Brighton: Top Things To Do
January 1, 1970
by Madelaine Burton
If you live in East Sussex, there is no doubt you’ll have visited Brighton at some point in your life. And if you don’t, there’s no doubt that you will at some point too. There are the obvious things people travel to Brighton to do, i.e. Spend the day trying on clothes at Urban Outfitters, grab some fast food for lunch, and then go back home. But as a local, there a few very different activities that have quickly become my favourite, all of which are within a reasonable budget, or even free.
Here I’m going to share with you some of the best pastimes for when you want to get out of the house and enjoy yourself – without just going to a low-grade club with awful music to drink mass amounts of alcohol. I’m talking about things that you can do alone, with a loved one, or even on a first date. Things that can be therapeutic, enriching, or even spark a passion within you that you didn’t know was there. After all, what’s life if it’s not discovering new experiences to love?
1). Indie Cinema, Duke’s @ Komedia
Have you ever wondered what happened to the magic of the cinema? Always thought that you’d grown out of it? Well, as it turns out, all the magic just ended up at Duke’s. Duke’s at The Komedia is any film lover’s dream. It has everything from the latest big releases, latest indie releases, older cult-following and world cinema films.
It has films for everyone, from the new Steven Spielberg film, to an ongoing Wes Anderson retrospective. Not to mention the bar, which acts as a pub/cafe/bakery that can cater to your wildest cinema dreams – trust me, this is coming from a girl who watched the new Star Wars with a glass of red wine, Wookie Cookies, and a slice of Princess Layer Cake.
Another bonus, if you want to make an evening out of it, is that it’s right next to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, which, if you aren’t already familiar with them, do the most addictive sweet potato fries with ‘baconaise’ (yes, you read that right, bacon flavoured mayonnaise – now you have to go).
With events on all the time, you can always count on this place surprising you. If you’re a cinephile, you’re going to want to check this out. And if not, the company do comedy, music, and theatre events too!
Where?: 44-47 Gardner St, Brighton and Hove, Brighton BN1 1UN (6-minute walk from Brighton train station)
Visit the website to see what’s on: https://www.picturehouses.com/cinema/Dukes_At_Komedia
2). Watching The Sunset From Brighton Pier
This one’s free, and actually my favourite. All you need to do is check the sunset time online, and make sure you’re on the seafront around 20 minutes before that. It’s always nice to bring a warm drink too (my recommendation would be from Cafe Coho), as it can get quite cold.
On a clear night, it’s one of the most beautiful things you can see in Brighton. There’s something immensely special about watching the colours blend and change, as the waves crash under your feet. Walking along the seafront can have a similar effect and becomes progressively less crowded the closer you get to Hove (with the sea on your left). It’s also a great photo opportunity if photography is another secret passion of yours.
Alternatively, if it’s not really your thing to watch as the sun sets, the pier is full of rides, arcade games, and freshly baked food.
3). Vintage Clothes shopping in North Laine
It’s impossible not to mention the vintage clothing in Brighton because it’s the vintage clothing capital of the UK. There’s no doubt that this activity is for the fashion lovers amongst us, but there’s something to be said for finding a bargain and (cheekily) selling it online for more than you paid – people have made businesses out of this! My favourite example being Sophia Amoruso.
Here’s a list of Brighton’s must-visit vintage clothing shops.
Where?: 42 Vine St, Brighton BN1 4AG
Beyond Retro is any vintage clothing enthusiast’s dream, for one very good reason – it’s impeccably organised. Looking for an army jacket? Here’s 30, ordered by size and style. A pair of burnt orange high waist corduroy flares in your exact size? Of course, categorised by era. Who knew that your idea of wardrobe heaven was in a warehouse just off the main road this whole time?
To Be Worn Again
Where?: 24 Sydney St, Brighton BN1 4EN
This is one of those shops in which you’ll have to take more time to find what you’re after, but the bargain will be worth it! It’s also usually full of hidden gems. All you need to bring to this one is a fiver and some persistence.
Where?: 6 Sydney St, Brighton BN1 4EN
Nicely named after the 1971 Clint Eastwood film of the same name, this shop is a popular favourite. This is perhaps the most well-known one, and thus accordingly priced, but the perfect place to grab your staple wardrobe pieces. For example, the perfect jeans, wax jacket, funky tops, or even a handful of flannel shirts.
Where?: 25 Gardner St, Brighton BN1 1UP
Sure, this one’s slightly overpriced, but you’re paying for the excellently sourced true vintage clothing that, let’s be honest, you wouldn’t have the time or skill to source for yourself. It’s only a tiny shop, but it makes up for it in its stock. There’s no bad section of the shop because it’s all first-grade stuff.
Where?: 7/8 Kensington Gardens, North Laine, Brighton BN1 4AL
This one isn’t exactly clothing, and you may not be compelled to purchase any of this weird stuff, but it’s always so fun to go around this shop, catching glimpses of strange and wonderful relics from the past that may or may not be pieces of junk.
I hope that if you ever find yourself in Brighton, you’ll think of these three simple, yet seriously enjoyable attractions that always seem to add something special to the day. Thank you for reading!