50 Things To Do In Brighton & Hove
Once just a small little fishing village, Brighton became a fashionable seaside resort after Prince Regent George IV came for his ‘first season’ and fell in love with the place. The city of Brighton & Hove is vibrant, cosmopolitan, alternative and not without its fair share of fame and scandal throughout the years. Only an hour by train from London, 30 minutes from Gatwick and you have access to an Aladdin’s Cave of ‘must see’ attractions and experiences. Named the happiest place in the country by an O2 survey, Brighton offers all the benefits of a city with the added bonus of the sea. So pack your bags and come on down, there’s a stick of rock with your name on it!
1. Brighton Beach
One of England’s top 10 beaches, Brighton is officially one of the nation’s favourite beach resorts!
2. The Royal Pavilion
Built as the sea-side residence for the Price Regent George IV and transformed by John Nash into one of the most exotic and iconic buildings in the British Isles, its well worth a visit both inside and out.
3. Brighton Pier
Rediscover your inner child! Take a walk along Brighton Pier with fairground rides, amusements, candy floss and racing dolphins, what more could you want? In the evening the pier comes alive with lights and flocks of starlings perform around the pier.
4. Painting Pottery Cafe
One of the beauties of Brighton is that there is always something a little different. Come and discover your creative side with a visit to the Painting Pottery Cafe. Located a short walk from Brighton Station, simply turn up, choose your pottery and grab a brush!
5. Brighton Sea Life Centre
Experience life under the sea in the submarine environment at is the world’s oldest operating aquarium. With over 150 species and 57 displays, you’ll be pushed to find a more enjoyable day out.
6. Ghost Walk of the Lanes
Take a walk on the scary side! Silas the Ghost Hunter takes you on a chilling 70 minute tour of Brighton’s most haunted quarter. The walk visits seven haunted sites around the Laines and offers startling tales associated with the ghost sightings.
7. Brighton Toy Museum
Situated just under the arches of Brighton Station, the Brighton Toy Museum brings out childhood memories, with everything from wooden puppets, brightly painted cars through to train sets and doll’s house furniture.
8. Hove Cricket Ground
Sussex County Cricket Club is the world’s oldest county cricket club. Home to the Sussex Sharks 20/20 and County Cricket Club, you can relax and watch cricket match in the sun (hopefully!).
9. Brighton Museum
The Brighton Museum and Art Gallery is one of Brighton’s hidden gems, providing an interesting mixture of Brighton history, vintage clothing and art.
10. Brighton Movie Walk
One for the movie buffs. These free self-guided walks give you an insight into Brighton and Hove’s old and new filmatic legacies around the city, great for a sunny day.
11. Yellowave Beach
Feel the sand between your toes! Yellowave is the UK’s only permanent beach venue of its kind, offering beach sports such as volleyball, beach football, extreme Frisbee and more. It is also Brighton’s only sandy beach area. “www.yellowave.co.uk/”:http://www.yellowave.co.uk/
12. Booth Museum of Natural History
Look at dead things in glass cases! A favourite with children, you’ll find over half a million insects, animal skeletons, and stuffed birds, rather ghoulishly posed in re-creations of their natural habitats.
13. Stanmer Park
Named one of Britain’s Top 10 walks by the Independent, in Stanmer Park you can head for the Great Wood, walk across the down land or visit Pudding Bag Wood!
14. Volk’s Railway
Take a trip on the world’s oldest operating electric railway. The Volk’s Railway pootles along Brighton seafront with fantastic views of the sea and is an experience for both young and old.
15. Brighton Bike Tours
See the city on two wheels! Cycle around our beautiful city while learning about the history and taking in all the sights that put Brighton on the map. A fascinating tour at a leisurely pace.
16. The Brighton Wheel
Offering stunning panoramic views of Brighton and Hove, with fascinating commentary of the city’s history the Brighton Wheel gives you a bird’s eye view 50 meters above sea level.
17. A Day at The Races
Fancy a flutter? Set high on the Sussex Downs with stunning views of Brighton and the sea, Brighton Race Course boasts one of the country’s most unique settings and hosts up to 18 races between April and October.
18. Stroll along The Promenade
Brighton’s beachfront promenade is legendary! With everything from bars, restaurants, live music (when the sun’s out), shops, galleries and the pier as a backdrop - take a walk and soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere.
19. City Tour By Bus
With fascinating facts and stories that even local people do not know, get a full view of the city with an entertaining commentary packed open top bus tour. This jump-on-off tour is a great way to see the city.
20. Cruise The Coastline
Life on the ocean waves! Enjoy a 45 minute pleasure cruise along the Brighton coastline including the two piers from Brighton Marina.
21. Try Some Fishing
A great activity for groups, with departures are every 2 hours, seven days a week March to November take a 90 minute Mackerel Fishing Trip from Brighton Marina (subject to sea state and numbers).
22. Brighton Fishing Museum
Located in the arches in the hub of Brighton’s fishing quarter you can get the low-down from a local fisherman and take in an old traditional smoker and generally find out about fishing in Brighton. This volunteer-run Fishing Museum documents Brighton’s maritime history with photographs, film clips and memorabilia.
23. Duke of York’s Picture House
The Duke of York’s was one of the first cinemas in the world and is still in use today. Showing art house films as well as mainstream, with comfy sofas and a huge pair of legs on the roof, it’s an absolute must for anyone with an interest in film!
24. Devil’s Dyke
Dust down the wicker basket and checked rug, pack the sandwiches and head up to Devil’s Dyke for a relaxing picnic on a sunny day. With fantastic views of the Sussex Downs and the Sussex coastline, Devil’s Dyke is one of the largest chalkland dry combes in Britain.
25. Take A Tour Of The Old Police Cells
Evening All…. Housed in the basement of Brighton Town Hall The Old Police Cells Museum with it’s fascinating collection of local police memorabilia offers visitors an insight into the history of Brighton’s Police Force. Discover all about the grisly murder of Constable Solomon by a prisoner in 1844.
26. Brighton’s Sewerage Systems
Get Flushed Away… with a tour around Brighton’s Victorian sewage system, which is one of the best examples of British Civil Engineering of the time. A popular attraction these tours have been revealing their Victorian secrets the tour will take you through 400 yards of the 30 miles of sewers, between Palace Pier and Old Steine Gardens.
27. Preston Manor Ghost Tour
Do you believe in Ghosts? Visit Preston Manor for one of their ghost tours and decide whether you think Preston Manor is haunted. Hear the eerie tales of the chilling White Lady, mysterious wafts of lavender as well as lights turning off for no reason and a ghostly hand turning a doorknob - are your brave enough?
28. See An Original Banksy
The Banksy graffiti piece, depicting two policemen kissing was sprayed on the side of the Prince Albert pub in Trafalgar Street. Although behind Plexiglas, it’s well worth a look.
29. Visit The Chattri Memorial
This unique monument framed by the South Downs, dedicated to the Indian soldiers who fought on the Western Front during the First World War. The Chattri was unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1921. You can walk, cycle or horse ride there.
30. St Bartholomew’s Church
The highest Parish church in Britain, St Bartholomew’s is one of the great churches of the 19th century. Designed by architect Edmund Scott this astonishing church’s brickwork, fittings, great baldacchino, silver side altar and the stained glass lancet are a must see.
31. The Brighton Earthship
A solar powered, eco-friendly building built from tyres, Earthship Brighton was the Low Carbon Trust’s first project and was the first Earthship to be built in England.
32. Hove Park Miniature Railway
This 2,000 feet long miniature railway in Hove Park is run by a team of volunteer miniature steam locomotives enthusiasts and operates during the summer months for the enjoyment of the public.
33. Window shopping in the North Laines
The North Laine’s narrow streets are populated with a highly browsable array of independent shops. With three main streets which intertwine Sydney Street, Kensington Gardens and Gardner Street, although the array of back streets can also reap rich rewards.
34. Snooper’s Paradise
An absolute must! The famous Snooper’s Paradise is crammed with everything from old postcards and clothes to stylish 1960s furniture. Located in Kensington Gardens, squeeze through the turnstile to browse its myriad stalls.
35. Artists’ Quarter
Brighton’s Artist Quarter houses a collection of artist run studios under the arches between the two piers. These quirky gallery spaces house a collection of different types of works and the artists can often be seen working.
36. Ditchling Beacon
Ditchling Beacon is the third-highest point along the South Downs and offers the most beautiful views inland across Sussex and out to sea
37. Brighton & Hove Grey Hounds
Always a great night out and recognised as one of the most scenic, Hove Grey Hound Stadium’s big, sweeping circuit is one of the fastest and safest for greyhound racing. www.brightonandhovegreyhoundstadium.co.uk
38. Brighton Marina
Something for everyone! Brighton Marina has much more to offer than just a stunning waterfront development. Along-side it’s 2,000 berth yacht marina you’ll find diverse restaurants, shopping, outdoor markets, cinema, bowling, casino and water activities.
39. The British Engineerium
Running from for the month of May, Brighton Fringe is the third largest Fringe Festival in the world and offers a selection of street performers, cabaret, comedy, classical concerts, theatre and exhibitions.
40. Visit Kemp Town
Something a little different! Kemp Town is home to grand Regency crescents, St James’s Street, Kemp Town village, enticing delis, cafes and pubs. It is also Brighton’s gay quarter and hosts a lively nightlife scene with the clubs and bars set along the seafront strip.
41. Preston Park
Get away from it all! Preston Park provides some much needed peace away from the busy centre of Brighton. With a charming rose garden, tea pavilion, romantic walled garden and the largest municipal rock garden in the country. Not to mention eight tennis courts, four football pitches, three bowling greens and two cricket pitches.
42. Mechanical Memories Museum
Step back in time! Situated in the arches along Brighton’s seafront, the Mechanical Memories Museum is the UK’s oldest established vintage penny arcade. With 50 vintage penny slot machines dating from the early 1900s to the 1960s, buy old-fashioned pennies and play on the horse racing games and One-Armed Bandits.
43. Go swimming in the sea
Recently awarded Blue Flag status and monitored by a team of lifeguards, visitors to Brighton Beach can take a break from the pebbled beach and dip into the sea for a swim.
44. Laugh your socks off
Komedia is Brighton’s most popular venue for comedy, music, cabaret and is home to the Krater Comedy Club – Winner of the Chortle Award for ‘Best Comedy Venue in the South’ eight times. www.komedia.co.uk
45. Hove Museum & Art Gallery
One for all the family. With its ‘wizard’s attic’ interactive toy gallery, film gallery, contemporary craft galleries, history of Hove from prehistoric times to the present, Hove’s famous prehistoric Amber Cup and more there’s something for everyone!
46. Undercliff Walk
From Black Rock near Brighton Marina, take a 5km walk along the impressive undercliff walk past Ovingdean and Rottingdean to Saltdean.
47. Blatchington Mill
The mill ceased working around 1900 but is a Grade II listed building has been fully restored, well worth a visit.
48. Cook With Jamie Oliver
Well, not really. Visit Jamie Oliver’s Recipes, a little project of his which is close to his heart. Whether you are a complete novice or a seasoned pro, there’s something for all levels, learn knife skills, the perfect Risotto, steak and Thai Green Curry get inspiration and try some really fantastic food. www.jamieoliver.com
49. Splashing around in Hove
Hove Lagoon Watersports is one of the country’s premier watersports centres and offers, windsurfing, sailing, wakeboarding, stand up paddle board lessons and more. www.hovelagoon.co.uk
50. The West Pier
A Brighton Icon! The West Pier was opened in 1866 and even after a collapse, two fires and though it’s on it’s last legs, The West Pier strikes a dramatic pose on Brighton’s seafront and is one of Britain’s most iconic piers. Even today the sculptural remains cast iconic beauty over the seafront and is still the most photographed building in Brighton.
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