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Brighton Off the Beaten Path

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This is a guide to Brighton off the beaten track, a selection of hidden gems and points of interest that are first on my list whenever I visit this small but perfectly formed city. Brighton is quintessentially unconventional and therefore has a lot to offer visitors who fancy a taste of both the informal and the avant-garde.

Good for
  • Solo
  • Friends
  • Couples
  • Shopping Fanatic
  • Art and Architecture Lover
  • Foodie
  • Luxury Traveller
  • Thrifty Traveller
  • Trendsetter
  • Like a Local

11 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

11 Places

Kemptown

Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods

Rock Ola

Restaurants

Fabrica

Art Galleries

Metrodeco

Restaurants

Hove Lagoon

Parks, Other Nature & Parks

The Open Market

Flea & Street Markets

Brighton Spiegeltent

Performances

i gigi Cafe

Restaurants

Hand In Hand

Bars & Clubs

Emporium Theatre Brighton

Theatres

Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill

National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks, State Parks, Other Nature & Parks

Skyanokhi's City Tips

  • If mobility is an issue, be aware that the city is a rather hilly one.
  • Parking can be difficult in Brighton, but taxis and buses are available directly outside the station.
  • The best way to explore Brighton is on foot.
  • Kemptown
    Historic Sites, Neighbourhoods
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    I lived in Kemptown, affectionately known as 'Camp-Town', when I was at University and always visit when I'm back on the South Coast. There are many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered, including eateries, antique shops and boutique hotels. The mix of students and large gay community makes Kemptown a vibrant and interesting destination, and it has all the charms of the city - without the generic big brands of the centre - and embraces the essence of Brightonian spirit. Plus the Regency buildings, gardens and proximity to the sea make it a delight to potter about in.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Foodie
    • LGBT
    • Trendsetter
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The Vintage Workshop is a highlight not to be missed. If you like embroidered linen, eclectic collectables and Victorian lingerie, you absolutely must visit!
    • The Original Brighton Flea Market is good for bargain hunters! Less crowded than Snoopers Paradise and more fun to mooch in.
    • There are lots of quirky pubs dotted about the St James Street area.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 113 things to do in Brighton
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Go east, you won't be disappointed! 04/11/2018
    • Great location 28/10/2018
    • Kemptown
    Address:
    East of Brighton Pier to Brighton Marina
    Brighton
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1283 696899
    Other:
  • Rock Ola
    Restaurants (American, Cafe, Diner)
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    This is a retro gem inspired by American coffee bars of the 50's and 60's. The walls are covered in memorabilia and there is plenty to pique your interest whilst you sink a coke-float or chow down on a burger. The jukebox is free, so line up your favourite hits and shimmy to some rock and roll! The food is hearty and the portions are large.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Hidden Gems
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • The American style pancakes are heavenly.
    • There is a full vegan menu.
    • Eggs are free range and meat is responsibly sourced.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #515 of 1,011 restaurants in Brighton
    • Good food 08/07/2018
    • Delicious food 06/06/2018
    • Rock Ola
    Address:
    29 Tidy Street
    Brighton BN1 4EL
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 673744
    Hours:
    Mon - Fri
    10:30 - 16:30
    Sat
    09:30 - 16:30
    Other:
  • Fabrica
    Art Galleries
    Skyanokhi Says:

    Set in a deconsecrated Regency church, Fabrica is a contemporary art gallery and venue. Artists are commissioned to respond to the space itself - that's what makes it special. Every installation I have seen has been an entirely different experience: from sound-scapes to sculpture and everything in between. It feels like a world class venue that has yet to be fully discovered.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • All exhibitions are free.
    • Interaction with the space is encouraged.
    • The volunteers are well trained and enthusiastic.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #52 of 113 things to do in Brighton
    • Lovely art space always with interesting exhibitions. And free 01/11/2018
    • Always interesting 28/08/2018
    • Fabrica
    Address:
    40 Duke Street
    Brighton BN1 1AG
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 778646
    Other:
  • Metrodeco
    Restaurants (Cafe, British)
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    When I visit Brighton with a group of friends, we always head to Metrodeco: what a modern tea salon should be. The interior is elegant and the ambiance makes breakfast, lunch or brunch - my favourite meal of the day - feel like an event. A great place for special occasions like a birthday or hen party or to while away an afternoon spoiling yourself.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    Tips
    • Metrodeco makes and sells house tea blends.
    • A fabulous selection of artisan gins are available.
    • It is possible to hire the venue for an evening event, including retro hairstyling/make-up, gin tasting and swing dance classes.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #88 of 1,011 restaurants in Brighton
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Disappointing Style over substance 11/11/2018
    • Fabulous! 30/10/2018
    • Metrodeco
    Address:
    38 Upper St. James's Street
    Brighton BN2 1JN
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 677243
    Price range:
    US$5 - US$38
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 18:00
    Mon - Thu
    11:30 - 17:30
    Fri
    11:30 - 20:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 20:00
    Other:
  • Hove Lagoon
    Parks, Other Nature & Parks
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    Walk up to Hove Lagoon, a great place to stroll and admire the water, should you fancy a moment of tranquility away from Brighton's main beach. It's a brilliant playground, where water-sport lessons are available, but if you're like me and you aren't sporty, it's just as fun to watch and enjoy being beside the water.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Really good fish and chips, a must when you're beside the sea.
    • There is a children's paddling pool to cool down in when the weather is hot.
    • Check out the Big Beach cafe, where you'll find healthy, hearty, family-friendly food.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #6 of 14 things to do in Hove
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Always something going on! 11/11/2018
    • lovely play area for young children 15/10/2018
    • Hove Lagoon
    Address:
    Kingsway
    Hove BN3 4LX
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 424842
    Hours:
    Sun
    23:00 - 00:00
    Mon
    00:00 - 17:00
    Wed
    13:00 - 17:00
    Sat
    11:00 - 17:00
  • The Open Market
    Flea & Street Markets
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    The Open Market is easy to miss. It's just off the London Road, and once you notice the brightly-coloured entrance sign I urge you to go inside. An eclectic mix of shops with a covered market in the centre awaits you. Recently renovated, it is an excellent example of what a market should be: fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, vintage clothes and bric-a-brac. If I was local I would visit every weekend: There are often events and themed market days, so it's a little different at every visit.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Trendsetter
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Family
    Tips
    • Great place to buy loose teas, honey and local produce.
    • There's a vintage fair once a month.
    • Great for bargain hunting.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #37 of 113 things to do in Brighton
    • Sunday is dear 28/10/2018
    • Very cute and charming 01/07/2018
    • The Open Market
    Address:
    Open Market Marshalls Row
    Brighton BN1 4JU
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 234047
    Other:
  • Brighton Spiegeltent
    Performances
    Skyanokhi Says:

    The Speigle Tent, which comes to Brighton's Fringe Festival every year in the Old Steine Pleasure Gardens, is unmissable. Though the season is short, it is jam-packed with fun for everyone: family and child-friendly events such as baby discos, as well as more adult themed shows like burlesque/boylesque, modern dance, comedy, theatre and music. The venue itself is a spectacle to behold: a mirrored, highly-decorated circus tent. I only wish it was permanent.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Hidden Gems
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Tickets sell out fast, so book in advance.
    • Take a chance on an unknown act and discover something new.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #15 of 19 Concerts & Shows in Brighton
    • So good! 02/05/2017
    • Naughty but nice! 02/06/2013
    • Brighton Spiegeltent
    Address:
    Old Steine Gardens
    Steine Gardens
    Brighton BN1 1GY
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 550061
    Hours:
    Sun
    10:00 - 00:00
    Mon - Wed
    12:00 - 00:00
    Thu - Fri
    12:00 - 02:00
    Sat
    10:00 - 02:00
    Other:
  • i gigi Cafe
    Restaurants (Cafe, British, Contemporary)
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    The best of both worlds: Igigi is a cafe upstairs and a shop below. Igigi General Stores is immaculate and classy, a mix of vintage and modern pieces of furniture and interior design in a natural colour palette that would fit into any home. I went in for soap and came out with much more! The cafe never disappoints and is frequented by locals. The food is fresh and delectable. It's tough to choose what to have, as every time I see someone else's meal I get food envy.

    Good for
    • Foodie
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Shopping Fanatic
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    Tips
    • The "Welsh Rarebit" is the best I have had!
    • The cafe is quite small, so seating is limited but worth the wait.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #35 of 240 restaurants in Hove
    • Great individual shop 09/07/2018
    • Noisy waitresses 17/05/2018
    • i gigi Cafe
    Address:
    31A Western Road
    Hove BN3 1AF
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 775257
    Other:
  • Hand In Hand
    Bars & Clubs
    Skyanokhi Says:

    Entering this miniature pub is like stepping into a friend's sitting room. The walls and ceiling are covered in newspaper articles and all the interior decor and objets d'art are original to say the least. As the name suggests, the welcome is warm and the publican has packed a lot in to a tiny space - there is even a piano in the corner, to play should the mood take you. The beer selection is good and the drinks are expertly mixed. It is not a tourist pub, so if you want a taste of insider Brighton, check it out. The clientele are a mix of locals, the odd student, and those who are lucky enough to have stumbled upon it by accident.

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • A good wine list is available.
    • This pub does not serve food, but a small selection of bar snacks are available.
    • The loos are upstairs via a steep staircase.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #10 of 129 Nightlife in Brighton
    Certificate of Excellence 2014
    • Live Jazz 10/11/2018
    • Hidden gem 06/11/2018
    • Hand In Hand
    Address:
    33 Upper St. James's Street
    Brighton BN2 1JN
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 699595
    Hours:
    Sun
    12:00 - 23:30
    Mon - Sat
    12:00 - 00:00
  • Emporium Theatre Brighton
    Theatres
    See more photos
    Skyanokhi Says:

    The Emporium Theatre is a pearl, and I implore you to seek it out. As well as hosting pantomimes with a twist for children, this place has a variety of activities for all ages: You can sign up for life drawing classes, watch an avant-garde cabaret or simply soak up the ambience in the cafe/foyer. There is always something happening: a poet or musician performing in the corner or an exhibition going on around you. A charming addition to Brighton's established theatre-land. And Alan Rickman is a patron!

    Good for
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Family
    • Art and Architecture Lover
    • Nightlife Seeker
    Tips
    • Early-bird discounts are available if you book in advance
    • Free WiFi is available.
    • It's a great spot for people-watching.
    • Bar staff here are refreshingly patient with children.
    Plan to stay:
    1-2 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #0 of 0 things to do in Brighton
    • The Tempest - playing in the Theatre at Emporium 21/03/2016
    • 7 30pm 13/03/2016
    • Emporium Theatre Brighton
    Address:
    88 London Road
    Brighton BN1 4JF
    England
    Phone:
    +44 1273 911313
    Hours:
    Sun - Sat
    08:30 - 00:30
    Other:
  • Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill
    National Parks, Nature & Wildlife Areas, Parks, State Parks, Other Nature & Parks
    Skyanokhi Says:

    Five miles from the city centre, you will find Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill, a National Trust venture. The ancient bluebell woods are full of wildlife and flora. There are a number of established walking routes including my favourite, which takes you on a circuit to Devil's Dyke. It's just far enough to ensure you can have a guilt-free slice of cake. No matter what time of year you visit, Newtimber Hill offers different natural wonders: wildflowers, butterflies and even orchids. The working farm has regular free open days, where the donkey wheel was a highlight. Seeing ancient techniques brought to life is eye opening, and the place is a favourite with children.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Hidden Gems
    • Like a Local
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Dogs welcome.
    • Try the carrot cake!
    • A few paths are steep and so are the stairwells in the farm house.
    Plan to stay:
    2-3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #45 of 113 things to do in Brighton
    • Fabulous secret location 15/08/2018
    • AN EXCELLENT STOPPING PLACE ON THE SOUTH DOWNS WAY 25/07/2018
    • Saddlescombe Farm and Newtimber Hill
    Address:
    1 Croft Cottages Saddlescombe Road
    Brighton BN45 7DB
    England
    Other:
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