Perched on the edge of the South Downs National Park and smack bang on the coast, Brighton is a gem in the Southern crown. Join the
unimaginative hordes of Londoners escaping the Big Smoke for a few days and delight in all this seaside city has to offer. Brighton has the bright lights, the delightfully murky corners and the bravado of a city way bigger than its boots. From the very good looking (read: outrageously expensive) beach huts to some of our professionally vetted homes, Brighton has something to offer the most discerning of travellers. And here at Plum Guide, we've put our expert heads together to ensure that you know where to find the things for you (you're welcome). It’s not all Great British Seaside: look a little deeper and you'll find where to stay in Brighton to avoid slot machines and sunburnt people.
Mural at North Laine, Brighton | © hehaden/flickr
Not to be confused with The Lanes, though we’ll forgive you if you do. North Laine is a sweet stretch of independent shops - think indie magazines at the (imaginatively named) Magazine Brighton and a treasure trove of antiques at Snoopers Attic. North Laine is also home to Brighton’s cultural hotspot Komedia - head there to catch their latest offering. It won’t be terrible. If you prefer your productions with a little more maturity, Theatre Royal Brighton is the oldest theatre in the country. At 208 years old it boggles the mind to think about what those walls must have seen.
The streets of Kemptown are lined with rainbow flags proudly heralding itself as the epicentre of the LGBTQ+ scene in the city and the UK. The centre of Brighton boasts the famous Victorian Pier and the Royal Pavillion so you’re really ticking some tourist hotspots here. Visit them all whilst wearing an ‘I Love Brighton’ t-shirt and you’re guaranteed to make new friends. This is where to stay in Brighton if your dancing shoes are always in your suitcase and you know how to spell ‘lively’.
Looking for a place in Brighton that offers a bit more peace and quiet? More considered, demure and retiring compared to brash Brighton, Hove is still a whole lot of fun. You’ll have to work a little harder to find the best and brightest in Hove but it is still teeming with cafes, restaurants and boutiques. The beach is a calmer version of its counterpart and surrounded by green spaces where locals visitors play boules. Quaint. Head to Hove Green for its outdoor theatre and do not ask ‘so this is still Brighton, right?’. If you’ve got the little ones with you Hove is a good spot to call home whilst finding all the fun things to do with kids in Brighton.
Brighton’s bohemian quarter and home to many a delightful soul. It isn’t flashy but if you’re looking for a laidback spot to kick back, Hanover has a quiet creativity that soothes all its visitors. A very large handful of gastro pubs and a fair few of those healthy organic shops that make you feel good (and undo the damage done at the gastropubs... maybe). Nicknamed Muesli Mountain for its granola-loving residents by dull people that are probably jealous they don’t live in a nice place where people are pleasant to one another. Your calves will get a workout in Hanover, it is basically just one big hill.
If you fancy yourself to be a 90s Kate Moss and find all your best clothes in vintage shops, this is where you want to be. Behold the warren of The Lanes: delve into its cornucopia of high-end vintage shops and independent jewellers. Quaint tea shops are scattered around to rest weary feet as and when. The art lovers can find a smattering of galleries to browse and the hungry will be satisfied with a diverse selection of eateries, from the modern French bistro Plateau to the acclaimed Moshimo.
Central Section of Regency Square, Brighton | ©Hassocks5489/wikicommons
Back in the day, the social elite of Brighton called this place home and it is still very much the same now, except with (hopefully) better food. Not only are the majority of the buildings listed but the bollards are too. They’re going to be some pretty nice bollards. Fun holiday idea: drink loads of Aperol spritzes at a nearby bar then head to Regency Square and take selfies next to said special bollards.
Brighton Pier, England, UK
Right in amongst it. The Seafront is the choice for people that want ice cream for breakfast, big salty wafts of air as soon as they wake up and a dawn chorus of seagulls attacking each other over stray chips. This is where to stay in Brighton for the people that want to get as much sea view into their eyeballs as possible before they return home to concrete. Staying on the Seafront has the bonus of super quick access to the Pier for romantic evening wanders and those glorious deep morning breaths of sea air.