, and visual arts among many others, Brighton Dome has everything for everyone. Events take place every month with a lot of interesting opportunities for tourists to enjoy, where one can experience creations of traditional and classic artists but also contemporary dancers, musicians, theatre performers and the likes. There are endless things to experience at Brighton Dome, which is why it’s such an unavoidable place in the city that every tourist visits at least once.

4. Annual Brighton Marathon

Photo by Mike_fleming, CC BY-SA 2.0
You can either participate or just watch the annual Brighton Marathon which is held every year in April during the month’s first weekend. Over 150,000 onlookers are present during the marathon that goes across the seafront, making it one of the most amazing weekends a visitor spends in Brighton. If you’re a participant, you get to run across the smoothest and fastest marathon course with some of the best sights of Brighton at your fingertips. The route consists of stops like the North Laine, the Pier, the Royal Pavilion, Kemp Town etc. which is quite exciting to witness during the annual marathon.

5. The Royal Pavilion

Photo by David B Young, CC BY-SA 2.0
This uniquely built home of Prince George, the Prince of Wales, between the 1700s to the 1800s, the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture in the Royal Pavilion is an unusual sight in Brighton. The rooms inside the royal home depict the different eras of the British lifestyle, and the outer portion of the Royal Pavilion bears a striking resemblance to the Taj Mahal in India. The Royal Pavilion was built in the Regency period of the British era represents the awfully luxurious lifestyle that the British royal families enjoyed during their time, and with the rooms displaying the very crux of British standard of living, it’s certainly an interesting sight to visit in Brighton. The Royal Pavilion is no longer used as a residence, and is now open to the public as a museum.

There is so much more a tourist can do while at Brighton, what with its endless opportunities of enjoyment during a weekend getaway, but if you’ve got the time, hit the above places and you’ll have yourself some great pictures!

Author Bio:

As an avid traveller, Rohit’s experiences have been recorded on to share with like-minded travellers and enthusiastic tourists.

Wednesday 7 December 2016

New Dark Star pub opens in Haywards Heath

The Dark Star Brewing Co. has opened its latest pub, The Lockhart Tavern, in Haywards Heath, West Sussex.

Now the Lockhart, on The Broadway, Haywards Heath has undergone extensive refurbishment overseen by designer, Adrian Fillary who has transformed it into a vibrant and cool venue offering a huge range of local and regional beers, ales and an extensive wine list.

Commenting, Dark Star Director, James Cuthbertson, said: “It’s taken longer than we’d originally envisaged to get this site together, but I think the result is stunning. It was clear from when we started looking at the site that we needed to extend the building as well as completely rip-out and refurbish the original shell.”

Adding: “I think we’ve created something pretty special. We have six cask beers, ten keg beers, a wide range of spirits and an amazing wines list. Our food offer is best described as ‘pub classics’, a range of from fish and chips through to a lamb curry, all made fresh on site out of our open kitchen”.

The VisitBrighton team and friends came down to try some of the brewery’s beers and also some excellent wines. A favourite was definitely the Dark Star Espresso beer made with fresh Arabica coffee from Brighton’s Red Roaster, a zingy and warming combination all at the same time!

There is also a fantastic food menu from delicious bar snacks like welsh rarebit and sausage roles; small plates such as crab toast and jerk chicken wings and large plates including rib-eye steak, burgers and of course Sunday roast. All dishes use fresh, local ingredients, are made on site and cooked to order.

Whilst all of the Dark Star pubs are very different, there are two common threads which hold them together: the love of great beer from the great breweries we’re lucky enough to have in this country, and the provision of a place for people to get together and share life experiences.

Get in touch:

  • The Lockhart Tavern, 41 The Broadway, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, RH16 3AS
  • The Anchor Tap, Horsham, 16 East Street, Horsham, West Sussex RH12 1HL
  • The Partridge, Partridge Green, Church Road, Partridge Green, Nr Horsham, RH13 8GW

Monday 5 December 2016

MADE BRIGHTON - Christmas special

Today we hand over to antoher guest poster. Anne-Marie will give us an insight into the special festive edition of MADE BRIGHTON.... 

We are thrilled to be organising a one day, table top, craft and design fair. MADE BRIGHTON at St Bartholomew’s Church will take place on 10th December. We have selected sixty-five contemporary designer / makers selling their handmade work direct to you.

We’ve got ceramics, jewellery, homewares, glass, woodwork, textiles, screen-prints and more, with a full range of prices to ensure there is something for everyone. For stocking fillers, The Black Rabbit will be bringing her knitted media mittens, Forge Creative will have a huge selection of their hand turned wooden trees and Louise Loder will be bringing her mix and match silver and black stud earrings.

For Christmas gifts, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Warm and cosy knitwear by Prilly Lewis, snug and toasty felt slippers by Onstail and knitted scarves and accessories by Jo Cranston. If you’re looking for jewellery, we got a fantastic selection of unique pieces, plus beautiful functional ceramics as well as statement porcelain pieces for the home (keep an eye out for wallflowerlondon).

If you’re stuck for a gift for him, take a look at the really stunning handmade carbon steel kitchen knives by Two Stick Forge, the fabulous hand turned lamps by Sarah Lock and leather goods by Paula Kirkwood and Wolfram Lohr.

A full list of makers can be found here…

St Bartholomew’s Church on Ann Street is just a 5-minute walk from Brighton Station. The church is a stunning late Victorian Byzantine inspired building, known to some as the Noah’s Ark Church, because of the local legend that it was built to the same dimensions as the Ark. St Bartholomew’s is an awe-inspiring space; the tallest parish church in Europe.

The show is open from 10.30am – 6pm. Entry price £4.50.

Just opposite the church at 51 Providence Place, our new shop Atelier 51 will be open selling crafts and design from an array of best quality makers.

MADE BRIGHTON at St Bartholomew’s
Saturday, 10th December 2016
10.30am - 6pm
Tickets: £4.50 on the door / or online in advance
St Bartholomew’s Church
Ann Street