This is the place to find information about Brighton & Hove. Whether you’re in your first year or your final year, you’ll find some great ideas for places to explore.
Summer fun in Brighton & Hove
It’s Brighton Festival time
Take a cultural day out and find art in Brighton
Brighton’s best fry ups
Where to take parents in Brighton
10 top drinking spots in Brighton
Some unusual date ideas – Brighton & Hove
The summer holidays are just about to kick off and while you’ve probably sorted out your student accommodation, Brighton comes alive in the summer, so those long sunny days need sorting out too. So, what is there to do in Brighton when the sun comes out?
Somewhere to: relax
Picture the scene: it’s a sweltering day, you want to do something but can’t be bothered to traipse around in the heat, yet still want to leave your boiling student accommodation. Brighton’s open top buses have the answer.
Get to see the city the way the tourists do. It’s just £7 with a student card and you get to sit back with the wind in your hair as you see the city sights. Take a look at their site here or call 01273 886 200 to book.
Somewhere to: put a Lillo on a Lido
Of course the sea is a massive part of summer for Brightonians and tourists alike. But if you’d like something a bit warmer to swim in, then venture out of the city to Saltdean. You’ll find one of the country’s few remaining Lido’s here.
This 40 meter outdoor pool is a gorgeous 1930s construction, has slides and is the perfect place to stretch out in the sun – on one of their sun loungers on the overlooking balconies. Call 01273 888308 to book and for opening times and prices.
Address: BN2 8SP
Somewhere to: get wet
Hove Lagoon Watersports (also at the Marina) has loads to do on a hot sunny day – check out their website to find info on dinghy sailing, yachting, windsurfing, powerboating and zap cats. The only bad part is that it’s a bit of a walk from most student accommodation. Brighton Watersports company however can be found on the beach and offers loads of fun water sports.
Enjoy wakeboarding, waterskiing, kayaking, boat chartering (from about £100/hour), rides on the Luxury Rib and – saving the best till last – Ringo Rides. Prices go from £15 to around £35 for a decent amount of time, but take a look at their site to find out more: thebrightonwatersports.co.uk
Address: BN1 1NB
Somewhere to: see the city from
One of the best ways to see Brighton on a hot day is from the sea itself. At the Marina you can join one of the Ross Boats Trips and head out to sea for a cruise along the front to the West Pier (that’s right, the burnt one – in case you wondered, it burnt down in 2003).
It costs just £7.50 for a 45-minute sightseeing extravaganza on the “Voyager,” the “Thresher” or their brand spanking new vessel, the “Rossann”.
Address: BN2 5UP
Somewhere to: have an adventure
If you’re into your extreme sports, Devil’s Dyke is the place to go, where you can also find the Southern Hang Gliding Club.
If, on the other hand, you’d like to jump off a cliff whilst attached to a hang glider, then go to shgc.org.uk You need to know what you’re doing to join them, but if you’re qualified, then (apparently) it’s one of the best sites to hang glide. Personally, I’d much rather sit with an ice cream and watch…
Address: BN1 8YJ
Somewhere to: play crazy golf in Brighton
Release your inner golfer on a sunny day. Brighton’s Peter Pan Adventure Golf has 12 holes, is open all year round and costs about £3 for a round. Can’t say no to that.
It’s easy to find, on Madeira Drive between Palace Pier and the Marina. And the little Volks Railway also goes right by it – so you can travel in style to your golfing afternoon. There’s also a nine-hole Pitch and Putt by Hove Lagoon, if you’re a little more into your golfing.
Address: BN2 1PS
Somewhere to: get on yer bike
It’s the perfect day for a bike ride, but there’s one problem – you don’t have a bike. Never fear. Raymant Cycles – just across from Churchill Square – and Sunrise Cycle Hire – by the West Pier – both hire out bikes.
Brighton is a great place for cycling, with so many dedicated cycle paths. Not to mention the route running all the way from Dover to Worthing (via Brighton and Hove of course) right by the sea. Check out rayment-cycles.co.uk for hiring mountain bikes, or call Sunrise on 01273 748881.
Whether you’re studying the arts, you like a good wander round a gallery or you’re just a little bored on a day with no classes – using our little guide, you can find art in Brighton & Hove any time.
Back in time
First up we have the obvious answer: Brighton’s Museum and Art Gallery, in the Pavilion Gardens. It’s worth visiting their Performance Gallery in particular, where you can find puppets and masks from all over the world. And if you’d like to find out more about the city by the sea, then check out the Exploring Brighton exhibition and Images of Brighton. Or simply stroll around the visiting exhibitions – go to www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk to see what’s happening now.
The museum is also right next to Fitzherbert’s and the Mash Tun, so you don’t have to go too far to get a drink after you’ve explored the exhibitions.
An unusual exhibition centre that’s high up on the Brighton art scene is Fabrica – the old Holy Trinity Church on the corner of Duke Street and Ship Street. This former church is now a visual arts centre, which uses its beautiful interior to stage innovative installations throughout the year. There are around four major works on show every year, with smaller exhibitions in between (and even some clothing sales, from companies like Howies). To see what’s on when, visit www.fabrica.org.uk
To get a real taste of Brighton art, galleries with local works are dotted along the seafront, in the arches and between the chip shops and bars. Castor and Pollux sells loads of contemporary limited edition prints – and also has lots of gifts and books, perfect for art students and birthdays. Two Cats and a Cow not only has a funky name, but is also home to three exceptionally talented local artists – one of which paints cows, while the other two are called Cat (well, Katty and Kathryn). And there are plenty more little galleries to see – just take a wander along the King’s Road Arches.
Get a taste of some of the finest contemporary, urban and graffiti artists around at Ink_d on North Road (just a few doors down from Bill’s). They’ve showcased art for loads left-field, local names – including the artists of Modern Toss – so you’re sure to find something entertaining on their walls. Check out www.ink-d.co.uk to see what’s going on right now.
The Phoenix Gallery is run by and for local artists, as a charitable organisation. This exhibition space showcases work from local and international artists, with a huge mixture of style – most of which is challenging, experimental and provocative. It’s definitely worth checking out their exhibitions, and you can find out what’s going on at www.phoenixarts.org You’ll find the gallery at Waterloo Place, just opposite St. Peter’s Church by The Level.
To take a look at some fine photography, you can find a few specialist shops in both the North Laines and South Lanes, or visit
For a look at some completely different art, visit Lighthouse on Kensington Street. Amongst the exhibitions you’ll find short films, 3D films and basically any form of art you can imagine within the media world. To see what images are moving around their gallery at the moment, go to www.lighthouse.org.uk
And of course, when you’re trying to find art in Brighton there’s the University Gallery. If you’re a Brighton student and you haven’t visited, then you’re letting the side down. The palace of your peers’ work is open 10am to 5pm (Mon-Sat) around end-of-year time, so get down there and check it out. www.brighton.ac.uk/gallery-theatre
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We all know that morning-after feeling, when your head’s buzzing and you just need to get to a greasy spoon. Brighton is swamped with cafés of all descriptions, from cream teas to organic foods, but to help you get over a horrible hangover, we’ve sourced some of the best morning-after breakfasts that Brighton & Hove have to offer.
A traditional, no-frills greasy spoon. Brighton’s station is directly opposite so it’s a great spot to have breakfast with friends who have to catch the train back home. The food is cheap, service is fast and it all tastes great. What more could you need?
1 Terminus Road, Brighton BN1 3PD
For a finer, healthier fry-up head to Bill’s. You won’t find food dripping with grease here, but you will get the most filling breakfast you can imagine – from the giant Bill’s Breakfast to the smoked salmon, poached egg and hollandaise sauce or boiled egg with soldiers. Sorted.
100 North Rd, Brighton BN1 1YE
Got transport? Then head on out to the industrial marina in Hove / Portslade. This place is amazing on a sunny morning: you’ll get your food quickly, you can gaze out to sea while you eat and then work off breakfast with a leisurely stroll down the beach. Perfect.
Southwick Beach, Portslade, Brighton BN41 1WD
In the early hours of the morning, when you’re looking for a good fry up, Brighton’s only 24-hour café has the answer. Buddies serves up some of the best pre-hangover food and as it’s on the seafront it’s easy to find when you’ve danced your socks off. Incidentally, it’s a great chip shop too.
46-48 King’s Road, Brighton BN1 1NA
If you live anywhere near Seven Dials, Billie’s is a great greasy spoon to get your day off to a good start. The blue gingham table clothes, small cosy atmosphere and huge potato hashes make it a great retreat for an early morning feast. But get there in good time as it fills up quick.
34 Hampton Place, Brighton BN1 3DD
Found in student-central on Lewes Road, Dave’s is perfect for that stumble-out-of-bed-must-eat mood. You won’t find fancy trimmings in here – no, no. It’s cheap, it’s kind of cheerful and the big fry-ups and tea will sort you out. No frills, just a darned good breakfast.
87 Lewes Road, Brighton BN2 3HZ
The New Market Diner
Home to the famous Gut Buster (which needs to be seen to be believed), the new Market Diner is open through the nights at weekends. This greasy spoon is quite simply a classic Brighton institution, even though it’s changed hands. Go there. Now.
19-21 Circus Street, Brighton BN2 9QF
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First dates need to be memorable so we’ve come up with some great date ideas. Brighton’s heaving bars and clubs can be a bit noisy for getting to know someone and the restaurants can be pricey if you’re a student, so why not try out a few of these ideas instead?
Go to Silverstone
Well not really. But Hove boasts one of the most fun and unusual places for a perfect first date – giant Scalextic tracks that look like famous British racetracks. The monstrous tracks let you race the cars of your choice for eight minutes and cost just £2 per go, so you can race round the five different tracks till you run out of steam or money. Then afterwards, just hit the nearby beach café or hop next door for a pint in the pub.
Check out Race-A-Way here
5 Hove Street, Hove (near the King Alfred Sports Centre) BN3 View on map
A day by the sea
Living by the sea is amazing, but how many of us actually go off and do the tacky stuff on the pier unless we have visitors? It’s a great place to take that new boy or girl in your life: show off your skills by winning oversized cuddly toys, hold each other close in the haunted house, grab fish and chips from the vendors and scream your heads off on the ride that turns you upside down over the sea. And the best bit is – you can take a romantic walk along the pier at sunset and you won’t have to spend a single penny.
Madeira Drive, Brighton BN2 1TW View on map
English tea. A tradition that’s maybe been left behind, but it’s a quirky idea that can be great for the start or end of a date. Head for the Tea Cosy – a fabulously chintzy café in Kemp Town that pays homage to the Royals and has to be seen. But do mind your Ps & Qs while you sip your tea; there are several rules to being refined.
Find out what the Tea Cosy is all about here
George Street, Brighton BN2 View on map
A fun day out
If you want a whole day of fun on your first date, Brighton’s Marina has all you need. Take the bus or enjoy a romantic half-hour stroll from Palace Pier, to find great restaurants, a casino, bowling, pubs, cafés and even go on a hired boat onto the sea, or take a mackerel fishing trip for a really different date.
Check out the Marina here
Brighton Marina, Brighton BN2 5UF View on map
Let’s go fly a kite
There’s nothing more romantic than enjoying the great outdoors together. So why not pick up a kite from town and then head down to the beach for a day of flying fun. You could even go up to Devil’s Dyke for spectacular views, romantic walks and a good drink in the pub after you’ve shown off your flying skills.
The very end of Devil’s Dyke Road, Brighton View on map
A different kind of cinema
So going to the cinema isn’t the best idea for a first date. But when you can snuggle up on sofas together watching the latest blockbuster then it doesn’t seem such a bad idea. The Duke of York cinema has sofas and big comfy chairs in its balcony area, which incidentally is right next to the beer-serving bar. So pay a couple of quid extra and visit the most romantic cinema in town.
Find the Duke of York here
Preston Circus, Brighton BN1 4NA View on map
All you can eat
Take your new date out for some great food at the Bombay Aloo Indian Restaurant. Handily it’s a vegetarian restaurant so there are no problems with veggie dates, plus it costs just £4.95 for all you can eat and it stays open till midnight on weekends – so you can grab a curry after a few drinks in town.
Check out the menu online
39 Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AB View on map
Break the ice
This may sound a little strange, but Snooper’s Paradise will make a very memorable date indeed. You can pass it off as a walk through the North Laines, but once you enter this treasure trove / flea market, you’ll spend a good hour or two walking round chatting away about all the randomness inside. A great way to break the ice. And you could even buy your date a little something as a keepsake.
7-8 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL View on map
When you’re looking for student bars, Brighton has so many you’ll spend half your night trying to figure out which one to go. And whether you’ve been here for one year, four years or you’ve just come to the city, it’s always great to find a few new places to drink.
So here are some of the friendliest pubs, bars and clubs from around the city that are great for a cheap night out and welcome students in:
Pubs & Clubs
Inspired by 1930s gin palaces, burlesque and the steampunk movement. 1-3 Prince Albert Street, Brighton BN1 1HE
One of the best student bars Brighton has to offer, this bright, colourful pub is in student central – on Lewes Road. The drinks are well priced, the atmosphere is great and after the pub closes, students with an NUS card can get free entry into the club upstairs.
Pelham Terrace, Brighton BN2 4AF View on map
The Hop Poles
When you’re after the perfect Sunday lunch, this is the pub to come to. It’s cool décor, fab smoking area, great service and scrumptious food makes it the perfect hang out for a Sunday afternoon.
Middle Street, Brighton BN1 1AL View on map
Fortune of War
Out of all the pubs on the seafront, this could well be the best for pre-club drinking. It’s a bit cramped inside, but on a hot summer evening the music pumps out onto the front and crowds swarm outside.
Kings Road Arches, Brighton Seafront BN1 1NB View on map
When you’re drinking in Brighton, the Arc is a great place to go at the end of the night for a bit of indie music or some cheesy 90s tracks. It’s cheap to get in, stays open late on weekends and is right next to the sea.
Kings Rd Arches, Brighton BN1 1NB View on map
Get your rock on at Brighton’s comedy club. On weekend evenings this venue turns into the best place for a good old dance to a bit of rockabilly, indie, punk and 60s to 80s classics. The drinks are cheap and it’s usually under a tenner to get in.
Gardner Street, North Laine, Brighton BN1 1UN View on map
One of Brighton’s top venues for live bands and club nights right on the seafront.
Maderia Drive, Brighton Seafront BN2 1RN View on map
First of all, kick the night off with some (expensive but amazing) cocktails in Above Audio, then hit the basement for pumping drum n bass, R&B and some top DJs that will keep you dancing all night.
Marine Parade, Brighton BN2 1TL View on map
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Stuck for places to take parents in Brighton? When the olds come to visit you at uni you need to show them a good time. But maybe more of a relaxing good time than you’re used to. So we’ve compiled a list of ideas that will fit the bill – and you’ll get treated too.
Simply taking your parents for a walk around Brighton can be a great day out itself. Visit the seafront and the galleries that are hidden in the Arches, then wind your way up through the South Lanes. This old jewellery quarter has lots of shops that will entice parents in, from antiques to high fashion stores. And the best bit is there are plenty of restaurants dotted along the way, so your parents can treat you to some new clothes followed by lunch.
South Lanes, Brighton View on map
If you like to stroll through the great outdoors then Devil’s Dyke is one of the great places to take parents in Brighton. It’s steeped in history, provides astounding views and long walks along the South Downs Way, and has a great pub at the top that serves fine food and delicious coffees. Plus you can take the open top bus up there so everyone can have a drink at the end of a long walk.
The very end of Devil’s Dyke Road, Brighton View on map
This great Italian restaurant is right by the sea – in fact you can’t get closer unless you’re on Palace Pier. With fantastic views of the coastline, the burnt down West Pier and the most amazing sunsets in summer, you’ll find that this restaurant is the perfect place to catch up over a delicious meal or even just a coffee.
The Milkmaid Pavilion, Kings Road Arches, Brighton BN1 2LN View on map
What better way to spend an evening with your olds than at the theatre? At Brighton Dome you’ll find shows that will suit every taste in the Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Pavilion Theatre. From orchestra concerts and operas, to comedians, pop music and circus performance acts, the Dome has it all.
29 New Road, Brighton BN1 1UG View on map
The Royal Pavilion
Full of extravagant splendour, the Royal Pavilion was built for George IV and is now one of Brighton’s biggest attractions. It’s also opposite the enthralling Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which has free entry. Quite simply this corner of Brighton is a great place to explore with parents in tow.
The Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE View on map
A short drive from central Brighton, or a leisurely half-hour stroll from Palace Pier, Brighton’s Marina makes a fun day out. You’ll find everything here from bowling, a casino, great restaurants and fast food, to fun pubs, cafes and even mackerel fishing trips. It’s perfect for all the family, even if you have young siblings tagging along.
Brighton Marina, Brighton BN2 5UF View on map
Meeting your parents for breakfast? There’s only one place to go: Bill’s. This is an experience in itself, from the tins of food covering the walls, the market-style entrance and the amazing cakes in the refrigerators, to the all-day menu that will knock your socks off (Bill’s breakfast, buttermilk pancakes, smoked mackerel, even eggs and soldiers). Just make sure you get there for 10am if you’re going for breakfast – it gets packed out very quickly.
100 North Road, Brighton BN1 1YE View on map
Momma Cherri’s Big House
Gordon Ramsey transformed this little food shack into a famous restaurant in 2005. It now has an amazing atmosphere to go with the traditional American soul food and fantastic smiley service. Plus you can enjoy live music on Friday evenings and Sunday lunchtimes. But make sure you book in advance – this place gets busy.
2-3 Little East Street, Brighton BN1 1HT View on map
The Mock Turtle
Small and old fashioned, the Mock Turtle tearoom serves the most fantastic food in quaint surroundings. Enjoy cream teas, gigantic donuts, homemade cakes and simple lunches. It’s a great place to show your parents that you can still be civilised despite being a student. And if you want to treat them you’ll be able to afford it here.
4 Pool Valley, Brighton BN1 1NJ View on map
The Grand Hotel
Like to impress your parents? Take them to the Grand Hotel on the seafront. Enjoy a very expensive but delicious afternoon tea, or indulge in the most magnificent cocktails as an after-dinner treat – all accompanied by the gentle music from the resident pianist. Just make sure the ‘rents are paying.
97-99 King’s Road, Brighton BN1 2FW View on map
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