Best day trips to Brighton from London

Take a day trip to Brighton from London and discover the famous seaside resort with its impressive architecture and vibrant food and drink scene.
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Landscape shot of Brighton Pier over the pebble beach and sea, with cloudy blue skies above
Brighton Pier in the sunshine. © Unsplash/Orry Verducci

Days out to Brighton from London

Visit the coastal city of Brighton and experience the perfect blend of old architectural landmarks, modern shops and trendy eateries nestled beside the seaside.

Where is Brighton and how can I get there from London?

Brighton is a seaside location in England, situated between East Sussex and West Sussex. It is located 47 miles (75km) south of London. The train takes less than two hours from London Victoria or London Blackfriars – with faster trains available throughout the day to get there in one hour. Or you can travel there by car in less than two hours.

What are the best things to do in Brighton?

Being one of England’s most popular seaside towns, Brighton is an exciting mix of creativity, entertainment and culture, and is home to some of the country’s most unique historic attractions.

Brighton is within easy reach of London and, come rain or shine, there are so many exciting things to see and do at this popular seaside destination.

Unmissable activities

Whether you’re into old architecture and museums or modern art and shopping for vintage finds, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Grab a seat and take in the seaside views on Volk’s Electric Railway, the oldest electric railway in the world, play arcade games and eat hot sugary doughnuts on Brighton Palace Pier or admire the city from above on the Brighton i360.

Low angle shot of pink, blue and green deckchairs on a pebbled beach, with Brighton Pier in the background

Explore the seaside town

Take a stroll around North Laine, the cultural quarter of Brighton known for its vibrant and colourful street art. Here you’ll find independent restaurants, trendy cafes to grab a bite to eat and boutique retailers to browse for vintage goodies. This popular pedestrian-friendly area is just a short walk from Brighton Station.

For something a little more traditional, take a walk around The Lanes. This quaint old fishing village is home to characteristic pubs and antique shops, and is a hotspot for local culture and delicious foodie finds.

Two people holding hands, walking through a cobbled narrow highstreet with flag bunting zig-zagging across the street

A vibrant food and drink scene

Brighton is a foodie's paradise full of lively cafes, restaurants and bars. From family-run pizzerias and Greek sharing-plate cuisine to boozy brunch spots and traditional cosy pubs, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.

Brighton was crowned "Vegan Capital of The World" in 2022 for its abundance of vegan restaurants and vegetarian-friendly eateries. For a taste of vegan cuisine, try fully vegan “fish” and chips at The No Catch Co. or sample vegan Italian delights at Purezza.

If you like old, characterful spots, make sure to visit The Cricketers. This pub dates back as far as 1547 and has retained its Victoria character and charm with plush red velvet seats, garish-patterned carpet and warm, dim lighting.

What are the best attractions and tours in Brighton and East Sussex?

Day trip to Brighton by rail with hop-on hop-off bus tour

The beach with Brighton Pier. Image courtesy of VisitBritain
Explore the best of Brighton on a thrilling one-day tour from London, including return rail travel and a hop-on hop-off bus tour. From retro rides and arcade games on the pier to fun cultural attractions and independent shops and cafes, Brighton has plenty to offer visitors. To get your bearings, this package includes a hop-on hop-off bus tour. See top Brighton attractions from the comfort of your seat, before stepping off the bus to visit your favourites. Duration: 13 hours
Prices from £67.00 Book now

Royal Pavilion

Royal Pavilion in Brighton. © Unsplash/Ana Simon

Take a wander around the spectacular Royal Pavilion, a seaside pleasure palace renowned for its dazzling display of Regency grandeur with Indian architecture and Chinese-inspired interiors. Marvel at the restoration efforts to its original 1823 appearance and experience the heart of fashionable Regency society in the beautiful surrounding gardens.

Brighton i360

Brighton i360 overlooking the beach. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Enjoy breathtaking 360-degree views of Brighton and the glorious pebble beach seafront in a giant glass viewing pod 138m (452ft) high in the sky. The Brighton i360 experience offers impressive panoramic views of the city and is a must-do if you love astounding vistas.

Hop-on hop-off Brighton bus tour

Brighton hop on hop off bus tour. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Discover the iconic sights of Brighton on a hop-on-hop-off tour bus. Explore the city and choose from 12 different stops, including the impressive Palace Pier, the busy harbour of Brighton Marina and Brighton i360, a glass observation tower designed by the same architects as The London Eye. The bus has seasonal operating hours between April and October.

SEA LIFE Brighton

Explore more than 5,000 sea creatures at SEA LIFE Brighton. Image courtesy of Golden Tours.
Explore more than 5,000 mesmerising sea creatures including sharks, turtles, seahorses and rays; journey through an underwater tunnel and marvel at the floor to ceiling window to see tropical fish and green sea turtles at SEA LIFE Brighton.
Check out more exciting day trips from London or take a look at the best sightseeing tours you can enjoy within London.