Taking a Brighton day trip is by far one of the most popular London day trip options, and for good reason. Even when the weather’s bad (as it so often is in the UK), Brighton is absolutely beautiful.
The laid back vibe can provide a much needed break for stressed out Londoners, and for tourists based in London a Brighton day trip a great, easy option to see a little bit more of the country outside of the capitol.
I absolutely fell in love with Brighton when I visited it this October on a day trip, and I hope to get a chance to go there again soon. While I’m just reminiscing, though, I thought I’d take a chance to share some of my tips with you so that you, too, can have an amazing Brighton day trip.
Getting to Brighton
The train is by far the easiest way to get to Brighton from London. Depending on where you’re staying you can hop on a train at London Victoria, London Bridge, London St. Pancreas, East Croydon, or Clapham Junction and get to Brighton in under an hour and a half. Best of all? If you travel on an off-peak ticket you can generally do it for under £15! How’s that for a great travel deal?
I highly recommend Trainline for all of your train ticket booking needs in the UK.
If you have access to a car, you can also drive from London to Brighton in approximately an hour and a half.
Getting Around Brighton
Thankfully, Brighton is a relatively small town. Most of the main attractions are within walking distance from the train station.
There’s also a relatively well-developed bus system, but I highly suggest walking everywhere if you’re up for it! Not only will it save you some money, but you never know what you might discover on your journey from point A to B.
Brighton is a town full of quirks and charm, and you definitely get the best feeling of that walking around everywhere.
If you do want to take a bus, you can buy your tickets from the driver or get a mobile ticket.
Alternatively, you can take a hop-on-hop-off tour for a super easy day trip! Click here to buy your tickets.
Brighton Day Trip Itinerary
The Royal Pavilion
Brighton is best known for its seaside, but if you get in in the morning you might not want to head straight there. Instead, head to the Royal Pavilion!
Built by Prince George in 1787 as a party palace, this impressive piece of architecture is certainly a sight to behold.
If you got an early start to your day and have the time, make sure to head inside. The rooms are absolutely beautiful! Click here to buy your tickets ahead of time and skip the line.
Extremely close by to the Royal Pavilion are The Lanes, a collection of narrow pedestrian-only streets filled with shops.
They may not be Oxford Street, but the Lanes are an incredible jumble of shops oozing with charm. They completely embody the quirkiness that Brighton is all about.
While you make your way down to the seaside take a slight detour and pop your head into a few of the stores. You’re sure to find something that you’ll fall in love with.
For a complete guide to all of the shops in The Lanes, click here.
Lunch: Regency Fish and Chips Brighton
As a town on the seaside, Brighton is known for its fish and chips. While I was there, though, I wanted to be able to get the best of the best. So, obviously, I did a little research. A few names popped up, and I decided to take my chances with a restaurant called The Regency.
I ordered the fish and chips and was absolutely blown away when I was presented with a ginormous plate a little while later. Seriously, the portion was huge! For only £7.50, it was an absolute steal, and the fish was seriously amazing.
The beautiful seaside view and the absolutely fantastic staff (our lovely waiter offered to take a picture of us before I could even ask) only added to the charm, and firmly cemented The Regency as the place that I will always recommend for people to go.
Finally, after stuffing yourself silly with some great fish a chips, head down to the beach. There, you can take a stroll along the boardwalk to burn off some calories.
Or, if you’re feeling a bit lazy, just pop a squat on one of the picnic tables scattered around the area and enjoy the view (over-priced beer completely optional, but definitely recommended).
There’s also a lot of great little arts and craft stores along the boardwalk for you to peruse if you please.
Brighton is best known for its pier. So it was obvious that we had to set foot on it while we were there. We did this last, and I have to say that it actually wasn’t the highlight of my trip.
The pier offered some great views of the shore and provided me with some pretty fantastic gelato. But for the most part the pier was overpriced and rather loud. Definitely not a place I would want to spend much time. It’s more of a place to visit for just a few minutes just to say you’ve been.
Despite the pier being a bit of a let down, though, I have to say that my trip to Brighton was one of the highlights of my year. It’s definitely something that I hope to repeat again soon. If you have the chance, I highly recommend that you take your own trip to Brighton and discover what it’s all about!
Other Things to do ON A Brighton Day Trip
Have more time in Brighton or just want to get a bit more off-the-beaten-path on your Brighton day trip? Here are a few more fun things to do:
- Take in the panoramic views of Brighton and the South Coast from British Airways i360. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, do the iDrop!
- Take a delicious food tour of Brighton
- Get your adrenaline rushing on the longest zip line on the south coast of Britain
- Take a charming bike tour of Brighton
- Learn more about the LGBTQ+ history and present of Brighton on a Piers & Queers LGBTQ History Tour of the city
- Head out on an exciting ebike tour of the coast
Where to Stay in Brighton
If you’re planning on spending a night or two in Brighton, then here are a few great options for all budgets:
Seadragon Backpackers – $ – a super charming small hostel with a 9.2 rating on Hostelworld and just 30 seconds from the seafront. Their kitchen was also voted as “Best Hostel Kitchen” by Lonely Planet!
YHA Brighton – $ – Unline other YHA hostels, YHA Brighton seems to have a bit more design sense on the inside, which I like. Another great budget option right by the beach.
The Ginger Pig – $$ – An absolutely charming boutique hotel in Hove district located above one of the best pubs in Britain! This looks like the perfect spot for a romantic break.
Snooze – $$ – For an absolutely classic quirky Brighton experience, you can’t go wrong with Snooze. This guesthouse has SO much fun and crazy decor!
Artist Residence Brighton – $$$ – Artist Residence is a small chain of design hotels that I am absolutely OBSESSED with. Their hotel in Brighton even faces the pier!
The Grand Brighton – $$$ – For a classic luxury experience, you can’t go wrong with The Grand Brighton. It also has an amazing location right on the seafront and a 5-10 minute walk from all of Brighton’s top sights.