Brighton is a favorite beach escape for Londoners, and makes a great seaside destination no matter where you're from.
What to Do
While you may not think of rainy old England as the place to go if you're looking for a seaside resort town, the British Isles are islands, after all - so there's plenty of coastline to take advantage of. The city of Brighton does an admirable job of capitalizing on its natural resources, which include an expansive sandy beach and its proximity to London. And in the summertime, Brighton is enough like any other beach town that you may forget you're in England.
Brighton's beaches are wall-to-wall people in the summer, including both locals and visitors, but if you're looking for a break from the beach then check out the Brighton Pier for the usual array of shops and arcade lures you'll find in any good seaside town. There is shopping elsewhere in the city as well, from the counter-culture stores of The North Laine to the antique shops of The Lanes.
There's also the one-time Royal pleasure palace of The Royal Pavilion, which is now one of Brighton's top tourist attractions both for its interesting exterior architecture and interior decorations. But even with the shopping and Royal Pavilion, the top attraction of Brighton is, without a doubt, the beach.
The nearest major airports to Brighton are in London, so it makes the most sense to book a flight to London. Gatwick Airport is the closest of London's airports.
If you're already in England, it's easiest to get to Brighton on a train from London, which takes roughly an hour one way (perhaps a bit more in the busy summer season). For those heading straight to the beach upon arrival in England, there are direct trains to Brighton from both London Gatwick and London Luton airports.
Once in Brighton, you can get around easily on the city's bus network, rent a bicycle or, during the summer, hop on one of Brighton's tuk-tuk taxis!
Where to Stay
There are hostels in Brighton if you're on a budget, and countless B&Bs, Brighton budget hotels and boutique hotels as well. This seaside town fills up in nice weather, especially because it's so close to London, so you're well-advised to book well in advance.