Some links in this post contain affiliate links including amazon associate links. I receive a small commission if you use the links at no extra cost to you.
Brighton is such a cool place to visit and thanks to its location and good train links, a Brighton day trip from London is very easy, and who wouldn’t want to get out of the big smoke for one day and go to the beach!
Brighton is very walkable and therefore you can do all the best things to do in Brighton on a Brighton day trip and especially on a London to Brighton Day Trip.
We know that the weather isn’t always good and you may think you can only visit Brighton on a sunny day but you can visit Brighton from London all year round, so in this Brighton travel guide, let me show you how!
Brighton Day Trip From London!
How to get to Brighton from London!
For your Day Trip to Brighton from London, the best way to get to Brighton from London is by train!
London to Brighton by Train
On my recent day trip to Brighton, I took the London Thameslink as it was closer to me, it goes through many central London stations like St Pancras, Farringdon, Blackfriars and London Bridge directly into Brighton Train Station.
Alternatively, you can take a Southern Railway Train from London Victoria.
To get the cheapest London to Brighton train tickets, book a return ticket, book your tickets a few weeks in advance if possible or as far out as you can, avoid commuting times if going on a weekday!
The best thing about visiting Brighton on a day trip from London is that Brighton’s train station is in the middle of the city. Get Google maps out to help you work out how to walk from Brighton Train Station into Brighton and pin some of the Brighton attractions I mention below.
Things To Do in Brighton!
Keeping the British weather in mind, I have given you ideas of things that will be good things to do in Brighton on a rainy day as good things to do in Brighton in the summer.
This means that if you already had your Brighton day trip from London booked it and it turns out to be wet weather, you can still enjoy your Brighton day trip!
1. Brighton Pier
You can't do a Brighton day trip and not walk along Brighton Pier!
Brighton Pier is a pretty typical British Seaside pier, it's full of stalls selling ice creams, doughnuts and candy floss perfect for your London to Brighton day trip.
There are fairground rides at the end for the brave people amongst us, it has deck chairs on it to enjoy the views from, and on that point, it does have awesome views of the beach, the i360, and even some white coastal cliffs (more on those later). Brighton Pier even has some arcade games inside the Palace of Fun.
If it ends up raining on your trip to Brighton day trip from London, you could easily pass an hour playing old-school seaside arcade games inside the arcade.
2. Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach isn't the best beach in the UK and a lot of non-British people don't like it because it's not sand!
However it is a huge beach and the best thing about it, in my opinion, is that it has a huge promenade that goes all the way to the nearby town of Hove.
It also has a promenade walkway right on the beach and if you get on it by the pier it takes you past so many bars, pubs, shops, restaurants and cafes that are all based underneath the main, top promenade.
On a nice day, this area is full of people sitting outside enjoying their food and drink in the sunshine. I really recommend doing this walk on your Brighton Day Trip from London.
If the weathers nice you can sunbathe on the beach and get in the ocean if you're brave enough! If the weather isn't good you can walk alongside the beach and take in the views. Just remember to wear warm clothes in the winter as the sea breeze is cold!
The fact that you can go to the beach within the city of Brighton is a big reason as to why it's often named as one of the best cities in England to visit!
3. Hove Beach Huts
You've probably seen photos of colourful beach huts in Brighton, these are well worth a visit if you are wondering what to do in Brighton especially if you've never seen any before or you just want a nice photo.
If you are thinking 'where are the colourful huts in Brighton?' The colourful beach huts are in fact in Hove and not Brighton.
However, Hove is just a 20-30 minute and 2km walk down the promenade from the centre of Brighton. When you get to them, you'll know! They can't be missed.
Another advantage of walking down to Hove is that the beach is a lot less busy there so if you did want to lie on the beach for a while on your day trip to Brighton from London and feel like it's too busy by the pier then head towards Hove!
4. Brighton Bike Tour
For activities in Brighton, something a bit different and for a unique way to see Brighton is taking a Bike Tour.
These bike tours of Brighton take you to all the popular places in Brighton like North Laines, the Royal Pavilion, the Beachfront and the pier. Depending on the tour they also take you to some unique places in Brighton like the Fishing Quarter, Brunswick Square and Preston Manor.
Not only is a bike tour a quick and easy way to see the city, especially if it's cold and you don't fancy walking, but having a tour guide will give you a much better understanding of the City, its history, its architecture and some interesting facts!
I'd recommend booking a tour in advance for your Brighton Day Trip from London and I recommend checking out the tours that Get Your Guide offer as they offer a really high quality of service, the tours they offer are:
5. Brighton i360
The i360 is a fairly quite a new addition to Brighton's skyline and it has been a pretty big hit. It gives incredible views over the ocean, the coastline, the countryside and of course, Brighton and Hove.
I would recommend booking a ticket in advance here for £16.50 pp so you can enjoy a smooth ride up 138 meters in a futuristic glass viewing pod while on your Brighton day trip!
6. Brighton Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion, also known as Brighton Pavilion is a must-visit place on your Brighton day trip from London because it's totally unique and not what you expect to see in Brighton.
The building is incredibly beautiful, it was first built in 1787 but it was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales. It's really nice to see it from the outside and if it's nice weather there's lots of greenery around it and people are always lying on the grass as it's a nice relaxing part of Brighton.
It does have a museum and you can also go into the Pavilion when you purchase a ticket.
7. Hop-on Hop-off Brighton Bus
Another Brighton activity if the weather is terrible on your trip to Brighton, you don't fancy walking or you're on a tight on time whilst on your Brighton day trip from London is a hop-on, hop-off bus!
The Brighton hop-on hop-off bus actually visits so many places that you probably wouldn't walk to meaning you'll get to see a lot of Brighton on it.
The other benefit is, of course, having a commentary whilst travelling around to get a better understanding of Brighton and the local area.
For example one of the routes stops at: Palace Pier, British Airways i360, Grand Avenue, Sussex County Cricket, Hove, Palmeira Square, St Anns Well Gardens, Brighton Station, Imperial Arcade, Brighton Pavilion/Old Steine, Royal Crescent/Bedford Street, Brighton Marina/Seattle Hotel and Maderia Terrace.
8. Brighton's White Cliffs
England's Southern coastline is popular for its White Cliffs and like me, you may have heard of the White Cliffs of Dover or the Seven Sisters Cliffs,
(BTW if you want to visit these at some point, check out my post on how to visit the White Cliffs of Dover from London! & how to visit the Seven Sister Cliffs from London),
But did you know that Brighton has White Cliffs too and they are one of the popular places to visit near Brighton??
To get to the Brighton White cliffs you can take a bike tour from Brighton which I think sounds really cool, you can look out for tours once on your Brighton day trip or hire a bike yourself to see them!
Or, if you happen to drive to Brighton which you may do as Brighton is one of the popular places to visit on a Southern England road trip, be sure to jump back in the car and drive to them as they seem to be a local spot that not too many tourists go to in Brighton!
9. Boho Gelato for Ice Cream
No trip to the seaside is complete without ice cream right?
Boho Gelato has been in Brighton for a few years now, it has 2 stores and it's popular due to its many unique flavours so you have to visit Boho Gelato for on your Brighton day trip from London!
It's also popular because Zoella and Alfie Days who live in Brighton go there a lot!
Think Jam Donut, Cheesecake, Gin and Tonic, Lager and Lime etc. Their flavours change on a daily basis and they have Vegan options!
Rain or Shine, get your ice cream fix from Boho Gelato in Brighton!
10. Explore Brighton Lanes & Brighton North Laine
Finally, another one of the top Brighton attractions to finish off your Brighton day trip are its Laneways, they are a must-visit on a trip to Brighton.
Brighton is home to 'The Lanes' and 'North Laine' which are in fact different things although they are quite close together.
The Lanes are a collection of narrow laneways located in the Historic Quarter of Brighton. The Brighton Lanes are full of independent shops like antiques and jewellery shops alongside designer boutique fashion shops.
Brighton North Laine, however, has a slightly different feel to it. It's located in the Cultural Quarter and the streets are wider. It's home to independent shops as well but shops that are more exotic and funky. Think vintage fashion, vegetarian-friendly shoes, locally made jewellery!
There are also plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants in this area of the city so you can get some food and drink before finishing your Brighton day trip from London and getting back on the train to London!
Best Train Tickets from London to Brighton
Don't forget to prebook your train from Brighton to London, if you don't you might be in for a nasty expensive train ride back! It's always best to book a return ticket for your day trips from London by train.
So make sure you get onto The Train Line and book as soon as you know when you'll go as the further out you book, the cheaper the London to Brighton train tickets will be!
If you are worried about the fact that you'll have all your bags on you when you are in London and don't want to take them to Brighton with you for the day, look into where you can store your luggage near London Victoria before you get on the train and you can pick them up when you return!
FAQ About Day Trips to Brighton from London
How can I spend a day in Brighton?
Head down to the beach and Brighton pier first and this is what is so great about Brighton, after that walk up to Hove and the colourful beach huts. Then explore the city by visiting Brighton Pavilion and the quirky Brighton Lanes for shopping and window shopping. Don't forget to stop at a cool cafe and bar in Brighton too!
Is Brighton expensive to visit?
Brighton is one of the more expensive cities in the UK due to its South and Coastal location and proximity to London, however when visiting Brighton on a day trip you will not see a huge increase in prices, in fact, if you are coming from London, Brighton should seem cheaper than London on a day trip!
How many days do you need to visit Brighton?
Whilst you can easily spend 2-3 days exploring Brighton, 1 day in Brighton is enough to see and experience a lot of the city as the city is very walkable.
What can you do on a Brighton day trip?
There are a lot of things to do in Brighton on a day trip because the city is so walkable and easy to get around. Head down to the beach and Brighton pier first and this is what is so great about Brighton, after that walk up to Hove and the colourful beach huts. Then explore the city by visiting Brighton Pavilion and the quirky Brighton Lanes for shopping and window shopping. Don't forget to stop at a cool cafe and bar in Brighton too!
I hope this post helps plan your day trip to Brighton from London and gives you ideas of things to do in Brighton in 1 day!
- Related London Day Trip Posts:
- Visiting the Seven Sisters Cliffs on a Day Trip from London!
- Spending the Day in Margate on a Day Trip From London. My True Thoughts!
- Visiting the White Cliffs of Dover on a Day Trip from London!
- 10 Things Not To Miss When Visiting Oxford on a Day Trip From London!
- 10 Things To Do in Bath on a Day Trip from London!
- A Day Trip to Stonehenge & Bath from London!