Brighton City Guide
Brighton is the quintessential English seaside town, located about an hour south of London. It’s packed full of great attractions, top restaurants, varied nightlife and one of the best piers in England. Holidaymakers and day-trippers flock to Brighton throughout the summer months to take advantage of its long beach and fun, family-friendly atmosphere.
Header image credit: Credit Visit England
Brighton is just a 25-minute drive from our port in Newhaven, or you can get direct trains from Newhaven Harbour right into the centre of Brighton which run every half an hour. Alternatively, if you’re planning on landing in Dover, Brighton is just a two-hour drive away, and you get to see some of Britain’s prettiest countryside on the way.
Why Visit Brighton?
Brighton offers a wealth of historic attractions and traditional seaside fun, as well as plenty of the quirky and unexpected. There’s Brighton Pier, the stunning Royal Pavilion, and plenty of sandy beaches with everything you could want for a day at the seaside. Brighton is also home to the world’s oldest operating aquarium, and a state-of-the art viewing platform, the i360.
There’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether it’s relaxing on the beach or visiting Brighton’s many historic and modern attractions. There’s also great shopping in the Lanes area of the town, including famous chocolatiers and fashionable boutiques, and all manner of cafes and restaurants.
What to see in Brighton
The city's must-see attraction is the Royal Pavilion, the former royal residence of Prince George, later Prince Regent and George IV. Its distinctive 19th century Indo-Saracenic style features domes and minarets, and certainly isn’t typical of English Regency architecture. One of its most extraordinary rooms is the elaborate banqueting hall with its spectacular chandelier that hangs from the claws of a silvered dragon and six smaller dragons with light shooting from their mouths. The Pavilion attracts over 400,000 visitors every year and is one of Brighton’s most prized buildings. Built in 1899, Brighton Pier, or the Palace Pier, is one of Brighton’s top attractions and draws thousands of visitors each year. The pier features two amusement arcades, and some great fun fair rides to enjoy. If you’re after traditional British fish and chips, then the pier food court is the place to go. You can pick up a cone of chips, battered cod and a saveloy and watch the sun set over the town.
Situated on the seafront next to Brighton's iconic pier, Sea Life Brighton is the world's oldest operating aquarium and takes you on an amazing underwater journey in a beautiful Victorian Gothic building. Designed and built by the creator of the West Pier in 1872, this Brighton institution is filled with things to see and do. There are interactive rock pools, feeding displays, a jellyfish disco and an enormous glass tunnel that you can walk through to get up close and personal with some of the aquarium’s larger inhabitants, including sharks and turtles. Brighton has four beaches, each with its own distinct character. The Palace Pier Beach is probably Brighton’s most well-known; this is a shingle and sand beach west of the pier where shops and ice cream kiosks occupy the old fishing huts and boat builders’ sheds known as the King’s Road Arches. To the East of the pier you have Kemp Town Beach where you can visit the Mechanical Memories Museum and lose a few pennies in their old slot machines. Towards the marina is Brighton’s Naturist beach which opened in 1990 and was the first public naturist beach in the UK. If you walk west from Brighton Pier, you'll eventually reach Hove beach, which is much quieter than Brighton’s main beaches. More frequented by locals than tourists, it’s great for a little more peace and tranquillity.
Image credit: Valcker
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