Brighton – a day trip

Called the happiest place to live in the UK, the most popular seaside destination for tourists on the island, and also a “UK gay capital”- Brighton is definitely an interesting city to visit.

Visit Brighton

Thanks to its easy to get to location – only 1 hour south from London by train, it’s a popular tourist destination, which attracted around 7.5 million one-day visitors in 2015/2016. We also went there for a day trip at the very beginning of January. City is overlooking English channels waters and called “English Riviera”. What does it have to offer?


Tickets to get to Brighton are quite cheap and the train journey is quick and pleasant.

You can book tickets using trainline website:

Trains run almost every half an hour and even in the day of travelling there can be some good deals. We paid around £10 pp for return ticket, when booked in advance, and similar prices were still available on the day of our journey (2nd January).

brighton pier in the evening


This seaside city has a lot to offer. You can check some of the activities here:

We wanted to have a relaxing day, after New Year’s Eve rush, so we decided just to stroll around the centre and chill out on the beach. The day was sunny and bright(on) (see what I did here? ;)), and it didn’t feel like winter at all, so it was nice to be outside. We even had our lunch in the restaurant outdoor terrace on the beach.

Royal Pavilion

One of the very interesting places to see in Brighton is Royal Pavilion.

royal pavilion

royal pavilion brighton

This oriental palace looks like it came straight from exotic India, not the UK. It has rich, 200 years long history – it was built as a seaside pleasure house for King George IV, during fashionable Regency era. At the beginning it was just a simple lodging house and in 35 years it grew to a spectacular palace. Those times were full of glamour and extravagance, which are reflected in the building’s interior and exterior. After that, the pavilion served as a civic place and even as a hospital for Indian soldiers during the World War I. Now, it’s recognized as an icon of Brighton and “must see” attraction for many tourists.

brighton museum

Palace can be visited inside – tickets cost £12.30. However, we didn’t managed to go, as the queue was massive and we preferred to stay longer outside.

In winter, next to the pavilion, there is an ice rink, where you can ice skate and look at the white palace walls reflecting in ice.

royal pavilion brighton

The Pier

brighton pier

Brighton Pier (previously named Palace Pier) was opened in 1899 as a pleasure pier. It’s full of shops, eateries, home for amusement park, small casino and more. Most of the food sold there includes seafood, fish and chips and ice cream. Also, the view of the Brighton beach from a pier is really nice.

Brighton beach

Beach in Brighton is wide and long, made from pebbles. It was voted one of the Top 10 city beach destinations in the world. To the west, the main part of it takes Fishing Quarter – the heart of the city’s seafront.

Fishing industry is still active there today and although most of the fisherman houses are now converted into tiny art shops and stylish cafes, you can still walk along the beach in the sun, try some freshly caught fish and shellfish from the famous smoke house and visit Fishing Museum (free entrance). 

Moreover, the work of local artists and photographers is showcased around that area, so you can admire beautiful paintings, sculptures and photographs.

In the night,the beach turns into lively club scene with packed cocktail bars and loud music coming from the speakers. It’s happening mostly in the summer, so we didn’t manage to take part in it, as the evenings in winter can be quite chilly.

Significant landmark on the beach, visible from the distance, is British Airways i360 – world’s tallest moving observation tower. You can board it and go to the top to check wide panorama of the city and the seafront around. Tickets are £15.

british airways i360

Kemp town

This small community, located in the close proximity to the beach, is full of colourful and stylish buildings from Regency era and Victorian architecture. It’s a centre for many artists, musicians, writers, performers, activists and everyone fascinated with avant-garde. It gives the area a special feel, and together with interesting shops and cafes, creates interesting place to visit.


We just had limited time during our short one day visit to Brighton, so we didn’t manage to see many of the other places. However, there’s much more than what described above, to see in this very interesting city.

If you only have a chance – try to visit, in either of the seasons. Brighton will welcome you in the brightest way it can 🙂

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