What to do on a Holiday in Brighton

Brighton is a small, vibrant city on the south coast of the UK, an hour from London. It's a popular tourist destination thanks to it's beach, many pubs and restaurants, and relaxed atmosphere. If you're coming for a holiday in Brighton, here are some places you must see:

The beach

The beach is the biggest draw, even though it is rather pebbly. Just 15 minutes walk from the train station, all downhill, the main area between the piers gets full quickly in the heat of summer, but walk either east or west along the coastal path and you'll find an empty spot soon enough. The tide needs to be low for the sand to be revealed, but the pebbles don't seem to put anyone off and locals claim it's a 'young beach' which hasn't turned all to sand yet.

The beach front is home to a few pubs, art galleries, a restaurants, and the Fishing Museum, so you can grab a beer or a bit of culture while you're down there if the sun becomes too much for you.

The Pier

From the beach you can't miss the Brighton Pier (also known by it's older, official name the Palace Pier.) It houses arcades, small shops, and a full on fun fair at the end, giving you amazing views over Brighton from the taller rides. A must for a candy floss and a wander around while you take a break from the beach.

The Pavilion

Five minutes walk from the beach is the Royal Pavilion, Brighton's most historic building. Rebuilt and extended for King George IV 200 years ago, it resembles a piece of India dropped in to England. Minarets and domes dominate the impressive building, which is well worth a tour.

The Pavilion is set in some small but lovely gardens, originally planned out by John Nash, the designer who redeveloped the Pavilion. They're free to enter and provide much needed basking space when the sun is strong and the beach is full.

On the edge of the gardens is the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, which is also free and houses local designs and artefacts, and visiting art exhibits.


As well as a full range of mainstream shops that you could find in any English city, Brighton has two areas of mainly independent, more interesting shops.

The Lanes is the oldest part of Brighton, from it's origins as a fishing village. Nowadays, this mainly pedestrian area holds many small cafes and restaurants, a range of pubs, small jewellers and other independent businesses. It's almost impossible to navigate around on a short visit, so just have a wander, get lost in the alleyways, and you should find a gem or two.

The North Laine area holds Brighton's most bohemian selection of shops. Whether you want a bonsai tree, an obscure comic, vintage clothing or a fixed-wheel bike, you can get them in the North Laine. In fact, you could get all of those on Sydney Street, which is one small part of the area. Fiercely independent, the trading association for the North Laine doesn't allow chain stores in the main streets so this is the best place to come to for strange shops that can't afford to exist on the high street.

The Marina

The best part of the Marina is the row of restaurants looking out over the harbour area, where you can eat with a view of the boats and yachts moored there. You can even eat on a boat, one of the most popular restaurants is in a converted ship.

After eating, why not take a ride out on one of the boats? You can take a dolphin tour and even if Flipper isn't playing ball, you'll get a different perspective on Brighton from out on the water.

Further afield

Brighton is only a few minutes drive from the South Downs, a national park which can be walked and cycled to your hearts content. Further to the west, there is the historic town of Arundel, with it's restored Castle and wildfowl lake, both worth a trip if you're staying locally for a week or more and it is easily reached by train as well as car. To the east, it's only a 15-20 minute drive to Drusillas Zoo Park, home to many exotic animals including a meerkat enclosure which is a big hit with children.

Whether you're coming for a day or a fortnight, there's plenty to see on a Brighton holiday. You can sit in pubs and restaurants all day and soak up the local vibe, or buzz about visiting museums and galleries. Whatever you do, it should be an interesting and relaxing visit.

If you're coming for a holiday in Brighton, please check out our range of rooms, aparments and cottages available for short term lets.

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