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Brighton is colourful, eccentric and full of character
Brighton is like descending on a new world. A mere hour’s train ride from the capital, this beloved seaside town is filled with exotic palaces, boutique shopping, quirky subcultures, gorgeous Regency-style architecture … all found within walking distance of its famous pier.
“Meet you at Churchill Square”! Wedged between the beach and the train station, this is the biggest shopping centre in town. It’s filled with the usual suspects – H&M, Pull & Bear, River Island, Top Shop and Zara – plus dozens of places to eat, from cafés to fast food joints. Try the Detox Smoothie from “Boost Juice”, then browse to your heart’s content!Accommodations near Churchill Square Shopping Centre
Brighton’s small slice of London’s West End. This theatre is where the latest and greatest dramas, musicals and comedies have been staged for over two centuries – often months before they make their London debut. Located at the centre of New Road, its tomato-coloured edifice makes it instantly recognisable. Check online to see what productions are coming up.Accommodations near Theatre Royal Brighton
Dreaming of Camden Town? The Lanes are a collection of winding lanes and alleys, where you’ll find buskers and cute cafés on every corner. It’s an area known for its independent shops and boutiques. Visit Choccywoccydoodah for their divine chocolate truffles, shop at Chrome Hearts for unique handmade jewellery, or simply sit in a café and soak up the atmosphere.Accommodations near The Lanes
North Laine’s shops really attest to the mantra “what’s old becomes new again”. It’s a square mile of independent retailers, many of which are stocked with vintage goods. You’ll find chic boutiques, thrift shops, retro décor and craft shops – plus the odd chain thrown in for good measure. There are also street stalls, pubs and cafés that serve plenty of international fare.Accommodations near North Laine
From England and beyond. Built like a Maharajah’s Palace with domes and minarets, this museum is filled with objects worthy of a sultan’s attention – from paintings by European masters to fine ceramics, and world art from Africa, Asia and the Pacific. The Ancient Egyptian wing is has a stand-out collection of household objects that tell the stories of long-gone dynasties.Accommodations near Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Magnificent palace or overblown fool’s errand? Built as King George IV’s seaside abode, it’s as if he didn’t know where to stop – Islamic domes and minarets combined with British Regency-style architecture, filled with gold-trimmed chandeliers, plush carpets and chinoiserie. Fast-forward two hundred years, and this seaside home is one of the most flamboyant palaces in existence.Accommodations near Royal Pavilion
Nothing says “Brighton” like fish ‘n’ chips along the pier – just watch out for the seagulls! This long-stilted structure juts out from the promenade and into the sea. There are a few entertainment venues at the end of the pier – lose a few pounds in the slot machines, gain a few at the famous Fish and Ship Shop, or pop in to Victoria's, Horatio's or Glitter Ball for a drink.Accommodations near Brighton Pier
This Edwardian-style manor is nestled at the corner of Preston Park. It was once the home of the upper-crust Thomas-Sandford family. The lady of house amassed a massive collection of Chinese ceramic lions, thought to be the largest of its kind in the world. See them on display at this museum, whose rooms were furnished to emulate those of a working Edwardian household.Accommodations near Preston Manor
Welcome to England’s favourite sand-less beach. It’s impossible to walk barefoot along England’s most popular seaside holiday spot, on account of the shingle and pebble. However, it’s what’s around the beach that counts – the promenade lined with art galleries and craft studios, fish ‘n chip shops and bistros, bars and clubs, plus the beach’s famous pier.Accommodations near Brighton Beach
A small slice of Venice made its way north. This is Europe’s largest marina, and it’s pretty luxurious. It’s peppered with yachts and surrounded by hi-rise, high-priced apartments. Most of all, it’s known as an entertainment hub that draws locals like moths to a flame. Shop, dine out, see a film or rent a fishing boat and head out into the English Channel.Accommodations near Brighton Marina
This area was known historically as an artists’ quarter. Nowadays, white-stuccoed, -Regency-style houses line its streets, where a new industry of boutique hotels and cocktail bars is taking root. St. James Street is its main thoroughfare, brimming with eateries – try Red Roaster Coffee House for your morning pick-me-up.Accommodations in Kemptown
Brighton’s centre has an abundance of pubs, eateries, clubs and cinemas. Check out London Road for its eclectic shops and catch a flick at the Duke of York Cinema (the UK’s oldest). Then walk further along to the Open Market for gourmet food and fashion. For small art galleries and independent shops, head to quirky, friendly North Laine.Accommodations in Brighton City Centre
Head to the pier! The café-lined beachfront area is loaded with things to do. Relax in Hove Park amidst the greenery, sip tea to the sound of piano at the Grand Hotel, or rent a kayak and cast off in the English Channel. There’s also the famous Brighton Pier with its high-altitude fun-rides, where an endless supply of candy floss will keep you going!Accommodations in Seafront
Originally from Ireland, Sarah loves exploring and has a soft spot for the city’s quiet corners.
If you keep your eyes open when passing Preston Park, you may just find the charming hidden Rockery. This peaceful rock garden has beautiful plants and a pond with stepping stones. Since it’s located across the road from the main park, it’s less well known and has plenty of secluded spots.Accommodations near The Rockery
When bored of London’s extensive bar scene, Jake seeks out exciting new watering holes in Brighton.
Bring Your Own Cocktail is a great cocktail bar with a unique twist – it has absolutely no alcohol on sale! Instead, you bring along a bottle of your favourite tipple and the bartender will use it to mix up a creative cocktail just for you.Accommodations near Bring Your Own Cocktail
Pasqual lived in sunny Brighton and Hove for 6 years and has fond memories of its buzzing nightlife.
As a former local, I’d often head to the Old Steine, an open green space in the heart of the city. A café provides a nice spot to stop and chat while taking in Brighton’s buzz, and it’s a short stroll down to the seafront to take in the afternoon sun.Accommodations near The Old Steine
Booking.com asked travelers...Is there more to shopping in Brighton & Hove than just brand-name stores?
Try the LanesSee all 37 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in Brighton & Hove.
Individual and independent shops, makes a different experience to visiting other large towns which mainly have the 'big boys' as their main attractions. Refreshing to find quirky, individual and different businesses. Avoided at all cost shops, bars, restaurants I can visit in my own home town.See all 34 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Where should people go if they don't want to eat in a tourist trap?
Frankies Italian restaurant in Hove, Lion and Lobster in Brighton.See all 24 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...The beach means different things to different people. What did the beach in Brighton & Hove mean to you?
The beach is vast and many different parts to it a play area for young families and the pier for all the family , plus the bars and restaurants on the beach for older family members. So a good all-rounder for everyone.See all 23 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...Why is the atmosphere in Brighton & Hove something people rave about?
Chilled, laid back, friendly peopleSee all 16 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What will make vegetarians' mouths water when they head to Brighton & Hove?
Go to Terre a Terre! Not only some of the best veggie food, but some of the best food I've ever had. Stunning!See all 13 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What is it about the people in Brighton & Hove that makes them so watchable?
many individualsSee all 11 answers
Booking.com asked travelers...What was the most entertaining thing you saw in Brighton & Hove?
Brilliant WhalefestSee all 10 answers
Gatwick Airport is served by frequent trains on the London–Brighton line, with journey times of 25–40 minutes to Brighton Train Station. Faster Southern trains cost GBP 10 single, while slower Thameslink services cost GBP 8.40. National Express buses also connect Gatwick and Brighton in around 45 minutes, with prices starting at GBP 6.60 online. Airport taxis will charge at least GBP 60 to Brighton: it may be cheaper to call a local taxi firm and arrange a pick-up.
Mainly operated by the Brighton and Hove Bus Company, Brighton’s buses are generally modern, with low-emission engines and space for wheelchairs and prams. Buses run every few minutes on main routes, and there are plenty of bus stops around the city. A single trip within the city centre costs GBP 2, while a full one-way ticket costs GBP 2.40. Day passes are also available for GBP 4.70. All tickets are sold on board – just pay the driver directly in cash.
Brighton and Hove’s white and aqua coloured taxis can be hailed in the street but don’t always stop, particularly on busy Friday and Saturday nights. Alternatively, taxi ranks are dotted around the city, including outside the train station, Churchill Square and the Pavilion. Fares start at GBP 4.60 for the first mile travelled and GBP 2.20 for each subsequent mile. Higher fares apply for large groups and when travelling at night, on Sundays and on public holidays.
Just a 15-minute walk from the seafront, Brighton Railway Station offers regular trains to Gatwick and Luton airports and direct connections to London, Bristol, Southampton and Plymouth. Tickets are available from counters and machines in the station, which also has a café, ATM and several shops. Just outside the main entrance you’ll find a taxi rank and a bus station, while the rear entrance has a cycle hub offering bicycle storage, rental and repair services.
The number of cyclists in Brighton and Hove has increased substantially over recent years and there are cycle lanes throughout the city, including along the seafront. Several private companies offer guided cycle tours and bike rental, including tandems and bicycles with child seats. Tourist information offices can also provide you with a cycle map which marks out popular routes and bike parking facilities around Brighton.
Driving in central Brighton is best avoided if possible. Narrow one-way streets make for confusing navigation and intense traffic, especially at weekends and during special events. On-street parking is hard to come by and quite pricey – up to GBP 3.60 per hour. Be aware that parking restrictions are strictly enforced and vehicles parked illegally may be clamped or towed away. Multi-storey carparks are more convenient, but prices start at around GBP 8 per hour.
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