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Why Plan a weekend in Brighton?

brighton striped deckchairs overlooking brighton pier

Ideally, you would put aside enough time for a long weekend in Brighton but it also makes an easy day trip away from the hustle and bustle of London city life!

There’s something about Brighton with its charming pier complete with amusement arcade and fairground, it’s traditional striped deckchairs dotted over a pebble beach which stretches for miles and the narrow lanes chockablock full of vintage shops, jewellers & artisan cafes. You won’t be able to help falling in love with Brighton every single time you visit.

If you can’t get enough of quaint British towns, check out Monmouth too in my Monmouth Visitors Guide.

a weekend in brighton exploring the quirky streets

My Love affair with Brighton

This was my third weekend in Brighton and each time the urge to up sticks and relocate to this quirky English seaside town gets harder and harder to resist. Luckily, my good friend Emma, who I lived with at University in Cardiff, now lives in the area allowing me to visit regularly and frequently enjoy a girls weekend in Brighton.

Planning a Perfect Girls Weekend in Brighton

Whilst usually our girls weekends revolve around shopping and cocktails then even more shopping, Emma was up for something a little different this time as we set about exploring all the alternative quirky things to do in Brighton. That’s not to say we didn’t make time for the occasional cocktail and boutique clothes store…

Turns out there are SO many fun, quirky things to do in Brighton, enough to occupy at least a week and that’s not even touching upon the gorgeous countryside in Kent! That is our goal for my next visit, so watch this space…

So read on for help planning your own weekend in Brighton with this list of 30 things to do in Brighton…




Where to stay in Brighton

Brighton is a pretty small city and you can walk most places but as with any city break, it’s best to stay as central as possible as you’ll end up walking a lot farther than you realise. 

I’d recommend locating yourself as close to the Brighton laneways as possible. 

My friend Emma used to live in the laneways and it was super convenient every time we had a girls weekend in Brighton! 

Staying in an Airbnb in Brighton is probably your best bet!

30 Fun and Quirky Things to Do in Brighton

Explore Brighton

Take part in a Brighton treasure hunt!

Partaking in a Brighton treasure hunt was a brilliant way to see the city, making sure we ticked off the most noteworthy places to see in Brighton. For just £6, after registering with Black Cat Treasure Hunts, we were able to download the 29 clues which would guide us around all of Brighton’s highlights. The treasure hunt starts in the beautiful Brighton train station

brighton train station architecture
Admiring the beautiful architecture at Brighton Train Station

Explore the Brighton Street Art Scene

It goes without saying that quirky Brighton has a thriving art scene and has some of the best street art I’ve seen including a huge angel painted in shimmering gold!

Find the most colourful houses in brighton

As well as colourful street art, you’ll find plenty of charming colourful streets where the houses are painted cheerful colours. The most striking of which is Blaker road, just outside the city centre. Would you love to live in one of these houses? I know I would!

Visit The Brighton Royal Pavilion

Built as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV in 1787 to indulge his party lifestyle, this Royal Pavilion wouldn’t look out of place next to India’s Taj Mahal. In fact, the South Gate was gifted by the Maharaja as a thank you for Brighton’s care of Indian soldiers in the 1st world war. Nowadays it makes a great place to gawp at and explore and the pretty gardens are often occupied by locals in the summer.

Enjoy The Brighton Seaside

Wander along Brighton Pier

No weekend in Brighton would be complete without a stroll along it’s infamous seaside pier. make sure to indulge in a stick of rock or some candyfloss! I certainly did!

Eating candyfloss on brighton pier

Enjoy the amusement arcade on Brighton Pier

Relive your childhood with the super blingy arcade on Brighton Pier! Don’t forget to look up at the impressive ceiling! Time spent with the two penny machines will have you feeling nostalgic in no time at all.

brighton pier amusement arcade - one of the =great things to do in brighton

Pull up a deckchair and have some beach time

Conjure up an image of Brighton in your mind and it will probably be this one. Traditional striped deck chairs on a pebble beach which stretches for miles overlooking the grand icon Brighton Pier. I can’t think of a better way to spend an afternoon than plonking myself down in one of these deckchairs, soaking up the sunshine and people watching as they enjoy some beach time. Can you?

brighton striped deckchairs overlooking brighton pier

Visit the colourful beach houses of Hove

A 20-minute stroll along the beachfront heading past the i360,  you will reach the colourful beach houses near Hove. There’s nothing that screams iconic Britain more than a colourful beach hut!

colourful beach huts in brighton

Have fun at Brighton Pier Fairground

For a ticket which allows unlimited rides for a day, you can pay £17. Otherwise, rides vary between £2 and £5. You’ll find everything from the traditional carousel to a small rollercoaster. My personal favourite, however, is always the dodgems!

things to do on a weekend in brighton - brighton fairground on the pier

Check out the Brighton beachfront from Above on the i360

A recent addition to Brighton’s seafront is the British Airways i360 a domed viewing platform which rises to 450ft where you can sip on some bubbles whilst admiring the seaside views. Get your tickets HERE.

Go Shopping in Brighton

Go shopping for jewellery in the Brighton lanes

The quaint laneways of Brighton are well known for their collection of jewellery stores. You’ll find everything from sleek modern jewellery to vintage gems. I can’t promise you won’t have to sell a kidney to afford some of it though!

a weekend in brighton exploring the quirky streets

In the laneways you will also find Choccywoccydoodah the most impressive chocolate/cake store I think I’ve ever seen. Those cakes in the window are just incredible!

Go antique hunting at Snoopers Paradise

Brighton is a great place to find a bargain and no weekend in Brighton is complete without a bit of vintage shopping. Make sure you head to Snooper’s Paradise. This little treasure trove could be explored for days! We also loved the vintage photo booth!

Visit the Vegan Perfume Store, Eden

It doesn’t get much more ‘Brighton’ than this! A vegan perfume store! But what I loved about this shop, Eden, is that they can replicate any of your favourite perfumes and they are very reasonably priced. They also recycle the bottles and if you return an empty bottle, they’ll fill it for a fraction of the price of a new perfume bottle!

eden - vegan perfume shop in brighton

Visit the Many Art Galleries in Brighton

It seems everywhere you look, there’s another art gallery in Brighton. I also found lots of lovely shops selling artwork at affordable prices. One of my favourites was Unlimited, a shop which showcases the art, pottery and jewellery created by locals artists. There was even a photography gallery on the beach showcasing local talents!

Take a Brighton Walking Tour

Brighton Ghost Walk

Every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, there is a ghost walk which leaves from outside the Druids Head at 7.30 pm. There’s no need to pre-book, just turn up 10 minutes beforehand. The tour costs £8 and was a fun way to spend a little over an hour, learning about the creepier side of Brighton!

Brighton Food Tour

Brighton really is a food lovers paradise. Trust me, we made sure to sample a LOT! I mean all for the sake of research… I practically had to roll myself home and have spent the last week trying to be good as gold to compensate for all those cocktails, ice creams and desserts. I didn’t do the food tour myself as time ran out but this one is definitely on our agenda for future weekends in Brighton! But you can read reviews of the food tour HERE.

Only in Brighton City Tour

If you have a short attention span like me and like your information drip-fed to you in a comedic manner then this tour is for you. Find out about Brighton’s history, why it is the LGBT capital of the UK, how the Brighton Pavilion came to be and where to find the best street art on this 80-minute walking tour. You can book your ticket HERE.

Enjoy the Brighton Food and Drink Scene

Drink coffee at one of the Zillions of coffee houses

It seems that every direction you look in there’s yet another quirky coffee shop or charming tea room. So be prepared to drink a lot of coffee and eat LOTS of cake when you visit Brighton! Tough times huh?

Enjoy a cocktail at one of the many bars

It’s important you take lots of breaks whilst sightseeing and erm… have another cocktail! Shopping is WAY more fun after a few Mojitos at The Twisted Lemon. (Nb, The Twisted Lemon is tricky to find at it’s set back off the road and entered down a tiny lane but you can find directions HERE.) We’ve also enjoyed many a cocktail in the luxury hotels lining the beachfront on previous Brighton weekends.

If pubs are more your style then you’re also in luck! Bright has SO MANY pubs! Most of which are totally adorable and I want to sample them all! Emma, can we plan our next Brighton weekend please?!!

Another bar we enjoyed on my most recent trip to Brighton was The End of The World. Here there is an emphasis on fun and upstairs above the main bar is a games room where you’ll find everything from table ice hockey to a retro Pacman game. You can also join is a giant car race which runs every 40 minutes or so and costs £3 to join in.

Playing table ice hockey at the end of the world pub in brighton

Take afternoon tea at a teahouse

After grieving that our absolute favourite place for afternoon tea had recently shut down, we stumbled across this little gem in the laneways. We enjoyed an indulgent afternoon tea at That Little Tea Shop whilst debating which is the correct way to eat a scone – jam or cream first? (If you think it should be jam 1st, then show me some support in the comments!)

Enjoy one of the many Brighton restaurants

You really will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in Brighton. We had some amazing meals out, my favourite being an Italian restaurant called Fatto a Mano (where the pizza tastes like it’s been delivered from Rome) and The Chilli Pickle, an incredible Indian restaurant where the food was so good we somehow racked up a bill of £80 between us! That’s not to say it’s expensive, it’s just we ate a LOT..!

Top tip! The green things which look like chillis but MIGHT be harmless green beans, are in fact super hot chillis. Don’t learn the hard way like Emma did…!

Eat Fish and Chips on the Beach

Okay, you are in England so you will have to be very British and brave the elements at least once to eat fish and chips on Brighton beach! I mean it was a struggle to eat out chips without a side of windswept hair but it was totally worth it. Just watch out for those naughty seagulls…

Learn a New Skill

Visit the Brighton Pottery Cafe

I had so much fun at the Brighton pottery painting cafe letting my creativity flow whilst having a good old natter with Emma. Choose from various items of pottery to paint, get creative and then collect a few days later once they’ve been in the kiln. It was the perfect opportunity for me to make a personalised gift for my friend’s babies christening!

Take a jewellery making class in Brighton

Make sure to check out the beautiful jewellery at Posh Totty designs where you can also join in a jewellery making workshop. This is a recommendation by Emma as unfortunately time did not allow us to do this again but it’s definitely on my wishlist for another weekend in Brighton.

Take a laughter workshop

Yep, you read that right. You can actually take a laughter workshop in Brighton! I’m a great believer that laughter is the best medicine for most ailments (except maybe a hangover) but I’m not 100% convinced laughter can be forced! I didn’t get chance to test the theory but if you’re looking for something really quirky to do in Brighton then this might be right up your street!

Fun Activities in Brighton

Perfect your golfing skills at Globalls

We had SO much fun at Globalls, a crazy golf course near Brighton marina. I’ve played many a crazy golf course before but this was my first glow in the dark one and I loved it! At £5.50, it was also a total bargain!

Pssst, I won…!

Learn to paddle board

If you need to work off all that cake, and cocktails, and ice-cream… why not give stand up paddle boarding a go? It’s harder than it looks and great for the core! You can book it HERE.

Go Sea Kayaking in Brighton

Alternatively, take to the sea in a kayak! Kayaking is one of my favourite things to do when I travel and sea kayaking is especially fun if you get some waves!

Get up close to Brighton pier and explore it from another angle!

Hire Bikes to explore Brighton’s coastline

You can take a guided bike tour (see HERE) or you can hire bikes along Brighton’s beachfront. They charge by the minute with a minimum spend of £1 and the rates are really reasonable. Just find another bike hire station to drop your bike off at when you’re finished!

Try the Brighton Beach Zipwire

For you adrenaline junkies, there is the longest zip wire on the south coast on Brighton Beach. You can even race your friends on the dual zipline! Book your tickets in advance HERE.

And if 30 quirky things to do in Brighton just aren’t enough, here are a few more ideas for you to explore…

Another idea I totally love is hiring a local for a locals tour! You can hire a local to personally guide you around their hometown and get a local’s perspective! I had Emma for this but if you do not have an Emma then this would be a brilliant thing to do! Check out prices HERE.

If you just can’t get enough of British seaside towns, then head over to this article about things to do in Weymouth. Which is your favourite seaside town in England?

Okay so that was actually 36 things to do in Brighton – I spoil you…

Is there anything I’ve missed? What was your favourite quirky thing to do in Brighton? Any other top tips for how to spend a weekend in Brighton? If so let us know in the comments! I can’t wait to hear your ideas!

As always, I really appreciate any social shares – help me spread the word about how awesome Brighton is! Maybe use one of these pins below to save it for later?!

A weekend in Brighton -30 quirky things to do in Brighton. Use this Brighton travel guide to help you explore Brighton, England and plan your Brighton itinerary. From brighton beach to the Brighton lanes and Brighton pavillion, there are many fun things to do in Brighton. From glow in the dark crazy golf to beach zip wires and ghost walks! English seaside towns | Brighton seaside | brighton restaurants | brighton activities #brighton #englishseaside #uk #england

A weekend in Brighton -30 quirky things to do in Brighton. Use this Brighton travel guide to help you explore Brighton, England and plan your Brighton itinerary. From brighton beach to the Brighton lanes and Brighton pavillion, there are many fun things to do in Brighton. From glow in the dark crazy golf to beach zip wires and ghost walks! English seaside towns | Brighton seaside | brighton restaurants | brighton activities #brighton #englishseaside #uk #england