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08.09.20 Annie North


For a lot of people, lockdown brought around big changes and big moves. This has meant there’s been a big influx of people moving away from the big smoke and opting for more relaxed, seaside cities. As lockdown has eased, those new to Brighton can finally begin to get to know this city (with a town mentality) a bit better. If you’re new, you may have started to notice that Brighton and Hove is not really quite like anywhere else. And people tell you that, all the time.

Known as the Brighton Bubble before bubbles were cool, we’ve put together a few tell-tale signs to watch out for, for you to know when you’ve become a fully-fledged Brightonian. So, to get fully indoctrinated in this nonconformist city, read on.

Brighton Pier - Credit: Callum Parker unsplash

You’ve Stopped (intentionally) Feeding the Birds

Any tourists caught feeding Brightons local wildlife will be met with both eye-rolls and smug expressions from nearby residents. You may think you can innocently chuck a lonesome seagull a chip without repercussions, but give it 0.5 seconds and you’ll find yourself attacked from all sides and very regretful of your choices. Once you’ve done it, you’ll know never to do it again.

Sometimes it’s not you who decides whether your food is for sharing – take a look at this recent viral video of an unsuspecting seagull victim to get what we mean. When eating al-fresco make sure to keep your eyes fixed to the sky and take note of your nearest sheltered areas.

Credit: Evgeny Klimenchenko

You’ve got Ten Locals

According to a recent study by Liberty Games, Brighton has more pubs per square mile than London, second only to Liverpool. We boast an impressive eleven pubs per square mile, and considering the town centre takes about ten minutes to walk through, that’s quite a lot.

Credit: Cara Thomson

You’re Familiar with the Resident Characters

The people of Brighton and Hove are truly what makes it – it won’t take you long to start getting familiar with the local celebrities that keep Brighton a bit left field.

Here are some people to keep an eye out for; The Bird Whistle Man, a staple of Summer, you’ll see him wandering around whistling away trying to sell his wares. Quite the divisive figure, Bird Whistle Man both is a comforting presence and a primary source of annoyance when you hear the approaching tooting, even from a safe distance.

James, Brightons very own rhinestone cowboy is known far and wide for his incredible outfits. It’s always an exciting day when you spot James making his way through town in a pair of platforms to see what new ensemble he’s put together.

Credit: Evgeny Klimenchenko

You’ve Spent an Evening Watching the Murmurations

The Starling murmurations can begin as early as September so now is a good time to head to the seafront to catch this dazzling display between the piers. As the sun sets, these little birds take off and create some of the most beautiful sights, casting giant evolving shapes across the sky.

No one is really sure why they put on this show each year, but it’s an absolute must to go and admire the action. If you find yourself strolling along the beach of an autumnal evening, keep your eye out for this incredible act of nature.

Credit: Rhys Kentish

Summer Evenings on the Beach with Bongos Playing in the Distance and the Smell of Barbecues Filling Your Lungs

This one might seem quite specific, but any Brightonian who knows their chips will be nodding along knowingly. There’s something different about a warm Summer evening on Brighton beach; make sure to keep away from the Palace Pier end, and you’ll be inundated with all of Brightons stereotypes in one place.

Watching the sunset over the West pier while you’re taking in all of the sights and sounds of the seafront makes you feel very grateful to live in such a vibrant city.

Credit: Ben Collins

You have Calves of Steel

Being assembled over the Sussex Downs, Brighton and Hove is notorious for its steep inclines and mountains that we locals refer to as ‘hills’. One of the benefits of living in such a hilly area is that you end up not needing that gym membership – by the time you’ve trekked up and down Southover a few times, you’ve got the legs of an olympian!

You Know where to get the Best Hangover Breakfasts and the Best Sunday Roasts

As we’re living in a city filled to the brim with the aforementioned pubs, it’s no surprise that the pub to breakfast food ratio is strong. If you head onto the balcony of Kenny’s Rock and Soul Cafe or to Billies at around 10am on a Saturday, you’re guaranteed to be greeted by a throng of fellow hangover victims curing themselves with a fry-up and a coffee.

Sundays are a serious business in Brighton; the competition over who serves up the best pub roast is a very important ongoing debate in this city. The best place to keep on top of where the hot new Sunday spot is, is via the Facebook Group, Brighton Sunday Roast Club (formerly critics, until it got a bit intense).

Credit: Melissa Walker Horn

Nothing Shocks You

The instant you realise that you’ve just seen a shoeless jogger in gold hotpants, a hen party trotting down West Street dressed as smurfs and the Naked Bike Ride cycled past you all in the same five minutes and you didn’t bat an eye-lid, you’re officially a Brightonian.

It’s these moments that will have you saying the words ‘that’s so Brighton’ and finding yourself proud to be a resident of this weird and wonderful city. Congratulations, you’ve made it.

You’ve got a Membership at PLATF9RM

Working-life in Brighton is not the competitive rat-race of our cousin, London. Things are taken at a more gentle pace here. Finding a place to work that fits in with both the Brighton and Hove lifestyle like PLATF9RM means a lot of people have found their home in our spaces. Not wanting to encourage the Brighton/Hove divide, we have locations embedded in both.