How to Plan the Perfect Short Break in Brighton

Brighton is a charming seaside town close to London and a great escape from the capital of England. Whether you’re looking for a romantic weekend, a couple of days out with kids, or just a bit of relaxation on the beach, find out how to plan the perfect short break in Brighton.

First things first…

Is Brighton worth visiting?

The answer is a straight yes! Brighton is definitely worth visiting, and this charming city has many things to do. Furthemore, the surroundings are beautiful, and you can choose between several fantastic day trips from Brighton.

Brighton is a multifaceted destination that appeals to any type of traveler. Whether you’re looking for a romantic spot, a lovely place for a brief family holiday, or a vibrant town combining art, fun, relaxation, and active travel, a short break in Brighton is something you’ll love.

Best time to visit Brighton

May to June is certainly the best time to visit Brighton.

Brighton has a special charm in winter. Far from the crowds flocking in Summer, I discovered a town full of life and colour, even if it’s pouring rain.

I arrived in Brighton under a gloomy sky, the rain lashing against the bus window. These were not the most favourable conditions for my first visit to a new place, even less a seaside resort, and in winter. Notwithstanding, as soon as the bus driving me from Gatwick Airport entered the city, my first thought was: ‘How pretty!’

Brighton Royal Pavilion

Believe me, coming from Italy, the ‘Country of the sun’ (or supposedly so…) and deeply disliking rain, I was surprised by my first impression.

Luckily, the rain did not last long, and on the last day, I was even blessed by a ray of sunshine!

Why visit Brighton in winter?

The sea in winter is special, the light is awesome, the sounds of the waves is soothing, the seagulls dancing over the water are mesmerizing, and the salty tang of the sea exhilarating.

In winter, the sea has a unique taste. Something that has to do with all our senses.

I began to appreciate the seaside and coastal towns only a few years ago. It happened in Camogli, a charming and colorful fishing village in Liguria, northern Italy. It was a very cold winter in Milan, and since the temperatures are usually milder on the coast, I decided to spend a few days enjoying a little warmth. I enjoyed hiking in Portofino Natural Park, where only a handful of people are on the trails during winter, and the views of the sea from above are breathtaking.

But I’m digressing…

Even if you are a beach lover and you enjoy lying under the sun like a lizard, you’ll soon discover that Brighton in the Winter season has its charm. Only it’s different.

It’s quieter and somehow wilder. And, of course, cheaper.

Brighton history in a nutshell

Brighton grew up from a small fishing village to a fashionable seaside resort.

Brighton’s development and success started in the mid-18th century when the physician Richard Russell developed his theory on the medical benefits of salted water. Russell encouraged people to try the water in Brighton, where he opened a clinic.

The transformation into a fashionable resort continued in the second half of the 18th century when George, Prince of Wales, who would later become King George IV, chose Brighton as his seaside retreat.

Things to do in Brighton in winter (and not only)

Brighton is a vibrant city with a lot to offer, and even in low season, there’s no time to get bored.

Visit the iconic Royal Pavilion

Every city and town has its iconic landmark, and Brighton is no exception.

Brighton, Royal Pavilion

The Royal Pavilion, with its domes, minarets, and spires, is a fascinating palace, blending Indian and Islamic styles in a rather unique fashion.  Its architecture reflects the personality of George, Prince of Wales, who progressively transformed his Brighton leisure house from a villa to a palace. George became Prince Regent in 1811, and in 1815 he commissioned John Nash, one of the top architects of its time, to redesign and enlarge his residence. The interior was lavishly decorated, and the Royal Pavilion had the ultimate comforts available at the time.

However, the Pavilion’s magnificence was short-lived. The building showed structural problems very soon, and after George IV’s death, his successor, William IV, muted some of the previous extravagances. Queen Victoria stripped the Royal Pavilion of all its ostentatiousness for a more sober style and eventually sold the building to the city in 1850.

Pop in at the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery

Museums are a perfect activity (unless you don’t like them) to beat the cold and forget a dull day. At the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, in the garden of the Royal Pavilion, you’ll see interesting exhibits about the town’s history and development as well as a nice collection of objects ranging from Egyptian mummies to modern design.

Stroll on the beachfront, from Brighton to Hove

A little wintery sunshine is inviting enough for a walk on the beachfront from Brighton to Hove. On your way, you’ll cross people walking their dogs, others jogging or cycling and some simply admiring the sea. There’s life on the beachfront even in winter.

Brighton Beachfront

And, if you’re lucky enough, you might even enjoy a couple of hours sitting on the beach, reading a good book.

Enjoy The Laines

Brighton is the right place if you like shopping and are looking for quirky objects. Get lost in the alleys of The Lanes or North Laines. and enjoy the quaint little shops.

The Laines are a fascinating combination of old and new. Part of this neighbourhood was built at the end of the 16th century when Brighton (then called Brighthelmstone) was only a small fishing town.

Wander along the narrow alleys, visit the charming boutiques, and take a coffee or lunch break at one of the cute cafes and restaurants.

Have a quintessential afternoon tea at Stanmer House

A visit to Brighton (and moreover to England, if coming from abroad) wouldn’t be complete without having afternoon tea. I fell in love with Stanmer House (I strongly recommend you book in advance), an awesome 18th-century Manor House set in a beautiful park.

Imagine for a little while being a British aristocrat spending some time at their countryside mansion, surrounded by beautiful antiques owned by your family for generations. Indulge yourself in delicious canapes and mouth-watering patisseries while sitting on the couch in front of the fireplace. I felt like stepping back in time, and you will too.

Brighton - Afternoon Tea at Stanmer House
Brighton - Stanmer House

Brighten your day with the colors of Brighton graffiti

Brighton in winter can be bright and sunny, but also gray and dull. Add color to a gloomy day and go for a stroll to enjoy Brighton graffiti. I liked most of the large murals along Kensington Street, and there are many more across the city. Street art in Brighton may not be as exciting as Bristol street art, but you’ll spot some interesting murals.

Brighton - Street Art

Practical Information:

How to get to Brighton

The closest airport is London Gatwick, where several airlines operate. I usually rely on CheapOair to find deals on flights.

From Gatwick, you can reach Brighton by train and by bus

Where to stay in Brighton

The Charm Brighton Boutique Hotel is only minutes walk to the beach. Recently refurbished, the hotel features bright rooms and modern and tasteful decoration.

The Oriental Guest House is only 50 meters from the beach and features a contemporary décor with a special flare.

A few steps from the railway station, Hotel Una features lovely and stylish rooms, a bar, and a cinema room.

Where to eat

Brighton offers a wide choice, from old and cozy traditional pubs to trendy places with creative cuisines, like Food for Friends, where you can taste delicious vegetarian food presented in an exquisite fashion.



My trip to Brighton was kindly sponsored by VisitBrighton, Steve Lowry and UMI Hotel Brighton, who I’d like to thank for the opportunity to discover a charming city. As always, opinions are exclusively mine.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you make a purchase, I get a small commission at no extra cost for you.

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About Me

Travel addict and passionate about photography, Simon Falvo started Wild About Travel back in 2009. Leveraging her strong PR background, she developed an extensive knowledge of Digital Communications and Content Creation. Besides travel writing Simon holds workshops and trainings, she collaborated with tourism boards for digital marketing campaigns and participated as a speaker at several events.

6 thoughts on “How to Plan the Perfect Short Break in Brighton”

  1. I visited Brighton over the winter, too, and found it lovely! Thought there wouldn’t be much there because I always imagined it as a beach town, but I actually quite enjoyed it.

  2. Hi,

    I agree about the charms of Brighton in winter. Not to mention the more relaxed air due to the lack of crowds.

  3. Your photos encourage me to take a winter holiday!! I love the beach in winter as long as there is good food, a warm fire, and several bottles of wine! It looks like all my requirements can be met in Brighton!


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