Brighton Day Trip from London: Is Brighton Worth Visiting?

When the sun is shining, the sky is clear and the temperature reaches 25C, nothing is better than a beach getaway.

Among the coastal cities near London, Brighton & Hove, located in East Sussex only about 50mi away from England’s capital, is a popular student city and a famous British summer destination.

If you’re thinking about taking a day trip to Brighton from London, especially in the height of summer as I did, you might be wondering if it’s worth it or not. Trains can be packed, the beach can be overcrowded, queues everywhere…

I know your concerns.

It’s the reason that after my visits I decided to write this post with all the information you need to plan your Brighton day trip, including useful tips, a practical itinerary, costs, and the best things to do in Brighton in one day.

People sunbathing on the pebbles of Brighton Beach, England, UK
Brighton Beach on a sunny Sunday

How to Get to Brighton From London

By train

The train is the quickest and easiest way to travel from London to Brighton. It takes approximately one hour, and tickets start at £12.

There are over 200 daily trains during the high season departing from three main stations: Victoria, Blackfriars, and London Bridge. However, you can also hop on a train to Brighton from St Pancras, Farringdon, and East Croydon.

If you want to save time on your journey, take one of the fastest routes, without changes: 

  • From London Victoria with Southern Railway (58min)
  • From Blackfriars with Thameslink (1h14min)
  • From London Bridge with Thameslink (1h02min)

You can choose between off-peak or anytime day return, standard or first class.

Book your ticket online in advance so you can find the best deals.

A pair of train tickets: one from London Bridge to Brighton and the other from Brighton to London Victoria
You can collect your train tickets at the train station or use an e-ticket.

By coach

If you’re travelling to Brighton on a budget, the best option is to take a bus.

The coach from London to Brighton takes an average of 2h45min and tickets can be as low as £6 (each way).

There are up to 4 services per day from Victoria Coach Station, Vauxhall, Stockwell, Streatham, Rose Hill, and Belmont.

The first coach departs at 8h and the last at 19h30min.

If you catch the first bus, you’ll get there before 11h, and you’ll have enough time to enjoy a day in Brighton.

By car

Driving to Brighton is more convenient, particularly for those with kids and from other parts of the UK.

From central London to Brighton takes between 1h40min and 2h, in normal traffic conditions, and the travel distance is 75mi (120Km).

How to get around

Regardless of the mode of transportation that you’re travelling to Brighton from London for the day, getting around is easy.

You don’t need a car or take public transport. You can do everything on foot.

From Brighton train station to the beach is between a 10 – 15min walk. The exit takes you onto Queens Road, and you just head straight down this road towards the sea until you reach the beach.

Brighton Coach Station is based just on the seafront. If you’re driving, find car parking and pay the daily fee because it won’t be needed.

In case you don’t want to walk around Brighton & Hove (the two parts of the city), and still want to see its best attractions, you can book the Sightseeing bus or this bike tour.

A man wearing a green jacket cycling on Queens Road, Brighton
After leaving the station just follow Queens Road.

Brighton Day Trip Itinerary

  • 10h – Arrive in Brighton
  • 10h20min to 11h20min – Visit the Royal Pavilion and its gardens
  • 11h20min – Head towards Brighton Pier via East Street (10min walk)
  • 11h30min to 12h30min – Enjoy the rides or simply admire the superb views from the pier
  • 13h – Have lunch in one of the seafront restaurants or do a picnic on the beach
  • 14h – Relax on Brighton Beach
  • 17h – Take your flight at British Airways i360
  • 17h30min – Go for a stroll along the promenade and sightseeing
  • 18h20min – Head back to the train station
  • 19h – Leave Brighton

10 Best Things to Do In Brighton

You booked your ticket, packed your bag, and can’t wait to feel the ocean breeze blowing in your face, hear the waves, and relax on the beach, can you?

If you’re wondering what to do on a Brighton day trip, wonder no more. Here are the ten best things to do in Brighton in one day.

1 – Visit the Royal Pavilion

A trip to Brighton cannot be complete without visiting the Royal Pavilion!

The building was constructed as a modest 18th-century lodging house, but George, Prince of Wales, transformed it into a graceful neo-classical villa with the help of the architect Henry Holland.

In 1815 George hired the eminent architect John Nash, the same who designed Buckingham Palace and Regent’s Park, to redesign the building in the Indian style. The work was finished in 1823 when George was already a king.

This former royal residence is open to the public daily from 9h30min to 17h45min and costs £18. Book your ticket online in advance here.

I do recommend that you visit the interior of this exotic palace, which has all the grandeur of the Regency era mixed with Indian and Chinese styles.

But if you don’t have time, don’t miss the opportunity to marvel at this masterpiece of architecture.

Visiting the Royal Pavilion was one of the highlights of my Brighton day trip. I loved it!

Brighton day trip
So happy to see this place for the very first time!

2 – Get a bird’s eye view of Brighton

Dominating Brighton and Hove’s seafront skyline is the British Airways i360, a viewing tower and fully enclosed glass pod designed by the architects behind the conception and build of the London Eye.

The tower is designed as a 162m (531ft) tall needle structure with an ascending and descending spacious circular viewing platform, has a capacity for 200 people, and provides unparalleled panoramic views of the city of Brighton and beyond.

You can admire the city landmarks, artwork on rooftops, wind farms out at the sea, and the stunning coastline from the Seven Sisters cliffs to the Isle of Wight.

The view of Brighton from the British Airways i360
The views are spectacular!

The British Airways i360 is open year-round, “flights” operate every 30min on the hour and half-hour, and the adult ticket (from 25 years old) costs £17.95.

This is a one-and-only experience and I highly recommend it. Book your flight ticket online in advance here.

Pericles Rosa wearing sunglasses, a white shirt with blue dots, beige shorts and a pair of sneakers having a glass of sparkling wine inside the viewing pod of British Airways i360
Walking and gliding up in the curved glass viewing pod is magical and feels like you’re in a futuristic movie.

3 – Take a stroll along the promenade

Whether you’re visiting Brighton for the day, during the spring, summer, or fall, strolling along the promenade is the perfect way to experience Brighton and Hove’s vibrant seaside.

You’ll see people playing sports, cycling, rollerblading, skating, running, street artists performing, etc.

An upside down house, the BA i360 viewing trower on the Brighton and Hove promenade
Brighton & Hove promenade

You can walk from the Marina to Hove Lagoon, 4mi (6.5Km), but my recommendation is to go from the pier to the vivid beach huts.

a couple running and other people sitting in front of some colourful beach huts in Hove
It takes around a 30min walk from the Palace Pier to the first beach huts

4 – Explore Brighton Palace Pier

Another famous landmark that you can’t miss on your day trip from London to Brighton is the Palace Pier, one of the most impressive piers in the UK.

The 525m (1,722 ft) long Pier in Victorian style has an array of attractions to please every visitor.

From a waterfront theme park with rides to arcades, restaurants, bars, and deck chairs to enjoy the views, fortune tellers, and activities for the whole family.

Don’t forget to put the Palace Pier on your list. You’ll be rewarded with splendid sea views.

Two people seating upside down riding an Air Race on a waterfront theme park at Brighton Palace Pier, Brighton, England
The pier is free entry and the gates open at 10:00.

5 – Wander around the streets of Brighton

Even though you’re spending only a day in Brighton, you still have time to wander around its charming streets.

My recommendation is that when you leave the train station, walk down Queens Road until the pedestrianized Duke Street. There are shops, pubs, and eateries with outdoor seating, and you can continue through the adorable Duke Lane.

Another appealing street to check out is East Street, home to Brighton’s oldest boozer dating from at least 1568, high-end shops and restaurants, street artists, etc.

Two ladies walking on Dukes Lane, Brighton, England
The “Lanes” are lovely alleyways filled with exquisite buildings and shops.

6 – Discover the picturesque Brunswick Square

Another place to check out is Brunswick Square, on the Hove side of the city.

It’s a central square with a beautiful and perfumed garden surrounded by identical yellow terraced houses built for the upper classes between 1820 and 1840.

Brunswick was home to notorious residents, it’s very peaceful and one of my favourite points of interest in Brighton.

the beautiful garden of Brunswick Square with lavender and flowers, Brighton
The gorgeous Brunswick Square

In addition to the square, there are two distinguished seafront buildings, one on each edge, with Corinthian columns, Welsh Slate roofs, and Scottish stone pavements.

Brunswick Square and Terrace is one of the finest examples of Regency development in Great Britain. If you’re an architecture lover, you shouldn’t miss it.

7 – Savour the local dishes

The coastal town of Brighton has a wide range of restaurants and gastropubs for every taste and pocket.

From Middle Eastern cuisine to Japanese, Indian, Italian, French, Greek, and of course British.

If British food doesn’t excite you, what about having locally caught fish and chips while taking in the sea views from the pier? Or fresh shellfish by the beach?

Well, if you’re not a big fan of seafood or a vegetarian, there are other dishes that you can try during your Brighton day trip, such as Shepperd’s Pie, Bangers and Mash, etc.

Don’t leave Brighton without savouring a 99-flake ice cream. It’s ridiculously delicious!

8 – Enjoy the live music

If there’s something that Brighton isn’t short of, it’s live music.

When visiting Brighton, you’ll find local talents playing music everywhere you go.

From classical music at The Royal Pavilion’s gardens to trendy hits at the seafront bars, jazz at The Bandstand, and folk music at the Upside Down House, there are genres to please everyone.

The most popular outdoor terraced beachfront bars to enjoy live music whilst sipping a cocktail are Brighton Music Hall and OhSo Social.

A jazz group of musicians performing at The Bandstand in Brighton, with Brighton Beach and its promenade in the background
The Bandstand hosts a variety of bands during the summer months every Sunday from 14h to 16h.

9 – Practice sports

A day in Brighton can be packed with fun activities, especially if you’re a sports lover.

It’s because the seaside of the city boasts a wide range of places to play your favourite sport.

Beach volleyball, basketball, football, bocce, and beach tennis (the first time I saw people playing this sport), are just some of them.

You can rent a bike, a paddleboard, a kayak, or jet sky, not to mention walk and swim in the sea. It’s free.

Two ladies doing stand up paddle boarding at Brighton Beach, Brighton, England
Kayak and SUP: £20.00 per person per hour

10 – Relax on Brighton Beach

A day trip to Brighton cannot end without spending some time on its famous beach.

The buzzing pebble beach, dotted with wind farms at the sea, has crystal-clear green water and excellent infrastructure.

There are toilets, lifeguards on duty, chairs and umbrellas for hire, restaurants, bars, beach clubs, playgrounds, a kid’s swimming pool, souvenir shops, and even art exhibitions.

After travelling from London to Brighton, sightseeing, and being entertained by the city’s attractions, you must be eager to simply lounge on the beach.

So, lay down your towel, take off your clothes, put sunscreen on, rest, and relax on the beach feeling the cool breeze.

A pair of crossed legs laying down on the pebbles in front of the sea at Brighton Beach, England
It feels so good!

P.S: If you don’t want to lie on the pebbles, which isn’t that bad, you can hire a deck chair for £4.00, a sunbed for £8.00, a parasol for £7.00 and a windbreaker for £5.00.

Is Brighton Worth Visiting?


The greatest thing about taking a trip to Brighton is that it is not just a beach getaway. There are more things to do and see than just lying on the beach.

The top Brighton attractions are within walking distance, the city is easy to navigate, has a very good vibe, and welcomes all tribes.

Furthermore, if you live in a bustling city like London, what can be better than going to the beach on a summer day?

I had a fantastic time in Brighton & Hove and highly recommend that you visit it, even for the day.

Is Brighton Expensive to Visit?

If you’re planning to take a day trip from London to Brighton by train, you’ll spend between £30 – 100.

Here’s the breakdown of my expenses.

  • Return ticket: £25.10
  • British Airways i360 Sparkling Wine Experience: £29.50
  • Drinks and food at Brighton Beach Club: £30
  • 99 Flake ice cream at JJ’s: £2.50

Total: £87.10

Pericles Rosa wearing sunglasses and white shorts dotted with blue dots having a drink at Brighton Beach Club and the beach behind him
Cheers to my Brighton day trip 🥂 😃

Extra Tips for Planning a Day Trip to Brighton

Plan your trip in advance to arrive in Brighton early and get the most out of it.

Bring a towel, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and plenty of water along with you.

There’s a Tesco and a Sainsbury’s on Queens Road, a 5min-walk from the train station, in case you want to get some snacks and refreshments.

Arrive at least 15min before the train departure to get a good seat.

If you’re driving, you can leave your car at Regency Square car park, which is located opposite BA i360, at BN1 2FG.

Ticket holders must arrive at BA i360 at least 20min before the flight time.

Safe travels and have fun in East Sussex.

Watch Video – What to Do on a Brighton Day Trip from London

More posts about the UK that might interest you:

Don’t forget to save these pins for later 😉

Travel Planning Resources For every booking made through my site I donate US$ 1 for a charitable organization.Safe travels ☺

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.