2 Days in Brighton: Top Things to Do & Itinerary

2 Days in Brighton: Top Things to Do & Itinerary

Spending the weekend in Brighton allows you to have a real English parenthesis in a lively city, by the sea, which offers activities for all tastes: shopping, nature walks, amusement park, bars and nightlife, good restaurants…

It’s a destination I love to go back to from time to time, so today I’ve decided to offer you a guide to going on a weekend in Brighton : what to do there, where to stay, where to eat? On the program, ideas for visits and good addresses!

How to get to Brighton?

Brighton is a coastal city in the south of England, on the edge of the English Channel. There is no major airport there, so the easiest way is to land in a nearby town… and then take the train.

The nearest international airport is London Gatwick … There is a train station at the airport itself, which allows you to catch one of the frequent trains directly to Brighton (check timetables and prices on the National Rail ). Count around 35-40 minutes by train without change.

If you arrive in London by Eurostar, it is also very easy to find trains to Brighton. Either departing from St Pancras station itself (1h20-1h25 journey), or departing from other London stations such as Victoria (50 minutes to 1h journey).

The National Express bus company also offers London-Brighton journeys by coach, but very often the fares are quite similar to those of the train… and the journey much longer!

Here is Brighton on a map:

What to do during a weekend in Brighton?

Here are some ideas for visits and activities for a 2 days Brighton itinerary!

Visit the Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is a former summer residence of King George IV…built before he ascended the throne, in an Anglo-Indian architectural style. Oriental influences are clearly perceptible in this building which left me speechless the first time I came across it!

Photos are prohibited inside but you can visit it and discover the rooms, each one more richly decorated than the other ( advance booking possible here ).

Allow a minimum of 2 hours for this visit.

Discover the Lanes and North Laine

The Lanes and North Laine are two shopping areas in Brighton that are full of charming little shops. It is a pleasant place to walk or go shopping.

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Enjoy the Brighton Pier

The Brighton Pier is made up of numerous rides set up on a jetty that juts out into the sea. a must on a visit to Brighton.

BRIGHTON PIER, 2 days Brighton itinerary

There are rides for all ages, a few thrill rides but also arcade games.

The Brighton Pier is often invaded by a sweet smell of frying so typical of fairgrounds: it serves fish & chips but also pancakes, donuts, churros, pizzas, hot dogs, burgers, ice creams, milkshakes , frozen yoghurts…

There is also a real restaurant on the Pier, the Palm Court Restaurant, but it was never recommended to me.

Watch a sunset on the beach

Brighton has a long pebble beach which stretches over 13 km, 8.5 km of which is within the territory of the municipality itself.

SUNSET ON BRIGHTON BEACH, Brighton itinerary 2 days

It is often forgotten but in reality, Brighton is only part of a larger municipality called “Brighton & Hove”. Hove, the “second half”, is less touristy. However, there are pretty little colorful wooden beach chalets, lined up on the seafront.

The beach at Hove begins with a sandy part, which quickly turns into pebbles as you move east towards Brighton. The beach is divided into zones by groynes (the “groynes”, a kind of wooden palisades driven into the ground). The groynes have existed since the beginning of the 18th century and prevent the beach from being washed away by sea currents.

Each zone thus delimited has its small name (one can for example cite Old Ship, Albion, Athina, etc.). Just remember that Cliff Beach is Brighton’s nudist beach 😉 It is indicated by signs.

A walk by the sea is always pleasant, there is even a little train that runs along the beach… and Brighton often enjoys splendid sunsets. When the weather permits, a lot of people come to settle on the beach for this special time of day. An ideal activity before or after a good restaurant, depending on the season!

Visit the unusual museum of the “Old Police Cells”

If you are looking for an unusual activity to do during a weekend in Brighton, I suggest the Old Police Cells Museum. It’s a guided tour that tells the sordid crime stories of the Brighton of yore, showing you the real prison cells that were in use at the time.

The museum was created on the initiative of police officers (on duty or retired) and is managed by volunteers, so there may be variations in the “quality” of the guided tour… but the place is nice. Admission is free, however you must book in advance ( information on this page ).

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Take a Zipline Ride by the Sea

There used to be a Ferris wheel by the sea in Brighton, this has since been replaced by a zip line which runs along the beach. It is 300 meters long and it is a double zip line, which allows you to descend at the same time as a friend/companion/complete stranger!

You can book a ticket in advance to avoid queuing.

Take to the skies aboard the Brighton i360

Let’s be honest: the aerial view of Brighton cannot be compared to an aerial view of London or another city rich in monuments… The i360, an attraction which allows you to rise in the air on a panoramic observation platform, is therefore not a “must have” strictly speaking.

Nevertheless, the attraction can be nice when the weather is nice (or at least the view is clear and it’s not raining) to admire the whole coast! You can buy a ticket in advance here.

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Explorer Preston Manor at Preston Park

Long ago Preston was a village in its own right and had its own manor house, dating from the 13th century and completely renovated in the 18th century. Today, Preston is part of Brighton and the mansion can be visited.

Beyond its canonical age, it has a few particularities including an enclosed garden including a sensory garden for blind people… and a cemetery for animals, which would be the only one in the entire Sussex region. There lie 4 cats and 16 dogs.

For the reckless: Preston Manor is said to be one of the most haunted buildings in England, which has led to it appearing in numerous television reports. There are a host of anecdotes about apparitions from beyond…

You can check fares and buy a ticket in advance on the Preston Manor website.

Spa or Enjoy a Massage

Brighton is a chic seaside resort… and this is also reflected in the type of services found there! Thus, it is a popular place to go to spa and to enjoy a treatment or a massage.

My favorite address when I spend the weekend in Brighton is Little Jasmine, I have always been well received there and the services are of high quality.

But there are other good addresses, such as the Phoenix spa or the Bristol Gardens Health Spa.

Other Activities in Brighton

There are of course plenty of other activities to do in Brighton… Among those that I find fun, the Brighton Afternoon Tea Bus Tour which consists of having a traditional English tea (with pastries and mini-sandwiches, therefore) on board a double-decker bus, while circulating in the city ( information here ).

If it rains, you can take shelter at Brighton Aquarium ( Brighton Sea Life tickets available online). It’s not the most striking aquarium I’ve visited, but it has a particularity: it’s the oldest aquarium in the world still in operation, it opened its doors in 1872! It was renovated a few years ago and was in great need of it.

In a different genre, there are quite a few bars in Brighton that offer masterclasses to learn how to make cocktails, it can be a fun activity between friends. There is for example the Lucky Voice Brighton or the Be At One.

Don’t forget to take a trip to the Brighton Bandstand. Built in 1884, it often hosts afternoon music groups in the summer. It can also be hired for weddings and other special occasions.Brighton itinerary 2 days

What to do at Night in Brighton?

Brighton is a trendy destination, where many Londoners go to spend the weekend… and which many people choose for bachelor parties or bachelor parties! As a result, it is a city rich in good places to go out in the evening … and there is something for everyone!

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Small useful precision for those who would consider spending the weekend in Brighton for a bachelor party or a bachelor party : most bars and clubs in the city refuse groups of bachelor parties, unless you have booked in advance… Common policy in Brighton is also, very often, to refuse groups who wear extravagant outfits for the occasion. In other words, if you’re wearing your best penis disguise… come and change before going out at night 😉

Regarding the good addresses of bars and clubs, we do not discuss tastes and colors and it is always difficult to get everyone to agree with this kind of address. Depending on the mood of the party, the sounds playing, the artists performing, the people with whom you experience the party, the mood of the bouncer at the entrance, you can have radically different experiences of the same place. .

For example, I can cite the Casablanca Jazz Club, the Concorde 2, the Verdict Jazz Club (jazz/blues club), The Green Door Store (open 24 hours a day on certain days!), The Plotting Parlor (a great cocktail bar !), the BrewDog for beer lovers, the Medusa BarThe Pond bar, the Evening Star pub or the Be At One which I have already mentioned for its cocktail masterclass.

Well, I think that’ll be enough for a weekend, let’s not forget moderation, right? 😉 In any case, there are plenty of nightclubs and bars on Brighton’s seafront, you won’t run out of places to go out!

Brighton itinerary 2 days

On the show side, there is the Proud Cabaret Brighton (which as its name suggests offers dinner cabaret), the Platinum Lace Brighton (strip club which welcomes men and women, it is a very popular place during EVG and EVJF… for those who like this kind of evening!). the Komedia Brighton (music, comedy club). You can also watch the Brighton Dome shows , the room is very nice.

A little more out of the way from the center of Brighton, there is also the Adonis Cabaret (which is located more on the side of Hove, Brighton’s twin).

In another genre, you can also go and enjoy the attractions (rides and games) on the Brighton Pier, I always loved the atmosphere in the evening, the smell of fish & chips at the entrance (yes, it has its charm, I assure you!), the lights of the rides, the view of the seafront…

And if you feel like breaking the bank… or coming away rich, you never know, there are several casinos in Brighton … including the Rendezvous Casino in Brighton Marina (there are others a little closer to the center city ​​too, like the Grosvenor Casino – Pier Nine Brighton – but that of the marina is more famous).

Where to Eat in Brighton?

I have already given you quite a few addresses in my various articles on Brighton… but here is a short summary of my favourites, because it is impossible to spend a weekend in Brighton without a good restaurant!

  • Pub/Wine Bar – The Bath Arms, an old pub from 1864, is a very good place to eat as well as to have a drink… and the prices are relatively affordable. Plateau is also a very nice wine bar.
  • Seafood and fish – Without hesitation, Riddle And Finns, with two addresses in Brighton, one of which faces the sea.
  • British cuisine – Try The Gingerman or, for a higher budget, 64 Degrees.
  • Vegetarian/vegan cuisine – Do not miss Food for Friends, Terre A Terre or Purezza (vegan pizzas), Iydea (lunch/snack only).
  • Cuisines of the world – Ephesus (Turkish restaurant), Giggling Squid (Thai restaurant) or Goemon (Japanese – ramen).
  • Fat lovers! Go to Burger Brothers, the HQ of homemade burger lovers in Brighton! Or Bardsley’s, for delicious fish & chips.

If you have a big lack of French pastries or pastries , go to Julien Plumart (a Frenchie pastry chef who delights the taste buds on the other side of the Channel!). In a more English style, the homemade pastries at The Flour Pot Bakery are generally very nice, there are several addresses in Brighton.

Frankly, it’s hard to stop the selection there because there are LOTS of restaurants and cafes to spend a weekend in Brighton indulging! I don’t think I’ll ever fully cover it 🙂

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Where to Stay in Brighton?

I advise you to look carefully at the location of the hotels you are targeting, especially if you are arriving without a car. Brighton city center can easily be explored on foot, the train station is well placed… but Brighton itself is quite a large city which as I mentioned above actually covers two municipalities, “Brighton & Hove” .

For my part, I often choose to stay in a perpendicular to Marine Parade, near the Brighton Pier. It allows you to do everything on foot and it’s quieter at night than when you stay too close to the bars. If you also want to bet on this corner, here are some quality hotels at different budgets:

  • The Blanch House (3 stars with a great welcome and very nice services in the hotel).
  • One Broad Street (3 stars), a clean, well-located hotel offering rooms with kitchenettes.
  • Drakes (4 stars with a really top restaurant!).

Among my other favorites in town, a stone’s throw from the sea :

  • The Pelirocco (4 stars), a boutique hotel where each room has a different and original decor inspired by pop culture.
  • The Grand Brighton (4 stars), to face the sea in a splendid Renaissance building, with large rooms (some with balconies and sea views);
Brighton itinerary 2 days

Things to see near Brighton?

While there’s plenty to do in Brighton itself, there’s no shortage of things to see in the Sussex area either… and you can easily escape for a day in the area. Here are some ideas for excursions to organize!

Seven Sisters Nature Park

My little darling, I already told you about it on the blog! It’s a big breath of nature, with beautiful walks to do, white chalk cliffs that fall steeply into the sea.

You can either arrange a tour yourself, or take a guided tour from BrightonThis circuit proposed by the Brighton & Beyond agency offers a very nice route that goes through both Seven Sisters and Devil’s Dyke (another very beautiful corner of nature… but very difficult to access by public transport).

Brighton itinerary 2 days

The Small Town of Lewes

Lewes is a very old medieval town … on a human scale (less than 20,000 inhabitants), with a nice castle to visit. It’s hard to get more convenient from Brighton, since the city is only a good quarter of an hour away by train! You can do everything on foot.

Arundel Castle

Arundel is a town situated to the west of Brighton… whose great place of interest is a magnificent castle, the visit of which alone requires a few hours. There are also splendid gardens and a beautiful cathedral on site, all making for a great day out from Brighton.

It only takes 1h15 by train to get there, usually with a change in Barnham (45 minutes from Brighton to Barnham, then 10 minutes from Barnham to Arundel).

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Devil’s Dyke

North of Brighton, it is a deep valley of a hundred meters, surrounded by legends: it is said that it was created by the devil himself… who one day decided to dig a trench in this place in order to to flood the churches of Sussex.

Lack of luck for him, an old lady disturbed by this din of all the devils (^^) woke up, waking up his rooster as a result. Disturbed, the bird began to sing, thinking it was morning… so the devil in turn thought it was morning… He hurriedly threw a final shovelful of earth over his shoulder (which formed the ‘Isle Of Wight, off Portsmouth) then abandoned the yard without ever completing it.

Devil’s Dyke isn’t as memorable as Seven Sisters from my point of view but it’s a fun ride not far from Brighton… and a place to try your hand at paragliding (Skylark Paragliding, for example, flies there).

The Court Garden Vineyard in Ditchling

In England too, we make wine… and if you are curious to discover a local vineyard, head to Court Garden, 15 km from Brighton. There are tours on Saturdays ( can be booked online here ) and they notably do comparative tastings between the sparkling wine they produce and a champagne.

Spend the day in Hastings

I loved this small seaside town built between two hills. Hastings is very easy to reach from Brighton!

Brighton itinerary 2 days

Other excursions from Brighton

The city is also a starting point for discovering the Isle of Wight, with boarding from Portsmouth. If you have no means of transport, this visit can be done with a guide ( information and booking here ). On the program: superb sandstone cliffs, beaches and 105 km of coastal path circling the island!

I hope all of these tips inspire you to spend the weekend in Brighton!

Whether it’s for 2 days, 3 days or for an even longer long weekend, it’s a very nice destination if you want to start discovering the south of England!

Are you going to UK? Read also:

Camille L.

Passionate about foreign languages, cooking and writing. I wish to share with you the places, the meetings and the gastronomic discoveries which gave relief to my travels.

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