Sites and Landmarks in Brighton, UK

Brighton Pier is particularly lovely first thing in the morning before people arrive
Brighton Pier is particularly lovely first thing in the morning before people arrive | © Geoff Smith / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Elena Alston
31 July 2020

It’s the quintessential British seaside experience with a contemporary twist. Brighton’s an artsy town, which has long attracted writers, artists, poets and musicians. They’re everywhere – from the pier to the lanes, to the cool coffee shops and bohemian bars. You might get lost along the narrow, twisting alleyways, but this gives visitors the perfect opportunity to see some of Brighton’s best sites and landmarks. We asked our local insiders for their favourites.

The Booth Museum

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A stuffed Tasmanian tiger in a display case of the Booth Museum in Brighton. Image shot 2017. Exact date unknown.
© dominic dibbs / Alamy Stock Photo

If you ever wanted to see what a quirky Victorian collector’s private assembly of stuffed animals looks like, here’s your chance. The Booth Museum lies off the beaten track, tucked behind the Hove Green park – the perfect spot to hole up on rainy days. It’s technically a natural history museum, with year-round exhibitions on local fossil collections, a Victorian study and some pretty terrifying iguanas – á la Norman Bates. Plus, it’s free, so what more could you ask for? Recommended by local insider Clare Scott

The Toy and Model Museum

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Packed into four Victorian cellars underground, Brighton’s Toy and Model Museum displays over 10,000 miniature toys – from model trains to twee planes, and – we have to say it – creepy Annabelle-style dolls. There’re even retro penny arcades, the kind that are bound to stir up some long-lost memories from your childhood. Recommended by local insider Clare Scott

British Airways i360 Viewing Tower

Architectural Landmark
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Visitors enjoying the view from the British Airways i360 observation tower on Brighton seafront.  View to east.
© UrbanImages / Alamy Stock Photo

This i360 tower stands 162m (351.5ft) tall on Brighton’s beachfront. Visitors are whisked skyhigh in the glass viewing pod, and are privy to panoramic views of the city, plus some spectacular views of the English Channel. Go at sunset to see Brighton dipped in flaming orange hues, which are best enjoyed with a glass of local Ridgeview Wine at the Sky Bar. Recommended by local insider Clare Scott

The Golden Spiral

Architectural Landmark
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These cast-iron columns (24 in total) can be found within the Piazza, which overlooks Brighton Beach. They’re pieces saved from Brighton’s original pleasure pier – designed by Eugenius Birch back in the 1800s. At night, this spiral lights up, making for a picture-perfect photo opportunity for visitors – with awesome views across the English Channel. Recommended by local insider Ellie Ricketts

The Royal Pavilion

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark
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Royal Pavilion Brighton East Sussex England
© Paul Thompson Images / Alamy Stock Photo

Once a holiday home for George, Prince of Wales, the Royal Pavilion has been a national landmark in Brighton since 1787. It might look like a palace, but during World War I it served as a military hospital for wounded soldiers from both the Indian and British armies. Today, visitors are welcome to tour the pavilion, including the gaudy banquet room – where George IV would have hosted magnificent feasts – and the exotically carpeted saloon decorated in lotus leaves. Recommended by local insider Ellie Ricketts

These recommendations were updated on July 31, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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