Brighton has always been a magnet for families. With its famous beach and pier and large variety of shops, events and things to do for all ages, our welcoming resort on the south coast of England is simply a great place to stay. The train journey from Brighton to London is also only an hour long, so you might even choose to call in at the capital for a day trip while you’re here.
Let’s look at some of the best things to do in Brighton, starting off with our iconic beach.
Enjoy Brighton Beach
Top of the list is always going to be Brighton Beach, and some might say it is one of the best things about living in Brighton. Our beloved beach offers so many opportunities to spend quality time with the family. In the summer, our great beach is transformed into an area of creativity. Since we have the luxury of both a pebble beach and a sandy beach, you can build sand or stone castles in the sea, with your bucket and spade to hand, and help the kids find the most shimmering and precious stones. But this is not limited simply to the sea, because even the beach is full of beautiful pebbles and shells. Brighton has an incredible variety of minerals and stones in common areas such as the beach.
If you’re looking to do something more active, we suggest going for a walk or a run along the beachfront. Hearing the sound of the sea while you exercise is as inspiring as it is relaxing and motivates you to keep going. both inspiring and relaxing you. There are also basketball parks and skate parks near the beach if you’re feeling extra energetic or competitive.
Of course, the beach is an ideal place for relaxation. Our top tip for sunbathing would be to choose a spot on the Marina side of the pier. Here it is a little quieter and you’ll still be just a couple of minutes’ walk from all the facilities. There’s no shortage of cafes, bars or ice cream stalls along the beachfront, or you can buy other desserts such as doughnuts or churros, if you want to take a time out for something to eat or drink. Why not take a leisurely stroll along the promenade while you enjoy your ice cream?
Explore Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier is one of the town’s most iconic attractions. At the far end of the pier you’ll find the amusement park, which offers everything from traditional penny slot machines to modern games such as Guitar Hero, and there are a range of rides and attractions, from roller coasters and waltzers to twisters and bouncy castles.
Not to be missed is a visit to the Volks Railway. This unique, quirky railway, which opened in 1883, is the oldest operating railway in the world. The route starts in Black Rock, near the Marina station, and ends at Aquarium station, just near Brighton pier. The journey is relatively quick at 12 minutes and can be a cheap way to get along the seafront, as well as fun for the little ones.
If you’re looking for something a little different, you can visit the Brighton Sea Life Centre, located at the start of the Brighton Pier. Interactive displays, exhibitions, animal feeding and interactions, thousands of different species and water creatures, and of course the plentiful gift shops to pick up a memory of your visit or snap a shot with their digital background system, this really is a memorable experience.
Admire the view from the British Airways i360 Tower
A little further along the sea front is the British Airways i360 Tower, which is located by the West Pier. This landmark tower is all about the views and was designed by the same architects who designed the London Eye. Step into the observation pod, which takes you 138 metres high, and admire the views of Brighton. On a clear day, you can see as far as the coast of the Isle of Wight, some 49 miles away.
Indulge your playful side in Brighton Marina
What trip would be complete without a visit to Brighton Marina? There are all kinds of opportunities for yachting and watersports, but if you feel like something gentler, you can also play Laser Tag or play mini golf at GLO BALLS, which offers a whole new twist on mini golf by offering a glow-in-the-dark indoor course. You can also go bowling or go karting or simply try your luck at the arcades. And if you need a time out, there are plenty of places to eat and drink in the Marina.
Make the most of shopping and culture in Brighton
Brighton has some of the most varied and interesting shops. The kids will love the many unique sweet shops, and a must see is the spectacular changing window display of ChoccyWoccy Doodah, located in the Lanes. Why not pop in for a little taster? Older children, on the other hand, will enjoy paying a visit to the fantastic comic book stores.
If you feel like really splashing out, Brighton has a large shopping centre called Churchill Square Mall, which has a selection of 80 stores, including jewellery, fashion, home and lifestyle and health and beauty stores. Kids old and young will like the Lego® store, which is just across the road from the centre and as well as being a store is a place to play, thanks to some of the interactive facilities.
The Lanes and North Laines, both within walking distance, are other good places to go shopping. Both locations feature a range of independent shops and offer a mix of antiques and boutique stores. You’ll also find a range of specialist shops, such as book and music stores, if you have a particular hobby or interest. Speaking of hobbies and interests, a little further up the North Laines is the Brighton Toy and Model Museum. With more than 10 000 toys and models in its archive, this museum is a must for toy and model enthusiasts.
As well as shopping, Brighton has many cultural attractions, such as the Brighton Dome, including the Corn Exchange; the comedy club Komedia; the Brighton Museum; the Theatre Royal and The Old Market Theatre. The whole year round, there are concerts, exhibitions and performances, and in winter time there is a pantomime.
Go on action and adventure
A little further afield is Go Ape, an outdoor activity and adventure park in Crawley, which is just over 30 minutes outside of Brighton. This is a chance to take in some beautiful scenery and indulge in a little adventure with some zip lining and other activities.
While in Brighton, you can also try the Brighton Zip. This 300 metre zip wire was specially designed for Brighton and is located on Brighton seafront. The operators of the zip wire experience also offer a freefall experience, the Drop Zone, which is equally exhilarating.
Brighton is a bicycle-friendly city, with several cycle paths and cycle lanes on the roads. There are a range of cycle routes, some combining coast and countryside, such as the Seafront to Downs Route, or the Shore to Rottingdean coastal route, which is flat, easy and is 9 miles long. Further outside the city are the Devil’s Dyke, in the South Downs, which rewards cyclists with a beautiful view of the valley, and Cuckmere, Heathfield, where the valley and the Cuckmere River await anyone who makes the effort to cycle out to it.
We’ll close this article with our top tip. Free and suitable for all the family is to spend a sunny day in Queens Park, which is only a five minute walk from the New Steine Hotel. This tranquil park is situated from the usual tourist places. The park is quiet and is great for a picnic. If you’re looking for something active to do in the park, there are tennis courts and orienteering options, or if you’re looking for something a little more tranquil, you can admire the wildlife garden. There’s also a café for a relaxed cup of coffee or snack. A day in the park is a great day out with no cost other than that of a cup of coffee and snacks at the coffee bar.