Bargain Brighton: Summer 2010

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Brighton Beach and pier

If the pennies are tight it’s easy to enjoy Brighton on a shoestring, especially if you search for deals and plan ahead.

Brighton’s well known for its seafront, and this year you can combine a bracing long walk along the promenade with a visit to an excellent free outdoor exhibition of nature photography. After that you can relax on the pebbly beach and do some sunbathing, or dip your toes in the sea. Other great walks include the coastal ‘undercliff’ walk from the Marina to Saltdean, and the Brighton sculpture trail.

The famous pier is also free to visit, provided you can resist the lure of the fruit machines and fairground rides, and has deckchairs that you can borrow for as long as you like for no fee. Local museums’ main collections are mostly free to walk around too, including Brighton Museum and Art Gallery and the Booth Museum of Natural History. Other attractions can often be visited at a discount. For example, you can visit the Sea Life Centre aquarium for half price with a voucher.

Brighton’s a shopper’s paradise, with hundreds of boutiques, and bargain hunters can try the Sunday morning car boot sale on the top floor of the Marina car park (7am-2pm), or the indoor flea markets at Kensington Gardens or Kemp Town. Charity shops are dotted around the whole of the city centre and Hove, and there’s a TKMaxx on North Street plus various outlet stores such as Terra Plana shoes on West Street. Or head to sweet shops near the seafront and pick up a bundle of six sticks of peppermint rock for £1.

If you get hungry you can have fish and chips by the sea, pick up some health food in The Lanes or North Laine for under a tenner, or nip into a supermarket for picnic ingredients. My current favourite for cheap eats is AguaDulce at 10 Kings Road, who offer a lunchtime deal of three authentic tapas dishes, plus bread and aioli for £5.50. Lastminute.com have some of the best ‘luxe for less’ offers in town at Terre a Terre, where you can feast on fresh, innovative vegetarian cuisine.

Need a place to stay? There’s something for every budget, from hostels with Pavillion views to quirky 70s-style B&Bs. If you’d like to treat yourself, you can hunt down some great deals on boutique and luxury hotels too.

Do you have any bargain Brighton tips of your own? Please tell us all about them.

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