Brighton Beach is a popular seaside escape that buzzes with activity during the summer. Go for a stroll along the promenade, ride fairground attractions on a Victorian pier and revel in the lively atmosphere of the beach’s busy cafés, restaurants and clubs.
The coast is covered with large pebbles and the waters can be icy, but the beach still attracts many swimmers and watersports enthusiasts. Try windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and wakeboarding, or simply watch the action from the comfort of the shore. At the eastern end of the beach is a section for naturists. It opened in 1980, making it the first official public naturist beach in the U.K.
Walk along the beach’s promenade and cool off with some ice cream, which is sold by dozens of vendors along the shore. You’ll find the promenade is equally busy in the evening, with locals and tourists enjoying drinks at its many clubs and bars.
Brighton is one of the few remaining beaches in England to feature classic seaside Punch and Judy shows, a traditional puppet show with lots of slapstick scenes. Find the entertaining performance at the Fishing Quarter area of the beachfront.
Spend some time on Brighton Pier, which first opened toward the end of the 19th century. There are thrill rides, fairground attractions, a fish and chip restaurant and several bars. Adjacent to the pier is the Sea Life Center. It claims to be the oldest operating aquarium in the world, having opened in 1872.
One of the most exciting times of year to visit the beach is during the winter solstice celebrations in December. The festival features the burning of homemade paper and bamboo lanterns. During the lead-up to the celebration, participate in lantern-making workshops or pick up a simple lantern kit from a local shop.
Brighton Beach stretches from one side of town to the other. You can reach it on foot from most areas in Brighton, and it’s easily accessible by public transportation. If you prefer to drive, park for a fee in the parking lots near the beachfront.