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Fun things to do in Brighton

16 June 2021

The vibrant city of Brighton is one of the most iconic seaside destinations in the UK. If the salty scent of the sea sings a siren song you can't resist, consider a visit to this bohemian haven and prepare to fall under its spell...

Brighton pier at dusk

Offbeat Brighton may enjoy some of the gloss of London with its gentrified townhouses and sophisticated Regency squares, but the city will always, first and foremost, be a magnet for the eccentrics and creatives of the world. The result is a melting pot of quirky boutiques and eateries combined with sleek restaurants and bars; a destination where markets, festivals and the arts are fully ingrained into daily life.

Whether you want to fill your shopping bags, enjoy original entertainment or simply relax by the sea, Brighton caters to a variety of tastes.

Ride the electric railway

The narrow gauge heritage Volk's Electric Railway (VER) is the oldest operating electric railway in the world, first operated in 1883 the Victorian railway runs along the Brighton seafront between Palace Pier (Aquarium stop) and Black Rock, near Brighton Marina, for about one mile.

Hit the beach

Brighton is a city for all seasons and the beach is no exception. Choose to sun yourself on the shingle beach in the summer with an ice-cream in hand or wrap up warm in colder climes for a stroll and a portion of traditional fish and chips. It's no wonder the beach is the primary reason Brighton emerged as a prime tourist destination. 

Picnic at the Royal Pavilion

The regal dome of the Royal Pavilion is one of the most recognisable landmarks of Brighton. Built as a pleasure palace for King George IV, it blends regency grandeur with architectural nods to the east. Visit the estate for a guided tour of the interior or enjoy a wine-soaked picnic in the beautiful gardens.

Go shopping on the Lanes

Brighton is easy to navigate on foot and the Lanes are one of the most enjoyable places to wander until you're thoroughly lost. This criss-crossed network of alleys and squares offers a dose of cafe culture as well as plenty of intriguing, independent stores selling all manner of wares from jewellery to homeware, antiques to designer fashion. Here you will find goods as individual and as eclectic as Brighton itself. Be prepared to give your credit card a workout.  

Entertain your inner child at the Toy and Model Museum

One for the grandchildren, or is that just an excuse? Indulge your inner child in this museum which has over ten thousand toys and models in its archive. Everywhere there are models to admire. Even up above hang biplanes, triplanes and helicopters - the largest being a quarter-scale WW2 Spitfire. And even soft toys get a look-in with pieces by Steiff taking centre stage.

Visit Hove Museum and Art Gallery

First opened as a public museum in 1927 this gallery is particularly strong on craft with ceramics, glass, textile, metalwork, jewellery and woodwork all displayed. Unusually for a museum there is a strong slant that vintage film lovers will enjoy with zoetropes and early cameras all making an appearance.

Take in a show

In Brighton, every night is show night. The city offers a selection of excellent theatres including the Theatre Royal, Brighton Dome and Komedia, offering top entertainment for an assortment of tastes.

Admire the view

Brighton's answer to the London Eye is the British Airways i360 Viewing Tower, a rising platform near the remains of the burnt out West Pier. The fully enclosed viewing pod opened in 2016 and has since become one of Brighton's most popular tourist spots, although not without some controversy.


The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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