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Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Brighton

27th September 2017

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

This vibrant, colourful and creative seaside town resort is a popular destination to visit all-year round and getting around is simple as it is a compact town that is easy to explore on foot or via public transport.

This makes it an ideal place to visit for older people who have mobility problems and need stairlifts to just get around their home.

Considering the town’s adaptability to the needs of different age groups, a spokesperson for Visit Brighton says, “Brighton & Hove is a popular destination for all ages as there’s so much variety on offer in the city. Whether it’s a visit to the Royal Pavilion, a flight on British Airways i360 or a ride on the city’s latest zip wire attraction, there is something for all age groups to enjoy.”

As there is so much to do in Brighton it is definitely worth planning your visit, especially for those who struggle to walk long distances as there is a big hill in the city. Here is a guide to some great attractions to visit and other great activities to try.

Best attractions to visit

There are a whole host of attractions to visit in Brighton and here are some of the must-visit ones.

Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is perfectly located in the centre of Brighton and was originally built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV.

Now the historic palace is famed for its Indian and Chinese architecture and is an iconic symbol of the town.

There is lots for visitors to see and some of the highlights include the Great Kitchen, the Music Room, the Banqueting Room, the Prince Regent Gallery and the Garden and Estate.

Brighton Palace Pier

At the Brighton Palace Pier visitors can enjoy all the fun of the fair at this renowned location. Packed with thrills and spills for all ages and featuring world-class rides including the loop-the-loop Turbo Coaster and the Crazy Mouse.

New features for 2017 that are great for the grandchildren include a new four-storey soft play area, a new pizza parlour and an exciting new ride for children – The I220!

The Brighton Palace Pier will take older people back to their childhood as it not only shows off the excitement and pace of the modern day, but balances it with its old features and traditional seaside feel. Brighton was famous as a holiday town, and a trip to the Brighton Palace Pier awakens nostalgia for penny arcades and quaint seaside scenery.

Brighton Sea Life Centre

The Brighton Sea Life Centre is the world’s oldest operating aquarium having been open to visitors for more than 140 years.

It is home to more than 3,500 creatures including sharks, turtles, seahorses, rays and even an anaconda. Some of the highlights of a visit include the feeding demonstrations throughout the day, an interactive rock pool and the fantastic 360-degree Ocean Tunnel.

Another popular attraction at the aquarium is the glass-bottomed boat as this allows visitors to experience the marine world from a different perspective. Brighton Sea Life Centre is the first aquarium in the UK to offer this experience.

Disabled access is available at SEA LIFE Brighton, with only the Ocean Display in the auditorium not having full disabled access. This display however can also be seen from the Ocean Tunnel. The staff who conduct the talks that take place in the Auditorium will always leave the talk via the underwater tunnel, specifically to speak to any wheelchair users or people who were not able to attend the session upstairs.

The aquarium is open every day apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

Best restaurants in Brighton

Brighton is well-known for its world-class dining and here is a list of some of the most accessible and best restaurants to visit.

Big Beach Café

This independent cafe and coffee bar is renowned for serving top-quality coffee, all-day breakfasts, light lunches, fish and chips and even cakes, pastries and ice cream.

The Big Beach Café is run by Dan Stockland, who has worked in a number of well-known restaurants and even toured as a chef with artists such as Eminem, Kanye West, Coldplay and Robbie Williams.

The café is just a stone’s throw away from the beach and is easily accessible for visitors who have mobility problems.

Regency Restaurant

The Regency Restaurant was converted from a seafront home into a restaurant in the early 1930’s and has now become one of the oldest and most popular seafront restaurants in the town.

The restaurant is famed for its locally-caught fresh fish and its stunning views of the English Channel, West Pier and i360.

Seafood on the menu includes fried fillet cod, deep fried calamari, whitebait and grilled salmon steak. There are lots of other meals available such as sirloin or fillet steak and grilled chicken and roasted beef.

English's of Brighton

Visitors to Brighton who love seafood need to head to English's of Brighton as this restaurant has been serving seafood for over 150 years.

The eatery offers fresh, local seafood at its marble-topped oyster bar or cosy dining rooms and it is popular amongst locals and visitors alike.

The restaurants has four different menus to choose from, including a child’s menu, and there is plenty of choice.

Best tours to go on

Here are some great sightseeing tours visitors can go on to see Brighton in all its glory.

Brighton City Sightseeing

Brighton City Sightseeing boast local tour buses which are fully accessible with generous wheelchair space if required, audio visual next Stop announcements for each stop and a friendly team of drivers/tour guides that will help make the tour as memorable as possible.

The bus tours give a flavour of the city with its entertaining commentary that shares some interesting facts as the bus heads through the streets of Brighton.

Those with mobility issues can take advantage of the Helping Hand scheme. This enables passengers to alert the driver to their own specific requirements by showing them a yellow credit card sized card which is printed with a specific personalised message.

This means passengers who need extra help will receive assistance much faster, saving them having to ask for help in front of a busy bus full of passengers.

Brighton Walks

Brighton Walks is run by a Blue Badge Tour Guide and as well as taking groups to the famous sites and landmarks of Brighton, it will show off the secret side of the town that would have been missed.

There are a variety of walks available so visitors with mobility issues can choose to go on short tours. The Brighton Breezy walk is perfect for those with mobility aids like wheelchairs or scooters as it is just an hour long. It talks people through Brighton's fascinating history by visiting a number of different attractions.

The Brighton on Film tour from Brighton Walks looks at the different locations used in feature films and discusses the town’s long history in filmmaking and cinematography.

Brighton's Seawater Tour

This tour is run by Jackie Marsh-Hobbs and her Brighton Seawater Tour takes visitors on foot to Brighton’s seaside.

It includes amazing sea views, lovely stories, forgotten histories, seaside architecture and aquatic entertainment.

As part of this trip tour groups will be taken to bath houses, the aquarium, piers and swimming pools and will learn about how the seaside shaped the town.

Other activities

A ride on the British Airways i360

The British Airways i360 is the world’s tallest moving observation tower and visitors can take to the skies to see incredible 360 degree panoramic views over Brighton and the South Coast.

The vertical cable car takes visitors up 138 metres and visitors can see as far as the South Downs National Park, the UNESCO Biosphere and, on a clear day, all the way to the Isle of Wight! The inflight crew are also on hand to point out landmarks and answer any questions.

The British Airways i360 was only opened in 2016 after an 11-year journey to create the new attraction. Now it is a hugely popular destination and quickly becoming an iconic sight.

Experience the Volk's Electric Railway Association

The Volk's Electric Railway Association is the world’s oldest operating electric railway after it was opened in 1883.

The line runs for one and a quarter miles along the top of the beach from the Aquarium Station to the Marina. Trains leave every 15 minutes so visitors can easily catch one throughout the day from 11.15am to 5pm.

The train ride allows visitors to see parts of Brighton in a relaxed and stress-free environment.

Image Credit: Brighton Palace Pier, Paul Hudson, Paul Robertson, sagesolar.