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Ten Things You Must Do When Visiting Brighton

Every summer, the city of Brighton is packed with visitors seeking a seaside escape. But Brighton has more to offer than just the beach. It’s a place steeped in history, with a thriving cultural scene and quirky food stops.

As a Brighton local, I’m familiar with the best that the city has to offer. Here are ten things you must do when visiting Brighton.

By Mohsina Alam


1. Visit the Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion is a stunning former royal residence located in the centre of Brighton. Built in the early nineteenth century for George IV, the then Prince of Wales, it was utilized by a number of English monarchs as a base during their travels to Brighton. In 1850, Brighton purchased the Pavilion from Queen Victoria and opened its doors to the public. Since then, it has been an unmissable tourist stop.

The Royal Pavilion fuses Indian-inspired architecture with colorful interiors and iconography that are reminiscent of the Far East. Highlights of the Pavilion tour include seeing the opulent banqueting room, the breathtaking restored saloon which will give you guaranteed interior envy, and the Indian hospital gallery, where you can find out more about the Pavilion’s transformation into a military hospital during WWI. Give yourself a couple of hours to complete the Pavilion tour, to truly absorb its splendor and history.

royal pavillion - Life Lovers Magazine

2. Get Lunch at Food for Friends

Brighton is renowned for its extensive and inclusive food options, and is particularly welcoming to those looking for good vegetarian/vegan food. Food for Friends is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant and is a must-stop for any foodie, whether vegetarian or not. The menu changes regularly as the restaurant is committed to using ingredients that are in season, and locally and consciously sourced.

Taking inspiration from all across the globe, you’ll find a wide selection of dishes to pick from that will satisfy everyone’s taste buds. I would particularly recommend the gnocchi and the aubergine kofta, which are both packed with flavor and perfectly light.

3. Take a Stroll Through the Lanes

The Lanes are a quintessential part of the Brighton experience, and no trip to the city is complete without walking through them. Dating back to the sixteenth century, The Lanes are a collection of narrow paths with independent stores, cafes, and market stalls. There are almost always buskers singing and playing instruments, which is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxed walk through these beautiful streets that transport you through time.

Top Tip: Make sure you visit Snoopers Paradise in the North Laine district for the best antiques and vintage clothes - they also have a retro photo booth for you to get a memento of your visit.

4. Zip Wire Along the Beach

For the adrenaline-seekers among us, the seafront zip wire is the perfect activity and a great way to see more of the city. At thirty meters high, you’ll get an enviable view of the beach, the Palace Pier, the Seven Sisters cliffs and more. It is the longest zip wire on the south coast of England, at three hundred meters long, although it doesn’t feel so long when you’re soaring across the wire!

Although tickets are available for on-the-day purchase, it is advisable to book ahead, especially on weekends/school holidays.

5. Grab Coffee at Twin Pines

Brighton has an incredible coffee scene, but amongst the best coffee shops has to be Twin Pines. Located in Kemptown, a small community within Brighton, Twin Pines offers beautifully blended coffees and hot drinks (my personal favorite is a chai latte). Moreover, it has a cosy atmosphere, with dim lighting, comfortable seating, and gorgeous furnishings. If you happen to visit Brighton on a wet day, this is a great place to shelter from the rain.

6. Watch the Sun Set at the Palace Pier

Perhaps one of the most iconic attractions in Brighton is the Palace Pier, a 1722 ft. long pier with a bustling arcade, exciting rides, and sweet treats like doughnuts and milkshakes. The best time of day to visit though is just before the sun sets. You can grab a deckchair, sit back, and relax whilst you get an awe-inspiring view of the sun setting over the sea and illuminating the ruins of the old West Pier and the beach. On a clear day, you will likely see a murmuration of starlings swooping across the sky, which really is a spectacle to behold.

brighton palace pier - Life Lovers Magazine

7. Wander Around Preston Park Rockery

If you’re looking to get out of the city centre, The Rockery in Preston Park is a stunning, and (usually) quiet option. Located just a mile from Brighton train station, The Rockery is England’s largest rock garden. This is a lovely spot to chill, read a book, or bring a picnic. Surrounded by water features, brightly colored flowers, and stepping stones, it’s impossible to not feel at peace here.

8. Visit the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Just a few steps away from the Royal Pavilion sits Brighton’s best museum, the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery. The permanent gallery has exhibitions ranging from fashion and style to twentieth-century art to historic cultures. Currently, there is a community curated display entitled ‘Queer the Pier’, which is celebrating the queer community of Brighton and Brighton’s status as the unofficial gay capital of the UK. There is also an upcoming Valentine’s Day exhibition, which would be perfect if you’re thinking of visiting Brighton for a Valentine’s getaway.

9. Catch a Show at the Brighton Dome

There are a plethora of ambient venues in Brighton, but the Dome has to be my favorite. The architecture is incredibly beautiful and inspiring, whilst still maintaining an intimate feel. I’ve been lucky enough to go to a number of events held there over the years, including concerts, ballet performances, and author interviews. The Dome hosts over five hundred performances annually, ranging from music and dance to comedy and theatre. Catching a show at the Dome would be a perfect way to end a day or a weekend in Brighton.

10. Get Drinks at the Twisted Lemon

The Twisted Lemon is easy to miss, but impossible to forget once you’ve been there. Nestled into a small alley on Middle Street sits the lively cocktail bar. The bar has a wide-ranging menu, and, for non-drinkers like myself, has great non-alcoholic options (I would highly recommend the Virgin Mai Tai if you have a sweet tooth!). The drinks are much more affordable than other bars in Brighton, and happy hour lasts until 7pm, so treat yourself to a few!

The staff are also incredibly friendly and knowledgeable - it’s unlikely that you’ll leave without having a chat with your server and learning all there is to know about your drink.

10 things you must do while in Brighton:

  1. Visit the Royal Pavilion

  2. Get Lunch at Food for Friends

  3. Take a stroll through The Lanes

  4. Zip Wire along the beach

  5. Grab coffee at Twin Pines

  6. Watch the sun set the Palace Pier

  7. Wander around Preston Park Rockery

  8. Visit the Brighton Museum and Gallery

  9. Catch a show at the Brighton Dome

  10. Get drink at the Twisted Lemon


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