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Royal Pavilion Ice Rink via Facebook

May your days be merry in Brighton! Check out our top festive picks…

20 November 2018 | London Calling

Skate in front of the pavilion, get yourself to the panto and even take a freezing dip on Christmas Day...

Skate at the Pavilion
Of course, you can’t have a Brighton Christmas without slipping and sliding about on the ice. Nope, we don’t mean when it snows on the Lanes and you end up face-first in a freezing puddle – we’re talking outdoor skating at the Royal Pavilion. As close to a wintry wonderland as you’re going to get, the rink is open into the evening, with indoor seating where you can treat yourself to a mulled wine or some nibbles. Just don’t have too many glasses of the mulled wine before you go on the ice – going face-first onto the rink’ll be even colder than that puddle.

Image: Royal Pavilion Ice Rink via Facebook
 
Take part in Burning the Clocks 2018
The Burning of the Clocks might sound like a weird tradition to other people, but it’s one of the city’s best-loved and most uniquely Brightonian expressions of Christmas spirit. Taking place on the winter solstice, the ceebration sees a day which begins with workshops for families to build huge paper lanterns together. After the sun sets, there’s a parade with the lanterns through the city down to the eastern side of Palace Pier. The celebration ends with the burning of the lanterns and fireworks. Family, pretty lights and burning stuff – what could possibly be more Christmassy than that?
 
Image: Jarrod Brownhill via Facebook

A Christmas Walk from Devil’s Dyke
It wouldn’t be Christmas without a country walk ending in a pub, no matter where you are in the world. But in Brighton, your best bet is a walk to or from Devil’s Dyke. Your first option is to grab the bus from Brighton up to Devil’s Dyke, then make the lovely walk down from the top. There you will find The Shepherd and Dog, Brighton’s nearest country pub, which also has two good walks that start and end at the pub. If you want the pub without the walk, The Caxton Arms lies smack-bang in the city centre, but a hop-skip-jump away from the train station. Its traditional menu is sure to satisfy hungry bellies, and their meat and fish comes from local butchers and fishmongers to ensure they have the freshest ingredients to make the food. There’s also a great selection of vegetarian and vegan dishes, so no matter whether you go with your uni mates or your mum and dad, everyone’ll be happy.
 
Image: North Laine Stores via FacebookNorth Laine lights
What’s Christmas without some magical, twinkling lights? Every winter, North Laine gets a festive makeover with gorgeously Christmassy street lights, bringing a little extra sparkle to Brighton. Going to check out the lights is also a great opportunity to fill up on Christmas stocking stuffers from the many stalls and shops that line the street, and even pick up a little treat for yourself in the form of a mince pie or hot drink as you shop.
 
Go to the Panto
If there’s anything Brighton does well, it’s camp, and what’s more camp than the panto? Beloved by little ones and big ones alike, there are several fantastic festive cross-dressing offerings available to Brighton residents this Christmas. Jack and the Beanstalk at the Brighton Hilton Metropole will be sure to ham it up enough to satisfy even the most raucous of souls.

Image: Chailey Heritage Foundation via Facebook
 
A Christmas Day Swim
Everyone likes to be a glutton on Christmas Day, but if you more specifically like to be a glutton for punishment, you can join the rest of the masochistic maniacs that gather west of Palace Pier on the 25th to take a dip in the sea. There’s no official organiser and the council makes an active attempt to discourage the behaviour, and yet the madness of the human condition means the gathering takes place every single year at 11am. You’ll be out in time for your Christmas lunch, then, at least.
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