Brighton – a travel guide

Brighton – What to see and do

British Airways i360

Start by visiting the i360 viewing tower, opened in 2016 on the site of the old West Pier.  Over 25 minutes the large glass capsule rises to a height of 450ft (138m), offering great views both along the coast and inland across the South Downs.

British Airways i360
British Airways i360

Standard tickets for the i360 are £16.50 or £14.85 if purchased a minimum of 24 hours in advance.  Visitors need to assemble 20 minutes early to pass through a security check and have time to view an exhibition on how it was constructed.  British Airways i360

BA i360 Viewing Pod
BA i360 Viewing Pod

The Royal Pavilion

Standard admission £15 but if you also intend to take a ride to the top of the i360 observation tower then a Brighton Explorer Pass bought in advance is a good idea as it offers considerable savings.

Brighton Royal Pavilion
Brighton Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is an extravagant and opulent palace, designed by the eminent architect John Nash as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV.  It is now under the ownership of Brighton and Hove Council.  Each room is absolutely exquisite with sumptuous interiors and huge domed ceilings.  The banqueting hall is certainly fit for a king with its dazzling 30ft high chandelier hanging from the ceiling weighing one ton.  The music room is lit by nine lotus shaped chandeliers and its domed ceiling is made up of hundreds of plaster cockleshells.  Royal Pavilion

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

This museum is located very close to the Royal Pavilion.  Entrance to the museum is £6 and although it does contain numerous links to Brighton it also holds a diverse collection of artefacts from further afield.  Brighton Museum and Art Gallery 

Brighton Toy & Model Museum

Bristol Toy Museum
Bristol Toy Museum

Located beneath the railway arches of Brighton station.  Adult admission is £6.50 with family tickets available at £14.  Inside this underground cavern are more than 10,000 items tightly packed into quite a small space.  Glass cabinets contain old toys, model kits, dolls, teddy bears, Meccano construction sets, trains and cars.

Brighton Toy Museum exhibits
Inside Brighton Toy Museum

Hanging from the ceiling are a collection of model aircraft and old helicopters whilst propped on the top of cabinets are old prams, dolls houses and larger vehicles.  Taking pride of place in the centre of this small museum is a 1930’s model railway and visitors are able to press a button to start one of the engines moving.  Brighton Toy & Model Museum

Brighton SeaLife

Brighton SeaLife Centre
Brighton SeaLife Centre

Visit the world’s oldest aquarium which has been operating since 1872.  The Brighton SeaLife faces the Palace Pier with standard adult admission at the door £19 but 40% cheaper at £10.50 if bought on-line before visiting.

Inside Brighton SeaLife Centre
Inside Brighton SeaLife Centre

Admire its original Victorian architecture and view the many small tanks containing around 3,500 creatures including delicate seahorses and jellyfish with their bell shaped bodies and long tentacles.  Brighton SeaLife

Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton Palace Pier
Brighton Palace Pier

No visit to the seaside can be complete without a walk on the pier and Brighton pier is one of the best preserved in the country, offering free entry including the use of deckchairs.  The pier opened in 1899 replacing the original one that had been destroyed by a severe storm.  It’s a long but fun filled walk to the end of this grand pier which extends 1722 ft (525 metres) and contains a vast array of classic seaside entertainment.

Brighton Palace Pier boardwalk
Along Brighton Palace Pier

There’s a large indoor amusement arcade with slot machines and other coin operated games and at the sea end a funfair with rides for all ages.  Feeling peckish then tuck into the seaside favourite of fish and chips or pop into one of the cafes along the pier for tea and cakes.  Brighton Palace Pier

Volk’s Electric Railway

This narrow gauge heritage railway is the oldest operating electric railway in the world and runs along the seafront from the aquarium to its terminus close to the marina since 1883 during the summer months.  Volk’s Electric Railway

Coastal walks

Undercliff Walk

Brighton beach
Brighton beach

The popular undercliff walk starts from the Palace Pier running east for for almost 3 miles along the sea wall with the wonderful white cliffs on one side and the shingle beach and sea on the other.  It takes around 45 minutes to reach Brighton Marina where you can either end your walk or stop off for a coffee.

Coastal Walk to Southwick

Shoreham Harbour
Shoreham Harbour

The walk extends for about 5 miles along a flat section of the Monarch Way long distance trail.  Starting next to the pier, head in a westerly direction towards Hove.  Here you can enjoy a stroll around Hove Lagoon, one of the country’s leading water sports centres.  Continue past Portslade to Southwick, where you can see the eastern end of Shoreham Harbour.

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina
Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina is one of the largest marinas in the U.K. and enjoys a picturesque setting.  It’s lined with bars and restaurants where diners can enjoy a meal watching the yachts sail by.  As well as dining options, the marina boasts several specialist stores and a leisure complex with cinemas and bowling.  Brighton Marina

Shopping

The Lanes

Take a stroll through the narrow maze of streets known as The Lanes that make up the historic quarter of the city.  With its varied collection of interesting small shops and boutiques it’s a shopper’s paradise located between the Royal Pavilion and the seafront.

The Lanes, Brighton
The Lanes, Brighton

Churchill Square

The Churchill Square shopping centre in the centre of town is home to large brands from Apple to Zara along with lesser-known stores selling everything from homeware and gifts to clothing.

Where to eat and drink

Lost in the Lanes

Lost in the Lanes Cafe, Brighton
Lost in the Lanes Cafe, Brighton

A delightful café with a soothing design nestled amongst the labyrinth of narrow lanes in the historic quarter serving an interesting all day breakfast/brunch.  The cafe serves wholesome food made from quality ingredients and a favourite with locals. Lost in the Lanes

The Coal Shed

The Coal Shed, Brighton
The Coal Shed, Brighton

Tucked away down a side street the Coal Shed is a steak restaurant in the heart of the town.  The menu is simple using quality ingredients expertly cooked over coal.  As well as an a la carte menu they also offer a good value express lunch option and daily specials.  The Coal Shed has a sister restaurant with the same name located near The Shard, London.  The Coal Shed

 

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Littlehampton and Petworth House

 

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Brighton - What to see and do

 

53 thoughts on “Brighton – a travel guide

  1. As usual, your post is filled with details, big and small, as well as a variety of photos. The toy and model museum looked like a special place to visit. There is always a bit of a child in any adult. Brighton looks like a place worthy of 2-3 day visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice to find you also grew up at the seaside. I did as well but at the other end of the country in Lancashire. I really enjoyed Brighton and walking on the pier was lovely. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.

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  2. Brighton was pretty much the first place I visited in the UK that wasn’t London, back in 2009. I remember back then I didn’t have much money, but I visited the Brighton Toy & Model Museum, which is weird and wonderful, very nostalgic and I had some fish n’ chips on the pier. It was a lovely trip and have been a few times since. Such an iconic seaside resort. My parents really want to visit Brighton when they come over next time from Germany, it’s on their UK bucket list 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I vaguely remember a school trip to Brighton which did not impress me. The pier seemed old-fashioned and as I knew mostly about the sandy beaches to be interested in that. I agree that nowadays all the attractions you present make the place attractive for another visit.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The Royal Pavilion is a stunning building in the centre of Brighton and is reminiscent of an elaborate mosque. The resort does have a shingle beach which isn’t as appealing as a sandy one but I find it to be an attractive resort with some fine architecture so definitely worthy of perhaps another visit.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looks like there’s a lot more to Brighton than just the ocean and pier! Brighton’s been on my bucket list since forever, and sadly I hadn’t been able to visit when I was touring England last time I was there almost six years ago…here’s hoping that I can return to check out Brighton someday– the Royal Pavilion is an exceptional stunner!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Rebecca. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to visit Brighton next time you are over in England. The resort is just an hour’s t train journey from London so it’s very accessible. The Royal Pavilion is truly beautiful and reminiscent of an elaborate mosque.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Brighton is such an attractive seaside resort and I’m so pleased my photos brought back fond memories for you. Hope you are soon free to travel as you wish once again, we’ve had our fair share of lockdowns too but now they are hopefully just a distant memory. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Marion (aka Little Miss Traveller).

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  5. I always think the Royal Pavillion looks so odd amongst Brighton’s other architecture, but it is beautiful. We have booked in to The Nimb hotel in Copenhagen for my birthday, and that hotel reminded me of the Pavillion as well. I also love the look of the 360 ride, I’ll have to do that next time I’m there 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. How lovely that you are planning to spend your birthday in Copenhagen Hannah. I’ve never visited Denmark so will look forward to reading about how you spent your time there. I think Brighton is just as nice to visit out of season but I’m glad our seaside resorts are having a renaissance with more people preferring to take domestic holidays. One

      Liked by 2 people

  6. jasonlikestotravel

    I’ve still yet to visit Brighton, always seems to be on my radar but continues to allude me! It looks like there’s plenty to do when I do eventually make my way down there though. Great read 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this post Jason. Brighton us a great year round resort and easily accessible by train from London. I expect you are counting down the days until you are reunited with Haleigh again, that will be so nice for you both!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. jasonlikestotravel

        It’s such an easy journey from here really. Definitely need to squeeze a weekend trip in at some point 🙂

        Yes, not long now! Assuming all goes to plan, I’ll be flying out on the 20th 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  7. Brighton looks like such a lovely place. The i350 tower is definitely a wow (not sure if I’m going to make it with my fear of heights) … but thanks for the photo, now I know what it looks like inside 😉. And the electric railroad sounds like fun, as well as a visit to the aquarium. And who would not love to take a coastal walk along the beach!
    Nice post Marion – you’ve already introduced me to so many beautiful places in the UK!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Brighton along with Bournemouth and Blackpool are three of our premier seaside resorts and they seem to have been doing exceptionally well since COVID with more people taking domestic holidays. I had to laugh when you suggested a trip up the i360 tower might be off limits with your fear of heights when you’ve just conquered the most gruelling of treks possible! Thanks so much for your valued comments Corna, they are always appreciated. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leighton, Thanks for giving me the heads up about the Brighton pin. I’ll have to look into why the link isn’t working as when I go to my Pinterest board it seems to be functioning there. I’m sure I’ll be able to sort the problem out later but thanks so much for letting me know. Marion

      Liked by 1 person

  8. A compact overview of a city I would love to visit one day. Great work, Marion. The Royal Pavilion really surprised me, that’s an unusual building I hadn’t known about and surely to be included in any itinerary. I’ve always had a romantic idea of Palace Pier, ever since reading Graham Greene’s ‘Brighton Rock’. Would love to find a cosy cafe in The Lanes and revisit the pier chapter.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for taking an interest in my guide to Brighton Leighton. The Royal Pavilion is such an elaborate building and often mistaken for a mosque. A walk on the pier is a must at any time of year. I’ve also got fond memories of reading ‘Brighton Rock’ The resort is quick and easy to reach by train from London so hopefully you’ll be able to take Sladja for a coffee alOng The Lanes when you are back over here. Marion

      Liked by 2 people

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