Things To Do in Brighton
Heading to this sunny seaside city to celebrate with your family or friends? Then check out our list of fun things to do in Brighton and make sure that you make your most of your time here!
Often labelled as being “The Happiest Place to Live in the UK”, the bustling city of Brighton is also one of the most popular seaside tourist destinations in the country. So if you’re planning on taking a group trip to the south coast, take a look at some of the things that make this city one of the best!
1. i360 Brighton
Built and operated by British Airways, the i360 Brighton is an observation tower situated on the seafront, directly facing the infamous ruins of Brighton West Pier. After stepping inside the 360-degree glass pod, it rises 162 metres (531 ft) to the top of the tower, giving you unparalleled views of the channel, the city and the South Downs beyond Brighton. Not only is this a great place to see the South Coast, but you can also opt for some awesome experiences at the venue too! If you’re looking for a relaxing afternoon activity whilst taking in the breath-taking views, then why not go for a sparkling wine experience? Or maybe you fancy starting your morning with an energising Yoga in the Sky session?
2. The Lanes
Known as the Historic Quarter of Brighton, The Lanes is a quaint and compact district in the heart of the city centre that serves as one of the oldest areas in the city. Dating back to the city’s establishment, this was once the beating heart of the former fishing town of Brighthelmstone before transforming into the quirky shopping area it is today. Streets like Meeting House Lane and Union St call themselves home to an abundance of upmarket retail stores, restaurants, cafés and much more. If you’re looking for a unique shopping experience or an historic tour of the city, this is the place to go. Here are some amazing things to do in Newcastle that you all may love.
3. Head to the World’s Oldest Aquarium
Formerly known as Brighton Aquarium, SEA LIFE Brighton is the oldest aquarium in the world still in operation. Situated right next to Brighton Palace Theatre, this centre calls itself home to over 3,500 sea creatures from over one hundred different species. Why not go and check out the impressive coral reefs on display, or the Rainforest Adventure zone packed full of tropical creatures? If you’re looking for a way to fill your entire day with a fun and unique experience, then this is a fantastic option you shouldn’t overlook! Check out some of the best bars in Brighton for after your things to do.
Situated at the heart of Brighton Marina’s entertainment complex, Globalls Brighton is a fantastic glow-in-the-dark minigolf experience that’s almost too good to miss! Featuring two awesome courses, “Jurassic” and “Tropicana”, this is a great way to have some wacky indoor fun especially if the weather is poor. This is a great idea if you’re looking for a quick and fun activity to do during the day around other activities you have planned. Although situated just outside the city centre, the historic Volk’s Electric Railway (the oldest of its kind anywhere in the world!) can shuttle you to-and-from the marina and Palace Pier.
5. Ghost Walk of the Lanes
If you’re drawn to the weird and wonderful, then consider taking a walking ghost tour of Brighton’s Lanes where a guide will take you to some of the most intriguing and historically significant landmarks in the city. This tour will take you to a variety of locations including some of the oldest pubs in the city to the town hall and around the Old Steine. This is a truly fascinating and eye-opening experience, especially for those with a keen interest in all things paranormal! Try out some of the best pubs in Brighton during your time here too.
6. Brighton Palace Pier
Credited as being the most popular UK tourist attraction outside London in 2017, Brighton Palace Pier is an historic structure that stands as a proud symbol of this historic seaside resort. Taking 8 years to construct and opened in 1899, the Grade II-listed structure featured a theatre for many years that saw the likes of Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin perform there. Standing at 525 metres long, this is a great place to go for a relaxing walk whilst taking in some stunning sea views. Nowadays, it still brings in over 4 million visitors every year and features three rollercoasters and various other attractions. Have a look through all the best hotels in Brighton.
7. Royal Pavilion
Also known as Brighton Pavillion, this unbelievable structure built in the indo-gothic style is unlike any other building in the city… or the UK for that matter! Taking 36 years to build for use as a “seaside retreat” for King George IV after falling in love with Brighton after visiting there in 1783, aged 21. In 1787, work began on the building which was completed in 1823. Today, the building is owned by the city of Brighton and serves as a popular tourist attraction, with over 400,000 annual visitors. You could also keep yourselves busy with one of the best bottomless brunch in Brighton!
8. Brighton Beach
Lined with painted beach hunts, cafés, restaurants, bars and much more, the pebbly Brighton Beach stretches 8 miles through both Brighton and Hove and is easily the city’s biggest attraction. Every year, thousands of people flock to the beach to soak up some sun and enjoy the many entertainment venues that are situated here. As well as being home to the iconic pier and a number of other attractions we’ve listed above, this is simply a great place to take a walk and see the sights! Check out the best restaurants in Brighton that you may like in between all the things to do.
9. Hove Beach Huts
Ah, the iconic beach huts! The Hove side of the seafront is home to these cute and quirky painted wooden huts that are enjoyed throughout the summer by private owners. Although they’re the size of a typical garden shed, these tiny beachfront shacks go for upwards of £20,000 if you’re looking to buy one! If your pockets don’t stretch that deep, however, you can take a stroll and see them for yourselves for free! There are also some amazing places to eat in the morning, check out the best breakfast in Brighton for your stay.
10. Brighton Dome
Part of the Royal Pavillion estate in the heart of the city, the Brighton Dome served as the former stables for the estate and King George. It was later converted and created three new venues; the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Studio Theatre. Pink Floyd’s iconic album “The Dark Side of the Moon” was premiered here, and the venue was also used to host the 1794 Eurovision Song Contest that saw ABBA’s historic win for Sweden! You’re unlikely to miss this building when exploring the city centre, so it’s worth going and taking a closer look if you spot it!
11. North Laine
Probably the most vibrant neighbourhood in the city, Brighton’s North Laine district is a vibrant hotbed of culture with a Bohemian atmosphere. Packed full of quirky independent shops, restaurants, cafés and more, this is a great place to visit if you want to take a browse at some “not on the highstreet” stores. It was noted for being an infamous slum district and was marked for complete re-development in the 1970s until it was spared by town planners. Many of its original buildings still stand and the entire area oozes charm that you’ll find hard to get away from!
12. Pavilion Gardens
If you find yourselves in the centre of Brighton but want to take a break from the busy streets, then consider taking a time-out by going for a walk or a sit down in the stunning Pavilion Gardens. This quaint hotspot right in the heart of the city offers you amazing views of the Royal Pavilion and features plenty of open green space to enjoy. You will often find street entertainers performing here during the summer and is said to be the only fully restored regency garden anywhere in the UK.
13. Churchill Square Shopping Centre
Lined with painted beach hunts, cafés, restaurants, bars and much more, the pebbly Brighton Beach stretches 8 miles through both Brighton and Hove and is easily the city’s biggest attraction. Every year, thousands of people flock to the beach to soak up some sun and enjoy the many entertainment venues that are situated here. As well as being home to the iconic pier and a number of other attractions we’ve listed above, this is simply a great place to take a walk and see the sights!
14. Brighton Marina
Officially opened in 1979, the Brighton Marina is an extensive entertainment complex to the east of the city, just past the Palace Theatre and the Kemptown area. Today, it calls itself home to a variety of high-street restaurants, a cinema, supermarket, bowling alley and much more. Whether you come to spend an afternoon or an evening here, the area can be easily reached by car or by a regular bus service that runs from the city centre to the heart of the marina.
15. Duke of York’s Cinema
A well-loved Brighton landmark, the Duke of York’s Cinema is one of the oldest in the world and voted the best in the UK in 2012. Opened in 1910, it is now owned by a popular cinema chain brand but maintains its arthouse atmosphere and hosts the annual Brighton Film Festival. Whilst it only features one screen, the impressive architecture and interior design is something to marvel at. Situated slightly outside the city centre, this is a place worth visiting if you’re a big film-goer or you’re looking to catch an opera screening!
16. Brighton Flea Market
If you’re a fan of upcycling furniture and everything vintage, then you’re already in the right city… but if you want to kill some time and take a browse at some bespoke treasures, then head over to Brighton Flea Market for a browse! With a bright pink exterior, you’re not likely to miss this establishment if you walk past it! Situated in the Kemptown area of the city, this two-storey hidden gem has been a Brightonian favourite for over 25 years.
17. Get Some Ice Cream at Boho Gelato
No trip to a seaside resort town is complete without ice cream! If you’re passionate about all the weird and wonderful flavours that exist nowadays, then you’ll feel right at home at Boho Gelato! This quirky independent store uses locally-sourced ingredients for their high-quality handmade gelato, with 24 rotating flavours to choose from! Since opening in 2010, the store has opened up and operates a sister store elsewhere in the city!
18. Try Some Fish & Chips at The Regency
One of the longest-standing restaurants in the city, The Regency Brighton is a massively popular eatery right on the seafront (just opposite the i360 Tower) that’s known for its unbelievable seafood. Fish and chips is one of those delicacies that you simply can’t avoid if you’re visiting the seaside… and especially Brighton! As it’s located conveniently within a stones’ throw from most of the city’s biggest landmarks, there’s no reason why you should stop by for a tasty treat whilst exploring the seafront.
19. Brighton Racecourse
Situated just north of the city on the edge of the South Downs, Brighton Racecourse is one of the oldest in the country and is said to be the place where King George IV invented hurdle racing whilst riding on the land with friends. The racing season runs from April through October and is frequented by large crowds from all over the south of England. If you happen to be visiting the city during the summer months, then why not look into getting some tickets for you and your group and take them on a fantastic day out?
20. The Painting Pottery Café
Looking for a hands-on & creative experience? Take a trip to the Painting Pottery Café and explore your artistic side with so many different blank pottery pieces to choose from and design! For a small fee, you and your group can get sat down and spend a few hours creating something truly unique that you can take home with you. Not only is this a great way to spend a few hours away from the hustle and bustle of the city, but you may even find this activity quite therapeutic and relaxing!