There is so much to do in Brighton, and our guide takes you through all the best activities, come rain or shine. Whether you’re exploring the famous Brighton Pier, cycling along England’s oldest cycling track or making your way up the British Airways Observation Tower, you won’t be short of things to do during your visit.
Activities in Brighton
Morning, noon, and night (when it’s lit up by more than 65,000 light bulbs), the Brighton Palace Pier is one of the most iconic sights in the entire country. Since 1899, when it first opened, tourists have been walking its 525m of planking, revelling in its fairground rides, roller coaster and amusement arcades. Nowadays, it can boast about being Britain’s most popular tourist attraction outside of London, with more than four million people visiting each and every year.
If you fancy a bit of blood-pumping outdoor action, Brighton Paintball is hard to beat. With a fantastic 50-acre location in the South Downs, it’s Sussex’s premier paintballing location with excellent prices, friendly staff, and fantastic arenas, courses and game zones featuring all kinds of obstacles and centrepieces, including an aeroplane! It’s great fun, plus our Burgess Hill hotel is less than a 15-minute drive away.
Another great option for adrenaline junkies staying at the hotel is Qleisure. It’s barely more than a 10-minute drive away. As well as being the home of Brighton Karting, where up to 36 people can go head-to-head on their state-of-the-art track, at Qleisure, you can also try your hand at clay pigeon shooting, archery, axe throwing, laser tag, and shooting everything from assault rifles to bolt-action sniper rifles on its licensed gun range.
You can also get out of your comfort zone, take your feet off terra firma, and dive right into the action at Lagoon Watersports at the Hove Lagoon. It’s the top activity centre in the region if you’re looking to hire watersports equipment or to try your hand at windsurfing, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, powerboating, sailing and yachting. With nearly a quarter of a century’s experience under its belt, full approval from the Royal Yachting Association, and having been featured on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about in terms of safety; just focus on having fun at one of Britain’s premier watersports centres.
If you’re looking for something more relaxing, we’ll end our list of Brighton outdoor activities with a considerably more leisurely option. Brighton & Hove Golf Club dates back to the 19th century, making it the oldest golf club in Sussex. It boasts exquisite views of the South Downs National Park, the English Channel and Brighton. It’s only a nine-hole course, but boast 18 tees with the front nine and the back nine’s positions being distinctly different. All in all, it’s an enjoyable challenge for golfers of all abilities.
British Airways i360
On a clear day, we definitely recommend walking a couple of hundred yards down from the Brighton centre and paying a visit to the British Airways i360 observation tower that resplendently towers above the sea and sand of Brighton Beach. Designed to be a ‘vertical pier’ by the architect behind the London Eye, the i360 is 162 metres high. From the top, it’s possible for visitors to see Beachy Head 17 miles to the east, and the Isles of Wight, a whopping 49 miles to the west. It’s the tallest moving observation tower in Britain, and can hold 200 people at a time.
One of the most popular indoor day outs is Sea Life Brighton, the aquarium on Marine Parade that dates back to 1872 – making it the oldest aquarium in the world – and houses over 3,500 marine animals, including sharks, clownfish, turtles and stingrays. In total, there are over 40 different display tanks dedicated to a huge variety of marine ecosystems around the world, the most popular being the glass tunnel.
If you fancy yourself as a bit of a commando, why not challenge friends and family to a battle at LaserZone Brighton? Located on West Street, just a short walk from the pier, LaserZone offer an intergalactic labyrinth in which the aim of the game is to defeat your opponent by firing non-harmful lasers at targets on their bases.
If you prefer more of a mental stimulation, with equal amounts of adrenaline, then head to Bewilder Box Escape Room on York Place. Here you and a team of friends or family are tasked with figuring out clues and solving puzzles in order to escape capture before time runs out. Failure to escape leads to disastrous consequences! Not really, although you would be forgiven for thinking so with the impressive set and live actors that are designed to keep you on edge throughout the game.
Those looking for a high-octane thrill will enjoy TeamSport Go Karting. Located around three miles from our Worthing Seafront hotel, here you can race around a 450-metre track spread over multiple levels. There is free parking as well as food and drink facilities, so it is a great way to spend a few hours in Brighton.
Another slightly less adrenaline fuelled, yet still popular, activity can be found at The Painting Pottery Cafe on North Road in the city centre. Learn how to throw a pot and decorate your masterpiece with their pottery and painting classes, giving you a memento of your visit to Brighton.
Perhaps you would like to challenge your friends or family to some bowling whilst you’re in the city. If so, then Hollywood Bowl is the place for you. With 26 state-of-the-art lanes, food and drink facilities, and arcade games, there is plenty of fun to be had at this bowling alley on Brighton Marina.
There is also an Odeon Cinema in Brighton, located on West Street, close to the seafront. With eight screens and facilities such as a Costa Coffee, if there’s a latest Hollywood blockbuster on your watch list, then you have come to the right place.
Finally, if you fancy a flutter, then make your way to Genting Casino on Preston Street, just off Regency Square. The casino has recently undergone a renovation and looks majestic – you may have to remind yourself that you’re not in Monte Carlo. With a restaurant and bar open late, as well as all the casino classics available to play, this is the ideal place to have a bet or two.
If you’re thinking of taking a visit to the seashore or Brighton Pier, make sure you read our guide to Brighton Beach. This iconic landmark is a must-see, especially if you are a fan of the Brighton Rock or Quadrophenia films.
Cyclists of all abilities have plenty of choices in Brighton, with cycle routes, arenas and tours dotted all over the city. If you have a need for speed, head to England’s oldest cycling track at Preston Park Velodrome. You can choose to bring your own bike or hire one by the hour.
If you would rather take things slower and enjoy a ride in stunning scenery, the Coastal Cycle Route is a great option. The route is a 10-mile round trip which takes you along the coast to the village of Rottingdean and back, passing bars, shops, galleries and landmarks such as Brighton Marina.
If you are looking for a serious challenge, then you could take on part of – or all of – The South Downs Way. If you chose to take on the whole route, it would be around 100 miles split over three days. It is signposted and easy to follow. You will pass through towns such as Eastbourne and Winchester, as well as vast stretches of rural and beautiful countryside.
If you want to incorporate some sightseeing into your ride, then consider Brighton Bike Tours. With free bike hire with every tour, you can enjoy a variety of guide-led trips around the city, with themes such as the street art tour. Visit the Brighton Bike Tours website for more info.
With a plethora of walking tours available for those who would prefer to explore the city on firmer footing, the only difficulty is picking which one to choose. Foodies will love Food Tours of Brighton, which delves into the best eateries around the city, including some hidden gems that are off the beaten track. You get to hear all about the origins of the establishments and try some tasty samples along the way.
Next up is Only in Brighton! Tours, an exploration of the unique and wonderful landmarks of Brighton, such as The Royal Pavilion and Brighton Pier. This award-winning tour lasts around 90 minutes and is the perfect way to get to know the culture of the city.
If you are curious about the afterlife, the Ghost Walk of the Lanes tour is bound to pique your interest. Running from Wednesday to Saturday every week, this 70-minute tour departs from The Druids Head pub at Brighton Place. You will walk through the streets of Brighton, finding all about the paranormal activity that haunts the city.
It is amazing the stories you hear when lurking underneath the city. This is because Brighton Sewer Tours take you on a tour of 366-metres of Brighton’s sewers, revealing the Victorian secrets that they keep. Believe it or not, this award-winning tour is extremely popular. You may not have expected to climb through a manhole during your visit, but we are sure you’d enjoy it.