If you’ve got a spare day on your trip to London, why not spend it seeing some sights in surrounding towns and cities? Brighton is just 60 minutes out of the city and offers an easily-accessible taste of the British seaside.
A cool and hip resort, Brighton is a world away from traditional Hastings or gaudy Blackpool, and the perfect destination for London lovers.
And it isn’t just about the famous seafront – shopping, dining, great nightlife and an amazing aquarium all await you at ‘London’s beach’.
Things to see and do in Brighton
Stroll along the iconic pier – take in the views out to sea and if you have the nerve, go on a ride at the end-of-pier theme park. And don’t forget to buy a stick of the obligatory “Brighton Rock” as you leave!
Explore The Laines – these winding passages are famously packed with antique and jewellery shops. You’ll also find trendy boutiques, cafes and bars to while away the hours.
Check out The Royal Pavillion – this mock Indian palace is filled with exquisite Chinese Chippendale furnishings. Nowadays it is open daily for the public to explore or to take in the restored regency gardens.
Visit the Brighton Aquarium – the oldest operating aquarium in the world, the Brighton SEA LIFE Centre is home to over 150 species and 57 displays and is a great place to take the family.
A bite to eat
When you think of Brighton, you think of fish and chips on the scenic seafront. No visit is complete without treating yourself to this crispy, golden delicacy. You’ll find plenty of places to buy delicious, locally-landed fish but try to avoid paying over the odds from the stalls on the pier.
Annual Brighton events not to be missed
The Brighton Festival – a month of art, theatre, dance and music events in May, many of which are free.
Pride in Brighton and Hove – visit at the start of August to help the gay community celebrate with a colourful carnival parade.
The Burning of the Clocks – celebrate the Winter Solstice in December with this parade, ending in a fiery finale on the beach.
London to Brighton trains depart from Victoria and London Bridge and take about an hour. If you’re looking for a convenient hotel for your Brighton getaway, try any of the following options, depending on your budget:
A luxury hotel near Victoria
The Goring Hotel near London Victoria station: currently ranked inside the top 30 London hotels on TripAdvisor, this is a beautifully-luxurious hotel with exceptional service (though it doesn’t come cheap). Guest reviews consistently highlight the kindness and attention to detail of the staff.
Mid-range hotel near London Bridge
We’ve already featured the London Bridge Hotel due to its great location for all the South Bank’s cultural attractions and Borough Market. It’s also nicely-ranked on TripAdvisor, currently in the top 30 London hotels.
Value hotel near Victoria
Luna & Simone hotel currently ranks even higher on TripAdvisor than both the above more expensive hotels. While accommodation is not luxurious, the service in this family-run hotel is friendly and efficient.
You really get good value at this hotel, which is why we previously featured it as one of London’s top 3 hotels for families on a budget.
All three of these hotels are a great base for day-trips to Brighton, but do ensure that you book your rail tickets in advance to grab the best deals.
Finally, if you end up falling in love with Brighton and want to stay there rather than London, then Hotel Una and Drakes Hotel are currently among the best hotels in Brighton according to the reviews on TripAdvisor.
Photo credits: Luna & Simone Hotel, London Bridge Hotel, Goring Hotel.