Brighton boasts a bustling high street and unbeatable seaside escape for the curious city dweller. Stroll through Brighton's Lanes for the best vintage finds, or indulge in the history of Brighton's Pavilion. Be warned, the beach is pebbled, but still ample enough to lay down your towel, soak up the sun (when it shines) and tuck into a bag of freshly baked donuts – just beware of the seagulls!
If you thought Brighton comes alive in the summer months - with its iconic beach, pier and countless bars and restaurants to explore, not to mention the museums, galleries and famous lanes - you're not wrong. However, there's also plenty to do in the colder climates too - making it one of the most popular places to visit in the UK.
With close reach to London and the Sussex countryside, Brighton is the perfect choice for a day trip or staycation, and we've rounded up some of the best tried-and-tested activities to check out next time you're there. In fact, they're so good that we recommend you paying a visit especially. Enjoy!
Best restaurants to visit in Brighton
Not just another Italian restaurant, Tutto is the latest addition to Brighton's bustling food scene that offers an indulgent, yet elegant dining experience you'll be thinking about long after your final mouthful of dessert. Tuck into buttery scallops doused in ‘Nduja butter, creamy Cacio e Pepe and crispy new potatoes topped with confit garlic and rich marsecpone.
Tutto’s ethos of ‘bring everyone, eat everything’ speaks to the heart of Italian dining where simple, seasonal ingredients and sharing delicious food and drinks take centre stage. The restaurant's delicious and creative small plates encapsulate the very best of social Italian dining, embracing the joys of eating wholesome, hearty food made with the freshest ingredients as you pour over a bottle of wine with friends.
A vibey hangout with an air of luxury, this stunning spot built in the surrounding of a former banking hall is not one to miss.
To book, visit tutto-restaurant.co.uk
Everything in Burnt Orange has been refined to create the perfect atmosphere to relax for an evening out. The menu is designed for socialising; simple but packed full of flavour and perfect for grazing. The quality of the drinks if top notch too, so whether you order a cocktail, beer, wine or soft drink you won’t be disappointed. This relaxed all-day and late-night destination with a delicious menu of crudo, small plates and wood-fired sharing dishes to accompany a luxe cocktail menu and music curated by Brighton's own Fatboy Slim.
To book, visit: burnt-orange.co.uk
Stroll down to Shelter Hall on Brighton's seafront for a delicious array of food vendors and unmatchable sunset views. From Kenny Tutt's mouthwatering OxBlock dishes to Lost Boys Chicken mouthwatering signature sauce, this laid back location is home to seven unique kitchens from local chefs, craft beer, cocktail and wine bar, and weekly line-up of live music. This is the best of Brighton.
Curry Leaf Café
Curry Leaf Café is one the THE places to go for food while in Brighton, serving up authentic South Indian food in a vibrant restaurant – complete with exposed brick walls and vintage Indian décor. Highlights on the vast menu include the vegetarian friendly Soya Masala –soya and aubergine soaked in a rich tomato-based sauce, with oodles of flavor.
The Goan Chicken Xacuti is also a must, with boneless chicken thigh cooked in a rich coconut, onion and tomato sauce. Side dishes are generously sized and there's something for everyone – from Bombay potatoes to various naans – be sure to try the Peshwari Naan. If you still have room afterwards, desserts include a date and coconut rice pudding, a chocolate orange tart and a selection of ice creams and sorbets – from black coconut to vegan salted caramel.
To book, visit curryleafcafe.com
The Eighteen Acre Café
The Eighteen Acre Cafe is the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening relaxing in. Just a short drive from Brighton and located on the Bolney Wine Estate, this open-space area boasts a terrace overlooking the vineyard, and an incredible selection of mezze boards and wines - all straight from the estate. The cafe is the perfect place for special occasions too and holds a number of events all year around.
For more info, visit Bolneywineestate.com
Rockwater Hove is THE place to go during a visit to Brighton - we can guarantee you'll feel like you're on holiday there, especially when the sun comes out! Just a short bus ride away from Brighton station and nestled in the heart of trendy Hove, the neighbourhood favourite has you catered for from day to night - boasting two restaurants within its venue - a Bar and Kitchen and a Roof Terrace - with the latter ideal for sipping a cocktail or two with stunning views during golden hour.
We recommend spending the afternoon there and starting off in the Bar and Kitchen - with a vast menu ranging from pizzas, burgers and healthy bowls on offer. Vegetarian options include the beer battered banana blossom to match the traditional fish and chips, along with plant-based burgers and jackfruit tacos.
A generous selection of cocktails served both downstairs and on the terrace include a Watermelon Spritz featuring honey tequila, the Pretty in Pink - with limocello, gin and strawberries and the ever-popular Lychee Martini. The terrace also serves up plenty of fresh fish dishes and tapas-style snacks to accompany your drinks.
What's more, Rockwater now has its own lifestyle subscription - Open Water - which provides locals and visitors a unique package for the ultimate daycation, from weekly wellbeing classes to experience days, live music and comedy events.
To book, visit Rockwater.uk
Best places to stay in Brighton
Hotel Pelirocco is one of Brighton's most iconic hotels and is loved by famous faces around the world, along with locals – Fat Boy Slim has been known to play there many times. The boutique hotel boasts 19 themed rooms paying tribute to some of the most iconic musicians and artists of all time. There's a David Bowie Room complete with a double spa bath and a dressing up rail, a Dolly Parton themed room styled out as the singer's country cabin, and the Pin Up Parlour – one of the hotel's most popular rooms paying tribute to British pin-up Diana Dors.
The hotel has its own bar with a vast selection of drinks and cocktails, including sparkling wine from local vineyard Bolney Estate, while breakfast options are worth getting up for. With everything from homemade granola to a full English breakfast – with vegetarian and vegan options also available – along with a Champagne breakfast for those wanting to properly celebrate their stay.
To stay, visit hotelpelirocco.co.uk
The Southern Belle hotel
The Southern Belle is somewhere you won't want to miss out on staying at during a trip to Brighton. Located a stone's throw away from the beach, this charming boutique hotel boasts ten stylish bedrooms, all with a unique and design-led finish. Rooms feature ensuites, large double beds, a dressing table and plenty of storage space. The beds are beyond comfortable, while homey touches include an esperesso machine and even mugs and biscuits left out for each guest to enjoy. Wall-mounted televisions are in each room too, complete with Netflix and other streaming services for when you just want to spend some time relaxing.
Located down the trendy Waterloo Street, The Southern Belle is close to plenty of independent cafes, bars and restaurants in Hove, but within walking distance still to all the attractions Brighton has to offer.
A complimentary breakfast is served each morning between 8am and 10am for guests, with choices ranging from a full English breakfast to pancakes. If you fancy staying at the hotel for food - the pub downstairs has an incredibly tasty - and varied - menu, with many dishes made from local produce. The house brioche is a must, as are a selection of the (not so) small plates. Massala spiced aubergine, tempura cauliflower and buratta with charred peach are just some of the options, while sharing platters featuring everything from cheese to fish are also on the menu. What's more, on Monday and Tuesday nights, the pub currently offers some incredibly generous deals, including a selection of £4.50 alcoholic drinks, and £12 burgers.
To book, visit thesouthernbelle.co.uk
Best activities to do in Brighton
Theatre Royal Brighton
Theatre Royal Brighton is one of the oldest and most distinguished theatres in the country. The auditorium of the grade II listed building, which is located at the heart of the city’s cultural quarter, represents an example of the finest regency architecture. The theatre has presented professional productions continuously since 1807 and most of our leading actors and actresses have performed here.
To book, visit: atgtickets.com/brighton
Try out Fetch of the Day with your canine companion
While we focused on the best places to eat earlier in this article, this one is a little different as it's exclusively aimed at your faithful pooch. If your dog gets hungry while strolling along the beach, why not pop over to the 'Fetch of the Day' beachside van which has been launched by tails.com. Pets will be treated to nutritionally balanced offerings including Barking Burgers and Seaside Salmon Cones. And if that's not enough, they can also lounge in deckchairs while tucking into some tasty frozen Watermelon Bites.
In the heart of the bustling North Laine, just a few minutes’ walk from Brighton Station, you’ll find Komedia, the city’s premier live entertainment venue for over twenty years. Winner of the Chortle Comedy Award for Best Venue in the South a record 17 times, Komedia presents one of the largest, most diverse arts and entertainment programmes in the UK.
The venue hosts over seven hundred performances a year including comedy, music, cabaret and kids shows, as well as being the home of several of Brighton’s most popular club nights and home-grown, resident comedy shows.
To book, visit: komedia.co.uk/brighton/
Bolney Wine Estate
British wine has never been more popular and at Bolney Wine Estate, they will make you fall in love with the popular tipple all over again. Nestled in the heart of the rural Sussex countryside, the three-generation family business is one of England's most oldest and beautiful vineyards, led by the company's Chairperson Sam Linter, whose parents planted the first vines on the estate five decades ago.
Bolney offers a number of incredible wine tasting tours to suit all needs and budgets, that are incredibly popular with locals - who come back time and time again - and visitors. What's more, being just a short ride away from London, it makes it a great daytrip for those wishing to escape the city for the day. The list of tasting tours changes throughout the year, but we really recommend the Cheese and Wine Tasting Tour, which is just £30 per person, and includes a tour of the site, followed by five cheese and wine pairings. Did you know, that Queen Camilla has also visited? And if it's good enough for her..
There is also the option to do a wine tasting tour with an afternoon tea included for £36 per person, and The Ultimate Wine Tasting Tour for £60, which includes a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, a walk and tour around the eighteen-acre vineyard, a wine and food pairing tasting session, and a seasonal mezze board to enjoy after the tour, complete with a dessert.
To book, visit bolneywineestate.com
Like this story? Sign up to our HELLO! Mail newsletter to receive all the latest royal and celebrity news straight in your inbox.