Search for:

Top free things to do in Brighton

Must-see free things to do in Brighton

Brighton, located on the English south coast, is one of the most popular seaside spots in the country. There’s traditional bucket-and-spades fun to be had on the beach and the Victorian pier, a sophisticated marina to stroll around, and a fishing museum where you can find out more about its thriving industry. There are also parks and countryside to explore, as well as bustling shopping lanes and natural history museums; whatever the weather, and whatever you want to do, you’ll find it here in Brighton.

  1. Brighton Pier and beach
  2. Booth Museum
  3. Brighton Fishing Museum
  4. Stanmer Park
  5. The Lanes
  6. Royal Pavilion Gardens
  7. Brighton Marina
  8. Hove Museum & Art Gallery

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Brighton Pier and beach

The top of your list for free things to do in Brighton has to be its iconic pier, and the alluring beach that spans either side of its base. Although still as popular for a stroll along as it was in its Victorian heyday, the pier today has loads more on – from spots to eat and rides and attractions. But if you want to stick to a budget, simply head to the pierhead and enjoy the views looking out to sea, before returning back to the beach to soak up the sun, enjoy a picnic or dive into a good book.

Best for: Sunny escapes.

While you’re there: Want to check out the rides and attractions? Buy a wristband to save money, rather than paying for each individual ride.

2. Booth Museum

Situated a short way back from the seafront and just opposite Hove Green, the Booth Museum of Natural History makes for a brilliant rainy day option. Inside this small building you can find out more about natural history, from butterflies to fossils. There’s also a Victorian Study, a recreation of a 19th-century collector’s study: here, you’ll see writing desks and leopard skin rugs, highlighting not only the popularity of natural history to the Victorians but also our changing attitudes towards preservation.

Best for: Natural history.

While you’re there: Chill out on Hove Green afterwards.

3. Brighton Fishing Museum

Another quirky – and free – museum in Brighton is its Fishing Museum , positioned along the seafront and not far from the pier. Set in the arches below the promenade, and with a few traditional wooden boats set outside, this museum takes you on a fascinating journey all about the thriving fishing industry throughout history, which is represented with artefacts, film archives and even folk songs.

Best for: Sea-based fun along the seaside.

While you’re there: While the museum is free to enter, donations are welcomed.

4. Stanmer Park

While Brighton is famed for being one of the top seaside destinations in the UK, escape to the countryside at Stanmer Park, where woodland trails, grazing cattle and rolling hills make up the verdant green scenes. It’s a perfect place for a stroll, however short or long you wish to make it, where you’ll pass kestrels and owls, deer and badgers and more. Browsing holidays in Brighton? Staying in the city centre might cost you more, so consider staying a little further out and venturing in if you’re travelling on a budget.

Best for: Countryside escapes.

While you’re there: Trudge up to Stanmer House where you can take in the beautiful Walled Garden.

5. The Lanes

One of the most buzzing parts of Brighton is The Lanes, an eclectic collection of lanes which are lined with unique shops, from quirky boutiques to specialist antique shops. As you wander down the Lanes, you’ll pass by plenty of tempting cafes, restaurants and bars which offer outdoor seating and make for prime people-watching territory. Simply walking down the Lanes is an iconic Brighton experience in itself; but be warned, it can be pretty tempting to splash out on a potted plant, cup of coffee or new pair of shoes...

Best for: Window shopping – by lane.

While you’re there: Don’t miss the colourful street art.

6. Royal Pavilion Gardens

The Regency-style Royal Pavilion Gardens is overlooked by the Indian-styled Royal Pavilion, making it a picturesque setting for hanging out. Plus, with live music on offer, this is a great way to soak up the fun, lively atmosphere of the south coast’s favourite city.

Best for: Live music.

While you're there: Appreciate the biodiversity of the plants, flowers and critters here.

7. Brighton Marina

The elegant Brighton Marina is Britain’s largest, and while there are chic hotels and trendy restaurants to enjoy, simply strolling around and taking in the luxury yachts and gleaming speedboats makes for an enjoyable pastime.

Best for: All things nautical.

While you’re there: Walk back towards the city centre along the seafront to continue the seaside theme.

8. Hove Museum & Art Gallery

Housed in a gorgeous Italianate-style villa, theHove Museum & Art Gallery covers all things toys, cinema and fine art. Kids will enjoy the Wizard’s Attic, plus there are changing exhibitions and an interesting local history gallery to peruse.

Best for: Families.

While you’re there: Don’t miss Jaipur Gate, in the gardens, which was built in 1886.

Find your perfect destination

bed
Price Match Guarantee