Last Updated on January 12, 2023

I find the seaside the most relaxing, life-affirming place to be. Put me in a coastal town in England and I swoon. Brighton and the Brighton Beaches England on the southern coast outside central London, is a seaside dream. The beach is not sandy, rather covered in smooth stones, which may sound uncomfortable, but the sound of the waves will quickly calm your nerves. Spirit revived by the ocean’s gentle roar, discover Brighton’s other delightful offerings.

Things to do in Brighton

Chill on Brighton Beach

Brighton Beaches England covers 5.4-miles. Rent a striped deck chair and find your little piece of happiness. Kick back and relax. All generations enjoy the seaside on this family-friendly beach.

As mentioned, Brighton Beach is not sand, but stones; you’re best off wearing shoes comfortable to walk in. Theories abound about why the beach is made of rocks, and the most logical explanation I found was that locals built a groyne in 1724. A groyne is an artificial construction diverting pebbles from the water onto the land. Without the groyne, the area would be a muddy mess.

Visit the Lanes

The Lanes shopping district stretches from below the train station and almost to the beach. The area features windy streets and locally owned shops, perfect for window shopping or finding a one-of-a-kind souvenir. From clothing to jewelry and housewares, you will find something to pique your interest.

It is a place made for casual strolling and weaving in and out of narrow streets and lanes. Many restaurants and pubs are located here as well. While most of the shoppes are local, you might see the occasional chain mixed in.

Once a fishing village, the houses here were built close together, sharing roofs, to protect from storm damage. Today the storefronts are a myriad of vivid colors. The brick and stone lanes provide a picturesque setting among the hustle and bustle of the city.

Brighton Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion stands out amongst the distinctly English buildings of Brighton. The tall turrets will have you doing a double take. India is the country from where the architecture was modeled.

This was the vacation residence of England’s King George IV. As you wander through the hallways and ballrooms, it is easy imagining the dances and parties with England’s royalty and friends.

In WWI, the Royal Pavilion was a military hospital. During the war, soldiers from India fought alongside British soldiers. The Royal Pavilion was the main hospital for the Indian wounded. The Royal Pavilion was transformed to create additional kitchens and provide adequate water and plumbing to accommodate the injured.

The Pavilion audio tour explaining the various rooms and artifacts is worth taking to learn about the building and artifacts on display.

Brighton Fishing History

Before Brighton became a seaside resort it was a fishing village. Herring and mackerel were plentiful at one time. The Brighton Fishing Museum is small, but a great way to understand the city’s coastal roots. Entry is free and the museum artifacts include a 27-foot fishing boat.

In the 1700s, doctors prescribed sea bathing and drinking sea waters as prescriptions for better health and England’s seaside spa/resort culture took off, Brighton included. In some ways, it’s never stopped. The museum recalls this coastal history showing the fascinating changeover from fishing village to health spa and seaside resort.

Brighton Fishing Museum is located on the beachfront, across from the pier.

Fish & Chips on the Pier

Fish and chips are an English staple. You will find local stands on the pier. The fish is caught locally, and the chips are potato perfection. Portions are generous, so do not hesitate to share with friends, but watch out for the seagulls who want to take more than their fair share.

Find a bench on the pier or stand near the railing and watch the waves roll over Brighton Beaches England. Take pleasure in other families enjoying the coast. Once your tummy is full, it is time to discover more of Brighton.

Brighton Palace Pier

Brighton Palace Pier is perfectly nostalgic with its amusement park and eateries. The pier was built in 1899 and is the only pier still operating in Brighton today. From a traditional carousel to trampolines, the young and young at heart will find plenty to keep them entertained.

The pier offers wristbands for playing games and taking rides for a set price. You can purchase in advance at Brighton Pier Shop or at a kiosk the day you arrive.

Along with games, the pier offers various treats, such as donuts and stalls for fish and chips. Overlooking the sea from one end and the Brighton cityscape at the other, the Pier provides a picturesque view that will lift your spirits.

Try a Walking Tour

I love visiting a city’s main sites, but I find the best way to discover a place’s history and culture is by joining a walking tour. It is also a great way to support a local business while getting away from the main tourist track.

Tours can be based on individual interests such as history, culture and personalized recommendations on restaurants or shops that might appeal to you. The tour guide will contact you in advance to discuss your interest and create a customized itinerary lasting a little over two hours. You’ll need to schedule the tour in advance of your visit, but it could be well worth the effort to put some thought into your trip to Brighton.

Hop-on Hop-Off Bus Tour

If walking tours do not appeal to you, Brighton offers a hop-on hop-off bus tour. The red double-decker provides an excellent overview of the city via a live guide or automated audio system. I sometimes use the bus tours to get introduced to a city and discover areas for further investigation on my own.

The busses can be crowded and noisy, but the do the job of quickly moving you from point A to point B in one piece. In Brighton, the primary operator is City Sightseeing, and you can book tickets and discover the bus route at City Sightseeing Brighton: Hop-On, Hop-Off.

Where to Stay Brighton in England

Whether looking for a room with an expansive ocean view across Brighton Beaches England or amid the bustle of downtown, the city’s numerous hotels are sure to feature something right up your alley. Use the map below to find your ideal accommodation.

If you’re only day-tripping to Brighton, there are countless charming vacation rentals across London and the home counties as well as Sussex just to the west.

Brighton is affectionately known as “London by the Sea,” but it has character and charms all its own. From royal palaces to nostalgic piers, you will find plenty of exciting sites to grab your attention. Do not forget to rent a deck chair and enjoy the sea breeze if the weather permits. I hope your next visit to Brighton is full of joy and casual strolls.

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