10 Things to Do in Brighton (and Beyond) in the Summer



By Yalda Saddighzadeh

Hi, my name is Yalda. I’m a new English language teacher at Loxdale and a newly qualified EFL teacher taking my first steps into the world of teaching English, which I am so far loving and learning a lot very quickly.

I was born in Brighton and lived here for most of my life. I love this city, so I think I’m best placed to tell you about the things to do here in the summer in the coolest city in the UK. Brighton & Hove has everything you need right on your doorstep – the sea and its famous pebble beach; its surrounded by beautiful countryside; a great chilled vibe with lots of unique, friendly and open minded people; lots of great places to eat and drink and the best nightlife in the country outside of London.

Summer is the best time to enjoy Brighton. It has more sunshine than most places in the UK (if you want even more sunshine in the UK - Eastbourne and Bognor Regis in Sussex have a little bit more!) and lots of different ways to enjoy it.

This is my list of the best ways to enjoy summer in Brighton making the most of the sunshine and the chilled vibes.

1. Doughnuts and Arcade Games on the Pier:

Probably the most obvious choice, but you can’t come to Brighton and not take a trip to the pier. It was finally opened in 1899 after a number of setbacks and has been popular ever since. There is lots to do for both adults and kids, but I definitely recommend playing some of the arcade games especially the more old-fashioned ones and relaxing on a deck chair eating some sugary doughnuts (and a bit of candy floss if it’s not too much sugar for you!) whilst admiring the views.

2. Music and Cold Beer at the Brighton Music Hall:

The Brighton Music Hall (formerly the Gemini bar) is a great place to relax in the summer. It’s on the seafront and is usually rammed when the sun is out. Lots of tables outside filled with people from all over the world, relaxing with friends over a drink and listening to the live acts performing outside the bar. Some are brilliant, some not so brilliant but they are always entertaining and the chilled atmosphere is definitely worth it. They sell all the usual as well as craft beers and cocktails.

3. Seafood at the Regency Restaurant:

The Regency serves my favourite fish and chips in Brighton, but they also have lots of other fish and seafood dishes which are just as good. The best thing about this place - it’s located directly opposite the old West Pier and the new i360, so try and get a table outside, sit back, enjoy great food and take in the great views both old and new.

4. Enjoy a Show at the Brighton Fringe Festival:

The Fringe festival is an annual event and takes place at the beginning of summer in May every year (5th May to 4th June this year). It’s England’s largest arts festival and hosts a diverse range of performances. Any type of act can take part, so there is a wide range of unique and eclectic shows; both paid and free, to choose from. Be sure to catch a show or two if you are here in May and prepare to be surprised and possibly shocked, definitely intrigued but always entertained.

5. Hunt Out Street Art all over the City:

A little different but if it’s your kind of thing…Brighton is home to some of the most exciting graffiti art in the country. The most famous is the replica of the ‘Kissing Policemen’ by Banksy on Trafalgar Street. The original sold for a million pounds in New York! The best places are the North Laine and around the London Road area, but there is wonderful art all over the city and half the fun is wandering around and stumbling across art hidden away. Many websites give you pictures and advice on the best places such as toothpicnations and the best of brighton and hove so grab your camera on a sunny day and get wandering….

6. Take in the Magnificent Views at Seven Sisters:

Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters is a beautiful stretch of seven cliffs between the towns of Seaford and Eastbourne in East Sussex. The 13X bus goes straight there from Brighton to Birling Gap where you can start exploring. There is a footpath running along the cliffs both East and West leading to 2 picturesque lighthouses. It’s also home to a wide array of wildlife and unique landscape. Birling Gap has a cafe and shop and there is also pay and display parking if you don't feel like taking the bus. The National Trust and Seven Sisters website have maps and more information.

7. Party Hard at Pride:

Every year on the first weekend in August, Brighton hosts the biggest Pride Festival in the country to celebrate the vibrant LGBT community, highlight the struggle of LGBT people all over the world and promote the tolerance and diversity our city is famous for. It’s a weekend of colour, music, love and partying starting with the parade which goes through the city ending at Preston Park at the festival itself. I highly recommend bagging a spot along the route with a drink in hand and take in the buzz, the colours and the interesting outfits. The bars along the route open up and join in with the celebrations. The festival itself has many music and dance tents; fairground rides; stalls by local businesses; food and drink stalls and a concert which attracts famous names. The festival is ticketed but the parade is free. The Nightclubs and bars put on special events to celebrate all day and night. On Sunday, there’s a street party along the seafront and St. James’ Street where pubs serve drinks to the crowds and the music plays in the streets- the atmosphere is very chilled compared to Saturday as many people try and get over the night before!

8. Go on a long walk across the Devil’s Dyke:

Situated in the South Downs, Devil’s Dyke is an area of outstanding beauty right on our doorstep. It’s the longest and deepest dry valley in the UK. Legend has it that the Devil dug the dyke in order to drown the villagers in the village below! There are many walks and trails to discover including a moderate walk to Saddlecombe Farm which takes in the Dyke’s best scenery. Perhaps take a picnic and take advantage of eating outdoor in the sun surrounded by beautiful landscape. After a long walk, you can relax with a drink in the Devil’s Dyke pub. Information can be found on South Downs National Park and the National Trust websites. The 77 bus goes from the town centre straight to Devil’s Dyke.

9. Wander aimless around the Lanes and North Laine.

The Lanes are an atmospheric maze of cobbled streets with independent shops and restaurants. The North Laine are a grid of streets with many boutique shops, restaurants, a cinema/comedy house and much more. I love to wander aimlessly around these streets going in and out of quirky shops buying stuff that I’ll never use, stopping off for a bite to eat or buying a bag of my favourite sweets for later. In the North Laine, I recommend Snoopers Paradise in Kensington Gardens - an indoor flea market selling wonderful vintage things; Carmella’s sweet shop opposite which sells a massive range of Dutch salt liquorice which I’m addicted to and La Choza, a Mexican restaurant which serves yummy authentic food. In the Lanes, Casa Don Carlos is the best tapas in the city and the Seven Stars pub serves amazing BBQ and smoked meats as well as craft ales and lots of different gin. I also recommend the Blackbird cafe is a traditional British tea house and Julian Plumart, a beautiful French patisserie.

10. Afternoon Tea at the Grand Hotel

Afternoon tea is for any time of the year, but what makes it so nice in the summer at the Grand Hotel is the beautiful sea view from the terrace. The Grand is the most famous hotel in Brighton overlooking the sea. Afternoon tea here is rated as one of the best in the country. Dubbed as ‘afternoon tea by the sea’, take a traditional or seafood afternoon tea in their newly refurbished Victoria Terrace and enjoy a British classic in opulent surroundings whilst taking in the best view in Brighton.

Photos courtesy of Paul Gofton Photography www.paulgoftonphoto.com

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