It's common knowledge that there is nothing in England, The World, The Universe that beats Brighton in the summer. It's just a poor shame that the whole of England, The World, The Universe is also privy to this nugget of seasonal wisdom. Before you know it, your jolly down to the south coast has become a battle of wills, as you suffer the trauma of jostling elbows, queues around the block and the bloody inconvenience of sharing personal space with over-enthusiastic sun worshippers.
But, as always, we're here for you in your time of need - this time providing a flurry of suggestions for ways to beat the summertime tourist trap - 37, to be exact.
1. Ragroof Theatre Tea Dances:
The marvellous folk over at Ragroof invite you to take part in one of their dazzling dance events, showcasing a flurry of glamorous costumes and a sweet soundtrack of vintage blasters. Open to all, Ragroof Theatre Tea Dances take place at various venues across Brighton throughout the summer.
2. Brighton Wheel with commentary from Steve Coogan:
Set sail on a twelve minute ‘voyage’ upon Brighton’s iconic big wheel, and look forward to a pithy, light hearted commentary from actor, comedian and trouble-maker, Steve Coogan. He’s purposefully made an error in his transcript - see if you can spot it.
A brooding basement adventure, it might come as a surprise to hear that these guys don’t hold any alcohol on site - rather, they invite guests to bring their top tipple and challenge expert bartenders to whip up a bespoke and boozy storm.
4. Devil’s Dyke:
If it’s the great outdoors that you’re after, then it’s the great outdoors that you’re bloody well going to get. Just five miles north of Brighton, the Devil’s Dyke is the longest, deepest and widest dry valley in UK, with stunning views of the surrounding scenery to boot. Good ol’ nature.
5. Brighton Pride:
Straight, gay or simply sideways, Brighton Pride is a day of excitable revelry and unbeatable atmosphere. Rollick your way through Kemptown’s Pride offering, and immerse yourself in the raucous happenings across town.
Standing loud ‘n’ proud upon Brighton’s pebbliest wonder, Brighton’s Big Screen returns to showcase a collection of classic films and all of this season’s sport happenings.
About as raucous as they come, Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar delivers an impressive roster of live music throughout the summer. Sup on a slush puppy cocktail, as you lay your eyes upon the urban inspired artwork that covers the walls of this indie institution.
8. Graffiti Tour:
An exhibition space in its own right, Brighton boasts a plethora of unique scribblings, dashing doodles and all out murals, reflecting a grassroots approach to exhibition. Look out for Maggie Thatcher on Cheapside, The Hair Cutter on the corner of St. George’s Mews and a series of guerilla works alongside Kensington Street.
9. Brighton Mod Weekender:
A hearty smattering of retro wonder, August Bank Holiday sees Quadrophenia return to its spiritual home: expect a flurry of Vespas and a weekends worth of live music, vinyl and vintage memorabilia to hit The Volks Tavern and Komedia.
10. Karaoke at Lucky Voice:
Don’t listen to anyone that tells you otherwise - you are the next big thing. Tickle those vocal chords and belt out all of the classics at Lucky Voice, a super swish karaoke bar in Brighton.
11. Chilli Pepper Pete’s Chilli Shop:
Enter the dragon. These fellas are turning the heat riiiight up, with a hefty selection of hot sauces, chilli powders and other spicy treats to keep you fumin’ through the summer in Brighton.
12. Seaside Supper: Fish & Chips on the Beach:
Well, obviously. Head on down to Regency, a charming beachfront restaurant, and tuck into a paper wrapped cod and chips for as little as £4.95: we’re talking spectacular sea views, a wonderfully cheerful atmosphere and cracking chow. When in Rome...
13. Ginger Biscuit Cocktails @ The Mesmerist:
Inspired in equal parts by the gin palaces of a bygone era and the steampunk movement, The Mesmerist is a ‘hella quirky stop off for liquid refreshment in Brighton. Look out for their ‘Ginger Brew’, garnished with a ginger nut biscuit or two.
14. Snooper’s Paradise/Attic:
The ultimate spot for fans of the rummage, this pleasure palace of vintage brick-a-brack and retro memorabilia extends across 7000 sq ft. Look forward to snoopin’ your way through a wide and varied collection of antiques, jewellery and vintage clothing.
The most underrated picture house in the South of England, and the oldest UK cinema in continued use, The Duke of York screens an impressive selection of art house films that’ll keep buffs contented throughout the summer. Oh, and you thirsty lot will be pleased to hear that they boast a damn good bar, complete with balcony seating for fans of the al fresco.
16. Ghost Walk of The Lanes:
Wander through a series of tightly packed buildings, as your guides takes you on a spine tingling journey through the oldest and most haunted parts of the city. Enter a world of macabre happenings, sheer brutality and all sorts of spooky on a Ghost Walk of The Lanes.
17. Drink in a Traditional Brighton Boozer:
We may be one of the most forward thinking towns in the country, but there’s nothing wrong with a lil smidgen of the traditional to keep things ticking over. Sample the liquid refreshment on offer at The Basketmaker Arms in North Laine, or chow down on veggie pub grub at The Prince George.
18. Frozen Margaritas at La Choza:
When the weather is on good form, the only thing more enjoyable than a cup of frozen dairy produce is a cup full of frozen alcoholic refreshment. La Choza treat us to a flavoured selection of frozen margaritas and alcoholic slushies… they know us too well.
19. Old Police Cells Museum:
Housed in the basement of the Town Hall, the Old Police Cells Museum recounts the murder of Brighton’s first Chief Constable, and the iconic rivallry between the Mods and Rockers.
20. Extra Mural Cemetery:
Another spooky option: tour the darkly beautiful Victorian Extra Mural Cemetery and keep an eye out for some familiar names. Enjoy the local wildlife, and be sure to stop by the ever so charming Extra Mural Chapel, built in 1851.
21. Stay at Hotel Pelirocco:
Stop by for night cap and a snooze at Brighton’s original rock and roll hotel. Inspired by the best of Brighton’s musical subculture and its raucous second nature, this one offers a sweet alternative to your bog standard accommodation options.
22. Make Over at the Parlour Rooms:
Immerse yourself in kitsch at this pleasure palace of vintage treats and victory rolls. Sup away on teacups filled with the good stuff, whilst browsing luxury lingerie and enjoying the charm of a vintage inspired make-over.
23. Brighton Sewer Tour:
Unearth a whole host of Victorian secrets as you head out on a tour of Brighton’s sewers (no prizes for guessing as to how this one made it onto this list). Wander 366 meters of Brighton’s 48km sewage system, beginning at the Palace Pier and eventually emerging through a manhole in the Old Steine Gardens.
24. Catch a Cabaret:
Hearkening back to a bygone era, Brighton’s cabaret scene is perhaps the best in the country. Delivering a raucous series of spectacular performances from some of the most talented acts in the UK, Le Chat Noir at Proud Cabaret is a sensory adventure that is sure to both excite and astound.
25. Brighton Body Casting:
Break the mould of regular Brighton tourist haunts, and have your body cast - what better way to remember your trip? Get plastered this summer in Brighton, as if you need any encouragement...
26. Get Your Tiki On - Lola Lo:
Embark on an exotic adventure and hit up some of Brighton’s tiki-tastic party offerings this summer: sup away on a treasure chest of cocktail sharers at Lola Lo, and get ready for a soundtrack of hot reggae beats at Riki Tik - how’s that for a little South Pacific love action?
27. Dive With Sharks:
Compare gnashers with the king of the underwater world this summer in Brighton: The Brighton Dive Center invites you to come face to face with one of the most feared creatures in ocean. This is a scuba dive experience like no other.
28. Speakeasy @ The Wick:
All very cloak and dagger, Speakeasy sits above The Wick to serve up a healthy dose of moonshine and bad behaviour. Bustling with Prohibition inspired charm, this one delivers quality tipples and wildly creative concoctions.
29. Preston Manor:
Here’s another one to spook ya - Brighton’s Preston Manor is believed to be inhabited by The White Lady, a blonde nun whose presence has been seen and felt for nearly five hundred years.
30. The Bees Mouth:
A much loved menagerie of things, this watering hole in Hove excels in all things brick-a-brack. The Bees Mouth is a wee haven to be treasured and explored: sample something from their selection of international beers as you look upon vintage oddities in every nook and cranny.
The hungry of Hove can feast their eyes on this fella - back by popular demand, and once again showcasing the agricultural delights of Sussex, Hove’s Street Diner serves up Gourmet Sussex Burgers from The Troll's Pantry, Vegan Middle Meze from Sultan's Delights, Venezuelan Arepas from Tostan Tolan and Fish Subs from Olly The Chef.
32. Get Your Meat On at MEATliquor:
Anarchy themed interiors and more meat that you can shake an empty hot dog bun at: MEATliquor has landed in Brighton to bring with it a carnivorous selection of chow and a curious cocktail offering. Dead hippies and zombie cocktails? If you don’t mind.
33. Cowley Club:
Run by a crew of hard working volunteers and perched upon the oh-so up-and-coming London Road, Cowley Club offers an alternative arts, event and live music space in Brighton. Membership will set you back a quid, but that’ll gain you entry to all talks, gigs and happenings at this independent arts space.
34. Beachfront Bar Crawl:
If you fancy drinking out of an actual glass, as opposed to some sort of plastic number handed out in surplus at your local off licence, try your hand at a beachfront bar crawl. Brighton’s full of champion boozers - we recommend the Fortune Of War!
35. Booth Museum of Natural History:
Another hearty dose of the macabre, this is the place to go if you fancy staring at dead things. These guys boast a wide and fascinating array of taxidermied treats, as well as other worldly wonders.
36. Drink Tuaca @ Twisted Lemon:
As Brighton’s signature liqueur, Tuaca holds a firm spot at the bar of many South Coast watering holes. Head down to The Twisted Lemon and sample the delights of our favourite vanilla liqueur, mixed with Cointreau and dark chocolate liqueurs. Delightful.
Free entry, free popcorn and free drinks: spend an evening at The Globe and catch screenings of old classics and up and coming movie hits in the basement room of one of Brighton’s most charming pubs.