Sat on the pretty and picturesque south coast and a stone’s throw from the bright lights of the capital, Brighton is easily one of Britain’s best places to visit. This cool and quirky city certainly deserves its creative reputation, being the much loved home of so many artists, writers and musicians through the ages. Brighton’s architecture is distinct, its atmosphere is unrivalled, and its raft of attractions are quite unlike anywhere else in the country.
Combining classic seaside draws with all the hustle and bustle of a large city, there’s plenty to keep you busy on a short break to Brighton, and you’ve certainly picked well if you want to spend time outdoors. Boasting some of Britain’s best weather, here are some outdoor activities you’ll want to put right to the top of your itinerary.
Best for: anyone and everyone
Where: simply head for the sea! If you’re arriving at Brighton train station, walk the length of Queens Road and West Street
No trip to Brighton is complete without a stroll down the Seafront. Brighton’s shoreline and beach are the beating heart of this city, and are where you’ll find some of its most famous attractions, including Brighton Pier, the ruins of the West Pier, the British Airways i360 Viewing Tower and The Music Hall. There’s almost always something happening along here no matter what time of year you visit, and with plenty of playgrounds, arcades and loungers on the beach to kick back on, there really is something for all ages.
For picture perfect scenes, head to the seafront at dawn or dusk. Brighton’s south-facing position on the coast means the city is treated to spectacular sunrises and sunsets out over the waters of the English Channel.
Best for: couples and party groups
Where: the meeting point is in front of the Unitarian Church on New Road, a stone’s throw from the Royal Pavilion
Price: from £25.50 per person, including cycle hire
Brighton’s a relatively big place for a seaside spot, and that’s before you even start exploring what the city’s adjoining twin town Hove has to offer. That’s why, if you’re only in the city a day or two, Brighton Bike Tours are a superb way to pack so much in a couple of hours.
Getting around the city on a hire bike, accompanied by a local guide who really knows their stuff, all while breathing in that fresh coastal air? What’s not to love! Jolly Explorer bike tours are staffed by a passionate team and offer a superb selection of packages including the popular Grand Bike Tour, the Twilight Bike Tour for some spectacular sunset views, and Private Party Tours with options for stag and hen groups.
Best for: all thrill seekers!
Where: head for the seafront, and you’ll find it just to the left hand side of Brighton Pier
Price: £16.00 for a single rider, £30.00 for a dual ride
Taking a gentle stroll along Brighton’s charming seafront is – simply put – yesterday’s news. Any and every thrill seeker has the opportunity to go one extra these days, flying through the sky with the English Channel on one side and the bright lights of Brighton whizzing by on the other.
Once you bravely climb the launch tower, you’ll be securely strapped in and readied for your flight. With a countdown you’ll begin your descent, speeding through the skies with the sands of Brighton beach and beachgoers passing beneath you, and after 300 metres you’ll finally slow and get your feet back on terra firma. Brighton Zip is a fantastic and memorable experience that’s suitable for anyone over the age of five and more than 1.3 metres tall.
Best for: families with young children
How to get there: drive out of town along the A27 towards Eastbourne or catch a train from Brighton Station to Berwick Station
Price: from £19.00 for individual tickets and £76.00 for a family of four if visiting off-peak
Set among rolling green countryside to the east of Brighton, Drusillas Park is easily among the south coast’s best days out for families. This fun-filled zoo and play park offers so much to excite young minds, with hours’ worth of entertainment to be had getting up close with the park’s resident animals. Grab an Animal Spotter Book and stamp off the species as you go, giving a wave to lemurs, lorikeets and lions, among many others.
When you’re not animal spotting, the Go Bananas! And Go Wild! Playgrounds are a vast space where kids can truly go ape. With places to climb, swing, slide and spin, they’ll certainly burn off any excess energy.
Best for: shopaholics
How to get there: head back into town from the waterfront, just between the Music Hall and Brighton Pier
Price: free (excluding your spends!)
Not only does Brighton have a beautiful beach and exciting seafront, but the city also boasts one of the quirkiest and most atmospheric shopping districts to be found anywhere in the UK. Known as The Lanes, this tight network of buildings wind along cobbled streets, hiding within this labyrinth an eclectic selection of boutiques, eateries and curiosity shops. You need not make a purchase or step inside a store to soak up the atmosphere of The Lanes, and no trip to Brighton is complete without spending an hour or two exploring here.
Best for: anyone who loves the great outdoors
How to get there: head out of town on the aptly named Dyke Road Avenue and Devil’s Dyke Road, or get the Breeze 77 bus from Brighton centre
Price: free (with a small charge for parking)
If you love mixing up your city breaks with the occasional beauty spot, Devil’s Dyke surely comes out top of the list near Brighton. Well out of the city but not so far that it’ll take you an age to reach, this National Trust estate offers several walking trails through the rolling green hills of the Sussex countryside. Most provide a gentle uphill climb, but you’ll be rewarded with beautiful views back over Brighton for your efforts.
If you’re planning to escape to Brighton for a few days, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to stay where you can recharge your batteries after all that exploring. Jurys Inn Brighton is handily located close to the city’s train station, while Jurys Inn Brighton Waterfront puts you right in the thick of the action by the beach. Whichever you go for, you’ll find both hotels have all the amenities and luxury touches you need to enjoy your trip to the fullest.
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