The 10 best things to do in the New Forest
The New Forest's stretches of ancient woodland and wildlife-rich heathland have long been a draw for weary city types. A National Park, the forest is spread across parts of Hampshire, east Dorset and Wiltshire, with beautiful scenery and easy hiking and cycling options making it hugely popular with outdoor lovers and those in need of a dose of fresh air. With trails, rivers and beaches galore, there's the chance to head out on a paddle board or ride through the countryside on horseback. If you're after inspiration, our pick of the very best things to do in the New Forest right now has get you covered. RECOMMENDED: The 10 best Airbnbs in the New Forest In the area for a mere 24 hours? Check out our guide to the perfect day in the New Forest.
The 16 best things to do in Kent
It’s ‘the Garden of England’, a county replete with bucolic countryside, postcard-perfect villages and a coastline known throughout the world. But its towns have fast become some of coolest escapes from the city, from the hip streets of Margate to the historic heart of Canterbury. Considering it supplies much of the country with fruit, hops and produce, it’s no surprise that the food scene here is one of the UK’s most exciting. There’s a vibrant restaurant and pub scene where foodies from across the world flock to get a taste of the best in modern British cooking. But it’s not just about the eating and drinking. Kent is home to the UK’s oldest rollercoaster, a grotto covered in seashells, beautiful beaches and a world-class art gallery. Its winding country lanes are a joy to explore, while those travelling by train, foot or bike will find much to love here too. Read on and we’ll fill you in on the best things to do in Kent right now.
The 12 best places to go shopping in Brighton
Brighton is a shopaholic’s dream, with a whole host of one-of-a-kind locations to satisfy every retail need. Want second hand LPs or freshly cut vinyl? Then the record stores throughout North Laine have got you covered. Got a thing for vintage? You can score an entire new wardrobe at any one of the city’s pre-loved clothes stores. And if you’re looking for jewelerry, furniture or off-kilter bric-a-brac, then you’ve come to the right place. Few things represent this city’s independent spirit like its thriving stores, so head this way and we’ll reveal our pick of the 12 best Brighton shops. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Brighton
The best Christmas events in Brighton for 2022
Brighton does a fine line in all things festive. True Christmas lovers will know that Raymond Briggs’s Snowman takes flight across the South Downs and over the iconic domes of the city’s Pavilion. So where better to spend some time in the run-up to the big day? Whether you want to go skating or take part in an annual winter solstice ritual, these are the best things to do in Brighton this Christmas. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best places to go shopping in Brighton
The 25 best restaurants in Brighton
Brighton’s restaurant scene is one of the finest in the UK, where new openings help to push old-school favourites to even greater heights. The result is a city that has put food at the top of the agenda, with something to cater for everyone, whether you're a committed carnivore or diehard vegan. If you want fine dining with wine to match, a food market replete with local options right on the beach or a brunch spot to ease yourself into the day, then you won't leave disappointed. Plus, with so much to do in between meals, you’re guaranteed to work up an appetite. Hungry? Read on for our pick of the best restaurants in Brighton right now. RECOMMENDED: the best things to do in BrightonRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in BrightonRECOMMENDED: The best hotels in Brighton
18 of the best things to do in Margate
Margate has been at the heart of Kent’s seaside renaissance over the past decade. Once patronisingly decried as down-at-heel, this sometimes shabby but always delightful seaside town is home to old-school arcades, excellent indie cafés and offbeat cultural attractions designed to entice tourists down for day trips or longer stays. In fact, Margate has long been a destination for those looking to shake off the stress of the city. TS Eliot was a fan, JMW Turner painted his famous seascapes here and its genteel Victorian glamour made it a go-to for tourists well before its recent resurgence. Just 90 minutes by train from St Pancras, it’s the perfect spot for a day out, whatever the time of year. Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Margate right now.RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Kent
The 13 best things to do on the Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight continues to be a popular destination for Brits looking for a holiday close to home. That’s partly due to the sheer convenience of its location: the quickest ferry will get you there in 30 minutes from Lymington and the longest in an hour from Southampton. Alternatively, you can sail across the Solent from Portsmouth in 45 minutes. Aside from the easy access, it’s also the perfect spot for anyone looking to explore some of the country’s most idyllic countryside, with great options for hikers and cyclists in particular. It’s not all outdoorsy though – there’s an increasingly impressive restaurant scene, as well as an excellent line-up of gorgeous hotels. Here’s a round up of the best things to do on the Isle of Wight.
The 12 best things to do in Portsmouth
One of the oldest seaside cities in Britain, Portsmouth (or Pompey to the locals) blends its historic past with increasingly impressive food, drink and nightlife scenes. Found on Portsea Island – a thumb of Hampshire jutting into the Solent, it was one of the world’s leading naval ports at the height of the British Empire and still serves as Britain’s foremost Royal Navy base. No trip is complete without a roam around the Les Misérables-esque dockyard, complete with four historic ships, including Henry VIII’s flop of a flagship, the Mary Rose, and a string of superb museums. While its maritime heritage is the main draw for visitors, Portsmouth has tons more to offer besides, from ancient pubs on cobbled streets to contemporary art galleries to football supporters so passionate they must be seen to be believed (particularly Pompey John, who has 60 tattoos and ‘P.F.C’ engraved into his teeth). Here’s our pick of the best things to do in Portsmouth right now.
13 brilliant things to do in Royal Tunbridge Wells
Tunbridge Wells has enjoyed ‘Royal’ status since 1909, when King Edward VII granted it the status as his wider family loved spending time there (notably including his late mother Queen Victoria). The town had already become hot property during the seventeenth century thanks to the discovery of its chalybeate spring, which helped turn the town into a booming spa resort after King James I drank the water and claimed it had curative properties. While the boom in sea bathing in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries saw the town’s popularity wane a little, its aristocratic appeal remained, hence that royal prefix. Found within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, its beautiful centre and the idyllic countryside close by make it a firm favourite among day-trippers and those keen on a weekend away from the bustle of the city. Here are the best things to do in Royal Tunbridge Wells right now. RECOMMENDED: Visit nearby Whitstable, Canterbury or Margate
The 25 best things to do in Brighton right now
Brighton is the place to be when the weather warms up, and not just because it's home to one of Britain's most iconic beaches. Whether you want to cool down with a single origin ice coffee at one of Brighton's coolest coffee shops, shop for the very best in vintage fashion or check out one of the country's finest food scenes, you won't want for great stuff to do. Those keener on even more relaxing pursuits can stroll past glorious Regency architecture or explore some excellent museums, including the spectacular Royal Pavilion. Just an hour by train from London, a day trip to the seaside couldn't be easier. These are the best things to do in Brighton right now. Want more? Then check out these five unmissable things to do in Brighton this summer RECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in BrightonRECOMMENDED: The best hotels in Brighton
15 truly amazing things to do in Rye
It was once one of south-east England’s most important ports. Today, Rye retains a historic charm while attracting a hip crowd looking for a seaside getaway. With a rich history of smuggling and maritime conflict, there’s plenty to sate culture buffs, while those keen on eating and drinking the very best in local produce won't leave disappointed. Whatever your tastes, Rye’s quirky shops, medieval inns and cafés have got you covered. Throw in glorious outdoor spaces and a day here is guaranteed to have a soothing effect on the soul. RECOMMENDED: More brilliant things to do around SussexRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Rye
14 totally brilliant things to do in Whitstable
Whether it's Margate, Deal or Ramsgate, the Kent coast is lucky to have some of England's coolest and finest seaside towns. And Whitstable, with its fresh seafood and annual oyster festival, ranks right alongside them. It's long attracted stressed-out city-dwellers in need of a little sea air and RnR. Whether it's wandering past its pastel-painted shopfronts or taking a dip off its sheltered beach, this is the ideal for day-trippers from the smoke. There’s a thriving arts scene and a genuine community spirit you’ll detect as soon as you arrive. These are the best things to do in Whitstable right now. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best places to visit in the UKRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in Whitstable
Brighton is getting a beachfront lido – and we’re really into it
Brighton’s incredible new beachfront lido is go. Work on the 50-metre pool – the UK’s first National Open-Water Swimming Centre of Excellence – has been confirmed to start this winter, with plans for the first swimmers to take the plunge in summer 2022. The pool is being built by developers Sea Lanes Brighton, close to a dilapidated stretch of seafront. Over the past three summers, Sea Lanes has run a pop-up site close to where the pool will eventually sit on the beach, with local faves Bison Beer running a bar and swim tour operator Swimtrek offering training in a clever ‘endless water’ swimming machine. Beach Box Spa completed the package, offering hardy sea swimmers a chance to warm up in its saunas between cooling dips in the English Channel. Photograph: Sea Lanes The pool, which is set to be fully accessible, is set to be a complete game-changer for this part of town. ‘The pool will provide much needed swimming facilities in Brighton,’ says Sea Lanes director Joe McNulty. ‘It act as a gateway for those looking to gain the confidence to swim in the sea, as well as a training hub for open-water swimming events, triathlon, sea safety and lifeguard courses.’The pool got planning permission back in March 2021 and will be run by South Downs Leisure. As these amazing pictures show, it will sit on the beach itself, with Sea Lanes still operating on the road side. Time to pack your swimming kit and get set for a seaside adventure in 2022. Can’t wait until then? Here are 14 more
Relive the golden age of rail travel on this luxury London-to-Brighton train
For years, the train line between London and Brighton has been a byword for misery. Chronic delays and endless strike action have often meant it would have been quicker to cycle from the capital to the coast. And while many have been spared the pain of dealing with last-minute cancellations and train breakdowns over the past 12 months, there’s one way to experience this famous tourist route in real style: Belmond’s Golden Age of Travel Brighton Belle service. This is train travel as it’s meant to be. The route kicks off at Victoria, with its art deco carriages (including three painstakingly restored cars from the original Brighton Belle) trundling through the South London suburbs and on to a circular route through the Surrey, Hampshire and Sussex countryside. Champagne is served as you settle into your plush armchair, before a leisurely five-course lunch. The train then follows the route of the famous Brighton Belle north to London from the seaside. The Belle ran for 41 years, from 1933 until 1972, and was the world’s only all-electric Pullman train. The services were renowned for their opulence, beyond even the best first-class experience on British Rail, with fancy fittings and at-seat service. Brighton resident Laurence Olivier famously campaigned to have kippers and eggs reinstated to the service’s menu in 1970 after his favourite breakfast option was suddenly removed. Recreating Olivier’s regular trip doesn’t come cheap, with Belmond’s service costing £365 per person for