London Day Trip: Brighton

Highlights: carnivalesque mood; quirky architecture; boutiques
Duration: five to ten hours
Exertion level: low to moderate
Accessible by: train, bus

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Brighton The Lanes

More than just a beach town, Brighton has a fun and funky side. Photo: jay galvin.

Brighton is a unique seaside town. Developed as a tourist spot in the late 18th century, today it's a mish-mash of students, funky corners, quirky shops, good nightlife, and old school tourist draws.

To see

From one angle, the over-the-top Royal Pavilion and the cheesy pleasures of Brighton Pier suggest that Brighton is simply an old-fashioned mass tourist draw. From another, taking the city's student population and a robust hippie demographic into account, Brighton seems like a bit of a countercultural zone. Then, strolling through the Lanes, one encounters upscale, funky boutiques, and Brighton reveals itself to have an undeniably splashy side.

Brighton caters to all these demands, and this is what makes it so exciting. You never really know what you're going to find in Brighton, and this fact provides a good share of the city's charm.

For more information about Brighton, see Brighton's official tourism site.

Getting there

A roundtrip train journey between London and Brighton can cost as little as £16 for a Cheap Day Return fare. Such fares apply for weekday travel at non-peak times. The journey takes between 50 and 80 minutes each way.

More day trips

Looking for more ideas for getaways? Check out our article on day trips from London with information about the university town of Oxford and the quaint, castle-guarded village of Arundel.

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