This English seaside resort town is a perfect mix of Regency glamour and contemporary sophistication. This pocket guide gives you tips to make the most of a whistle stop tour to Brighton.
Where to stay
What’s on your agenda while you’re here? Brighton is rich with stylish hotels, home-from-home guest houses and quirky boutiques. Don’t forget to check out the generous offers available before you book.
For class and style, try Drakes. Winner of the Good Hotel Guide 2018, Editor’s Choice Boutique award, Drakes has 20 bespoke rooms, individually designed and crammed with luxurious comforts. Free standing baths, sea views, and handmade furniture, drakes is simply stunning.
Top tip: if you book a room with a bath, let the hotel know what time to expect you and they’ll run it ready for you!
The Brighton Harbour Hotel has 79 rooms, most with a sea view, and spa treatments available in the HarSPA. The hotel was selected by Sunday Times’ Travel as the Number 1 Seaside Hotel in the Ultimate 100 Best British Hotels category. Mere steps away from Brighton’s famous Lanes, this is ideally placed for access to the sights and sounds of the city.
“Full of cool and funky ideas” is Snooze, the Quirkiest Place To Stay 2016 winner. Bright and bold Snooze is the funkiest place to stay in Brighton with a choice of six en-suite retro doubles or two super funky 70s suites. The prices are cool too, so you’re free to immerse yourself in 20th century nostalgia without worrying about 21st century prices.
If these properties don’t appeal, visitbrighton.com has a list of hotels for every budget, from the designer-decked to the homely hostel.
Where to eat
With hundreds of eateries, the choice is wide and varied in Brighton. Whether you prefer healthy eating, fine dining, fast food, or social snacking, there’s somewhere to tickle your tastebuds.
For nutritious, delicious, try Foodilic, a restaurant that promotes healthy eating focusing on raw, vegetarian, vegan and organic produce. There are two Foodilics in Brighton, North Street (the original) and Western Road. Our favourite off the menu is the Spinach & Beansprout salad with basil pesto.
Eatalio Street Food on Queens Road serves Italian street food “with passion and pride”. Although there’s a menu jam-packed with authentic ingredients, customers are actively encouraged to make their own bespoke meal: visit their website for reservations and to take a ride through Eatalio. Buon Appetito!
Smashburger is a 2018 National Burger Awards finalist. They take a 100% fresh British beef burger, smash it, sear it, season it, then pile it high with toppings for a taste sensation. Whether you choose from the Classic Smashburger or create your own, Smashburger’s philosophy that burgers done right make people happy, is spot on.
Where to shop
Brighton is a shopper’s paradises
Its independent shops can be found in the famous Lanes, London Road and North Laine. The Lanes form part of the city’s historic quarter and are a maze of twisting alleyways with a plethora of boutiques and creative outlets that are a pleasure to browse. North Laine boasts around 300 unique shops and is in the heart of the cultural quarter of the city. You’ll find original artwork, quirky gifts and vintage clothing within this half mile emporium.
For high street names, visit Churchill Square, an undercover shopping mall off the main high street.
What to do
No trip to the seaside is complete without a walk along the pier. Brighton, or Palace Pier is a stunning Victorian structure that provides traditional seaside fun at its very best. Feast on fish and chips, treat yourself to candy floss and ice creams and rest up in the famous stripy deckchairs. Handkerchief hats are strictly optional.
Brighton beach is pebble, not sand, but that doesn’t stop it being named as one of the Top 10 “cities with brilliant beaches” by Lonely Planet. It’s estimated that there are more than 614.5 million pebbles on the beach. As you’ve got 24 hours, we don’t suggest you try and count them!
Regency architecture abounds and walking through the elegant squares and crescents of Brighton and Hove will take you from the present day to the 1700s within a step or two.
For a little history, take in the dazzling and exotic Royal Pavillion with works of art on loan from Her Majesty the Queen and its beautiful Regency-landscaped gardens. For a modern view of this urban hub, try the British Airways i360, designed by the creators of the London Eye. Glide 450 feet to the top of the tower in the glass viewing pod and enjoy a 360 view that reaches to the Isle of Wight on a good viewing day.
Top tip: Save up to 30% on Brighton’s top three paid-for attractions with a Brighton Attractions Combi-Saver Ticket. This will give you access to the Royal Pavillion, i360 and Sea Life Brighton.
How to get there
Brighton to London takes just 60 minutes by train, and the station is central, so once you arrive, you’ve arrived. Gatwick is only 30 minutes away by car, so great for a quick UK break too. And with great public transport and pedestrianised routes throughout, you can see Brighton at your own pace.