It’s Britain’s seaside resorts that often take those who visit by surprise for the unique insight they give into British heritage and culture. This is where holidaymakers throughout history have strolled along the promenade, ridden fairground rides and taken in a show, and to this day Brighton is one of England’s most popular haunts for seaside escapes. We take a look at the best things to do on a day trip to Brighton, from cultural sites to cutting edge attractions.
Unexpectedly exotic in appearance, Brighton’s Royal Pavilion is in fact a former Royal Residence, built as a seaside holiday home for King George IV in the early 1800s. Today, the opulent Indian-inspired palace exists as a museum, with rooms decorated in the Regency style, from the Banqueting Room and Great Kitchen to the Music Room.
The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier – better known as the Palace or Brighton Pier – first opened in 1899, and to this day is one of Brighton’s most distinctive characteristics. Funfair rides and other family attractions abound, with a whole host of souvenir shops and cafes serving fish and chips.
A visit to this British seaside resort just wouldn’t be complete without first spending time walking along the beach and, if the weather complies, soaking up the atmospheric surroundings from one of the striped deckchairs. Of course, with so many activities and rides at each visitor’s fingertips, there’s rarely a moment to sit down.
British Airways i360
As the world’s tallest moving observation tower, the British Airways i360 gives people the chance to take a ride in a pod that reaches a height of 450 feet above ground, affording 360° views for up to 26 miles. Designed by the creators of the London Eye, this ride is a must for any day trip to Brighton.
Brighton Marina is in fact an artificial area of land with a number of entertainment, eating, and drinking options to choose from. This is where people come to try out water sports such as diving, kayaking and jet skiing.
Those in search of small independent boutiques will find a wealth of shops to explore in The Lanes, a collection of alleyways that are each lined with one-off stores and small independent galleries. This area is also known to be a good place to shop for antique jewellery and engagement rings, should the mood strike.
Brighton Museum & Art Gallery
Located in the garden of the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is easily incorporated into a day trip to Brighton. The museum’s collection of artefacts and artworks tells the story of the city’s past, as well as looking at other parts of the world.
Brighton Toy and Model Museum
The Brighton Toy and Model Museum appeals to visitors of all ages, exhibiting thousands of toys and models made in the UK, Europe and the US between the mid-1800s and mid-20th century. Items are displayed in a vast exhibition space, beneath the Victorian arches of Brighton Railway Station.
Theatre Royal Brighton
In many British seaside resorts, it’s the theatre that draws people in after sundown. The Theatre Royal in Brighton is a classic example, with West End and touring plays, musicals, ballets and operas held within the auditorium of the Grade II listed building.
A short distance away from central Brighton, Stanmer Park offers visitors the open green space that’s ideal for picnics and woodland walks. The park is also the setting for the 18th century Georgian manor house, Stanmer House, which has its own restaurant.
Set out on a day trip to Brighton and experience the exhilarating British Airways i360 during your time there. Then, on returning to the capital, compare the vistas across Brighton and London by stepping inside one of the pods at the London Eye.
Image credits: Cover photo of Brighton Pier © iStock / Timothy Boryer. Brighton rooftops © iStock / oversnap. Brighton Pavilion © iStock / oversnap. Brighton Beach © iStock / Nclauzing. Brighton Lanes © iStock / Christopher Steer. Fish and chips on Brighton Beach © iStock / pitr134.