So you're coming to the UK to train, but you fancy something a little different than London? We got you covered!
No trip to the UK would be complete without at least a brief stint in Brighton. This quirky coastal city’s walls have been graced with the skin of some of the most esteemed freeruners the world has to offer. But it’s not just the abundance of spots that make Brighton a favoured location by the likes of both Storror and Storm, among many others; it’s a city that tolerates, and even celebrates the diversity of human interests - making it one of, if not the most accepting places of parkour in the country.
Brighton is very easily accessible from London by train and bus - the journey from London Victoria station takes around an hour, and there are trains every 20 minutes or so. But if you’re looking to save as much money as possible, there is a National Express coach service that takes a little longer but is only £5 each way if you book online in advance. If you were lucky enough to fly into Gatwick Airport, you can get down to Brighton by train in less than 30 minutes!
There are plenty of affordable hostels in the city - all within walking distance from the train station. Cheapest off-season (roughly October to March) prices run at around £8 a night, and during the summer months that goes up to around £15. But if hostels are not your style, the rooftops are fairly accessible… but just remember it’s England, so always be prepared for your plans to be thwarted by a random change in weather conditions.
But of course, you didn’t come here to sample hostels and watch the countryside fly past through the windows of overpriced public transport. So here is a list of some of the spots you can’t afford to miss:
How do you like your eggs in the morning? The traceurs of Brighton like them cut in half and made of concrete - and I’m sure you will to after a session at this classic spot. Located on the seafront, just beyond the big tower. It’s a great place to meet up and warm up, or chill and watch the sunset with a beer after a long summer's day of training.
MINI SPOT / WINDSOR COURT
The affectionately named ‘mini spot’ is actually undergoing some changes at the time of writing this article. But the spot has been a staple of Brighton training for years now, packing the opportunity for some very technical training in such a confined space. It’s located on Windsor Street, literally seconds away from a Sainsbury’s local, so it’s a great lunch spot.
An odd name for a bit of an odd spot - the ‘Moshi’ comes from the Japanese restaurant closeby. But why it’s always said twice eludes me to this day. You’ll probably recognise it instantly for it’s technical stride challenges which are frequently featured on videos. There’s also a nice catpass-precision over a hefty drop that people like to challenge themselves with.
Suicide Wall is less of a spot, and more of a challenge. It’s a very popular one though, and something every brave traceur should take a look at! The challenge is to wallrun over the railing and then over the entire stair set, landing on the other side. I believe Chris Brooks was one of the first people to successfully complete it, and more recently the trend has been to try it in the other direction - a much harder feat for the reduced runup and higher consequence for failure! It's located near the Brighton Pier, just a little further east.
Another chill place to meet-up or just hang out is Regency Square. Aside from a couple of curb-height walls for drilling touch, there’s nothing particularly big to do here. There is however a nice big lawn for the more tricking inclined amongst us. It's impossible to miss; just walk to the massive tower on the seafront and look away from the sea!
If you care to venture out from the city centre a little, there are a couple of fantastic parkour locations. The first of which is the Rottingdean seafront spot. An absolute classic, with multiple levels and huge jumps galore. It’s a bit too far to walk from Brighton, but you can catch the 12, 12A, 14 or 27 bus for a couple of quid and you’ll be there in around 20 minutes. I couldn't find a clear image of the spot, so you'll have to settle for a video of Dom tearing the place up...
NEWHAVEN PARKOUR PARK
And last but by no means least, Newhaven Parkour Park. Probably the most comprehensive outdoor bar setup in the UK. This park has become an integral part of the Brighton parkour ecosystem ever since it’s installation almost 8 years ago now. Again, you’ll have to take a bus or drive here from Brighton, the 12, 12A or 14 will do the job and take around 45 minutes. It can be a little tricky to find, so pay close attention to the map.
That was by no means an exhaustive list, but should definitely be enough to get your adventure to Brighton going! But there are a few other things that you should know about traveling in the UK in general, and they should help you get the most out of your time!
Meal Deals - The solution to all your lunching needs has been found; most supermarket chains in the UK have some kind of meal deal that usually comes in at the £3 mark, and allows you to combine any sandwich or salad, a drink, and an additional snack. The Tesco meal deal in my experience tends to yield the most savings!
Nightlife - Brighton is renowned for its fun nightlife, and there’s always something interesting going on no matter what your scene - from anarchist bars, to jazz clubs, to techno raves. And one of the great things about Brighton is you’re allowed to drink on the beach. So if you’re that way inclined it makes sense to pregame a bit to the sound of the crashing waves, before moving onto the more expensive pubs and bars.
Explore - Like anywhere, it pays to wander around a city like Brighton. You never know what you’ll stumble upon. Take a chance on a random town on the the map, climb that inviting looking ladder - the roofs are often packed with interesting challenges. Just be mindful of potential run-ins with security and police, both of which are often very reasonable and there won't be any problems as long as you leave when asked too.
I hope you’ve found this guide useful, and we look forward to seeing lots of parkour and freerunning content from Brighton for many years to come. Please leave a comment if you feel I’ve forgotten anywhere, and I’ll consider adding it for a bit before eventually forgetting to do so! Also comment which cities you think Farang should make a guide for next!