Plan what to do in Brighton with your friends or family.
Best Things to do in Brighton this year
10 Great Things to Do in Brighton
It may be best known for its pebble beach just an hour south of London but there are plenty more things to do in Brighton besides strolling with an ice-cream or playing slot machines, after all it’s a whole seaside city.
But is it worth visiting Brighton outside of the summer? Absolutely! There are many indoor activities that are not weather dependant (and a lot more imaginative than going to the pub). Here’s a reminder of some key attractions you shouldn’t miss on a day trip to Brighton and some fun new activities you might not yet have heard about.
If you really want to get a fresh perspective on the city, a trip up modern-day landmark the Brighton i360 (formerly known as the British Airways i360) is a must. Board the stylish doughnut-shaped glass pod on the seafront and prepare yourself for stunning 360-degree panoramic views as it glides slowly up to 138 metres. If that’s not thrill enough for you, how about tackling the most adrenalin pumping of Brighton activities – the Extreme 360 Walk, Drop or Climb challenges?
Tea by the sea
A cream tea is surely all the sweeter when it’s served by the sea. Round off your sky-high trip up the Brighton i360 with freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam and a selection of other seasonal treats in the beachside cafe at its base.
Book your tea 48 hours before your visit to accompany a journey slot between 13.30 and 15.30. You can even bag child-sized, gluten-free, or vegan options.
Hit it for six
Enjoy a competitive game of beach cricket without any chance of losing your ball in the sea at the Brighton i360’s latest attraction Sixes. Standby to bat back the soft balls bowled at you by the high-tech game – you’ll score points for each target you hit on a screen. Challenge your family and friends or bowl over colleagues or clients at a get-together built around this newest of Brighton activities. The adjoining restaurant serves up burgers, sharing plates, wood-fired pizzas, cocktails, shakes and more so you can keep the party atmosphere going (and toast your highest scorer!)
End of the pier
One of the most traditional things to do in Brighton is take a stroll along the Palace Pier. Once a way for Victorians to take in the sea air, it’s now more popular for its amusement arcade and freshly made doughnuts. At the end you’ll find a funfair with old school helter-skelter, ghost train and dodgems, plus stomach-churning rides that take you thrillingly close to the sea.
Is it worth visiting Brighton in winter? Of course! Not least because it’s when you’ll catch huge starling murmurations shape shifting over the pier around sunset.
Shop till you drop
No day trip to Brighton would be complete without a spot of retail therapy. Near the seafront are the famous twisting alleyways of The Lanes. Once the old fishing quarter, nowadays the area’s a hot spot for independent galleries and jewellers. The Lanes is not to be confused with North Laine, which covers the blocks between the station and the Theatre Royal and is packed with independent and quirky shops. Here you can buy anything from boho fashions to mid-century furniture, and unique gifts, some from local designer-makers. There are also numerous cafes and pubs for an energising pit stop.
The onion domed Royal Pavilion is something of a city icon. While the outside is reminiscent of an Indian palace, inside the grandest rooms are furnished in Chinese style.
This seaside pleasure palace was created for the flamboyant Prince Regent (later George IV) and, if you’re interested in design or history, a visit should top your list of things to do in Brighton. Don’t miss the huge kitchen where 19th century banquets were once prepared and the fabulous music room with its painted chandeliers and silver dragon motifs.
Buy an Explorer Pass for your day trip to Brighton and you can combine the Royal Pavilion with modern day showstopper the Brighton i360.
Get your skates on
It’s smooth, colourful and has great views over the beach. Skate 360 is the place to see how Brighton rolls. The new mural-covered rink for roller and in-line skating is level with Kings Road and so close to the Brighton i360 viewing tower that you’ll be reflected in the underside of the doughnut shaped capsule as it rises. Book a 45-minute session with your own or rented skates and bring your friends. Add on some vertical fun up the Brighton i360 and you’ll save 15% by combining both Brighton activities.
Head over heels
Looking for some Instagrammable fun on your day trip to Brighton? Head to the seafront and strike a series of topsy-turvy poses in the Upside Down House. Standing on its head on the seafront, this attraction will let you appear to climb the walls, stick to the ceiling and even cook dinner upside down thanks to cleverly constructed rooms and some camera reversing trickery. One of the most fun Brighton activities to share with children or friends, it’s also good value when combined with the nearby Brighton i360 in an Explorer Pass.
Drink it in
Have something to celebrate? Perhaps you simply want a drink with a view to round off a perfect day trip. Enjoy that special moment at the South Coast’s highest bar, the Nyetimber Sky Bar inside the passenger capsule of the Brighton i360.
Sip on local tipples such as Brighton Gin, and award-winning Nyetimber English sparkling wine as you drink in views as far as the South Downs. You can even enjoy expertly made cocktails whether you have hired the whole capsule for a party or are joining a public flight.
Life’s a beach
While the spot around the Palace Pier is typically busy, there’s so much more of Brighton’s beach to explore. Head east and you’ll end up at lively Brighton Marina via volleyball courts, the new Brighton Sea Lanes heated open air pool and several cafes. To the west, past the Brighton i360, the beach gets a little quieter again before you hit Hove Lagoon where there’s a skatepark and a chance to try SUPing or wakeboarding. It’s all linked by an easy beachfront cycle path so you can discover those lesser-known Brighton activities on a rental bike.