16 Best Things To Do In Brighton – Attractions, Tours & Sights

(Last Updated On: January 19, 2023)

Brighton is a town in East Sussex located on the English Channel coast.

It was originally an ancient settlement and small fishing village called Brighthelmstone.

Brighton became a fashionable seaside resort in the late 18th century, and attracted many visitors from London.

Today, Brighton is a sought after tourist destination, with attractions such as the Royal Pavilion, the Palace pier, and the seafront.

The town is also home to a number of popular museums and art galleries.

Things To Do In Brighton

1. Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion, built in the early 1800s for King George IV, is an iconic Brighton landmark.

Designed in the Indian subcontinent style by architect John Nash, the palace was intended as a seaside retreat for the king, who was known for his love of all things exotic.

Despite its grandiose design and luxurious interior, the Royal Pavilion has undergone several changes.

During World War II, it was used as a hospital for injured soldiers.

In the 1950s, it was restored to its former glory and opened to the public as a museum.

Today, the Royal Pavilion is one of Brighton’s most popular tourist attractions, welcoming over 400,000 visitors each year.

Located in the heart of Brighton, near the North Laine shopping area and just five minutes from the sea, tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Address: Royal Pavilion, 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton BN1 1EE

2. Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton Palace Pier is a seaside pleasure pier that opened in 1899 and was the third pier to be constructed in Brighton.

The pier is one of the most visited free attractions in the UK.

It is made entirely of wood and is 1022 feet (311 m) long.

It has two decks, an upper promenade deck and a lower deck with an amusement arcade.

The pier has a concert hall, cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Brighton Pier is also used as a venue for events such as concerts, weddings, and parties.

Address: Brighton Palace Pier, Madeira Dr, Brighton BN2 1TW

3. Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina

Brighton Marina is a large artificial harbour built in the 1970s and is now home to over 1,500 boats.

It is also a popular leisure destination, with restaurants, bars, shops and a casino.

The marina was created by dredging out an area of the English Channel.

It took about six years to complete and cost £30 million.

The harbour is now about two miles long and can accommodate boats up to 100 metres in length.

Over the years, Brighton Marina has become a popular place to live.

There are over 1,000 residential properties within the harbour, including apartments, houses and boat moorings.

The harbour is a popular leisure destination for both locals and visitors to the city.

4. Brighton Dome

Brighton Dome

Brighton Dome is a Grade I listed building in Brighton, England. It was originally built as a stable block for the Royal Pavilion but was converted into an auditorium in 1867. The dome itself was added in 1890 and is one of the largest domes in Europe.

The venue has a capacity of 2,500 and hosts a variety of events, including concerts, theatre shows, conferences and exhibitions. It is also home to the Brighton Festival, the largest arts festival in England.

The building underwent a major refurbishment in 2002 and is now open to the public all year round. It houses three main auditoriums, as well as a number of smaller rooms and spaces.

Brighton Dome is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brighton. It receives over 500,000 visitors each year and is a major cultural hub for the city.

5. Brighton Fishing Museum

Brighton Fishing Museum

As the UK’s largest fishing museum, Brighton Fishing Museum is dedicated to celebrating the heritage and history of the British fishing industry.

Located in the heart of Brighton’s historic seafront, the museum houses a wealth of artefacts, photographs and exhibits telling the story of Britain’s fishing industry from its humble beginnings to the present day.

The museum tells the story of how the British fishing industry has shaped our country’s economy, culture and way of life. It also explores the challenges faced by today’s fishermen and women as they strive to maintain a sustainable fishing industry in the face of ever-changing environmental conditions.

With its vibrant mix of exhibitions, displays and interactive activities, Brighton Fishing Museum is an ideal place for all ages to learn about the fascinating story of Britain’s fishing industry.

6. West Pier

West Pier

West Pier is a Grade I listed structure in Brighton, England. It was designed by Eugenius Birch, and opened in 1866. The pier was closed to the public in 1975, and suffered two fires in 2003 which caused major damage.

Despite being closed to the public since 1975, West Pier remains an important part of Brighton’s heritage and identity. In 2003, the pier suffered two devastating fires which caused major damage.

The burnt out West Pier is now an iconic landmark as only some parts of the metal framework remain.

7. South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park

South Downs National Park was park was established in 2011 and covers an area of 1,664 square kilometres (642 square miles).

The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including red deer, foxes, hares, rabbits, weasels and stoats. The park also has a number of important sites for bird watching, including the Bluebell Railway line which is home to birds such as the kingfisher, nightingale and turtle dove.

In addition to its rich wildlife, the National Park also has a number of historical sites and monuments, including Stonehenge, Old Sarum and the Roman city of Chichester.

The park also has a number of popular visitor attractions, such as the South Downs Way, which is a long-distance footpath that runs through the length of the park.

8. The Lanes

The Lanes

The Lanes is a labyrinth of narrow, medieval streets in the city centre of Brighton. The Lanes are home to a variety of independent shops, cafes, restaurants and bars.

The Lanes has a long history dating back to the 11th century when it was first settled by the Saxons. The name ‘Lanes’ is derived from the Old English word ‘lǣnen’, meaning ‘narrow streets or passages’.

The Lanes is a popular tourist destination for its unique atmosphere and architecture. The streets are lined with a variety of shops selling everything from antiques to vintage clothes. There are also a number of cafes, restaurants and bars in the area, making it the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely stroll and some people watching.

9. British Airways i360

British Airways i360

British Airways i360 is a 162-metre (531 ft) tall observation tower on the seafront of Brighton, England. The tower is shaped like a giant champagne glass and has a viewing pod that can carry 200 people, who are lifted to a height of 138 metres (453 ft) for panoramic views of the city and coastline.

The tower was designed by London-based architects Marks Barfield, who also designed the London Eye. Construction of the tower began in February 2014 and it was completed in August 2016. The tower opened to the public on 4 August 2016.

British Airways i360 has been described as a “vertical pier” and a “vertical beach”, due to its location on the seafront and its resemblance to a traditional pier. The tower has been praised for its innovative design and engineering, as well as its positive impact on the local economy.

10. Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach is situated on the seafront of the city and stretches for approximately 7 kilometres (4.3 miles).

Brighton Beach is a popular tourist destination, with its sandy beaches, colourful beach huts and variety of shops and restaurants. The beach is also popular with locals, who use it for swimming, sunbathing and surfing.

The beach has been awarded a Blue Flag certification, which recognises beaches that meet strict environmental, safety and water quality standards. Brighton Beach was also named as one of the top 10 beaches in the UK.

11. Undercliff Walk

Undercliff Walk

The Undercliff Walk is a 2.8 kilometre (1.7 mile) long coastal path that runs along the seafront of Brighton. The path starts at Brighton Marina and runs westwards towards Hove Lagoon.

The walk provides stunning views of the sea and coastline, as well as a number of interesting features, such as the remains of an old railway line and a Second World War pillbox. The walk is also home to a variety of plants and wildlife, including sea birds, butterflies and wildflowers.

12. Devil’s Dyke National Trust

Devil's Dyke National Trust

Devil’s Dyke National Trust is a nature reserve and beauty spot situated on the South Downs in Sussex, England. The site covers an area of 310 hectares (760 acres) and is owned and managed by the National Trust.

The reserve is named after a deep valley or ‘dyke’ which runs for 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) through the Downs. The dyke is thought to have been created by glacial activity during the last Ice Age.

The area is popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders, and there are a number of way-marked trails to follow. The reserve also has a visitor centre, café and shop.

13. Volk’s Electric Railway

Volk’s Electric Railway

Volk’s Electric Railway, located in Brighton, England, is the world’s oldest operational electric railway. The railway runs for a mile along the seafront from Aquarium to Black Rock, and has been in continuous operation since 1883.

In 1881, Brighton-based inventor and engineer Magnus Volk built a small scale demonstration electric tramway along the seafront at Preston Park. This was just a few months after German engineer Werner von Siemens had opened the world’s first permanent electric street railway in Berlin. Volk was so impressed with Siemens’ system that he decided to build his own electric railway in Brighton.

The original Volk’s Railway ran for just over half a mile between Aquarium station and Paston Place. It opened to the public on 4 August 1883, making it the world’s first operational electric railway. The fare was a penny (one old pence) per ride.

Today, Volk’s Railway is still in operation, carrying passengers along the Brighton seafront between Aquarium and Black Rock stations. It is now run by the Brighton Electric Railway Association (BERA), a registered charity. BERA relies on volunteers to keep the railway running, and all proceeds from fares go towards maintaining and improving the railway.

14. American Express Community Stadium

American Express Community Stadium

Commonly referred to as the Amex Stadium, it was opened in 2011 and is the home of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club.

The stadium has a capacity of 30,750, making it the largest football stadium in Sussex. The American Express Community Stadium is located just to the north of Brighton city centre, near to the Falmer railway station.

Construction of the stadium began in September 2009 and was completed in time for the start of the 2011–12 season. The stadium cost £93 million to build, with £20 million coming from a grant from the Football Foundation.

The stadium has won numerous awards, including the 2012 Stadia & Arena Awards ‘Best New Stadium’ and the 2011 RIBA South East Award for Architecture.

The American Express Community Stadium is more than just a football stadium. It is also home to a number of other sports teams, including Brighton & Hove Albion Women, Brighton Rugby Club and Sussex County Cricket Club. The stadium has also hosted a number of major music concerts, including Kylie Minogue, Take That and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

15. SEA LIFE Brighton

SEA LIFE Brighton

SEA LIFE Brighton is an aquarium located on the seafront in Brighton The aquarium is home to over 3,500 creatures, including sharks, stingrays, seahorses and turtles.

SEA LIFE Brighton first opened its doors to the public in 1872 as the Brighton Aquarium. It was one of the first public aquariums in the world. In 2008, the aquarium underwent a £12 million redevelopment and rebranded as SEA LIFE Brighton.

As well as being an educational and fun day out for families, SEA LIFE Brighton also plays an important role in marine conservation. The aquarium is involved in a number of global initiatives to help protect endangered species and their habitats.

16. Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is located in the Royal Pavilion gardens, in the city’s cultural quarter.

It houses brilliant decorative art collections which include Art Deco objects by Rateau and Lalique as well as the very popular Surrealist Mae West Lips sofa designed in 1938 by Salvador Dali and Edward James.

There is a section on ancient Egypt, with two renovated galleries and a full size mummy

including fashion and style, 20th century art and design, and fine art – feature exciting interactive displays appealing to all ages.

Address: Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Pavilion Parade, Brighton BN1 1EE

FAQ

Which is the main station in Brighton?

Brighton station is the principal station serving Brighton, East Sussex and the southern terminus of the Brighton Main Line.

Brighton train station serves as a fast commuter route into London.

How old is Brighton Town hall?

Brighton Town hall was designed in 1830 by Thomas Cooper.

The town hall is a Grade II listed building and a wonderful piece of architecture.

What is Brighton Rock?

Brighton rock is a stick candy.

It usually has a bright exterior and a white interior with the word Brighton written in red letters through the length of the rock, so wherever you bite or break it, the city’s name is visible.

Author

  • Tamara M

    Hey there! My name is Tamara, welcome to my little world! I’m a 20-something-year-old from Toronto, Canada (though I’m rarely there) and I’m super passionate about exploring the world, photography, and cooking delicious plant-based recipes. I created this blog to share my favorite places, adventures, restaurants, accommodations, and travel tips with all of you and keep a bit of a travel diary for myself.

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