See the Brighton you won’t see with lists from TripAdvisor or The Guardian
Visitors to Brighton typically arrive at the train station and head straight down Queens Road, along West Street and, hence, onto the seafront. They visit the Palace Pier, the Sea Life Centre, the Royal Pavilion, the Lanes and, sometimes, the i360. All of that is great because those places are great but they are not the full story. There are loads of really cool, fun and interesting things to do in Brighton that are a little different from the Brighton classics. Here are ten of our favourite things to do that are thoroughly Brighton but less well known.
Explore the Twittens
Everyone who comes to Brighton, very rightly, explores our lovely Lanes full of jewellery shops and other interesting delights but how many take the time to check out the twittens? These equally narrow passages are residential but their narrowness and the tendency for the houses along them to have the most adorable little gardens makes them strangely magical. Walking along twittens like Trafalgar Terrace in the North Laine or Crown Gardens just off Queens Road feels like you’ve escaped from the city into your own little world. Well worth seeking them out.
See Brighton in a Whole New Light
Open top bus tours are all well and good but they whizz past everywhere and you don’t really get the chance to get really stuck in. How about, instead, taking a Ghost Walk of the Lanes to hear the mysterious spooky history of the city? Or, for people who like to get their brains tingling while they explore, why not try a treasure hunt crossed with an escape room? Check out Puzzle Parade for a really fun and different activity for families and groups of adults.
Check Out a Very Haunted Manor House
If you like things spooky, you might enjoy a visit to one of the most haunted buildings in England. Aside from the ghost tours they regularly hold, it’s also possible to visit Preston Manor just to have a look around at a building that’s been largely untouched since the Victorian era. It provides a great insight into how people lived in the past.
Quirky Pubs and Cafes
Brighton is legendary for its pubs. We have a huge number of them for such a small city but some of them are particularly notable for their quirkiness. While the Fortune of War on the seafront is always a popular one with tourists, not as many people venture into Hove to visit the Bee’s Mouth, a most unusual looking pub (think Rocky Horror with a hint of Blade Runner). They also miss Presuming Ed’s café on London Road which is also very interesting. For people who love a good old fashioned scuzzy (in a good way) rock pub, you might enjoy the Caroline of Brunswick, also on London Road, and nearby there is a wonderful little LGBT+ friendly pub, newly refurbished, called The Actors. Check them out.
Twist Your Melon, Man
For people who enjoyed the wacky photo opportunities of the Upside Down House on the seafront, there’s an attraction in the North Laine that will blow your mind. Visit Paradox Place House of Illusions and Wonder for the most unique photo opportunities in Brighton. It is packed full of mind bending optical illusions that you can put yourself into and fill up your Instagram page with. Although it’s very popular with families, it’s definitely not just for kids.
Going to the seaside and not getting wet seems a bit of a shame but the sea can be a scary place so here’s an alternative. In the darkest depths of Hove seafront is a place called Hove Lagoon. This lovely safe man-made bit of water is shallow enough to make it very difficult to drown in but deep enough that if you fall off the various water sport options there, you won’t hurt yourself. For a really thrilling adventure, try the cable tow wakeboarding!
Play an Escape Room but Make it Extra Brighton
Lots of cities have escape rooms but how many have ones themed around aspects of the city itself? Well, that’s what we have here. The owners of Pier Pressure Escape Rooms had the bright (Brighton?) idea of recreating a room from the Royal Pavilion and turning it into an escape room. Not only that, our rooms are based on our famous Lanes, our epic 90s rave scene and the legendary 1960s Mods and Rockers clashes. Some people enjoy visiting the Lanes, the Pavilion or even Quadrophenia alley before playing the respective rooms.
Get Your Circus On
It’s all getting very active down this end of the list and that’s going to continue when you look into the city’s circus skills scene. The newly refurbished area of the seafront near the i360 plays host to people who enjoy everything from roller blading to poi, hula hoops, juggling and other portable circus-type skills. For people who want to go even further into the circus world, there are two circus skills schools in Brighton, High Top Circus and The Circus Project, who offer classes in aerial activities like trapeze and silks.
Theatre but Outside
You’ll probably need a sit down after that lot so a nice place to do that and be entertained in the open air is the Brighton Open Air Theatre. This custom made acting space hosts a wide variety of plays, musicals and other theatrical acts and is definitely worth a visit in the summer for a thoroughly entertaining evening.
The Oldest Continuously Working Cinema in Britain
For more top class entertainment, why not watch a film in a cinema that’s been operating as such since 1910? The Duke of York’s Picture House in Preston Circus lays claim to being the oldest still working cinema in the UK. Whether it is or not is pretty irrelevant as one thing it most definitely is, is an awesome place to see art house and independent films.
These are just a small selection of the interesting and unusual things to do and see in Brighton. Keep exploring and you’ll find there’s enough to give you the most action packed of visits here.