Getting to the City
Brighton is served by the airports around London. London Gatwick Airport is around 30 kilometres north of the city and it takes only half an hour by train to reach Brighton from the airport. Heathrow airport to Brighton takes around 90 minutes. Stansted and Luton airports too are well connected to Brighton through London. Brighton itself has a small airport of its own… the Shoreham Airport. It’s primarily used by the privately owned light airplanes.
You can choose from a wide range of private transport and transfer services (including airport transfers) and book online from this Viator site.
Eurostar trains operate from different parts of Europe to London St. Pancras station and from there Brighton could be reached by direct trains (in around 1 hour 16 minutes). Direct trains from London Victoria to Brighton take 52 minutes while direct trains from London Bridge station take 58 minutes. The main two rail operators to Brighton are Southern and Thameslink. 308 trains operate daily from London to Brighton.
The cheapest ticket (without any travel card discount) from London St. Pancras to Brighton as well as from London Bridge is 25 Pounds while from London Victoria is 29.70 Pounds. Ticket from Gatwick airport to Brighton costs 9 Pounds. Heathrow airport is well connected by underground trains to London Victoria and a single journey fare is around 6 Pounds (without travel discount cards).
By Coach Service
Buses and coaches to Brighton are more time consuming than trains but quite cost effective and comfortable (wi-fi and onboard toilet facilities are available). Brighton’s main bus station is Pool Valley Coach Station that is located at the city centre area and receives buses from London, various parts UK as well as different parts of Europe. Brighton is mainly served by National Express Coaches. Crewflyer and Megabus companies also have services.
National Express runs coaches from London Heathrow to Brighton. Travel time is around 3 and half hours, online ticket costs 24.50 Pounds.
Gatwick airport to Brighton takes around 1 hour and ticket fare is 9 Pounds. Journey time from Stansted airport to Brighton (with 1 change) is around 5 hours and fare ranges from 17 Pounds to 33.50 Pounds (depending on time of travel). Luton airport to Brighton takes around 4 hours (with 1 change) and the ticket fare ranges from 16 Pounds to 37 Pounds. London Victoria coach station is also connected to Brighton by National Express buses and travel time by direct coach is around 2 hours 15 minutes, the fare varies from 16.50 to 18.10 Pounds. Visit the National Express website for further information.
Brighton and nearby Hove area are quite compact and getting around is easy. The bus service of Brighton and Hove is the main backbone of public transport here.
Brighton buses are commuter friendly and have ramps for wheelchair access. If a wheelchair bound person is unable to board, he/she is provided a taxi for free to complete the journey. Another great feature of Brighton’s bus service is the ‘talking bus stops’. This helps visually impaired people with travel information. Commuters can hear all the related information about bus timing and the approaching buses. An interesting part is many buses are named after famous citizens like the Earl of Egremont, Zoe Ball, Max Miller etc.
There are around 73 routes that include 7 night routes and 20 school services. Bus operates from 4:50am until 12:20pm at an interval of 6-8 minutes (some of the routes operate from 7:00am). For detailed bus timetable, visit this website.
Breeze up to the Downs
This is a popular network of three bus routes 77, 78 and 79. These 3 routes connect Brighton city centre with its popular countryside areas located within the South Downs National Park and Stanmer Park. Apart from Christmas day these services are available on every weekends and bank holidays. You can explore Birling Gap, Marine Conservation areas along Cuckmere River, Shoreham beach and RSPB Nature Reserves by taking these three routes.
Single ticket by route 77 up to Devil’s Dyke is 3 Pounds and the return ticket is 5 Pounds. Single and return tickets by route 78 (from the city centre) to Stanmer Park are 2.60 and 5 Pounds respectively. Route 79 serves Ditchling Beacon; single and return tickets are 3 and 5 Pounds respectively. A Bus Pass holder travels for free. Visit the Breeze Up To The Downs website to know more about these trips.
Hop on Hop off
The open topped hop-on hop-off buses offer a great sightseeing option in Brighton. The routes cover 25 different stops and you can hop off and on at any stops. Stops include Brighton Palace Pier, St. Ann’s Well gardens, Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Marina, Madeira Drive etc. You can take 1 or 2 day city sightseeing tours on these buses. There are three lines… Red, Green and Blue. Red line has 12 stops and it operates from 30th March to 28th October (10:00am to 5:00pm). The loop duration is one hour and the service frequency is 60 minutes.
Both Blue and Green lines operate from 17th June until 15 September. The first bus of Blue line leaves at 10:30am and the last one departs at 4:30pm. Route duration of Blue Line is 60 minutes and it operates at an interval of one hour (total 9 stops, no services at 12:30 and 3:30pm). Green line offers 3 services, the first one starts at 9:30am, second one at 12:30pm and the last bus leaves at 3:30pm. Loop duration is 60 minutes (6 stops).
You can purchase ticket online from this website or on board from the bus driver. You can book 3 months in advance. Commentary is available in English only. Single day ticket is 14 Pounds and 2-day ticket costs 18 Pounds. Free cancellation is allowed up to 24 hours before the travel date.
Brighton’s taxis have number plates on the backside and all are metered. Driver’s ID is always visible. You will find a taxi rank outside the railway station and you can also hail a taxi on the street.
The initial fare for normal tariff (Tariff-1) is 2.80 Pounds for the first 439 metres or the first 2 minutes 24 seconds ride, or a combination of distance and time. Thereafter the fare is 20 Pence for every 146 metres or 36 seconds. Tariff-2 is applicable for nighttime between 9:00pm to 6:00am, on Sundays from 6:00am to 9:00pm and on Bank/Public holidays from 6:00am until midnight. Initial fare is 3.80 Pounds for the first 439 metres or 2 minutes 24 seconds, thereafter same as tariff-1. Tariff-3 is for Fridays and Saturdays from midnight until 6:00am. Base fare is 4.40 Pounds for first 585 metres or 2 minutes 24 seconds, then same as tariff-1.
Tariff-4 applies from 9:00pm of 24th December until 6:00am of 27th December and between 6:00am to 10:00am on 1st January. Base fare for the first 439 metres/ 2 minutes 24 seconds is 4.20 pounds, thereafter 30p for every 146 metres or 36 seconds. Tariff-5 is applicable on 31st December from 9:00pm until 06:00am (1st January). The initial fare is 5.60 Pounds for first 439 metres or 2 minutes 24 seconds, thereafter 40p for every 146 metres or 36 seconds.
The above fares are for 1 to 4 passengers. You can call taxis by dialing the following numbers…
- Brighton and Hove Radio Cabs- 01273 204 060
- Brighton, Hove and Adur Car Cabs- 01273 414 141
- Abca Taxis Lancing- 01903 767 694
- Worthing Radio Cabs- 01903 242 424
Brighton train station is located at a walking distance of 5 to 7 minutes from city centre area towards north. It connects London and other parts of the UK. You will find ATM machines, ticket vending machines, baby change area, seated area (though no waiting room), shops, eatery, toilets and wi-fi facilities. Car parking and cycle racks are available outside the station building. The station is wheelchairs accessible.
Tickets And Passes
There are several ticketing options available for Brighton buses.
A single standard ticket costs 2.60 Pounds and can be purchase on board from the bus driver. This ticket is valid for 60 minutes. You can travel by buses in both Brighton and Hove with this ticket.
There is a Short hop ticket valid within the central area of the city and it costs 2.20 Pounds.
The mobile app allows an easy and more economical way to purchase tickets. You need to scan the QR code on the ticket machine immediately after boarding the bus. Before scanning, activate the ticket and show it to the driver.
There are two types of saver tickets. One is citySAVER and the other is networkSAVER. The citySAVER allows you to travel both at Brighton and Hove, but it’s not valid on city sightseeing and night buses. One-day citySaver ticket costs 4.50 Pounds. 7-days, 28-days, 90-days and yearly tickets are also available.
The networkSAVER ticket is valid on all buses in and around Brighton and Hove including nightline buses (but not on city sightseeing tour buses). A single day tickets cost 5 Pounds (7-days, 28-days, 90-days and yearly tickets are also available).
Buying saver tickets in advance would be cheaper. You can also purchase a 1-day saver ticket from the driver but it would be costlier (citySAVER would cost 5 Pounds and networkSAVER 7 Pounds). The best option is to buy a saver ticket online or through the mobile app. For online purchase, you will need an electronic smart card known as The Key which you can buy online at the smart bus website.
Discovery Ticket is another bus pass for travelling in and around Brighton and Hove. Most bus companies operating in West Sussex, East Sussex, Surrey and East Hampshire accept this. Some bus operator accepts this in Kent and Medway too. One day Discovery Ticket costs 9 Pounds and can be purchased from the driver, mobile app or online. For more details visit This Website.
There is another pass known as PLUSBUS pass which is basically a train ticket. While purchasing a return train ticket between London to Brighton you can ask for a 3.90 Pounds add on that will enable you to travel by bus for a day in Brighton and Hove area (not valid at west of Shoreham, north of Steyning and east of Seaford).
Getting To Major Attractions
Pool Valley Coach Station is the main bus station (Stop P) and located at the city centre area. All trips suggested below begin from here unless mentioned otherwise.
- The 19th century Royal Pavilion is an outstanding monument in Brighton. It’s located little over 300 metres north of the city centre and easily walkable.
- An underground tunnel from Royal Pavilion connects Brighton Dome. There are three other interesting attractions around the dome… Corn Exchange, Studio Theatre and the Concert Hall. Take the Church Street and walk for 300 metres from Royal Palace towards north.
- Sea Life Aquarium is a must visit attraction especially with kids. It is located towards east of the main bus station at a distance of around 500 metres. Take St. James Street and walk for 7 minutes towards north then towards east and finally towards south. On the way visit the Brighton War Memorial.
- The oldest movie theatre of England Duke of York Picturehouse is located in Brighton. It is near about 2 kilometres north of the main bus station. Walk for 260 metres towards Old Steine (Stop E) then take a line 5B Hollingbury bound bus or line 5A Patcham bound bus and get down at Preston Circus (Stop X) then walk for another 200 metres. Bus travel time is around 8 minutes.
- Brighton Pier or the Palace Pier is located south east at a distance of around 150 metres from the city centre. Take the Grand Jct Road.
- Brighton Marina is located around 3 kilometres east of the City Centre. Walk for 350 metres to St. James Street (Stop J) and board a line 7 bus towards Brighton, disembark at the Waterfront stop after around 14 minutes, and then walk for 230 metres.
- Jubilee Clock Tower was built in 1888 and is located north-west at a distance of around 650 metres from city centre. If you wish to walk then take Prince Albert Street and North Street. Alternatively walk for 140 metres to reach Old Steine south (Stop U) and take a line 7 bus towards Hove. Get down at Clock Tower (Stop L) and walk for around 50 metres. Bus journey time is 5 minutes.
- The 18th century pub Marlborough is known for Pink Fringe’s (LGBT) theatre shows that take place all through the day. The place is located around 500 metres north and can be reached within 5-minute walk via Prince’s Street.
- British Airways i360 tower is the highest observation deck in Britain outside London. Take a view of Brighton and the channel from here. It’s located around 1 kilometre west of the city centre. Take Grand Jct Road towards east and walk for 12 minutes to reach Lower Kings Road.
- Hove too has some interesting attractions. Hove is located around 2.6 kilometres west. Walk for around 300 metres to Old Steine (Stop H) and take line 1 bus towards Portslade Village then get down at Palmeira Square. Bus travel time is around 12 minutes.
Breeze up to the Downs section above covers the major day trips. Following are few more interesting ones.
- Lewes is a historic market town located about 14 kilometres north-east of Brighton city centre. Take a Southern train towards Ore and get down at Lewes station. Journey time is around 14-17 minutes and a single ticket costs 4.50 Pounds. Ticket can be purchased online or from the ticketing machines at the station.
- You can experience the only sand dunes in the country at Camber Sands along with the village of Rye on the fringe of East Sussex. This place is located around 75 kilometres eastward. Take Southern trains towards Ore from Brighton station and get down at Eastbourne, change to another Southern train towards Ashford International and get down at Rye. Total journey time with one change is around 1 hour 45 minutes and the ticket costs 16.50 Pounds.
- The 15th century castle in Hever (Kent) is a nice place for a day trip. It is located around 53 kilometres north of Brighton. Take a train towards London Victoria and disembark at East Croydon and change to a train towards Uckfield, and get down at Hever. The first part of the journey takes 48 minutes and the second part around 27 minutes. Ticket will cost around 25.90 Pounds.
- The distinctive geological feature makes Seven Sisters in East Sussex a popular tourism attraction. Seven Sisters is located around 34 kilometres east of Brighton. The best option is to take a train towards Hastings and get down at Polegate. The journey time is around half an hour and the single journey train ticket costs 10 Pounds. Outside Polegate station take the line 51 Stagecoach bus towards Eastbourne Town Centre and get down at The Triangle, from there walk for 350 metres. Journey time by bus is 7 minutes and the single bus ticket will cost 2.70 Pounds. Ticket can be purchased from the driver.
Brighton and Hove are great places to explore on bike. There are dedicated cycle paths all around the city that includes tracks on Grand Avenue, Hove to Hangleton and along the seafront. BTN bike sharing makes it easy to hire a bike on the go. You need to download their app and register on the BTN Website.
You can reserve a bike half an hour in advance. The hire rate is 3 Pence per minute (minimum hire charge is 1 Pound) and 12 Pounds for a day. There are several bicycle racks (around 60) across the city to pick up and drop the bike. Use hand signals and wear helmets while riding.
The minimum age for driving a car in UK is 17 (not heavy vehicles) but car rental companies often ask for a minimum age of 21 years (rules can vary from company to company). Passport, home-country driving license and credit card are required to rent a car. The minimum rental rate starts from 21 Pounds a day.
Note the following while driving in UK…
- Drive on the left side of the road
- Use outside right lane to overtake
- Talking on a mobile phone while driving is only permitted with a hands free kit
- The usual speed limits in urban areas is 30 mph (48 km/h), in rural areas 60 mph (96 km/h) and on the motorways 70 mph (112 km/h)
- Wearing seatbelt is mandatory for all
Following are a few well-known car rental companies…
- Hertz Rent a car- https://www.hertz.com/rentacar/reservation/
- Autoeurope- https://www.autoeurope.co.uk/
- Enterprise Rent a Car- https://www.enterprise.co.uk/en/car-hire/locations/uk/brighton-u152.html
- Avis- https://www.avis.co.uk/drive-avis/car-hire-locations/europe/united-kingdom/england/brighton/brighton-car-hire-england
The minimum age to rent a motorcycle in UK is 21. You need a driving license (minimum 1 year old), passport and a credit card. Lowest rental rate starts from 45-50 Pounds per day. Following are a few well-known companies…
- West Sussex Motorcycle hire- https://www.westsussexmotorcyclehire.co.uk/
- Rent a Motorcycle- https://rentamotorcycle.co.uk/rental-bike-selection/
- GD Brown Motorcycles- https://www.gdbrownmotorcycles.co.uk/motorcycle-scooter-hire