Take a break, take a breather, take a trip to Brighton, writes Sarah Pollok.
The hustle and bustle of a foreign city can get a little much sometimes. So, whether you've worked your way through all London's must-dos or just need a break from the big smoke, the charming city of Brighton is a perfect spot to get away for the day.
If you love looking wistfully out of train windows, hop on the Thameslink via St Pancras, Farringdon, Blackfriars and London Bridge or the Southern Railway from London Victoria. For those with a car, the 90km drive south takes about 90 minutes and a bus ride is just 10 minutes longer but advance booking is a must.
Go for a wander
Even if you're not familiar with Brighton, you'll know the fantastically colourful Hove Beach huts. The neighbouring city of Hove is a 2km walk away and the journey is an attraction in itself, the promenade being dotted with stalls and eateries. First built in 1923 as a way to encourage ocean swims, the boxes were leased out at just £75, while today one of the remaining 24 would set you back £14,000 ($26,000).
Don't miss this
Of all the attractions in Brighton, its historic seaside pier - which has been standing since 1899 - is one not to be missed. Pick up a treat from one of the food stands as you wander past the classic carnival stalls and rides and take in the fresh salty air. Or, if the good old British rain pays a visit, duck into the Palace of Fun and play on their vintage arcade games.
Give it a go
A new addition to Brighton's horizon, the i360 observation tower is a quirky way to take in the city from a whole new angle. Reaching more than 160m into the sky, the vertical pier's enclosed glass viewing platform treats visitors to stunning views of the city, coastline, countryside and neighbouring Hove.
Spend up here
Whether you love shopping, browsing little boutiques or incredibly charming laneways then Brighton's North Laine is a must-visit. Nestled in the city's cultural quarter, The Lanes is a treasure trove of independent shops selling everything from vintage clothes and handmade chocolates to vinyl records and bespoke perfumes.
No visit to a British city is complete without ending the day with a few pints. So, for a classic pub experience, as well as live music performances and 2-for-1 cocktails, head to The Black Lion. Slap bang in the centre of the cultural quarter, the self-professed "foodie pub" is a favourite with locals and visitors alike.
If you've had your fill of fish and chips and are looking for something a little more wholesome, Food for Friends may just be a highlight of the day. Serving vegetarian fare, the award-winning restaurant specialises in shared plates, but be warned, the food's so good even those dining with non-vege friends have to get in quick.