Brighton – Best things to do and Key Landmarks

15 January 2021 Off By Preeti Asri

You will never run short of the best things to do in Brighton which is one of the most charming seaside retreats that you will find in all of Britain. There are several things to do in Brighton in lockdown as you will soon find out. If you were thinking are hotels open in UK, simply check with all local guidelines and advisories that have been issued by the authorities and venture out today! 

Brighton is a major part of the city of Brighton and Hove and was a former town which is nestled beautifully along England’s southern coastline in the East Sussex County. It has now attained immense fame as a popular seaside resort while being located approximately 76 kilometers southwards from London as well. It was built from the adjacent towns of Brighton and Hove which were governed independently earlier. There is immense archaeological evidence pertaining to early settlements in this area right from the Bronze age itself along with the Anglo-Saxon and Roman periods too. This indicates the chequered history of Brighton down the years while the ancient Brighthelmstone settlement was also extensively documented in the 1086 Domesday Book. The importance of this town went up exponentially during the Middle Ages and the Old Town developed rapidly. 

However, it suffered a decline in the modern age owing to several storms, invasions and economic stress along with a vastly reduced population. Once road transport was enhanced till London, Brighton started drawing a higher number of visitors and steadily became a boarding point for all boats which were going till France. The town became a sea bathing and health resort which was purported to help in curing various illnesses. Brighton transformed into a stylish seaside retreat in the Georgian era itself owing to the wide patronage extended by the Prince Regent who later became King George IV and who reportedly spent a lot of time here. He built the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era with Brighton growing continually as a key hub of tourism post the railways in 1841. It started becoming a popular jaunt for those looking for quick day trips from London. Several of the key attractions here were actually constructed in the Victorian Age including the Hilton Brighton Metropole, Grand Hotel, West Pier and Palace Pier. The town still grew in the 20th century, expanding to integrate several more areas in its boundary prior to being joined with Hove for forming the single authority of Brighton and Hove in the year 1997. 

This area received city status back in the year 2000 as well and currently, the population has gone up by leaps and bounds with increase in tourism revenues as well. The location is highly strategic for visitors to reach Brighton which also has a vibrant and colorful confluence of music, festivals, cultural and artistic endeavors, quirky shopping centers and a massive LGBTQ+ population, indicating the town’s progressiveness in today’s times. Brighton reportedly attracts millions of day trippers from London while drawing several millions of people who stay overnight or for a few more days. It has been named as the hippest city in the United Kingdom previously while also being labeled as the happiest place to live in the UK

Biggest Attractions in Brighton

There are tons of things to do in Brighton this weekend. Here’s taking a look at the same: 

  • Brighton Palace Pier- The Brighton Palace Pier is a historic and marvelous landmark that has seen a couple of World Wars over the decades along with being a Grade-II listed structure which has survived several devastating storms as well. It is a great place to visit for checking out the arcade games along with the cheerful fairground rides and also the notable chippy vans. 
  • The Lanes- The Lanes is a zone in Brighton where you will experience the true character and flavors of the city by all means. The streets are winding and narrow, leading into several classic 16th century buildings peopled with art zones, bookshops, classic emporiums, record stores and several independent cafes galore. 
  • Royal Pavilion- The Royal Pavilion is straight out of a dream and was designed in the early 19th century by John Nash. This Grade-I listed structure showcases the alluring Indo-Saracenic Revival style of art and design and was once known to be a holiday home for George, the Prince of Wales who later became George IV. It is visited by several people till date for getting a glimpse into its marvelous art galleries, imposing grounds and also its charming replica rooms. 
  • Snoopers Paradise- Snoopers Paradise certainly takes the cake when it comes to things to do in Brighton for couples. You can enjoy a wonderful time with your significant other here, browsing through this vast and huge emporium which is packed with several vintage finds. Every independently owned stall has something for true connoisseurs. Make memories and preserve them for eternity with the black and white photo booth being a welcome distraction from all that shopping and delightful bargains! 
  • Sea Life Brighton- The Sea Life center is a key attraction in Brighton and is the oldest operational aquarium in the world. It was built in the year 1872 and when you enter the place, you will instantly be amazed to see the truly original arches in the Gothic style. The Lagoon is another key attraction with its lovely sting rays and its special rock pool where you can readily touch a sea anemone or starfish without any hassles whatsoever. 
  • Open Market- Open Market is a charming undercover market which has several studios of artists, independent boutiques and several lovely market stalls under a single roof for you to gleefully explore! Buy local stuff including books from the delightful bookstore and even grab a hearty coffee at the Flying Saucer Café. 
  • British Airways i360- British Airways i360 is a marvelous landmark in Brighton and is clearly visible on the skyline of the city. This observation tower goes up to 150 meters in terms of its height and the views are truly spectacular to say the least. You can take in all of Brighton when you are here including the entire expanse going till the South Downs and also over the pristine Channel and Isle of Wight if luck is in your favor. You can also get comforting afternoon tea with your tickets if you wish. 
  • Grubbs- Grubbs is a spot for true connoisseurs without a doubt. This burger chain in Sussex does not have any Facebook page or website. The menu is tantalizing to say the least and you can come down to Lewes Road, St. James’s Street, York Place or even Western Road. The patties here are incredibly tasty by all means. 
  • Sunset Rendezvous- Once you have checked in to your UK hotels, you should try this romantic sojourn of sailing over the open seas right off the Brighton coast with the setting sun making for a picturesque backdrop by all means. You will be accompanied by a suitably qualified RYA or Royal Yachting Association instructor. You now put your feet up and relax with a glass of brew and take in the lovely view. Photography enthusiasts will find numerous opportunities for memorable snaps while aboard. 
  • Shuffle- Shuffle is a retro cocktail bar with an incredible jukebox that blends modern and vintage wonderfully to say the least. You can simply play music through your phone here and just choose your favorites while hosting impromptu karaoke sing-alongs with pals too! From Monday till Wednesday, you can also get attractive two-for-one cocktails. 
  • Brighton Center- Brighton Center is nestled along the seafront of the city and is a premier exhibition center cum performance venue which is the best place to visit for viewing theater, musical performances and comedy alike. Some of the most high-profile UK tours come here while The Jam and Bing Crosby are amongst legends that played their very last gigs at this destination. 
  • Devil’s Dyke- Devil’s Dyke is a charming location alongside the expansive South Downs. This is the UK’s biggest dry valley and is the ideal location for activities as simple as walking your pet or simply journeying endlessly amidst the setting sun. The Dyke has been a key attraction for tourists ever since the 19th century. 
  • Brighton Toy and Model Museum- This delightful museum is a tribute paid towards the last 100 years of models and toys and showcases more than 10,000 items including everything from Meccano kits to Dinky cars and also vintage penny arcade games along with one of the best model railway collections in Britain and puppet theaters. There is a three-rail-O-gauge layout from the 1930s too. 
  • Helicopter Rides- You can consider taking the Brighton Quickie helicopter ride for a panoramic glimpse of the city and surrounding areas. There are options to indulge in personalized flights over Brighton and Hove. The tour may be booked any day of the week and a maximum of three people can solely use the helicopter likewise. 
  • Brighton Museum & Art Gallery- This is a major part of the Royal Pavilion and is a museum nestled in the city center which is completely free for locals to visit while tourists are charged a nominal fee. There are several attractions on offer including fine artwork and also ancient treasures from Egypt in tandem with 20th century exhibitions and fashion design installations to even works by modern artists. You can also check out the Natural Sciences collection where you will find almost half a million insects for your perusal. 

Retail and Shopping Options in Brighton

Brighton has several wonderful shopping and retail options available for locals and tourists alike to indulge in. You will love walking along the seafront from the Brighton Station including the North Laine zone which covers the entire expanse from Kensington Gardens, Gardner Street, Trafalgar Street and Sydney Street along with Bond Street and is mostly open for pedestrians. The North Laine zone is a retail, residential and leisure zone which lies immediately northwards from the Lanes. The name comes from Laine in Anglo-Saxon which translates into fields. The North Laine has several bars, cafes, theaters and more than 400 independent shops along with avant-garde outlets including indoor flea markets and even an erotic shop. 

The Lanes is characterized by its narrow alleys including residential, retail and leisure zones along the seafront along with several clothing stores, antique stores, jewelry shops, pubs and restaurants. Churchill Square is a major shopping center which has abundant floor space with 80+ shops and multiple restaurants in tandem with massive car parking space alongside. It was built back in the 1960s as a multi-level open air and pedestrian-friendly shopping center although it was expanded and rebuilt in the year 1998, no longer being an open-air zone. Further retail zones include London Road and Western Road as well. There are two flea markets taking place weekly in Brighton including the one at the Brighton Marina and another one at the Brighton Racecourse. 

Beautiful Beaches in Brighton

Brighton has a delightful shingle beach expanse covering a whopping 8.7 kilometers which is part of the 8-mile or 13 kilometer section that lies within the city limits. Hove lies adjacent to Brighton and is known for its innumerable painted timber beach huts although there are chalets with brick walls along the Brighton seafront as well, particularly towards Saltdean and Rottingdean alike. Mainly eastwards from the Palace Pier, there is a sandy and flat foreshore that remains exposed at lower tides. The Palace Pier section of the beach has been given blue flag status while part of the beach next to Madeira Drive, towards the eastern portion of the city center, has been neatly redeveloped into a sports complex before being opened for the general public in the year 2007. 

It has several courts for Frisbee and beach volleyball among other activities galore. All beaches come under the ownership of the City Council and are divided into various named sections. The first one was finished by the year 1724 while other names include Norfolk, Boundary, Metropole, Bedford, Grand, King’s, Volk’s, Old Ship, Centre, Palace Pier, Albion, Athina, Aquarium, Duke’s, Paston, Banjo, Crescent, Cliff and also Black Rock. Cliff Beach is a nudist beach and beyond Black Rock, the cliffs rise incredibly to more than 30 metres or 100 feet high. There are three smaller beaches dotting the areas of Saltdean Gap, Ovingdean Gap and Rottingdean Gap. All of these beaches are linked by the Undercliff walk which has seen multiple cliff falls ever since the year 2000. 

Ever since the demolition of the Black Rock open-air lido in 1978 right at the eastern end of the seafront in Brighton, the area has developed rapidly with one of Europe’s biggest marinas at present. The seafront also contains various sports facilities in tandem with restaurants, nightclubs, amusement parks and lovely bars alike. 

Best Breweries and Vineyards

There are tons of breweries and vineyards present in Brighton. You can check out the UnBarred Brewery which has its own charming taproom with a vast range of keg-wise beers including exclusive beers and canned beers which are readily available for takeaway customers. The Brewery and Taproom share the same floor with a lovely tap wall that showcases the best of the establishment ranging from Pale Ales to Table Beer to Imperial Stout and even West Coast IPA. 

Court Garden is a beautiful vineyard which has won several global awards and is located just northwards towards the valley’s edge in Ditchling. You will enjoy your jaunt to the vineyard for a taste of exclusive English Sparkling Wine while also learning the fascinating story that lies behind the same. There are several opportunities available for personal tours and explorations at this vineyard as well. Old Tree Brewery is a noted social enterprise and micro-fermentery in a manner of speaking. All products draw inspiration from natural fermentation and botanicals and are handcrafted in Brighton with live cultures alongside. Brews offer locally created and batch-made alternatives for beverages which are mass-produced. 

You can also pay a visit to the Fermentation Station for trying the lip-smacking Shrubs, Kombucha and other Seasonal Wines in the bargain. Kombucha is a live fermented drink that is crafted from Sencha Green Tea which is famous for offering several probiotic benefits along with low ABV and highly refreshing sweetness and tangy apple tastes. Fermentation is widely tapped for crafting delicious beverages and this is an ancient technique that has been used since time immemorial. Pre-industrial brewing practices are also employed along with several innovative natural recipes for making several tantalizing flavors come to life. All organic waste is composted here while being fed back into the community gardens which offer some of the most natural and best botanical ingredients in turn. As little waste as possible is created deliberately by design here. Products are delivered in a sustainable manner with the usage of electric vans or electric bikes too. 

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