Brighton Beach. Should I go?

Hi everyone.
Has anyone been to Brighton Beach? I'll be in London for two nights, and was thinking of taking a short day trip to Brighton Beach to get some sunshine. Is it worth the time and effort? Is it nice there? Worth visiting? Or just stay in London?

Posted by Geor
Seattle, Wa, USA
294 posts

I am also interested in hearing the responses to Lisa question about Brighton Beach. Unlike her, I will be in London for 16 days this summer so I won't be missing out on the typical tourist attractions in that city. I would like to have a "Coney Island - UK style" experience, and a CBS 60 Minutes program on Brighton Beach that was broadcast maybe a decade ago suggested that is what one can get in that beach town.

Posted by Lisa
Washington DC
11 posts

Hello again.
Well, I'm thinking Brighton might be worth a two hour visit; Sit on the beach and have lunch and walk around a little.

So, hope somebody else agrees with this idea! Thanks!
And for Geor, I definitely think you have the time to make a Brighton beach visit!

Posted by LeeB.
211 posts

If it's a beautiful weather day, I'd say go for it. It's fun to people watch and walk along the pier and if you keep walking east you eventually will see some white cliffs. Also, the Royal Pavilion is definitely worth seeing.

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
1619 posts

Just call it "Brighton," though. Brighton Beach is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY. A bit much for a day trip from London! ;)

Posted by David
Basingstoke, England
98 posts

If you are only in London for two days don't bother. Brighton has a lot of attractions but the "beach" isn't one of them. Australian comedian Mark Little who lives in Brighton refers to the shore as having "fat sand" by which he means pebbles/small boulders. If you need sun and sand go to Bournemouth but basically stay in town.

"Brighton and Hove is a vibrant seaside city. Famous for a billion naughty weekends and the joy of sitting on the fat sand enjoying a plastic pint in the best weather in Britain" direct quote from Mark Little when selling his house in nearby Hove.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
9472 posts

OMGoodness,,, NO ! Not if you only have 2 days ./

Yes,, I have been,, yes it was interesting.. but the beach sucks to me( water is freaking cold, and there is no sand,, just rocks that the locals seem very good about lying on and walking on they killed my feet and I live on an island so have been on many beaches! ) and do not count on the weather being great..

And I can't imagine going that far for 2 hours either.

Brighton beach has some nice things to see.. I liked the board walk.. but really.. to miss so much in london for that.. no way.

Some recommend taking a cruise up to Greenwich for a bit of get away from London.. I haven't done that yet but it seems a much better alternative then Brighton for two hours!

Posted by Lisa
Washington DC
11 posts

Alright alright. I won't go to Brighton. And I won't call it Brighton "beach".
I'm sure there are lots of things for me to do and see in London in 2 days.
Thank you all for your thoughts. I really appreciate it!

Posted by Steve
Brighton, Sussex, UK
63 posts


as I live in Brighton I'm a little biased but here goes. If you only have 2 days then definitely stay in London but if you have more time like the 16 days of the other responder by all means come and visit Brighton. For the coney island experience you can certainly try the pier but there is a lot more in Brighton than that! The Lanes and North Laines are home to lots of quirky, unique, designer and bric-a-brac shops. There are more than 365 pubs in Brighton and it's second only to London in the number of restaurants per person I believe. There is also the Royal Pavilion and the Brighton Festival in May.

In addition to all that another really good reason is that it is so easy to get to from London. Victoria station to Brighton is 58 minutes with some great scenery on the way. Head straight out of the station towards the sea in front of you and you are in the center of town. There are at least 3 trains per hour to London Victoria and others that go to London Bridge.

For the more physically adventurous who like a hike I'd suggest getting off the train at Hassocks and walking 10 miles over the South Downs national park to Lewes after which you can catch a direct train back to London or a short 20 minute hop to Brighton. There is also paragliding, kit surfing and various other water based activites at the beach especially on weekns like 'paddle round the pier' or 'big beach BBQ'.

So if you have the time - I'd go :-)


Posted by Lisa
Washington DC
11 posts

Thanks, Steve! Wow. You make Brighton sound great! I'll be in England in June. So I have time to think about it. But now I'm leaning towards going to Brighton for just a couple hours. I'm a quick eater and walker and shopper! So I think I'll be able to get in to see the beach and sights pretty fast, and be back in London for happy hour.
I should say I've been to London before and have seen the major sights. That's why I thought a break to the beach might be nice.
Thanks again all!

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
9896 posts

Brighton's Royal Pavilion is a very fun visit for someone staying longer, but two nights in London should be spent in London.

Posted by emma
1730 posts

It's a bit of a hike to go to Brighton if you only intend to stay for a couple of hours., you would be better off staying in London.
Personally I love Brighton for a day out. It's a buzzy town with loads going on. The Lanes are great to wander around browsing quirky shops and there is nothing better than eating fish and chips out of paper on the beach. The one caveat is you do have to have the weather. Whilst British seaside resorts could be described as "atmospheric" in the rain they aren't particularly fun.

Re the " rocks" on the beach. We would call them pebbles or shingle. The trick to sitting or lying down comfortably is to make a small dip in the pebbles to sit in, or to rest your shoulders when lying down. A major adv.antage of a pebble beach is that you don't get sand in your sandwiches!
I think the pain of the walk over pebbles to a freezing cold sea on a blustery summer day is what made this country great!:-) to quote many a parent " we came here to have a good time and we are going to have one whether you like it or start enjoying yourself!"

Posted by Cary
Hayden, Idaho, USA
128 posts

I agree with the others who think a trip to Brighton uses up too much of your short time in London.

Emma: I'd not thought abt the advantage of no sand in your sandwiches on a shingle beach!

Posted by Patty
Steilacoom, WA, USA
718 posts

Have you been to London before? Any chance you will be back soon? I'm going to say, if the weather is nice, go. Yes, many of us would fill our time in London, but if Brighton appeals to you, then you should do it. I'm going to plug the Royal Pavilion, as we found that to be a fun tour. You really get right up close to history.

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
886 posts

Thanks Dick, for clearing that up. Seriously. For a fast second I wondered what travel forum I was in.

Lisa. I love Brighton but I had time for it. I got my first tattoo on the Pier. okay it was henna but still.... If you only have 2 days, save it for your next trip.

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
5296 posts

I think Brighton used to be the place married gentlemen took their girlfriends for a "dirty weekend". There is a Music Hall song that begins:

Oh! Oh! Who's your lady friend, who's the little girlie by your side?

and it ends:

She isn't the girl I saw you with in Brighton, so who, who who's your lady friend.