Brighton is a famous seaside resort and charming city on the south coast of England, in the county of East Sussex and almost immediately due south of the capital city London (76 km/47 mi). In 2000, the two neighbouring communities of Brighton and Hove joined together to form the unitary authority of the City of Brighton and Hove.
Brighton is known for its grand Regency architecture, several landmarks in an oriental-inspired architectural style including the Grade-I Listed Pavillion, and for its large gay community.
Brighton was a sleepy little fishing village, then known as Brighthelmstone, until Dr Richard Russell of Lewes began to prescribe the use of seawater for his patients. He advocated the drinking of seawater and sea-bathing in 1750. In 1753 he erected a large house near the beach for himself and for his patients. A further factor in Brighton's growth came in the early 19th Century when the Prince of Wales built the Royal Pavilion, an extravagant Regency building designed by John Nash. But it was only with the development of the railways, around 1840, that Brighton truly started to boom.
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Source: Wikipedia. Visit the Met Office for a five day forecast.
The city is convenient to London, and increasingly popular with media and music types who don't want to live in the capital. It is sometimes called "London-by-the-Sea" for this reason. Brighton is typically referred to as the gay capital of Britain. There is a significant gay district in Kemp Town which adds to the Bohemian atmosphere of the city. Whilst a day trip to Brighton, or even a long weekend, will offer activities and culture for the visitor all year round, it is in the springtime that the city really starts coming to life, and May sees the return of two of the most popular festivals, Brighton Festival and Festival Fringe (see Do). In the summer Brighton truely flourishes, with both residents and visitors alike enjoying lazy days and beautiful sunsets on what is perhaps the city's greatest asset, the five-mile plus stretch of shingle beach, facing south onto the English Channel.
Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom.
Trains to Brighton run from Victoria and London Bridge stations in London, taking about an hour (faster for the Brighton Express services from Victoria, although expect to add another 20 minutes if travelling during peak commuting times). Trains also run along the coast from Hastings and Lewes in the east, and Portsmouth and Chichester in the west. Brighton is on a direct line to Gatwick and Luton airports (Gatwick is much closer, being to the south of London).
Southern tickets to London and some other destinations can be purchased from as little as £3 (£2 with rail cards) one way, if purchased online from their website. The tickets can then be collected from the automated machines at your departure station.
You may wish to research before a visit on a Saturday, whether Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club are playing at home; on these match days, expect trains towards Brighton around lunchtime to be busy, and trains towards London around late afternoon to be busy. Arriving a little earlier - and leaving a little later - than planned should be a consideration if you dislike very busy trains.
Brighton is a congested city, and not easy to drive or park in at peak times. The principal route from London and Gatwick Airport is the A23. The A27 runs along the south coast, and is dual-carriageway for the most part. There are several car parks in central Brighton - expect to pay about £1.50 per hour, even on Sundays.
For a day on the beach, parking is available, though very limited, on the two roads parallel to the beach between the main pier and the marina, Madeira Drive and Marine Parade. As with many popular seaside resorts in England, the earlier you arrive on a warm, sunny day, the better your chances of getting yourself a space! Charges vary between seasons and the location premium, but generally in the height of summer expect to pay £15-20 per day closer to the pier, and £5-7 per day further east.
Alternatively to driving to the city center, parking (charges apply) is available at Worthing or Lewes rail stations, both about 20 minutes by train from the city centre. Another alternative is to use the city's Park and Ride service .
There are particular days in the year when it is very inadvisable to drive into Brighton:
- The children's parade day at the start of Brighton Festival . Usually the first Saturday in May. Many roads in the centre of Brighton are closed.
- The day of the annual London to Brighton Bike Ride. This is on a Sunday in June - tens of thousands of cyclists plus their support vehicles are in the city, so many roads will be blocked or difficult to get across.
- The parade day of the Brighton and Hove Pride week . Around first Saturday of August. Many roads in the centre of Brighton and around the pier area are closed to all traffic, and diversionary routes are long and/or not built for heavy traffic. Gridlock often ensues on Pride Saturday.
- The first Sunday of November when the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is held (unless, of course, you own a veteran car!)
- Any day with a significant amount of snow, as the storm may come suddenly or the roads may simply be unsafe.
- Any summer's day when the sun is shining and the whole of London decides to head to the Brighton beach.
Brighton and Hove Buses bus services run to Brighton from Eastbourne in the east and Tunbridge Wells in the north. Travel on Brighton & Hove Buses cost £2 per journey or £4 a day for Travel within Brighton (Southwick - Newhaven - Lewes - this is called a CitySaver). There is also a SuperSaver ticket for travel within Southwick to Eastbourne, for £5 a day. There are many discount fares ("CentreFares", online tickets) and tickets which cost more (Nightbuses - ranging from £2 for N7 and N25 to £5 for the N69). Children only receive a discount with a BusID. See Brighton and Hove Bus Company for details.
The city's proximity to London means Brighton is well served by airports. Brighton can be reached from Gatwick by train in as little as 25 minutes. Shoreham's airport (also known as Brighton City Airport) is located 5 miles to the west of Brighton. It is the nearest airport for light aircraft and also offers sightseeing flights. It is the oldest licensed airport in the UK.
Brightonians often give directions relative to a prominent landmark, the Clock Tower, which stands due south of the rail station where Queen's Road meets Dyke Road (oh yes it does), West Street, North Street and Western Road.
The oldest part of the city is the Lanes, which is bounded by North Street, West Street and East Street, though which runs Middle Street - and Ship Street. Beware the spelling of the similar-named North Laine (meaning "north fields") which is a boutique and alternative shopping nirvana, to the north side of North Street.
Western Road, a major shopping street runs East-West from the Clock Tower, whilst Eastern Road runs up a hill towards the main hospital from the area known as the Old Steine (rhymes with clean) which has Brighton Pier at the seafront here.
Running north from the working Pier, you find the memorable Royal Pavilion, a run down church St Peter's, and The Level, which is being developed. Going north east from here is Lewes Road (pronounced "Lewis") which takes you out to the city boundary and both of the Universities.
Hove (actually) is found to the west of Brighton. To the east of the city, there is Brighton Marina.
Although the area is hilly. cycling is a growing form of transport in Brighton. The city is one of Cycling England's "Cycling Demonstration Towns". More details on cycling, including a map of routes, can be found at the cycling section of the city council's website .
There is an extensive bus network in Brighton and Hove. In the city centre, services are very frequent and many stops have 'real-time' bus information. The majority of buses are run by one company, Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company. The best option for a visitor is to get a £4.40 CitySAVER all-day ticket to avoid the £2.20 single fares.
Children travel at half price, and pensioners free after 9AM (with a suitable RFID card). If travelling by train, you can add a "plus bus" CitySAVER option on your ticket for £2, or get a CitySAVER for £3 at Brighton Station bus stops.
There's a limited number of routes between the City Centre and the Universities served weekdays by a bright yellow bus company called "The Big Lemon". , costing just £1.50 for a single and £2 for an all day pass.
On a small number of days a year, buses are disrupted by parades etc. - the same days as in the "By car" section above.
Many of Brighton & Hove Bus's vehicles are named after celebrities (some living, some deceased) and individuals who have made a contribution to Brighton & Hove city life in some significant manner.
Brighton Station is one of the most important rail terminals in the South East and from here the city of Brighton has a small suburban rail network with trains serving areas of Hove, Preston Park and also to the main campuses of the universities (Moulsecoomb, Falmer) which run around every 15 minutes and take about 10 minutes. Trains also run along the coast to Ashford in the east (connecting to cross-channel services) and Portsmouth in the west. Brighton has excellent rail connections to London with the capital in reach under an hour.
Note that Southern and First Capital Connect services do not carry bicycles during peak hours (7AM-10AM and 4PM-7PM).
There are vast numbers of taxis in Brighton. They are however more expensive than most other towns and cities in England. It is worth noting that on Friday and Saturday after midnight, the hire charge for a taxi is £4.10 before the journey starts.
The main taxi ranks are at Brighton train station and at East Street (near the Lanes). (Smaller ranks dotted around include: Queen Square (opposite Churchill Square), the north side of St. Peter's Church and the bottom of Montpelier Road.)
Authorised Cabs - Streamline (Hove) 202020 - Streamline (Brighton) 747474 - Radio Cabs 204060
- Brighton Pier (The railings outside the front of Brighton station mark the subterranean entrance to Trafagar Street), ☎ +44 1273 749494. Aka the Palace Pier has all the usual seafront arcade attractions. There is also the wreck of West Pier which was derelict for some time before finally burning down recently. Brighton Pier is all owned by the same company, so there's no real point shopping around for bargains on it (unlike other UK piers); but this does mean it has forced off threats to close it. The pier stands at the foot Grand Parade, south of the Old Steine.
- Brighton Beach. In the summer, the pebble beach is covered in tourists and Brightonians alike. Poi twirlers strike a beautiful image against the sunsets, and flaming lanterns are launched into the air on summer evenings. To the east of Brighton there is a designated nudist beach. The pebble beach gives way to a flat sandy seabed just below mid tide line so time your swimming to the low tide and avoid the painful feet. Just beyond the Marina is an area for surfers. Fishermen cast their rods from the Marina or by the giant doughnut.
- The Lanes -an area of small shops, the tumbled street plan reflecting the layout of the original fishing village of Brighton which was located here. Almost every shop in the Lanes is a jewellery shop, although there are also cafes, bars, record shops, a shop that sells vintage weapons, and a whole host of Italian restaurants.
- North Laine (sometimes incorrectly called the North Lanes). A wild nest of alternativism, The North Laine area is walked by dreadlocked hippies, bright colours, punks, goths and oddballs. The shops sell everything from bongs to magic potions, from giant wooden hands to fairy wings and from bagels to fire staffs, as well as a full complement of cafes, bars, second hand clothes stores and newsagents. The area is north of the Lanes on the other side of North Street.
- Sea Life Centre. An aquarium with walkthrough underwater tunnel, adjacent to Brighton Pier. This is the oldest working Aquarium in the world.
- Royal Pavilion, ☎ +44 1273 290900. Oct-Mar 10AM-5:15PM daily (last tickets 4:30PM), Apr-Sep 9:30AM-5:45PM (last tickets 5PM), closed from 2:30PM 24 Dec and all day on 25-26 Dec. An interesting architectural attraction, transformed between 1815 and 1823 by the architect John Nash, at the direction of the then Prince Regent (later King George IV), into a sumptuous pleasure palace by the sea. The exterior has an Indian theme, whilst the interior was decorated with Chinese decor. Guided tours available and well worthwhile. admission £10.00, £5.70 children, other concessions available.
- The Old Steine The centrepiece of Brighton's 'floral gateway', this features a rotating selection of flowerbeds, a fountain, and cafe. During the Brighton Fringe Festival (in May) there is often a large outdoor exhibition where performances take place.
- St James's Street / Kemp Town Brighton's gay village, lending the city the title of 'Gay Capital of Britain', is a short walk east of the city centre. Not only does it cater to the LGBT community but also is home to a wealth of restaurants and cafes. Continuing in the same direction you reach the rather more low-key and genteel area of Kemptown Village, with another clutch of antique shops.
- Theatre Royal, Pavilion Theatre, Corn Exchange Theatre, Dome Concert Hall Theatre and music venues all located in the 'Cultural Quarter' that encompasses New Road, Jubilee Street and parts of North Laine.
- Brighton Museum and Art Gallery An interesting Museum and history, culture and art to do with Brighton and beyond. An excellent permanent collection as well as brilliant exhibitions from international artists.
- Brighton Toy and Model Museum, 52-55 Trafalgar St (Opposite Frederick Place. The subterranean entrance to Trafalgar Street is behind the safety railings outside the front of the station.), ☎ +44 1273 749494. 10-5 Tues-Fri, 11-5 Sat. A little, unknown museum hiding under the viaduct of Brighton Station, specialising in toys from the first half of the Twentieth Century.
- The Booth Museum of Natural History Situated a bit out of town up Dyke Road, this spectacular collection of taxidermy features over 300 bird specimens, a giant bear, a feejee mermaid and the infamous "Bone Room".
- Komedia Major comedy club in North Laine.
- Brighton Marina with boats, pubs, restaurants, a supermarket and even a hotel, well to the East of the town centre.
- Volks Railway. The first public electric railway in the world, opened in 1883, runs from the Aquarium at Brighton Pier to Black Rock near the Marina (operates April to September).
- Fabrica. Contemporary art gallery that specialises in new commissioned site specific work. As an artist led space this is a unique venue in the southeast that shows important new works by international artists. Fabrica is not a selling gallery but a place that offers access to exciting large scale work and media installations. It is housed in a renovated church on the corner of Ship St and Duke St in the City centre, entrance is free.
- Lighthouse Another contemporary art gallery located in Kensington Street, North Laine. Like Fabrica it has no permanent collection and is purely artist led. The gallery itself is at the site of a disused warehouse.
- Grand Parade An art gallery located in Brightons most central university campus. The gallery often has exhibitions of students work as well as a wealth of international artists. It is located near St. Peter's Church just north of the Old Steine.
- Phoenix Another art gallery housing works from artists from all over the world. The gallery is in quite a central part of the city and is right next to Grand Parade.
- Ink D A small but trendy little space that exhibits obscure artists works as well as design. It is located at the bottom of North Road, North Laine.
- Jubilee Square A modern redevelopment towards the south of Brighton's North Laine. As well as the location of the magnificent Jubilee Library, the square also offers upmarket restaurants and cafe culture.
- Roedean School, Roedean Way, one of Britain's most famous and expensive girls' schools, the huge stone building looks out across the Channel.
- University of Sussex. Spacious campus with notable architecture by Sir Basil Spence. (Three stops from Brighton Station on the line to Lewes).
- St Bartholomews Church One of Europe's tallest churches (from floor to ceiling). Towering over Brighton, this extraordinary church is not exactly the prettiest church in the world, however its gigantic structure and incredible decoration makes this church a must-see attraction. A real gem in Brighton's history which needs tourism and donations as it has recently been under threat from closure.
- Embassy Court This famous 1930s art deco building was nearly demolished in the early 2000s, but has since been fully restored to its modernist reality. There are artists studios underneath. Tours of the building take place during the Festival.
- Brighton Fishing Museum, 201 King's Road, The Lanes, Brighton and Hove, BN1 1NB, United Kingdom (Public Transport Nearest Bus Service: Pool Valley - 5 mins walk Nearest Railway Station: Brighton - 15 mins walk), ☎ +44 1273 723064. 11AM – 5PM everyday. The Brighton Fishing Museum showcases the history and heritage of Brighton’s fishing industry through a wealth of photographs, remarkable artefacts and restored traditional Sussex clinker fishing boats.
- Brighton Theatres. Brighton is a great place to see a theatres show or even a gig. There are many many theatres and venues in and around Brighton.
- Watch Brighton & Hove Albion play at their brand-spanking new ground at Falmer, or check out their old place Withdean Athletics Stadium where there is still regular track & field meets.
- Shop until you drop. Calling into many of the quirky shops in the Laines looking for that elusive deleted LP/ leather bound book/ one-off party dress/ organic beer, can be a highlight and a chance to uncover hidden gems.
- Duke of York's Cinema, Preston Circus (15 minutes' walk up the London Road from the Steine). The Duke of York's Cinema is Brighton's art house cinema, and the oldest continually operating cinema in Europe. Opened in 1910, it still has a single screen, which shows a mix of art house and more mainstream films, with a Kid's Club on Saturday mornings. The building itself is recognisable by the giant fibreglass legs on the roof. The bar on the first floor is a good place for a drink before the film, with a balcony that has good views of the street below. The (screening-room) balcony at first floor level has two-seat sofas, the ground floor regular cinema seats.
- Brighton Festival. The, in May each year is the second biggest arts festival in Great Britain (coming closely behind Edinburgh). Music (all sorts), art exhibitions, book debates, and much, much more.
- Brighton Festival Fringe. The. The Fringe runs at the same time as the main Festival, and features over 600 events, including comedy, theatre, music, and "open houses" (local artists exhibiting in their own homes) and tours (haunted pubs, Regency Brighton, churches, cemeteries, sewers etc.).
- Brighton Pride. Considered by many to be the biggest and the best Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trangender Pride Festival in the UK, attracting more than 100,000 people annually to Brighton for the week-long festival in late July-early August. Witnessing its 20th anniversary, Brighton Pride Festival starts Saturday 1st Sept.
- the London to Brighton Bike Ride, A 58 mile charity ride held each June to benefit the British Heart Foundation. The Ride has raised over £26 million for heart research since its inception in 1980, from the efforts of over 550,000 riders. Suitable for all levels of riders, the route passes through glorious countryside on the approach to Brighton.
- The Great Escape: 19-21 May 2016 . New Music festival
It is home to two universities, the University of Sussex (situated on the edge of the city at Falmer) and the University of Brighton which is a split campus university with the campus split around the city.
Shopping is one of the main reasons to visit Brighton. But don't get stuck in the mainstream shopping area around Western Road. There are a huge array of shops catering for all tastes but the impressive assortment of independent shops and boutiques is something that differentiates Brighton from many other British cities. The atmosphere in the North Laine and in The Lanes is one of the intangible aspects of the city that leaves many wanting to return time and time again. Brighton is especially good for Music, Books and independent clothes shops.
- North Laine contains heaps of shops and market stalls to tempt everyone’s quirky or vintage fancies without a chain shop in sight. There is a flea market with numerous stalls in Kensington Gardens and another, 'The North Laine Antiques & Fleamarket' in neaby Upper Gardner Street. Shops tend to get less mainstream, the further north into the North Laine area you go.
- The Lanes are known for their independent shops, especially antique shops and jewellers. The Lanes Armoury is world famous for selling antique war memorabilia and weapons. The confectionery shop Choccywoccydoodah (Duke St.) boasts its own TV show.
- Brighton is packed full of independent record shops, most of which sell vinyl, including Resident (Kensington Gdns) which was voted "England's favourite indie record shop" in 2011, Borderline (Gardner St) and Across The Tracks , all in the North Laine area. The Record Album (8 Terminus Rd., just above the station) is a small shop specialising in vinyl soundtracks and other retro curiosities.
- Churchill Square Shopping Centre and the surrounding area offer more mainstream goods, but are invaluable if that's what you're looking for.
- London Road is an unglamorous "High Street" type shopping area with some genuine bargains, particularly at the Open Market. There is a concentration of electronics, photographic and hi-fi retailers towards the northern end, around Preston Circus.
- Brighton Marina contains more up-market shops.
- The pedestrianised George St. is Hove's main shopping area, but it is not really worth a detour if you are already in central Brighton.
- Beaded Lily Glass Works (Brighton & Hove's Most Creative Bead Studio!), 32 Church Rd, ☎ +44 7856 1106 08. By Appointment. Where Learning & Creativity Meet Atmosphere: Handmade glass lampwork beads created on-site! Come see our unique selection of hand-crafted designer jewellery & unique beading accessories. Plus a long list of cool courses, including glass bead making and jewellery design.
Brighton has excellent food, especially for vegetarians. The most famous vegetarian restaurant (and, after a recent buy out, now fairly expensive) is Food for Friends situated in The Lanes. On the other end of the scale, there are many takeaways in Brighton catering for different kinds of tastes (pizza, Chinese, Mexican, Indian food). Prices are usually fairly cheap and most are open until late.
- No seaside town is complete without seafood stalls. On the seafront, about 100m west of the pier, are a clutch of stands offering snacks of cockles and mussels, crab sandwiches, fish soup and oysters, all for a few pounds. Daytime only.
- The Small Batch Coffee Company. Has locations including Brighton and Hove.
- The Bombay Aloo, ☎ +44 1273 776038 39. Ship St. All-you-can-eat Indian vegetarian buffet, a tremendous bargain, particularly between 3:15PM and 5:15PM. Often gets crowded, but ask about the upstairs room before giving up. The Bombay Lounge in North Street, and Bombay Mix in St. James's St are similar.
- Foodilic, 60 North Street, BN1 1RH, ☎ +44 1273 774138. North Street, is another buffet restaurant, with a variety of vegetarian dishes and some carnivorous options.
- Little Bay Brighton, 60-64 Kings Road, BN1 1NA, ☎ +44 1273 731330, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mon-Sun 07:00 until 00:00. A Modern European restaurant on the Kings Road seafront offering high quality cuisine at the best value for money prices. The quirky theatrical decor makes for a romantic evening or a great location for the family. There is Live Entertainment 7 Days-A-Week ranging from their signature Live Opera through Folk and Jazz to Cabaret. £9.95 3-course meal.
- Pom Poko, 110 Church Street. A delightful, small, genuine Japanese cafe, selling a wide range of delicious dishes for a very reasonable price. (Note: if you are eating alone or if there is space at your table, often other diners will be seated with you, which can make some people feel uncomfortable) Take-away available.
- The Regency, Kings Rd (on the seafront almost opposite the collapsing West Pier). Good value fish and seafood restaurant that won't break the bank.
- Burger Off, 52 Brunswick St W, ☎ +44 1273 326655. Best Burgers you will ever taste Family run with a Five Star Health inspectorate Rating, well worth a visit
- Grubb Burgers (89 St James's St, Western Rd, London Rd, Lewes Road) are something of a local legend, renowned for their many sauces and toppings.
- Market Diner (Circus St.). A "greasy spoon" famed for its all-night opening hours and "gutbusters".
- Pablos, 36 Ship Street, ☎ +44 1273 20812. Brighton and Hove. Serves great Italian food, with pizzas and pasta dishes starting at £2.50. It is popular in the evening so expect to wait for a table unless you make a reservation, getting a table during the day is usually no problem.
- Hell's Kitchen. In Gardner St. is not a sit-down restaurant but rather a New York style deli offering bagels, salt beef etc.
- Preston Street, ☎ +44 871 2071847. On the border of Hove and Brighton has a string of low to mid priced ethnic restaurants. For instance, China China at number 74 is a good value (around six pounds per person) Chinese restaurant, with lots of seating, five minutes from the beach.
- Bills Produce Store and Café, The Depot, 100 North Rd, ☎ +44 1273 692894, fax: +44 1273 692387. M-Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 10AM-4PM. consistently highly rated and reviewed, the café at Bills specialises in organic munchies of the best type.
- Gar's (Meeting House Lane). Possibly the best Chinese restaurant in town.
- The George pub, on Trafalgar Street near the train station, serves only the finest vegetarian meals and snacks. Wi-Fi available.
- La Cave a Fromage (an English pun in French), 34-35 Western Rd, ☎ +44 1273 725500. Hove. Amazing wine and cheese platters that are constantly changing and very special. Great service.
- Terre à Terre, 71 East St, ☎ +44 1273 729051. Well-respected vegetarian restaurant, with a lively crowd and bright décor - voted 2nd best British restaurant in the Observer Food Monthly 2004.
- Due South, 139 Kings Rd, ☎ +44 1273 821218. Arches. Great food and location at this relative newcomer
- The Eagle, 125 Gloucester Rd, ☎ +44 1273 607765. Great vegan, vegetarian and carnivorous food
- The Greys, 105 Southover St, ☎ +44 1273 680734. 11th best pub in the UK in 2004. Famous for its food, and chef "Spats" (no child licence.)
- The Open House, 146 Springfield Rd, ☎ +44 1273 880102. 20th best pub in UK in 2004. Large, child-friendly pub next to London Road train station. Good food and drink.
- Bardsley's, 22-23a Baker St (Just off London Road, near the level park), ☎ +44 1273 681256. 11:30AM-2:30PM & 4PM-8:30PM. Fine fish and chip restaurants serving delicious fish and chips as well as some really excellent specials (roys shark steaks are amazing). The family run restaurant has fantastic reviews. It is very popular with locals.
- Planet India, 4-5 Richmond Parade, ☎ +44 1273 818149. Tu-Su 6PM-10PM. Great Indian vegetarian restaurant that serves an authentic menu within a friendly atmosphere (barefoot waiter included!). under £10.
- Moshimo. An unusual conveyor-belt sushi restaurant, unusually located in a glass-sided building, the "opticon", in Bartholomew Square.
- Gobi.(East St.) Concept restaurant where you select your own ingredients and have them cooked in front of you.
- There is a stretch of Western road with several Middle Eastern and North African restaurants, for instance Kambi's,(Number 107) Mascara(Number 10) and Sahara (Number of 103).
- Giggiling Squid (11 Market St, 159 Church Rod) Good-value Thai restaurants noted for their lunchtime tapas.
- Englishs, 30-31 East Street, ☎ +44 1273 327980. 29-. Known as the best seafood restaurant in the city, this place is not cheap at around £20 for a main course. Decor and clientele tend towards the old-school.
- Havana, 32 Duke St, ☎ +44 1273 773388. Located in the converted Theatre Royal opened in 1790, the enticing facade mirrors the exquisite international cuisine but expect a hefty bill as this is a popular with the Rich and Famous (Orlando Bloom is known to visit when in town).
- The original Gingerman fine-dining restaurant (Norfolk Sq.) garnered numerous accolades and spawned three sister operations: the Ginger Fox (Muddleswood Rd), the Ginger Pig (Hove) and the Ginger Dog (Kemptown).
- The Chilli Pickle. Is a high-concept Indian restaurant in Jubilee Square.
There are many, many pubs and bars catering for all tastes. Any list of reasonable length will be far from complete; if there's a street in central Brighton there is likely to be a pub on it. LGBT-orientated pubs, bars and clubs are mostly located in the Kemp Town area of the city, in the vicinity of St James's Street and Marine Drive.
Station and Trafalgar Street
- The Evening Star, 55-56 Surrey St (200 m from railway station), ☎ +44 1273 328931. If you enjoy real ales this is a must. They have a wide selection of tap ales, ciders and bottled Headbangers too. Best of all, it's really cheap!
- The Great Eastern, 103 Trafalgar Court, ☎ +44 1273 685681. Offers a wide range of US bourbons and rye whiskeys.
- The Prince Albert, Trafalgar Street. Boisterous indie kids' pub, with a selection of local ales and a mural of its patron saint, John Peel.
- The Lord Nelson, 36 Trafalgar St. The "Nellie" is a thoroughly traditional, multi-roomed pub serving a range of ales from the 200 year old brewery in nearby Lewes.
- Trafalgar Wines an off-licence with an amazing array of bottled beers from around the world.
- The Heart and Hand. (75 North Rd) This traditional pub, just off Queen's Rd., is an indie kids' favourite, famed for its jukebox.
- Basketmakers Arms, 12 Gloucester Rd, ☎ +44 1273 689006. Great traditional backstreet pub located on a side street in the North Laine area. Excellent choice of English ales and excellent good value food. Often busy so arrive early to bag a seat.
- The Eagle, directly opposite is also excellent.
- The Office, Sydney Street, specialises in multitudinous varieties of gin.
- Nine Green Bottles, Jubilee Street, is a wine bar and merchant.
- The Cricketers (14 Black Lion St.). Brighton's oldest pub, with a plush Victorian interior. Pricey.
- Hotel du Vin and Pub du Vin (Ship St.). Two excellent but very pricey operations in the Lanes.
- The Victory (Duke Street). Old fashioned green tiled pub with fine ales and gigs going on upstairs.
- The Royal Pavilion Tavern, 7 Castle Sq. A cheap pub colloquially known as the 'Pav Tav'. Expect to see just about any type of person in here from Indie Kids and Goths to Old Men and Chavs who somehow all manage to co-exist harmoniously. There is also a nightclub above the pub.
- The King and Queen, 13-17 Marlborough Pl. A faux traditional old pub that never loses its popularity! The decor is in a fake-medieval style, but the place is fun if you like a studenty atmosphere. Especially popular with students from the language school called St.Giles close to the pub always hang out here. It is a meeting point for them. As the name of the pub shows, there are portraits of former English kings and queens. The pub has a high ceiling and the space is large. Various forms of entertainment which include karaoke, televised sport and occasional live music.
Churchill Square and Seafront
- The Quadrant.(12-13 North St.) Historic, precipitously multi-level pub by the Clocktower, with good beer and live performances.
- Fortune of War. (157 Kings Road Arches). The most interesting beachside pub, designed to look like a galleon. Can heave as well!
- Regency Tavern, 32-34 Russell Sq. Very welcoming if pricey pub, attracting a quiet, mixed clientelle. It is renowned for its kitsch decor, which becomes extra fabulous during Christmas and Valentine's Day
Western Road area
- Craft, (22 Upper North Road, behind Top Shop). Beer geek's heaven, with 9 cask ales, 30 draught beers and more yet in bottles.
- Temple Bar (121 Western Road). Large pub in a shopping area, serving a good selection of Sussex ales and world beers. Somewhat pricey.
- The Bee's Mouth, 10 Western Road. Hove. This self-described "jazz dive" serves a selection of potent and pricey world beers in faux-oriental ambience resembling one of Amsterdam's more smokily atmospheric venues.
- The Farm Tavern (Farm Rd. Hove). Cosy, friendly pub with a small but well chosen selection of ales, in a side street off Western Road.
- Lion and Lobster. (24 Sillwood St.) Large pub with cluttered, Victorian junk shop interior. There are screens for watching sport, but it is also possible to get away from it.
- Sussex Cricketer (Eaton Road) is a large pub near the cricket ground, with a good menu and selection of ales.
- The Foragers. Is a gastrobub emphasising local and organic ingredients.
- Poet's Corner (Montgomery St). Hove's best Harvey's pub. Regular live music is offered, and the pub is home to a Folk club.
- Bali Brasserie (Indonesian-Malaysian Restaurant in Hove), Kingsway Court, First Avenue, Hove, East Sussex, ☎ 01273 323 810, e-mail: email@example.com. Bali Brasserie is one of the finest Brighton restaurants renowned for delicious Indonesian and Malaysian cuisines.
St James's Street and Kemptown
- Bar56 (56 George St.) A modern and funky bar, offering a relaxing atmosphere during the day, before turning in to a pre club bar at night. They also offer regular cabaret nights as well as a weekly quiz night.
- The Barley Mow (92 St George's St.) Perhaps the best of a good selection of pubs in Kemptown village, with Sussex ales and fresh cooked food.
- The Black Dove 74 St. James' Street. Eclectic and interesting surroundings, very impressive beer and cider list, live music and performance arts in an intimate space. Worth a visit!
- Bulldog, 31 St James's St, ☎ +44 1273 696996. The oldest gay bar in Brighton. Mostly 30+ clientele. The lights are dark, the music loud, and the drinks are cheap. A real love-it-or-hate-it venue, but always memorable. Su-T Free, F-S membership + entry fee required.
- Charles Street, 8 Marine Parade. LGBT-orientatated bar. Half-price drinks (exc. sparkling wine and cocktails) M-F 5-9PM, Sun 8.30PM-close. Small dance floor. Get there early to get a table. Outside smoking garden, sheltered but no heaters. Entry fee selected nights.
- The Hand in Hand (33 Upper St. James's St.) Everything is quirky about this little pub from the eccentric regulars to the collection of Edwardian erotica on the ceiling. Live music on Sundays if you can squeeze in.
- The Ranelagh, 2-3 High Street. M-T 11AM-1AM, F 11AM-2AM, S 12PM-2AM, Su 12PM-1AM. Blues pub with regular gigs, real ale and a musical decor to match.
- The Royal Oak A serious ale bar run by the Basketmakers team.
- The St. James's Tavern, 16 Madeira Place. Laid back pub offering over 70 rums, decent real ales, Thai food and an atmosphere all its own.
- The Sidewinder, 65 Upper St James's Street, ☎ +44 1273 679927. Su-T 12PM-1AM, Sa-Su 12PM-2AM. Cosy pub, live music some nights. Great beer garden with lots of tables and about ten heated booths; fantastic smokers' pub. Entry free.
- The Tea Cosy, 3 George St. Tea and scones in a very British, patriotic setting. Lots of retro things inside here and a large tea menu. At weekends it is well worth booking ahead.
The Hanover area of Brighton (north-east of the centre, walk north from St. James, or cross the Level from the bottom of Trafalgar St.) has numerous excellent pubs in close proximity (hence its nickname: "Hangover") to each other and is well worth the 15 minute walk from the city centre. The stand-out is the Greys at the bottom (mercifully) of Southover street. Brighton's best known pub crawl takes place in this area — up Southover St and down Islingword Rd (or vice-versa) — but do note that the hill is very steep! The atmosphere is more relaxed than the centre and the historic Victorian terraced streets with their brightly coloured houses are also notable. In Southover Street and you will find the Geese, Greys, Dover Castle, Sir Charles Napier and Pub With No Name, all of which are worth a visit. Islingword Road runs parallel to Southover Street and there you will find the Constant Service, Horse & Groom, London Unity and Cornerstone. There is also a small but good beer festival once a year in Hanover.
Well off the tourist trail, Brighton's relatively gritty northern sprawl is home to a number of boozers, some rough, others diamonds.
- Mitre (Bond Street) Traditional Harvey's pub, just off the London Road shopping area, with quietly dotty regulars.
- Druids Arms. (Ditchling Road) Strenuously eccentric pub (the landlord sports a fez!) with cheap beer and Thai food. Located where the Open Market backs onto the Level.
- Cobbler's Thumb (New England Road) Scruffy, studenty and utterly laid-back.
- Preston Park Tavern (Havelock Road,near Preston Park Station). Gastropub with a good line in ales.
- The Dome and Corn Exchange are large, neighbouring venues, both architecturally distinguished, being parts of the Royal Pavilion complex. Well known acts are interspersed with more avant garde choices.
- The Brighton Centre, on the seafront, is the largest live performance venue in town, although far from the best loved as a building. The programme is mainstream.
- Tru. Large West Street club, popular with stag and hen parties, distinctly less with the so-hip-it-hurts crowd.
- Digital is a the new name for the Zap club, a large seafront nightclub purveying cutting-edge sounds. Mostly DJ-based, but such acts as Frankmusic have appeared. The Honey Club and Brighton Coalition and Buddha Lounge are nearby.
- Carnivalesque, currently at the Coalition, King's Road Arches blends clubbing and cabaret.
- Komedia in the heart of the North Laine area is a multi-room venue with a wide variety of comedy and music.
- Audio / Above Audio, 10 Marine Parade. Audio is medium capacity nightclub catering for fairly specialist musical tastes through a particularly large sound system. Above Audio is an award winning (National Theme Bar and Restaurant Awards) late night bar serving great cocktails and (when offered) good food. Wi-Fi available.
- Concorde 2. A medium-sized venue with a busy schedule of live music, located a stone's throw from the pier.
- Casablanca. (3 Middle St) Scruffy, studenty club offering Jazz, Funk LAtin and Disco from DJ's and live acts.
- Deviant at Belushi's, Pool Valley is currently Brighton's leading rock and metal club nite, after the demise of the both the Hungry Years and the Engine Room.
- Volks (Madeira Drive) Small nightclub offering "underground" music — appropriately, it is built into a seafront archway.
- Jazz Place (10 Ship Street) Small, basement club specialising in the funky rather than beard-stroking end of the jazz spectrum. The Loft, upstairs in the same building is a more typical club.
- Funky Fish Club.(Madeira Hotel, 19-23 Marine Parade) A sweaty Soul and R'n'B club where the more mature need not feel uncomfortable.
- Brighton Ballroom (George St. Brighton) This Kemptown club is housed in the architectural splendour of the Sassoon Mausoleum, and offers a bill of retro (as far as the 1920s!) music and cabaret. Clubbing for grown-ups.
- Green Door Store. club and live music venue in the arches beneath the station.
- Latest Music Bar. A medium sized live venue with a varied, generally trendy, bill of fare, just off the seafront.
- The Verdict. (Edrward Street).A specal purpose Jazz venue and supper club, norht of St James's Street.
- Jive Monkey. (Steine Street). Small upstairs venue off St James's Street, offering Caberet and Jazz.
- Sticky Mike's Frog Bar. Arty venue in Middle Street.
- The Brunswick in Holland Rd., Hove is a large pub venue hosting several performances a week of comedy, jazz, funk, soul and cabaret. Ticket prices are generally not much more than £5.
- The Prince Albert 48 Trafalgar Street. One of Brighton's oldest pubs, and an Indie venue (music upstairs) instantly recognisable from its outside mural of the late John Peel, and invaluable early Banksy graffito.
- The Ranelagh, St.James St/High St. This small pub is an intimate Blues music venue at night, with garden for watching the world pass by. Wi-Fi available.
- The Greys (Southover Street) is a tiny pub venue which only hosts live music occasionally, but is nonetheless worth keeping an eye on because the (mostly acoustic) acts are so well chosen. Advance booking highly advisable. Also respected for its food and drink.
- The Hope (Queen's Road), the Fiddler's Elbow (Boyce St.), The Cobbler's Thumb (New England Rd.) and The Neptune (Victoria Terrace, Kingsway, Hove) are other music pubs.
- St Christopher's Brighton Hostel, 10-12 Grand Junction Rd, ☎ +44 1273 202035. (bookings are taken via the central office, tel: +44 20 7407-1856) Directly next to the National Express coach station, on the seafront and with direct view of Brighton Pier; bed in a – albeit fairly cramped – mixed dorm from £16 a night, continental breakfast included; hotel rooms are also available; clean, no curfew, friendly staff. Note the hostel rooms are directly above a pub so if you are planning on getting some sleep this may not be the best choice for you!
- Grapevine Seafront, 75 Middle St, ☎ +44 1273 777717.
- Grapevine North Laines, 30 North Rd, ☎ +44 1273 703985. Located on the North Laines with a great cafe, this place is a fantastic place to stay and eat. Mixed dorm Rooms start at around £12 per person per night depending on season and you are right in the action with great pubs, bars, restaurants and shops surrounding you.
- Abbey Hotel, 14-19 Norfolk Ter, ☎ +44 1273 778771. A good, clean budget hotel, with rooms starting at £29.50 per person and £53 for a double/twin.
- Baggies Backpackers, 33 Oriental Pl, ☎ +44 1273 733740. A gorgeous and clean backpackers with a warm and friendly vibe. It's just off the beach two blocks west from the Old Pier.
- Gullivers B&B, 12a New Steine, ☎ +44 1273 695415. Right in the city centre, approximately 250 m from Brighton Pier. Double Rooms from £46.25pppn.
- Kipps Hostel, 76 Grand Parade, ☎ +44 1273 604182. Close to Old Stein, Kipps is a pleasant place to stay with a variety of room sizes (10 share mixed dorm to private rooms). The staff are very helpful and welcoming.
- The Brighton Hotel, 143-145 Kings Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 2PQ, ☎ +44 1273 820555, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. This Grade II listed hotel is on the seafront directly opposite the Brighton Bandstand.
- Granville Hotel, 124 Kings Rd, ☎ +44 1273 326302. It's right on the seafront, with no other buildings between it and the beach, and so half of its 24 rooms have a great view of the sea. Each room is decorated in a different style - Japanese, Art Deco, Wedgwood and lace, etc. Some of the rooms have built-in Jacuzzis in the en-suite baths. Well-executed breakfasts, including a vegetarian (and optionally vegan) version of a full English breakfast. Seaview rooms start from £108 (price for two people including breakfast); other rooms are £88. All rooms are non-smoking.
- Mercure Brighton Seafront Hotel, 149 Kings Rd, ☎ +44 844 815 9061, e-mail: email@example.com. This grand Victorian beachfront hotel was built back in 1864 and has all the period features. Located next to Brighton Pier. Internet access in all rooms. Double rooms from £100 per night.
- New Steine Hotel, 10-11 New Steine, ☎ +44 1273 695415, +44 1273 681546. New Steine Hotel is right in the heart of Brighton city centre, a few hundred metres from the Pier. The restaurant, the New Steine Bistro has been awarded the AA Breakfast and Dinner Award for outstanding quality and service. Double rooms from £95 per night.
- Park Inn, Lansdowne Pl, ☎ +44 1273 736266. Seafront boutique hotel close to all that Brighton has to offer.
- Grand Hotel, Kings Rd, ☎ +44 1273 224300. The only 5 star hotel in Brighton. On the seafront, 200 rooms from £120 a night.
- Lansdowne Hotel, Lansdowne Pl, ☎ +44 1273 736266. Boutique hotel with spa and wedding facilities £90 single, £130 double.
- Hotel Du Vin, ☎ +44 1273 718588. Close to the Sea front and the pier with a beautiful courtyard entry. This is where the stars stay when in Brighton. Great restaurant as well. Rooms start at around £175 but many would say 'completely worth it for the exclusivity alone'.
- Royal York Hotel, Old Steine, ☎ +44 1273 766700. Boutique Hotel with karaoke, cocktail bar and restaurant rooms start at £150.
- The Claremont, Second Ave, Hove, ☎ +44 1273 735161. 5 star hotel 50 yards from the seafront in Hove. Single £75, double from £125.
- Queen's Hotel, 1 Kings Rd, ☎ +44 1273 321222. Contemporary, fresh and centrally located 3* Seafront hotel boasting breathtaking Channel views, spacious rooms, swimming pool,steam room,sauna & gym. Free Wi-Fi. Great restaurant menu,extensive wine,cocktail & Champagne list. Enjoy a high quality stay at a sensible rate. Our best prices are available online.
- The Thistle, Kings Rd, ☎ +44 871 376 9041. Has swimming pool, sauna, and spa, as well as an AA awarded restaurant and hotel bar. From £99.
- Hotel Una, ☎ +44 1273 820464. Hotel Una tucked away in Regency Square just adjacent to the West pier, singles start at £55 and stretch up to £375 for their top room. Bit of a secret at the moment, well worth discovering. Excellent website shows all the individual room styles.
- Kemp Townhouse, ☎ +44 1273 681400. Stylish and very comfortable boutique hotel in the heart of Brighton, with a Visit Britain five star rating. Singles start at £70, and doubles at £90. Not the cheapest, but excellent value for affordable luxury
- Oriental Brighton Bed and Breakfast (B&B and Guesthouse), The Oriental, 9 Oriental Pl, ☎ +44 1273 205050. Beautiful bed and breakfast in the heart of Brighton.
- Hilton Metropole, Kings Rd (on the seafront to the west of the pier), ☎ +44 1273 775432. Check-in: 3PM, check-out: Noon. Hotel with a distinguished history, much of which is still visible in the reception and dining areas. Positives are large rooms and family-friendly policy that gives 50% discount on second room for kids. Offsetting this is the generally poor maintenance and disappointing service levels. £100+.
Although Brighton is generally a safe place, like every other big city it has its share of problems. Visitors should be advised that the city centre can get quite rowdy at weekends, and West Street is best avoided after midnight. The sheer volume of people on weekends combined with alcohol consumption make Friday and Saturday nights on this street potentially volatile. However, it is still perfectly possible to have a civilised Friday or Saturday night at one of the venues favoured by locals and sensible tourists.
Brighton attracts quite a large number of homeless people, although most of these individuals are harmless. They will likely only ask you for money and, if you refuse, will simply go on to the next person. Drug-users often gather around London Road and the Level, although these places are perfectly safe before dark. Some areas on the outskirts, such as Whitehawk and Moulsecoomb, have a bad reputation, but most tourists would have little reason to visit them anyway, being far removed from the main attractions and cultural venues the city has to offer.
As with most LGBT-friendly towns and cities, caution should still be used for same-sex public displays of affection in certain areas, but by-and-large the diversity of Brighton & Hove is both celebrated and welcomed. In Hove, The Lanes and North Laine areas of the city, same-sex displays of affection will generally go unnoticed and are seen by most residents as acceptable as the norm between men and women. In the Kemp Town and Kemp Town Village areas especially, any homophobic abuse towards LGBT visitors would likely be met by residents with outright hostility towards the perpetrator of such abuse.
Lifeguards patrol the city’s beaches from the end of May until the first weekend in September; signposts on the beach show which areas are covered. In an emergency related to the sea, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.
There are plenty of internet cafes around, prices are usually about £1/hour.
Free Wi-Fi is reasonably common in Brighton. Loose connection provides free Wi-Fi in a number of pubs around Brighton . Pier to pier is a collective that provides free Wi-Fi along the beachfront . The City of Brighton provides a list of free hotspots on their website .
- The Lanes
- The Bath Arms, a pub in the heart of the Lanes. Provider is Loose Connection. No password required.
- The Fiddler's Elbow, a pub near the Lanes, and off West Street. Password from the bar.
- The Victory Inn, BN1 1AH. No password required.
- The Hop Poles, 13 Middle Street, BN1 1AL. Network name: 2WIRE184. Password from the bar.
- In Kemptown
- Bar56, A modern, funky bar on George St, Brighton. Password from the bar.
- The Ranelagh, a pub half-way up St. James's Street. Password from the bar.
- The Sidewinder, a pub in St. James' Street.
- Bom-Bane's, a small café/restaurant/venue/bar (difficult to classify, actually) in George Street in Brighton (not the George Street in Hove!). Password from Jane.
- Spinelli's, a café in College Road (off St. George's Road), with a second branch on St James's Street
- Near Brighton Station
- The Grand Central, a pub immediately outside Brighton railway station. Provider is Loose Connection. No password required.
- The Earth & Stars. A pub in Church Street down from Queens Road (which is the main road from Brighton Station to the seafront). Provider is Loose Connection. No password required.
- The Three Jolly Butchers (a.k.a. 3jb). Pub in North Road (down from Queens Road). Provider is Loose Connection. No password required.
- Moksha, a café in York Place (opposite St. Peter's Church)
- Hope, a venue between the Clock Tower and Brighton station. No password required.
- Taylor Street Baristas on Queen's Road (the road that leads from the station to the sea) at the corner of North Road.
- The Dover Castle on Southover Street (corner Islingword Street), a pub (from 11) which also serves coffee, pastries and food from 9AM.
- London Road
- The Hare & Hounds. Pub at Preston Circus. BN1 4JF. Provider is Loose Connection. No password required.
- Western Road
- The Norfolk Arms, a pub on the south side of Western Road close to the Brighton/Hove border. No password required.
- The Robin Hood, a pub south of Western Road. Password from the bar.
- North Laine
- The Brighton Tavern, a gay pub in Gloucester Road. No password required.
- The Fountainhead, a Zelgrain pub in North Road. Provider is Loose Connection. No password required.
- The Eagle, a pub in North Road. Password from the bar.
- Riki Tik, a café/bar at 18a Bond Street,BN1 1RD. No password required.
- The Mash Tun at the corner of Church Street and New Road. Says it has free Wi-Fi but connecting is difficult.
- The Red Lion, near to the King Alfred Leisure Centre and the seaside. Password from the bar.
- Dieppe, France is around 5 hours away from by Ferry from Newhaven Harbour, services are 3 daily and cost from £15 return for foot passengers. The service is operated by Transmanche Ferries
- Rottingdean. Just east of Brighton, with memories of Kipling, Burne-Jones and several other artists.
- London is just an hour away via train or 2 hours via coach.
- The gorgeous medieval town Lewes has a castle and is just 20 minutes away by train.
- Worthing There is no reason you wouldn't want to visit this lovely town. Short journey via train from Brighton Station.
- Glyndebourne Opera House, . Eleven miles from Brighton, one of the most famous opera houses in the world, set in beautiful grounds where opera goers eat gourmet picnics at interval which can be brought in or ordered from their own catering service.