How to spend a summer day in Brighton, England

I know, I know. Autumn is here. Summer came to a close, but it’s not too late or early to reminisce or plan a trip. Although I lived in the United Kingdom for 2 years, I never made it out to the beach. On my one week trip for a friend’s wedding last summer, I finally made a visit to the most famous beach in England.

Brighton, and its beach, is one of the most iconic places to visit during summer in England. Here was how I spent my perfect summer day in Brighton, UK.

One day in Brighton

What about it is not to like? It’s by the seaside. It’s got a cool hip vibe. It’s not far from London. It’s Brighton, baby!

Before Brighton was connected to London by railway, one of the royal people decided to live in Brighton and hide away from the courts, etc. That was the Royal Pavilion, which you can now go and see in person.

Brighton is also a hub for culture in the United Kingdom, with lots of hip things going on and some underground cool things. You can also find some works by Banksy in town.

If you find yourself in Brighton for a day in the summer, there are tons of things to do. Since it was on the way back to London from a wedding I attended near Worthing, I decided to spent one night and one day in Brighton. This is how I spent one gloriously summery day there!

The perfect summer day in Brighton

The quintessential summer day in England would probably include some rain or some dark clouds (like the British summer days at the wedding), but I luckily didn’t get that. We awoke at our YHA hostel to a beautifully bright and warm (dare I say it, even hot!) summer day in Brighton.

I hope you are as lucky as I am, but many of these things can be done even in less ideal weather conditions. Leave your suggestions for your idea of a perfect day in Brighton in the comments! We had a day, and this is how we spent one day in Brighton.

Step one, have brunch

Because, brunch. Always choose brunch.

My friend and I went to the cafe called Cafe Coho, the Lanes location. The Lanes are a cool section of old streets with shops and restaurants. Wander around for a bit and find something you like!

Good coffee. Good food. What else could we ask for?

We went into a few shops nearby. We both have a weakness for browsing for knickknacks…and there were a few around such as England at Home.

Step two, check out the Royal Pavilion

This is an easy one to find.

There are several grassy areas around the building to plop yourself down and have a picnic, or just chill and chat with your friends. You’ll see a lot of tourists here, some with their luggage in tow. If you go around to the back of the building, there should be fewer people on the grass there.

We didn’t go into the palace for a tour, but you can take a peek into the area where you can buy tickets to get a sense for what is in the building.

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Three, sit by the seaside

The chairs cost money to rent, but we got to sit in these for about 5 or 10 minutes before someone came to hassle us. You can sit on the rocky beach for free though!

Have a lemonade. Have a beer. Have whatever you’d like! You’re at the beach! Beach people may be underwhelmed by this beach, but it’s England. You have to cut them some slack.

Swimming in England may not be on the top of your list, but it is doable if you’d like to. I didn’t go in the water, but it was probably cold. It was super pretty though!

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D and I at the beach in Brighton!

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Inviting views on this rocky beach!

Four, walk the Brighton Pier

This is something you should do, even if you don’t partake in any of the activities on the pier. You get a great view of the water, and of the shoreline. If you like theme park rides or arcades, there’s plenty of that! There’s even a water ride at the edge of the pier.

There are benches and lounge chairs on both sides of the pier, and these you don’t have to pay for! The only downside is that when you are seated in one of the loungers, your view of the water will be through the railing.

If piers are not your thing, you can still get a pretty great view at the start of the pier.

View from Brighton Pier

View from Brighton Pier

Five, enjoy the sunset

We had a partly cloudy day, and it made for a killer sunset that evening. Take a walk westwards along the water and you’ll also get to see the rows of beach huts. If you are into rollerblading, this is a great place to do that too.

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Beach huts! Apparently, these cost a ton of money to buy.

Isn’t this a phenomenal sunset? I can’t believe how well it came out in my photos. It was great in person too!

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Six, have some ice cream!

Preferably while you are enjoying the sunset!

When we got pretty far down, my friends took me to a gelato place right along the path. It’s called Marrocco’s. You can also get a fish dinner here if you are hunger. They had over a dozen different flavors! My Cypriot friends warned me against the bubble gum flavor. I got the raspberry!

You can take a seat at a bench looking out at the sea or keep walking. I tend to try to eat my ice cream quickly before it melts, so I prefer to sit. I hate it when my hands get sticky!

The perfect day in Brighton

This was how I spent my summer day in Brighton. I feel it was the perfect way to casually see a lot of the town but also chill out in some cool spots. You can choose to do some or none of these at all! We were lucky and had great weather. It was even a bit hot!

If you have more than one day in Brighton, that gives you even more time to explore! My best advice would be to explore as much as possible. You can do this on foot, or on bicycle. Both are great since you can walk or ride down the boardwalk areas.

My one day in Brighton was pretty fun, but also very chill. If you like to go at a faster pace, there are plenty of things to do. Check out The Lanes, visit seaside communities in the north, look for Banksy works of art around town, or hang out in Hove. How would you want to spend one day in Brighton?

Have any plans to check out Brighton? Save this for later!