Walking

Places to Visit in Brighton

A city by the sea, Brighton and Hove is one of the most vibrant destinations for a seaside resort break in the UK. Known for its stunning Regency and Victorian architecture, incredible food scene, exciting nightlife, eclectic street markets and perpetually welcoming atmosphere, it has something for everyone.

 

Starting life as a humble fishing village, Brighton has undergone many transformations throughout its colourful life. A popular health resort in the 18th Century before becoming one of the UK’s top seaside cities, it is a melting pot of history and culture. Today, ‘London by the Sea’, as it is jovially called, draws people of all ages looking to soak up its unique atmosphere, drink in its sea air and visit its famous landmarks and sights. Ready for you to fill your days with relaxation and exploration, here are just some of the best places to visit in Brighton during a luxury seaside retreat.

Brighton Palace Pier

Built in 1899, Brighton’s Palace Pier is a must-visit. Though it was the last of three piers to be built in the seaside resort, today this Grade II-listed pleasure pier is the only one left in use – with all 1,722 feet of it still standing proud and strong above everchanging tides. Decked out with fairground rides, eateries, bars and of course affording superb views over the city and the blue horizon, it makes for an ideal setting for leisurely strolls, photographic pursuits and relaxed sundowners overlooking the ocean.

The Undercliff Path

If you are looking forward to walking and talking, or just one of the two, then consider the Undercliff Path. Sandwiched between great walls of chalky cliffs and the sea, this paved walking and cycling route runs from Brighton Marina to the village of Saltdean on the outer fringes of the city. Extending for just over 3 miles in total, it is peppered with places to sit and ponder and provides one of the best walks in Brighton with plenty of uninterrupted space to simply stretch the legs and lose yourself to the moment.

The Lanes

The Lanes are a network of small – you guessed it – lanes in Brighton, draped with multi-coloured bunting and garnished with hanging baskets. Winding their way through tightly packed buildings, they are famous for their quirky array of shops and boutiques that nestle within historic facades and sell everything from jewellery to vinyl records to rare antiques. If you’ve got time to spare, wending your way along the Lane’s disjointed flow of streets and passageways is a great way to spend an afternoon in Brighton.

Devil’s Dyke

 

A trip to Devil’s Dyke provides the perfect opportunity to escape the city streets for a while and admire views of one of the most striking valleys in the UK. Only 5 miles from Brighton, the 1-mile-long Dyke Valley was formed little over 10,000 years ago and is the UK’s longest, deepest and widest dry valley. Etched with all kinds of different walking trails and with viewpoints at every turn, it’s certainly a place that every walker and nature-seeker should visit.  

Castle Hill

Just outside of Brighton is Castle Hill, a 283-acre Special Area of Conservation and Site of Special Scientific Interest. A protected nature reserve, it provides a verdant contrast to the sandy beach and paved streets of the city and is an idyllic setting for strolls in the countryside. With many paths to choose from, you can walk as little or as much as you’d like, joined occasionally by one of the rare butterflies who makes themselves at home on the Downs.

Eateries

If there is something Brighton is not short of, it’s world-class eateries. From polished restaurants run by esteemed chefs to beachfront bars offering the perfect sundowner spot to the best takeaways in the UK, you are simply spoilt for choice. Take a look at some of the best places to eat in Brighton and travel the world gourmet-style, from England to France to India and beyond. With so many to choose from, needless to say you’ll have to come back for more.

The Royal Pavilion

It would be easy to mistake your location for somewhere far more exotic when gazing upon Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. The vision of a young King George IV, the opulently decorated, Grade I-listed palace catches the eye with its incongruous minarets, domes and pinnacles. Head on over to view some of the many ornate rooms of this former Royal pleasure palace, explore its art galleries and museums (Brighton Museum and Art Gallery) and stroll through its grounds.

Sea Life Centre

Brighton’s Sea Life Centre on Marine Parade is the world’s oldest operating aquarium. Designed by Eugenius Birch, the same architect who designed the city’s West Pier, it was originally opened in 1872 and has been inviting people in to learn about our underwater world ever since. Just some of the incredible beings you can expect to see in the centre include sharks (keep an eye out for the awesome nurse sharks), turtles, octopus and seahorses.

Volks Electric Railway

Volks Electric Railway was first opened in 1883, making it the oldest operational electric railway in the world. Travelling for a mile between the Palace Pier to the Black Rock, it allows people of all ages to enjoy a nostalgic chunter along Brighton’s coastline. Alight at one of its three stops or simply stay aboard and enjoy the ride as a balmy sea breeze floats in through the window and seaside scenes flick past in a dreamy roll.

British Airways i360

If you’ve got a head for heights, then pay a visit to the British Airways i360. Standing at over 450ft tall, this sky-high viewing tower gives you the chance to take in all of the city’s most famous sights from a bird’s eye point of view. Encased in a glass viewing pod, you can enjoy 360-degree panoramas across Brighton itself, the rolling South Downs and over the English Channel – even as far as the Isle of Wight on a clear day.

Open Market

Dozens of shops, stalls, artists’ studios and eateries are all bundled into one unique venue at Brighton’s Open Market.  At the centre of the London Road community, it has been hosting traders and producers for 50 years and showcases a wide range of both traditional and contemporary sellers. Whether you are simply enjoying the art of perusing or are looking for something in particular, you can expect to find everything from clothes to local produce to art and more.

Brighton Dome

Part of the Royal Pavilion estate, Brighton Dome is the county’s leading multi-arts venue. A beacon for both artists and arts enthusiasts, it presents more than 600 events every year, encompassing music, theatre, comedy, film, literature and more. Should you find yourself with an evening free during your luxury holiday in Sussex, then you should definitely take a peek through the Dome’s line up of events to see if anything captures your attention.

Brighton Seafront

Brighton’s pebbly beach spans for nearly 5.5 miles along the coast, nudging the edge of the town with its ocean blanket. With Regency and Victorian buildings along the seafront and a whole range of activities and attractions on parade along the shore, it’s somewhere you can easily while away the hours whatever the season. Particular highlights include the Brighton Zipline, the ghostly remains of the city’s West Pier and the bright lights of the Brighton Palace Pier.

The Theatre Royal 

One of the oldest theatres in England, Brighton’s Theatre Royal is a true veteran. With a history spanning more than 200 years, it was first opened in 1806 under the Prince of Wales (later King George IV) with an inaugural performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Continuing to set the stage for local, national and international thespians today, it is one of the best places to visit in Brighton for evenings of entertainment and thought-provoking performance.

The Upside Down House

The Upside Down House has to be one of the most intriguing of all Brighton’s attractions. Whether you’re visiting with the kids or simply unleashing your own inner child, you are sure to find the house’s topsy-turvy rooms a wildly entertaining, if not somewhat disorientating, experience. Literally driving you head over heels, the house spins the world on its head, giving you the chance to walk on ceilings and capture some great photos to share with family and friends.

Preston Manor

For something a little different, Preston Manor awaits. A fascinating historic house set within the sprawling Preston Park just 2 miles from the city centre, it offers visitors the chance to go back in time and explore what life was like for its Edwardian tenants. Visit the manor’s museum with its preserved rooms showcasing the parallel lives of the upper and lower classes, before venturing out into the grounds to spot the two 400-year-old elm trees at the north end of the park – the oldest and biggest surviving elms in Europe.

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in Sussex here.

 

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