Things to do in Brighton – United Kingdom


Nestled on the south-east coast, Brighton has the reputation of having one of the most ‘unique’ cultures in all of the United Kingdom. While it isn’t necessarily at the top of the agenda for foreign tourists, there is barely a person in the UK who hasn’t taken a trip down to Brighton at least once. Being nestled right on the sea, and within an easy-reach distance of London, makes sure of this.

This is an old city. Formerly a fishing village that has grown up over the years, Brighton boasts a ton of things to do. Couple this with some unique architecture, and this is a prime place to visit.

Must Do

If you are heading into Brighton, then it is VITAL that you pay a visit to Brighton Palace Pier. It is one of the ‘defining’ attractions of the city. Hop onto the pier to enjoy a mix of amusements, fairground rides, copious amounts of fish and chips, and tons and tons of tourists. This is one of a few tourist attractions within the city that even a Brightonian would be more than happy with….albeit, would probably be complaining at the same time about the constant name changes of the pier!

Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion in Brighton, UK is a former pleasure palace that once belonged to King William IV. Its current structure is one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture. The Queen’s first visit to the Pavilion was in 1837, when she was a royal visitor. She was delighted by the place but disliked the lack of space and its association with her extravagant uncle. She adopted a policy of financial restraint and the Royal Pavilion was eventually sold to the city.

In the years after George IV’s death, the town leaders of Brighton considered purchasing the Royal Pavilion from the Queen. They realized the significance of the palace for the town and negotiated the purchase for PS53,000 in 1850. As Brighton grew in popularity amongst Londoners, the Pavilion was used for various purposes, including a hospital for Indian troops during World War I. The restoration of the building began in 1920, and Chinese wallpapers and furnishings are currently on display. The Pavilion is easily accessible from Brighton Railway Station, and Pool Valley Coach Station.

North Laine

The North Laine is a quarter in Brighton UK and represents a historical pattern of field ownership. The word “Laine” is not an olde Englishe variant of the word lane, but originates from the Anglo-Saxon word meaning ‘loan’. It refers to the open commons that existed during feudalism in Britain. This pattern of land holding was characterized by fields separated by leakways, and subdivided into paul-pieces (eighths of an acre). By the eighteenth century, these patterns of land holding came to an end, but their patterns remain intact.

Today, North Laine is a unique place to visit. The area was once a manufacturing centre, but after the Second World War, this area began to decline. Manufacturing moved out to the city’s estates. The North Laine Community Association, which is dedicated to preserving the area, is an excellent resource for additional information about the neighbourhood. It also has its own website where you can learn more about the community and its past.

Brighton Toy and Model Museum

The Brighton Toy and Model Museum is an independent toy and model museum located in Brighton, England. The collection focuses on toys and models produced in the UK and Europe. The museum occupies four thousand square feet of floor space, within the early Victorian arches that support the forecourt of Brighton railway station, which is the southern terminus of the main line and the city’s main railway station. The museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of toys and models.

The “Glamour of Brighton” exhibition features the historic Brighton Pavilion, Magnus Volk’s electric railway, the old locomotive works, and the Brighton Belle Pullman train. The largest exhibits are located in the foyer, including a large quarter-scale radio-controlled Spitfire fighter plane and an overhead model coal-fired traction engine. There is also a small toy shop for school groups, with secondhand books and collectibles for sale.

Stanmer Park

Stanmer Park is a large public park situated in the north-east of Brighton. It is a Local Nature Reserve and listed Grade II park. The park is popular with tourists and locals alike. It was opened to the public in 1953. The park is also home to many wildlife species, including deer and foxes. If you love to walk or jog, Stanmer Park is the perfect place for you.

The park was originally developed in the 17th century, when Stanmer House stood on the site. The drive today leads past the church and unsigned footpath. The walk takes you past the park trees, a tea room, and barns, and then curves north-east across a carriage sweep. The C19 portico encloses the entrance to the park. This portico provides views of the park hillside and churchyard.

If you are unsure of where to park your car, there are several bus stops near Stanmer Park. The closest bus stop is on Ditchling Road outside the Upper Lodges car park. Alternatively, there is a bus stop near Eastern Road and Lewes Road. The Stanmer Park bus service also offers links to the park’s entrance. The route is scheduled to operate until Easter 2022. You can also take a train from Brighton to Lewes Road.

If you have never been to Brighton, you’re in for a treat! This seaside city was once a small fishing village. Originally, the town was home to the Brighton Museum, where you can find collections of decorative art and Ancient Egypt. These are a few of the things to do in Brighton. However, there are many more things to do in Brighton! Let’s explore some of them in this guide!

The beach is one of the city’s biggest attractions, and during the summer months, Brighton transforms into the Hamptons of the UK. Many people from London come to the seaside in the spring and early summer, but it’s best to visit during the spring or early fall. A picnic blanket and a few fish and chips from one of the small restaurants along the seafront are the perfect accompaniments to a day on the beach.

For a taste of alternative art, visit the North Laine district, which features a thriving independent art scene. You can wander around the quaint Victorian cottages and buy artisanal wares. You can also visit artrepublic, a contemporary art gallery curated by art experts. You’ll find vintage signs, soap, and other products – and you can even buy them locally if you want to!

Preston Park

If you’re a fan of music and want to see some great artists, you’ll love the music scene at Preston Park. Located just off the A23 Road, this Brighton hotel is conveniently located near Preston Park Train Station. The hotel also offers easy access to the A23 Road, which connects Brighton to London. For a great night out on the town, check out a performance by Rainy or Scouting for Girls.

For something fun and interactive, head to the LaserZone. This 3000 square foot attraction is sure to get the kids pumped. You can also play archery here, where you can shoot at moving 3D targets. You can even become a hologram! No matter what age you are, you’ll find an activity to suit you in Brighton. If rainy day doesn’t appeal, try an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt!

There’s also a Brighton museum with medieval architecture. And don’t forget to stop by the beaches! They’re some of the best in South England. And while you’re there, don’t forget to hit up one of the many pubs. Just be sure to set a limit for yourself before heading out. You’ll be glad you did! And don’t forget about Brighton’s great nightlife!

Kemptown

If you’re looking for a great night out in Brighton, then you should head to the vibrant Kemptown district. Located between the Brighton Marina and City Centre, Kemptown has everything you’re looking for in a fun night out. You’ll find numerous clubs and vintage shops in Kemptown, as well as a lively flea market. All of these attractions are close to your Kemptown hotel.

Walking tours are an excellent way to explore the area and see what’s on offer. Kemptown, Brighton has over 136 historic places and you’ll never run out of things to see. With a little help from technology, you can download the Walkfo Kemptown app, which is free and has more than 195 places to visit. This app allows you to travel on foot, by bike, or on the bus while learning about local history.

For affordable accommodation, look no further than the Fab Guest, a charming boutique hotel located just a few minutes’ walk from Kemptown’s lively neighbourhood. The hotel’s comfortable rooms have everything you need for a memorable stay. From an epic breakfast to a cosy pub, you’ll find a wide range of options. Whether you’re looking for a romantic setting for two, Kemptown has it all.

Brighton Palace Pier

For families, one of the most popular attractions in Brighton is its Palace Pier, which is a traditional seaside amusement park, complete with fairground rides, arcade games, and dodgem rides. It is also a great place to enjoy some quality family time. The city is reminiscent of a small fishing village, and the Lanes is an excellent place to shop and dine. The Brighton Palace Pier is an iconic landmark, and it is one of the best things to do in Brighton UK.

The Palace Pier was originally built in 1823 as a replacement for the Chain, which had collapsed during construction. Despite its transformation into a waterfront theme park, the Brighton Palace Pier has retained much of its original Victorian charm, including the filigree ironwork and old kiosks. Originally, the pier was home to a theatre, and during the Regency era it was a hot spot for entertainment. Today, the pier is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Brighton, combining traditional British architecture with the latest in fun.

Brighton Pier

What do you like best about your city?

It is hard to choose between the people and the actual ‘feel’ of Brighton, to be honest. Brighton is well-known for having some of the most accepting people in England. You could head to Brighton, walk down the street, and see people dressed in and acting in all sorts of weird ways. Not one Brighton resident is going to be batting an eyelid at it. There are very few places in the world, let alone England, that you will be able to enjoy something like this.

Of course, you can’t mention the greatness of Brighton without complimenting the ‘feel’ of it too. Some people compare the city to a ‘little London’, which probably comes as no surprise. The whole reason the city grew up to be so big is due to the rail connections to London. Brighton has the same mix of bars, independent shops, and culture that London does. It is just a lot more compressed, and it is right by the sea. It is a prime tourist destination.

Best walk in Brighton

There are plenty of ‘walks’ throughout Brighton. There are some great parks in the area, although, if you are in the centre of the city, it is going to be tough to reach them on foot. This is why we want to guide you through some awesome walks throughout the centre of the city. It will allow you to experience the architecture of the place, as well as introduce you to some great places to eat and drink.

Any walk that you take should start off at Brighton Palace Pier. You may want to explore this for a bit too. Some people will have a walk along the coast at the same time. You could walk into nearby Hove like this. However, on blustery days, it may be a little bit too windy. On sunny days, there may be a little too many people here.

We suggest that from the Brighton Palace Pier, you make a beeline for the Odeon Cinema and the Brighton Centre. The busy street here is known as ‘West Street’ and will take you up to the clocktower. West Street is well-known for the nightlife. If you are not into that, then just keep heading up, absorbing the culture of Brighton.

Once you get to the clocktower, you will see the Churchill Square Shopping Centre. You could easily spend hours shopping here. This is great for burning off a little bit of energy.

Once you have exhausted the shopping centre, you can head down the road from the clocktower towards the train station. Once you hit the train station, turn around and come back on yourself. Only this time, you are going to be working your way through the North Laine. This has a ton of independent shops and restaurants to explore. It is quite a cramped location and can get very busy at the weekend, but there is no place quite like it in England.

As you work your way through the North Laines, you will finally encounter the Brighton Pavilion. This is the ‘royal palace’ for Brighton. Of course, it now a tourist destination. A pretty good one at that. If you are not planning to head here, or into the normal museum close by, then you will still want to walk through the Pavilion Gardens. It is beautiful.

Once you are out of the Pavilion Gardens, you should cross the road. This will allow you to enter The Lanes. This is the ‘old’ part of Brighton. It is packed to the brim with quaint little shops and is the perfect destination for those who want nightlife a little bit different than normal. Record shops and antique shops dominate this area, so you may see something that tickles your fancy.

If you are spending a bit of time in the shops as you walk, then this whole thing could take you the better part of a day. However, it will also allow you to see the majority of what Brighton offers from the Pier to museums to shopping opportunities.

Best Restaurants in Brighton

Brighton is packed to the brim with restaurants to fit all budgets. You can enjoy everything from a 24-hour breakfast in a local cafe, to a restaurant that is pretty much guaranteed to be scoring a proper Michelin Star in the coming years.

For a touch of fine dining, then Etch. in Hove is going to be your best bet. The restaurant is run by a guy who starred on Masterchef: The Professionals (a reality show in the UK). If you want some fish & chips, then you can head to one of the chippies on the seafront, but if you want to taste fish the way it should be tasted, then The Little Fish Market is the way to go. This awesome restaurant often sells fish from the local area. You can’t get much fresher than that.

If you head into The Lanes and North Laine part of Brighton, then you will also be able to enjoy a ton of smaller restaurants and cafes. Each has its own unique quirks. This includes some awesome vegan restaurants or stellar burger bars. You don’t have to be walking around for long to find somewhere great to grab a bite to eat.

Best Festival in Brighton

Each year, the Brighton Fringe Festival runs through May. It is one of the largest Fringe festivals in the world. Throughout the festival, you can enjoy a variety of different performing arts throughout the city. Interestingly, anybody can run an event during the Brighton Fringe. This means that you get a mix of performers that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. In fact, some people perform in the comfort of their own homes! You will often find a lot of comedians testing their material in Brighton before heading onto Edinburgh Festival later on in the year.

The Brighton Fringe Festival will often run alongside the Brighton Festival, which means that there will be plenty of other events going on throughout the city at the time. Of course, if you are heading to a hotel, then you are going to need to book early. The city fills up quickly throughout the festival season.

Best Hotels in Brighton

Best Nightlife in Brighton

There are some people who will tell you that West Street is the ‘best’ place for a bit of nightlife in Brighton. I am inclined to disagree. Sure, there are some great clubs there, but the whole scene that you find in this part of Brighton can be found pretty much anywhere else in the country. If you want to experience the ‘culture’ of Brighton, then I suggest that you head into The Lanes or North Laines part of Brighton. You will find a ton of quaint little pubs, and the prices are often going to be a lot cheaper than the main parts of the city too. Just about anywhere that you find in either of these places will be ‘good’. If you don’t like it, then you can easily hop to a different pub a couple of doors over and try that one out instead.

Some people are also interested in the ‘On the Rocks Bar Crawl’, which may be worth going on if you haven’t been to Brighton before. This ‘guided tour’ will take you through some of the best pubs and nightclubs. Just do this once, and then head to wherever tickles your fancy the next time you are out in the city.

Best Day Trip Out of the City

Being just an hour away from London, it is tempting to say that London is probably going to be the ‘best day out’ for visitors to Brighton. However, I am going to mention something a bit different. It may be better to visit either Arundel or Hastings. Both of them have played a key role in the development of the United Kingdom (and the world as a whole, in fact). Hastings is probably the better of the options. It played host to the Battle of Hastings in 1066 which changed the course of history forever.

Arundel may also be an option due to the large castle it boasts. It is also going to be away from the coast, so it provides something a little bit different from the norm. The streets are a whole lot more ‘ancient’ than Brighton too. Arundel boasts somewhat of a village feel, even though it is closer in size to a town.

Something not many travellers would know about Brighton

Brighton boasts the oldest purpose-built cinema in the United Kingdom. While it is a little bit outside of the city centre now, a trip to the Duke of York cinema certainly wouldn’t go amiss for people who love their movies. The cinema runs several screenings throughout the week. It is mostly going to be indie movies, but a couple of blockbusters have managed to slip through the cracks on occasion. It isn’t that well-promoted as a ‘tourist destination’ in the city, so you will need to seek it out yourself.

David Cronk - Editor

David Cronk is the editor of online travel magazine Travelodium Travel Magazine. David has travelled to over 30 countries of the world and his writing has been published by enRoute magazine - Air Canada's inflight magazine and by Hotel & Accommodation Management Magazine. David has worked as a Sales Executive for Sheraton and Hilton Hotels and for Hotelbookers in London. He has worked also as a Hotel Night Manager and in bars throughout Europe. David eventually settled into a position working as a croupier for several years before changing careers to become a Data, Sales and Statistical Analyst.

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