19 intriguing things you can only do in Brighton

From the exasperatingly bizarre to the kitsch cool, there’s a lot that Brighton can offer that you won’t find anywhere else in the UK.

Celebrate what makes Brighton the quirky, creative, original and unique place it is by checking out our list of of the top 19 things that you can only do in the city by the sea.

1. Listen to a zebra play the piano

Only in Brighton will you see a Zebra playing the piano in the middle of the Pavilion Gardens. Mellow the Zebra can often be spotted rocking I Giorni in front of the building during the summer months.

2. Follow in Bing Crosby’s final footsteps

You can go and see a gig, comedy show, or a concert at The Brighton Centre, which is famously where Bing Crosby’s last public performance was held on October 10, 1977.

Brighton Centre, King’s Road, BN1 2GR, 0844 8471515, brightoncentre.co.uk

3. Visit the site where the oldest surviving blue movie was filmed


Head over to St Ann’s Well Garden, where the first naughty film, which was advertised in a catalogue as ‘for Gentlemen’s Smoking Concert Audiences Only’, was shot by film pioneer Esme Collings in 1896.

Somerhill Road, Hove, stannswellgardens.co.uk

4. Catch a flick at the oldest cinema in the country

You can see a film at the oldest operating picture house in the country – the good old Duke of York’s Picture House, which opened in 1910.

Preston Road, Brighton, 0871 902 5728, picturehouses.com/cinema/Duke_Of_Yorks

10 things you (probably) didn’t know about Brighton’s Duke of York’s Picturehouse

5. Get hip and visit the Quadrophenia locations

Jimmy and Stephs bunk up alley. #quadrophenia #mods #riots #leslieash #phildaniels #brighton #sting

A photo posted by Tim Ford (@what_tim__saw) on

You can go on a trek around the city to spot all the iconic locations used while filming the 1979 mod classic Quadrophenia – including that infamous alleyway.

6. Meet Brighton’s ghosts

Brighton has it’s own breed of ghosties and ghoulies, so why not go on a ghost tour and find out about all the murders, madness and mysteries which make up the unqiue history of the city.


7. Go green


Only in Brighton will you see such a huge variety of vegan and vegetarian places to eat – markets, cafes, street vendors, restaurants. We’re all about the veggies here.

117 St James’s Street, BN2 1TH, 07557 107682, wheatandbeans.co.uk

8. Show your colours

Brighton is the gay capital of Britain! Everyone is welcome here, so let your colours show and join the community.

9. Have a pint at over 400 pubs

brighton pubs

Brighton is home to a stonking 400 pubs – so there’s no shortage of interesting places to grab a pint!

The Queen’s Head, 69 Queens Road, 01273 205800, queensheadbrighton.pub

10. Trainspotting

The Volks Railway, which runs along the seafront, opened in 1883, making it Britain’s oldest public electric railway.

285 Madeira Drive, BN2 1EN, 01273 292718, volkselectricrailway.co.uk

11. Meet some Jedis

Brighton’s home to a huge amount of Jedis. According to the 2001 Census, 2.6 per cent of the population in the area have embraced the force.

12. Go Underground

Head down into the police cells and learn about the history of crime and punishment in the city by visiting the Old Police Cells Museum, underneath the Town Hall.

Town Hall, Bartholomew Square, Brighton, 01273 291052, oldpolicecellsmuseum.org.uk

13. Take a trip under the Sea

You can visit the world’s oldest operational aquarium. Not only is Brighton’s Sea Life Centre located where the original aquarium opened in 1872, but it also has the country’s largest underwater viewing tunnel.

Marine Parade, Brighton, 08714 232110, visitsealife.com/brighton

14. Visit the famous Brighton Rock pub…

The Cricketers Pub Brighton

The Cricketers is the famous pub immortalised by Graham Greene in his classic novel Brighton Rock, and they’ve named the upstairs bar after the man himself.

15 Black Lion Street, Brighton, 01273 329472, cricketersbrighton.co.uk

15. ….and check out where they shot the film adaptations

There are two movie versions of Brighton Rock – one made in 1947, and one in 2010 – which were filmed either partially (2010) or entirely (1947) in the city itself.

16. Visit one of Europe’s largest marinas

The Marina at Brighton covers 128 acres of water, making it one of the largest marinas in Europe.

17. Get lost in the Lanes


Only in Brighton can you get a chocolate statue of a mermaid, woven balls for creating your own spherical fairylights, and a great pint in the space of single street down the Lanes.

18. Play I Spy from the sky

From the Brighton Eye, you can spot Brighton Pier, West Pier, St Paul’s Church, Victoria Fountain, Brighton Dome, St Michael’s and all Angels Church, the Clock Tower, Brighton Racecourse, and Queen’s Park.

19. Visit Silicon Beach

We’re apparently known as Silicon Beach, because of the high density of businesses involved in digital or new media companies, making Brighton the unique and current city it is.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more Brighton guides.

Liked this? Try these:

10 New Year’s resolutions for every Brighton local
10 places guaranteed to make you fall in love with Brighton
The Knowledge: The Graphic Foodie on Brighton’s new culinary trends