'Only in Brighton!' tour: Frequently-asked Questions

How do I recognise the guide at the start of the tour?

Meet here for 'Only in Brighton!' - Royal Pavilion Shop, 4 Pavilion Buildings, BN1 1EE

I will be outside the Royal Pavilion Shop ten minutes before the start of the tour (6:50pm for 7pm tours). I will be holding an 'Only in Brighton!' folder, and doing my best 'I'm a tour guide' impression.

Please note, the Royal Pavilion Shop is the start point for the 'Only in Brighton!' tour. Other tours, including 'Piers & Queers', have different meeting places - please check your booking details.

What if I can't find the guide?

If you haven't booked, check that the tour is running today here .

If you haven't found me by 7pm (or the scheduled start time), ring 07931 847422.

Note that in winter (November-March) tours only run when there are advance bookings.

 

What happens if I arrive late?

We aim to leave the meeting point at about 7:05pm.

After that, you can catch us up by heading north - you should see us a few metres away near the Royal Pavilion entrance, and after that by the George IV statue and the Brighton Dome on Church Street.

It's good to book beforehand - if I know you're coming we can wait a little longer (within reason). If you have booked and are running late - ring me on 07931 847422.

 

Where do we go?

Brighton city centre is very compact, so we can easily get a taste of the main areas and sights, including the Royal Pavilion, Dome, Lanes, North Laine and the beach. If you are new to Brighton, the tour works very well as an orientation.

 

Where does it finish?

The beach, just west of the Pier. It's five minutes from the start of the tour, and right next to the Lanes and the city centre. The perfect place to continue your evening.

We will usually finish by about 8:30pm.

 

How much walking is involved?

Not too much - about 1.5 miles (2.5km), no hills. We may choose to take some steps down to the beach, but only if that is OK with everyone. If you have some difficulty walking we won't walk very fast, and there are some benches, especially near the end of the route. A quick word with me at the begininng of the tour will help me take you into consideration. If you have any concerns email me

 

Is it suitable for children?

People of all ages are very welcome on the tour, but as Only in Brighton! is not written specifically as a children's entertainment, under 14s come free. I can't guarantee that all under 10s will find it very exciting, but I've had many older children on the tour who have had a great time.  

There are some mild and appropriately-contextualised references to drunkeness and sexuality. But hey, you're in Brighton.

 

What if it's raining?

I won't cancel a tour because of the weather. 

Despite the UK's reputation, most of the time it doesn't rain: Brighton's annual rainfall is 800mm, the same as Rome and a lot less than New York (1200mm). 40% of daylight hours are sunny (this stretch of coast has more sunshine than anywhere else on mainland Britain). Heavy rain for the duration of a tour is actually very rare.

What you should expect are short light showers - at any time of year and even if the forecast doesn't say so. And wind. So please bring something waterproof, and suitable for being on a British beach at 8:30pm. If we are caught in an unexpected shower, I will do my best to stop in sheltered places, but you are responsible for dressing according to the climate.

 

Can I turn up without booking?

For the regular summer tours - April to October on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm - you are very welcome to just turn up and pay by cash. But please check the schedule here to make sure the tour is running on the date you want. You may choose to book - that way I know that you are coming - but it's not necessary.

 

Do you take credit cards?

If you want to pay by card, you need to book in advance. I only take cash on the day. There are ATM cash machines near the meeting point.

 

Is it suitable for regular visitors to Brighton?

Yes, absolutely. As you can see from the Trip Advisor reviews, many long-term residents and regular visitors come on the tour - I guarantee that you will learn something new, and gain a fresh perspective on the city.

 

Is it suitable for first-time visitors?

Yes, absolutely. The commentary draws together the main themes of modern and historical Brighton and doesn't assume any previous knowledge, and gives an insight into the special character of the city.

 

Is it suitable for visitors from abroad?

Yes. The tour is a great overview of what makes Brighton interesting, without being too heavy on boring facts. Although the tour is only in English, I am an English Language teacher (check out my website here) and am used to adapting my language to the knowledge of the audience. Many people have told me that they understand my English more easily than most other English-speakers. The tour is also very visual, so you should enjoy it even if you don't understand all my jokes!

 

Are there refreshments and toilets?

These are not included, but there are two cafes next to the start of the tour if you arrive early. There are shops nearby to buy bottled water etc. There are public toilets in Pavilion Gardens near the start.

 

Where can I park?

The Lanes car park (Black Lion St), NCP Church Street and on-street parking on Madeira Drive are all a five-minute walk from the start of the tour.

 

How do I get there by public transport?

Brighton train station is a 15-minute walk away.

Almost all city and regional buses stop either on Old Steine (1 minute away), North Street (1 min) or Churchill Square (5 mins).

 

Why is the tour in the evening?

The daytime crowds have gone (have you tried walking down Kensington Gardens at 3pm on a Saturday?), but the evening buzz remains. And for much of the summer, we arrive on the beach around sunset. Also the style of the tour lends itself towards an evening entertainment, leaving you time to enjoy a meal or drink afterwards.

If you really can't stay until evening, you are welcome to book a private tour earlier in the day.

 

Can I bring my dog?

Yes.

 

Is it wheelchair accessible?

Yes, the route is step-free. The pavements in Brighton, however, can get rather narrow, uneven and crowded. If you have any questions email me

 

Is it accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing?

I have experience with Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, and can speak clearly. Written tour notes are available on request - email me

 

Can I book private tour?

Yes, private tours are available at a time to suit you. Email me for a quote.

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Photographs: Vik Martin, Paul Singer, Horst Wagenfeld, Ric Morris, www.visitbrighton.com

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