Brighton, on the UK’s south coast, is a young and lively town that is widely known for its diverse communities, great art scene, quirky restaurants and bars. Brighton attracts millions of visitors every year and has developed into the UK’s most popular seaside resort, where tourists can partake in a wide variety of activities. Follow our guide below to experience an extraordinary day in the beautiful town of Brighton.
The Brighton Pier, with its stomach-turning fairground rides, fantastic amusement arcades, and countless food stands, offers everything from doughnuts and ice cream to hot dogs and fish and chips, is a must-see for every tourist coming to Brighton. Multiple hours can easily be spent on the century-old pier that offers so much to do for both the young and old. The outstanding fairground rides, which attract thousands of tourists every year, are especially great when the weather is good, whereas the classic amusement arcades are perfect to spend a rainy day in. The Brighton Pier also offers a great view of the remains of the old West Pier, the skeletal ruin of the once iconic landmark on Brighton’s seafront that was tragically burned down in 2003. A day at Brighton Pier is thus not only a day of amusement but also one steeped in history.
Brighton is full of unique little art galleries that showcase a diverse selection of niche national and international artists. Located on Trafalgar Street, O Contemporary art gallery is one of the UK’s best contemporary art spaces. O Contemporary changes its exhibitions on a regular basis, making sure a unique range of different art movements are presented to its visitors. Past exhibitions have included works by Damien Hirst and a celebration of Brazilian urban art with cor du rua – which means street colours. Pop-Up Brighton is another great new organisation that curates pop up art shows in empty spaces in and around Brighton and gives local artists the chance to showcase their works without charging them for it; this is definitely worth a visit.
When visiting Britain’s most popular seaside resort, a trip to the beach cannot be missed. In summer as much as in winter, walking along Brighton beach creates a wonderful atmosphere that makes you appreciate the little things in life. Just sitting on the stones and watching the sea and the waves is great for relaxing during a busy day of sightseeing and gives you the chance to spend a few quiet minutes by yourself or with your loved ones. Try a hot chocolate and order some marshmallows on a cold day to warm yourself up from the inside.
Paddle boarding is the latest addition to popular water sports that is spreading amongst Brighton’s youth in recent years. There is no better place to try paddle boarding for the first time than Brighton, as the water is perfect for beginners and water schools offer great assistance. Paddle boarding doesn’t require much prior experience; just stand up, paddle along in the water and try out one of the trendiest sport activities in the area.
The perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon in Britain is to go see a movie at Duke of York’s, the longest running cinema in the whole of the UK with its 105th birthday coming up soon. If you are unsure about picking a movie, the cinema publishes a quarterly magazine called Picturehouse Recommends, featuring all the must-see films with a detailed description, reviews and pieces on other upcoming events, such as Culture Shock – a special evening where the best in cult and genre films are presented. Additionally, every week on Discover Tuesday, the cinema’s experts hand-pick long-forgotten classics or niche documentaries for their customers. Duke of York’s guarantees a unique cinema experience.
Brighton has some of the most extraordinary emerging singers and bands to offer, so it is a definite must to go see a local band and support the local music scene when visiting Brighton. It is also one of the main stop-offs for a wide variety of both national and international music acts who are touring the country. This provides a fantastic range of music genres, ranging from punk rock and rockabilly to well-known international acts. Consult one of the many event websites to find the perfect music event for you.
A great way to experience local culture in Brighton is to go to one of the many free festivals taking place in the city throughout the year. Two of the most noteworthy ones include Kemp Town Carnival in June and St. Ann’s Well Gardens Spring Festival in May, where visitors can enjoy great music and experience fantastic culinary culture. Brighton Festival, which is an annual celebration of music, theatre, dance, film and literature for the whole of three weeks in May, is another fixture on Brighton’s festival calendar; as is Brighton Fringe Festival – one of the largest fringe festivals in the world.
The Royal Pavilion, one of Brighton’s major tourist sights, is an exotic palace in the centre of the city that has a colourful history. It was originally built as a pleasure palace on the seaside for King George VI between 1787 and 1823. For 200 years, the Royal Pavilion has attracted visitors from all over the world with its remarkable oriental appearance on the outside and the display of Regency England on the inside. The Royal Pavilion Tea Room is especially magnificent with its balcony overlooking the Pavilion garden and the original furniture lent by the Queen. During the summer, Brighton makes available a history pass that allows visitors to visit the Pavilion and other major landmarks at a reduced price.
Visiting one of the city’s numerous flea markets is a great way to experience authentic Brighton and socialise with locals. The original Brighton Flea Market is the perfect spot for anyone looking to buy antiques and furniture and browse through unique old items. The Brighton Flea Market also exhibits pre- 1969 motor vehicles, which attracts both antique dealers and vintage collectors at the same time. On Sundays, visitors can enjoy the Brighton Vintage & Antiques Market for great vintage jewellery and furniture. There’s also the famous Brighton Marina Sunday Flea Market, which features extraordinary items right at the seafront.
Going on a bike tour is a great opportunity to explore the city of Brighton in a different fashion and see the popular tourist places from a new point of view. Brighton Bike Tours, for example, offers a two-and-a-half-hour long cycling discovery tour that starts in the heart of Brighton, on New Road, and will lead you to explore the past and the present of the city. The enthusiastic and knowledgeable tour guides will show you the most important places in Brighton and provide you with a lot of niche information.