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Wheeling high on the breeze, screeching maniacally from the rooftops, gliding inches above your head or strutting confidently beside you, in Brighton you're never far from an opportunistic seagull!


Attracted to the beachfront by the hordes of chip-eating, ice-cream-licking tourists, it's an easy place for a scavenger to eke out an existence... a pretty fattening existence to boot! But beware, what's yours is theirs too!


The sound of gulls is a guaranteed soundtrack of any visit to Brighton


At first glance Brighton is a typical British seaside resort. Along the beachfront and along Brighton Palace Pier itself there are amusement arcades for visitors to fritter away their hard-earned pennies, fast food outlets catering to those with symptoms of burger, doughnut or fish'n chips withdrawal, tourist shops pedalling buckets and spades (rather pointlessly as Brighton Beach is a pebble beach!), and kitsch shops with galleries of popular 'art'. A visit to Brighton's seafront is an authentic British day out by the seaside.... And why not, it is authenticity that we all crave, after all?


No trip to Brighton is complete without a stroll along Palace Pier


Look a little deeper though, and you'll find Brighton is much, much more than just a stereotypical tourist trap. The city's charms attract a broad spectrum of society and not just the sunseekers in search of a few hours of beach time fun - the city hosts many festivals and there's often a classic car rally or gathering of motorbike clubs. There's plenty, too, for culture vultures ticking off the latest exhibits at the city's museums and historic attractions, LGBTQ visitors drawn to the liberal vibes of 'Britain's gay capital', or local folk indulging in the fantastic hospitality and retail outlets that the city has in abundance.


A throwback to the city's 1960s youth culture of the Mods


Whatever the weather, if you're looking for a few hours of unmitigated hedonism where anything goes for anyone and everyone, Brighton is undeniably the place for you.


Brighton seafront on a stormy day in late autumn


Come and join us on our tour to Brighton which combines a visit to this energetic city with the peace and tranquility of the stunning landscape of Beachy Head just a few miles to the east of the city. Guided day tour from Cambridge to Brighton & Beachy Head



Brighton overview


Brighton is the UK’s premier seaside resort city located approximately 80km south of London (190km south of Cambridge) and 30km west of Beachy Head. It is an impressive city of elegant terraced Regency houses, bohemian backstreets, entertainment venues and tourist attractions.  Although the city is quite large and spreads for several miles along the coast, all of Brighton’s attractions are located close together near the city centre so walking is the best option. 


Brighton history 

Until the mid-18th century Brighton was a poor fishing village but with the onset of sea-bathing a resort was established. When the Prince Regent, later to become King George IV, gave his royal approval to bathing in the sea in the 1770s, he started a fashion that has continued to this day.


Brighton rocketed from poverty to fame and fortune. Britain's aristocracy and its social elite began to shun the inland spa towns, like Bath, and headed south to the coast.  When Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, however, she was not amused by George’s taste in architecture – don't miss King George’s bizarre and wonderful Royal Pavilion – so she decided to move the royal seaside residence away from Brighton to Osborne House on The Isle of Wight, 100km to the west. It seemed that the seed for Brighton's terminal decline had been sown.


But apart from a dip in popularity during the boom years of travel to Mediterranean resorts, the city has recovered its appeal with many fine buildings and upmarket restaurants and shops. That said, on the seafront it is still a typical British resort.


The city is not simply reliant on tourists - it has a strong economy of its own - but there always seems to be an atmosphere of fun and enjoyment, youthfulness and tolerance which perhaps explains why it receives huge numbers of British and overseas tourists. It is home to a large student population that reside at its two universities and art college, too, who contribute to the feeling that there's always something to see and do in Brighton.


Things to see and do in Brighton


The Royal Pavilion – the Prince Regent’s seaside retreat and perhaps the most exotic building in the UK. John Nash, one of the foremost architects of the Georgian and Regency periods, added minarets, pagodas, domes and balconies to create a strange mix of Europe and the Orient, “Oriental-Gothic” style, with the inside lavishly decorated with oriental designs and objects. 


The Lanes – A maze of narrow streets housing pubs, cafes, antique and jewellery shops is a great place to wander.


North Laine Cultural Quarter – North Laine is the city’s cultural quarter home to over 300 unique shops, a mix of the ethnic, exotic and funky. Stroll along the pedestrianised streets of Kensington Street, Sydney Street, Gardner Street and Bond Street. 


Palace Pier – The walkway out over the sea has amusement arcades, rollercoasters, fairground rides and pubs.


The Grand Hotel, Seafront – For contemporary history, visit the Grand Hotel. A splendid building made famous for the Irish Republican Army’s (IRA) failed attempt to assassinate the Conservative Prime Minister of Britain, Margaret Thatcher, in 1984.


Brighton Museum and Art Gallery – The town’s leading museum exhibits modern fashion and design, pottery, archaeology, painting and local history. The most famous exhibit is Dali’s sofa based on Mae West’s lips.


Sea-Life Centre An aquarium of fish and underwater animals. It has a long transparent tunnel passing through an aquarium of sharks and rays swimming above. Shark-feeding is at 4.30pm!


The Nudist Beach! – About 1km along the beach from the Palace Pier to the east you will come across a collection of weird and wonderful examples of the human body. Feel free to join them if you have one too!


British Airways i360 – The world’s thinnest observation tower. Great views from 140m high! (Not as high as the cliffs at Beachy Head though!)


The Brighton Toy and Model Museum – Toys and models from the past to the present.


Brighton Fishing Museum Seafront life from Regency days to the post-war boom in pleasure boats.


How to get to Brighton from Cambridge?


Join our guided day tour from Cambridge to Brighton & Beachy Head