For such an international city, the public wifi in London is severely disappointing.
It isn’t like many other international cities where you can hook into public wifi at nearly every cafe, restaurant, and museum.
You have to work for your wifi in London, and it gets frustrating at times.
The public wifi in London isn’t very accessible. It is difficult to find a cafe or restaurant that allows you to access their wifi, the complimentary wifi at museums is very slow and oftentimes so overwhelmed that it doesn’t work, and the Cloud and O2 public wifi systems in the United Kingdom is unreliable at best.
You need to have a plan for accessing wifi before you arrive in London.
In this article, you’re going to learn about the public wifi in London (including the Cloud and O2) and discuss alternatives to public wifi you can consider.
Spoiler: if you know you’ll need access to internet throughout the day, don’t rely on public wifi in London.
I’ll help you find a better alternative!
Public Wifi in London: Where to Find It and How to Use It
If you’re used to travelling in countries like Estonia, Ireland, Lithuania, Singapore, and Taiwan, you’ll probably be disappointed with the wifi in London.
I’m not saying public wifi is impossible to come across in London, but it isn’t as easy as you think.
You can’t walk into just any cafe, restaurant, or pub and expect there to be free wifi for you to tap into.
It’s unfortunate, but it is the truth.
Wifi at Cafes, Restaurants, and Pubs
I’m never not surprised by how few dining establishments have free wifi that guests can use.
It is a nice surprise and not an expectation.
While many restaurants don’t offer free wifi to guests, you can count on a few chains to always have wifi available to customers.
If your’e desperate for wifi, head into one of these places, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to find some free wifi to use:
Pret a Manger (my personal favourite)
There are a few other chains that offer free wifi, but the establishments listed above are the easiest to find, and you can order a drink and be able to use the wifi.
Many mom and pop restaurants and pubs offer complimentary wifi to guests, but you never really know who does and doesn’t before you commit to eating there.
A lot of places will advertise they have free wifi for guests, but you have to connect through the Cloud. I’ll get into the Cloud more later, but it isn’t the best option and many foreigners have trouble using the Cloud.
So while a restaurant may have a sticker on their door advertising free wifi, you may not be able to easily access it.
Wifi at Museums and Other Tourist Attractions
London is famous for having a lot of free museums! It is a wonderful way to save some money while in London.
Kensington is home three world-class museums that are free to enter. If you’re looking to hang out in a museum, this is the place to go!
On of the best things about most of the free museums in London is that they have complimentary wifi!
You can easily hook into the museum’s wifi and access the glory of the internet. It is public wifi so be sure you have your VPN turned on to protect your online data!
The free wifi at museums is fairly reliable.
On your average day, you’ll be able to access fairly high-speed internet.
The issue is when the museum is busy (a.k.a. on weekends and evenings).
There are so many people trying to access the internet at one time that it slows down to a screeching halt. In many instances you won’t even be able to access the public wifi at all.
So don’t expect to be able to access the free museum wifi during peak hours.
You’ll just get frustrated!
While museums are my favourite place to access public wifi in London, there are a number of other tourist attractions that offer free wifi to guests:
A few of the most popular tourist attractions in London have free wifi, but, as you can see, a lot of them don’t.
It is unfortunate, but at least you know what to expect before you arrive!
O2 wifi is the most reliable public wifi in London in my experience.
You can access O2 wifi in many restaurants, pubs, and public spaces around London.
You need to register and create an account the first time you connect to O2 wifi, and then you will automatically connect whenever you’re at a location powered by O2.
In my experience, the automatically connecting part doesn’t happy every time I’m somewhere serviced by O2. I find myself having to log in manually more than half the time.
My issue with staying logged in and automatically connecting to O2 wifi may boil down to the fact that I have a Canadian SIM card.
There have been instances where I haven’t been automatically connected to O2 wifi in London while my friend with an Irish SIM card has.
There may be some correlation between how successful you are at using O2 wifi and where you’re from. I don’t have enough data to back that hypothesis, but it is my working theory at this point.
All things considered, I’ve had more luck using O2 in London than the Cloud.
Please don’t forget to have a VPN on your phone if you’re using public wifi in London. It is so important to protect your online data and information!
I had heard about how great the Cloud is and how easy it is to access free public wifi in London before the first time I visited in 2014. I was anticipating being connected to wifi nearly all the time and was super excited about it!
My experience in 2014 and every time I’ve been to London since (which is a lot) hasn’t lived up to my expectation.
The Cloud has literally only worked on my phone once in all the time I’ve spent in London.
And even that one time lasted for minutes before it disappeared again.
Nobody I’ve travelled with- no matter where their SIM card is from- has had any luck accessing the Cloud either.
I’m not sure if it is because I don’t have a Sky account (TV and internet provider in the UK) or what the issue is, but it is a bit frustrating at times.
You shouldn’t expect to rely on the Cloud when you’re in London.
If you need access to reliable internet, the Cloud is probably not the right choice for you. You don’t want to be in dire need of internet for work or personal business and not be able to connect.
Then you have to pay an outrageous amount of money to tap into your phone’s data!
Complimentary Cell Phones Provided by Hotels
Many hotels in London are providing guests with a complimentary cell phone in their room that has unlimited data on it.
You can take the cell phone with you when you go out exploring for the day and use it to access as much internet as you want.
It is so helpful to have access to Google maps if you’re exploring London by foot!
You can Google to your heart’s content, look up what restaurant you want to visit, or keep up on the news.
I don’t recommend you sign into your personal social media accounts or use the hotel’s phone to order anything that you have to put your credit card details into to purchase.
It simply isn’t safe, and you’re risking your personal data’s privacy.
Other than not being able to access social media, I’ve quite enjoyed it when I’ve taken the hotel’s cell phone out into London with me.
I don’t know how people survived before Google maps!
The Issue with Relying on Phones Provided by Your Hotel
The major downside to the cell phones that the hotels provide is that you’re not able to hot spot them and use that data to power your personal cell phone’s internet access.
I’ve tried multiple times and have never been successful.
But it isn’t that big of a deal. It would be a nice addition, but at least I’m able to keep myself somewhat entertained during meals and play intermissions and have access to Google maps if I get lost.
I’m a big fan of hotels providing guests with a cell phone to use during their stay. It adds a layer of freedom and comfort.
It seems to becoming more and more popular amongst hotels in London, so there is a decent chance your hotel will have a cell phone for you to use in the room.
A pocket wifi gives you access to wifi no matter where you are as long as you’re in the device’s range.
I’ve used pocket wifi devices a number of times in the past, and they work really well.
They provide quick wifi, and you can connect multiple devices to them. Most of the time you can connect up to 5 devices, but it can vary depending on the make of the pocket wifi machine.
Renting pocket wifi in London is fairly inexpensive. You can often rent it for about £5 per day.
It is is the perfect alternative to relying on free public wifi or spending a lot of money from using your phone’s data.
Just pay attention to whether you can pick the pocket wifi up in London or if it needs to be mailed to your home or hotel.
Hippocket Wifi is the least expensive pocket wifi in Europe, but you can only pick it up in person in Paris. If you want to use the pocket wifi anywhere else, it either needs to be mailed to where you’re staying or to your home.
This is definitely the London wifi solution for you if you want reliable wifi and have multiple people travelling in a group.
It is so inexpensive if you share the cost between multiple people!
Skyroam: The Wifi Solution for Frequent Travellers
I invested in a Skyroam in 2019 and am so happy I did!
Skyroam is a personal wifi hotspot that you own and can take anywhere in the world! It works the same as a pocket wifi you rent, but you pay an upfront price to own the device and then have to pay for wifi on top of that.
It certainly isn’t inexpensive. This is a wifi solution for people who travel on a regular basis and want access to wifi wherever they go.
If you’re a casual traveller, then renting a pocket wifi or relying on public wifi in London is probably the most cost effective option.
But if your’e like me and travel the majority of the year, then Skyroam might be the next travel gadget you want to invest in.
It took me a long time and a lot of research before I decided to buy my Skyroam. I wasn’t sure if it was worth the cost of the machine, and I thought the rates they were charging for wifi were a bit too much for my budget.
But now that I’ve used my Skyroam on quite a few trips and on multiple continents, I’m so happy I splurged and bought one.
It has made my travels so much more enjoyable and freeing!
I don’t have to worry about sticking to a certain path because I’m relying on offline Google maps anymore. There is no way I can get lost!
Plus I’ve found some of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at by reading reviews of what food is around me when I get hungry.
Skyroamisn’t for everybody. But if you’re looking for a long-term wifi solution, it might be right for you.
Let’s Talk About Internet Safety
It is so important to keep your data safe when you’re travelling.
You are at risk of having your data stolen and sold whenever you use public wifi.
This includes public wifi at hotels and cafes that are password protected.
I’ve had friends who didn’t protect themselves while using public wifi have their banking information stolen. Youdo not want to deal with that headache!
The best way to protect your online data is by using a VPN. A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) is basically an invisible forcefield that goes around your online activity to protect it.
Using a VPN makes using public wifi in London as safe as using your private wifi at home.
Nobody can access your online data and steal it.
Internet safety is no joke and isn’t something to be taken lightly. You need a VPN to protect yourself whenever you travel and use public wifi!
My Favourite VPN
I’ve used a lot of VPNs in my many years of travel. Most of them I haven’t liked and have never renewed my subscription with.
Most VPNs slow your internet speed down so much that it becomes frustrating to use your phone, laptop, or tablet.
NordVPN is the only VPN I’ve used that doesn’t slow down the internet speed, which is a huge selling point.
Nobody wants to sacrifice internet speed if they don’t have to!
You can connect up to 6 devices on one NordVPN account, so you can protect all your devices for one low fee.
NordVPN lets you cloak your location. You can set your location to show you’re in any country of your choosing, and you’re able to unlock that country’s Netflix catalogue and watch shows you wouldn’t have access to in the country you’re actually in.
Plus NordVPN often has killer sales where you can save nearly 70% on your purchase.
There is no excuse not to protect your online data with NordVPNbefore you land in London!
The wifi situation in London is disappointing at best and frustrating at worst.
It can be fairly difficult to track down reliable public wifi in London, and your best bet (as unfortunate as it is) is to head to the nearest McDonald’s and connect to their wifi.
That’s what I normally do when I’m in desperate need to wifi in London and don’t have my Skyroam on me. Just order a drink or a snack, and you’ll be able to use their wifi. I’ve never encountered a McDonald’s in London that has a time limit on their wifi, which is very much appreciated!
The most reliable way to get wifi in London is to either rent a pocket wifi device or purchase a Skyroam.
The cell phone provided to you at your hotel is a nice touch, but you won’t have access to your personal social media accounts. It kind of sucks, but it is better than nothing!
London is a very walkable city, so it is nice to have access to Google maps in case you get lost.
If you don’t have reliable access to wifi while in London, be sure you download Google maps offline to help you in case you get lost!
London also has an amazing system of having maps for tourists all over the place. You can find them every few blocks, and they’ll help you find your way if you’re lost and don’t have Google maps.
No matter how you choose to source your wifi in London, is is essentialthat you protect your online data by having a VPN on all of your devices!
Kensington is one of my favourite neighbourhoods in London! There are so many things to do in Kensington that you can easily spend an entire day there without visiting any other neighbourhood or sight in London!
There are a lot more than 15 things to do in Kensington, but these are my favourite 15 activities that I think you should check out while in London.
One of my favourite parts of the Kensington neighbourhood in London is that most of the main attractions are free! It is a great area to visit in London if you’re on a pretty tight budget.
Even if you don’t stay in Kensington, it is fun to stop into some of the hotels for a cup of tea just to experience the chic, fun vibes they have.
1. The Science Museum
The Science Museum is one of many London museums that is free to visit. It is located along Exhibition Road, which is one of the main roads in Kensington.
The Science Museum is huge and has a number of different exhibits geared towards both children and adults, so it is perfect for the entire family!
There is an interactive lab where children can participate in hands-on learning and watch science experiments performed by staff and volunteers.
The medicine gallery is the newest addition to the Science Museum and is home to one of the most incredible collection of medical history and devices. It includes the world’s first MRI machine and Fleming’s penicillin mould.
The exhibition has artifacts covering 500 years of medical history and is a dream come true for any aspiring medical student!
The museum also has a number of short-term exhibitions that rotate multiple times per year. These exhibitions cover a range of different science-related topics ranging from robotics to cyber security to dark matter and more!
The special exhibitions are free to enter, but due to their popularity, you normally have to reserve a time slot to visit the exhibition in advance.
Finally, the Science Museum has an IMAX theatre. These are short 40-minute films shown on a huge scream, and the cinematography often makes you feel like you’re moving along with the camera.
There is a fee to watch the movies, and you can purchase your tickets at the Science Museum.
The Science Museum is one of the more popular things to do in Kensington, but it is by no means the most popularIt is rarely packed inside the museum. You can enjoy your visit without too many crowds.
2. The Albert Memorial
The Albert Memorial is on the outer rim of Kensington Gardens and is an enormous statue of Prince Albert. Prince Albert was Queen Victoria’s beloved husband who passed away in 1861.
Queen Victoria erected the memorial in honour of Albert in 1872, and it was completed in 1876 when Albert’s statue was placed on the memorial’s throne. Queen Victoria convinced the government to pay for the memorial, and the project was approved in 1863.
It took over a decade for the Albert Memorial to be completed from start to finish!
The Albert Memorial is free to visit and is personally one of my favourite things to do in Kensington! I make sure to walk past it at least once every time I’m in London.
3. 18 Stafford Terrace
This is the perfect thing to do in Kensington for anybody interested in the Victorian era. You tour a Victorian house owned by the Sambourne family. Mr. Sambourne was a cartoonist and wealthy man during the 19th Century.
Stafford Terrace is an example of what was known as the Aesthetic Interior trend. This trend focused on having “exotic” items in the house. Stafford Terrace features items from Japan, China, and the Middle East.
Stafford Terrace was preserved by the Sambourne family descendants and was opened to the public in 1980. In 1989 ownership of Stafford Terrace was passed to Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, and they have remained the owners of the house since that time.
18 Stafford Terrace is open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 2pm to 5:30pm. Admission is £9 for adults and £7 for concession tickets.
You do not need to book your tour in advance.
Stafford Terrace is one of the more unique things to do in Kensington, and it is worth planning your visit to Kensington around their opening times, so you can experience it!
4. Kensington Palace
Kensington Palace is one of my absolute favourite things to do in Kensington! It is the birthplace and childhood home of Queen Victoria. It is also home to a number of royal family members, but you’re not able to get anywhere near their homes.
You get to see Queen Victoria’s childhood rooms, the King’s State Apartments, and the Sunken Gardens at Kensington Palace.
It takes a few hours to see everything Kensington Palace has to offer, so you’ll want to make sure you schedule enough time at the palace. You don’t want to be rushed a miss out on anything!
Kensington Palace is open every day from 10am to 4pm.
Tickets cost £17.50 for adults and £8.70 for children. You can book your tickets online in advance to save a little bit of money.
In addition to saving a little bit of money, you get an entrance time when you purchase your tickets in advance. This allows you to skip the queue and enter Kensington Palace as soon as you arrive! This will save you a lot of time in the ticket queue- especially during peak tourist season.
If you only have time to do a few things in Kensington and are a royal fan, I would highly recommend you make the time to visit Kensington Palace. You’ll have an amazing time!
5. Holland Park
Holland Park is one of my favourite parks in all of London. It isn’t as popular as the more famous parks like Hyde Park and Regent’s Park, and that’s one of the reasons I love it.
Holland Park tends to be quieter than the more famous London parks and tends to attract more locals than tourists. It is quiet and peaceful, which makes it one of the more relaxing things to do in Kensington.
Holland Park features a Japanese garden, peacocks, and lots of picnic areas. There are always a lot of locals walking their dogs, so if you’re looking to pet some pups while in London, this is the place for you!
Holland Park is open every day from 7am to dawn.
6. Kensington Gardens
Kensington Gardens is located right outside of Kensington Palace is one of eight royal parks in London.
You’re not allowed to bike in royal parks. If you’ve rented a bike and are biking through central London, you’ll have to park your bike somewhere else and walk through Kensington Gardens.
There are countless things to do in Kensington Gardens that it almost feels overwhelming. You can very easily spend a few hours strolling through the park and still not see everything it has to offer.
There are maps of Kensington Gardens at every entrance. I recommend you spend some time looking at the map and deciding what sights are most important to you.
The Serpentine Galleries and Peter Pan statue are two of the most popular things to do in Kensington Gardens, and you’ll probably want to visit them.
The Diana Playground is a popular area for children to blow off some energy. It features a giant pirate ship along with a number of other playground staples. It is the perfect place for anybody travelling with children.
Kensington Gardens is open from 6am to dusk every day of the year. It closes earlier than other parks in the area, so you’ll want to keep that in mind when planning your trip to Kensington.
Hyde Park is one of the most famous parks in London and one of the most popular things to do in Kensington.
It is always busy with both locals and tourists, but it is so large that it rarely feels crowded. Unless you’ve visiting on a gloriously sunny weekend day in the summer. Then it will be absolutely packed!
Hyde Park has a lot of history and is probably best known for the Speaker’s Corner where people like George Orwell would speak publicly and try to convert the masses to their political way of thinking.
Serpentine Lake is in the middle of Hyde Park and divides the park into two halves. It is probably the most popular and busiest part of Hyde Park. There are cafes, benches, and you’re able to take a paddle boat out onto the lake.
One of my favourite things to do in Hyde Park is rent a bike and cycle around the park. It is quite relaxing and allows you to see all of the park easily. You just need to be careful not to accidentally cycle into Kensington Gardens.
8. Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is one of the most famous music and entertainment venues not only in London but in the entire world.
It hosts concerts, Cirque du Soleil, stand-up comics, and more. The Royal Albert Hall has also hosted a number of the Royal Variety Shows, so it is a very prestigious venue to perform at!
In additional to attending a performance, you can also take a guided tour of the Royal Albert Hall. Guided tours take place nearly every day and last 60 minutes.
Tickets can be purchased online in advance, and you select a time slot for your tour when you purchase your tickets. Tickets cost £14.25 for adults and £7.25 for children. Concession tickets are £12.25.
The tour begins at the cafe located at door 12.
The Royal Albert Hall is a bit on the pricey side, but it is a music lover’s dream. If you only have the budget to do one paid thing in Kensington, I would suggest visiting Kensington Palace.
However, if your budget allows, the Royal Albert Hall is would be one of the paid things to do in Kensington that I would recommend.
9. The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is another one of London’s amazing free museums! It is located right on Cromwell Road, which is the main road running through the Kensington neighbourhood.
The Natural History Museum has a number of permanent exhibits including a dinosaur exhibit, an evolution exhibit, a human anatomy exhibit, and much, much more.
There are also a number of temporary, rotating exhibitions that come to the Natural History Museum. They are normally only there for a few months, so you might want to check their website rel=”nofollow” to see what is on before you go.
You normally have to pay to visit the temporary exhibits, and they can be quite expensive to visit. However, the temporary exhibits are phenomenal, and if it is a subject matter you’re interested in, it is well worth the price of admission.
The museum is open every day from 10am to 5:50pm, and the last entrance is at 5:30pm.
There are often a number of school groups touring the museum during the day, and it can get quite crowded and congested. It is still well worth visiting, but it is something you’ll want to keep in mind when planning your visit.
10. Kensington Church Street
Kensington Church Street is not a street full of churches but, rather, a street full of shops.
It is best known for its art and antique shops, and it is very easy to lose track of time exploring all the shops and finding goodies to bring home with you! The street dates back to the 1700s, so the architecture and buildings are beautiful and worth admiring.
The street is located just behind Kensington Palace and is pretty easy to find. You’ll know it when yo see it!
This is one of the best things to do in Kensington in the afternoon when the rest of the tourist attractions are packed with people. It is a nice break from museums, history, and parks.
11. The Churchill Arms
The Churchill Arms is a very famous pub in Kensington Church Street. It is recognizable from the colourful flowers growing up the outside of the pub.
The inside of the pub is home to a collection of Winston Churchill memorabilia- hence the name.
This is definitely the place to stop in for a pint while shopping on Kensington Church Street and exploring everything the Kensington neighbourhood has to offer!
The pub also features a full menu. The menu is made of completely of Thai food, so it has lots of options for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike!
Harrods is one of the most iconic and famous department stores in the world. It is on a lot of tourists’ list of sights to see and is one of the most popular things to do in Kensington.
On any given day up to 300,000 people visit Harrods, and there are 330 different departments. Harrods is a gigantic store!
It is a multi-level department store that sells everything from home decor to makeup to clothes to tourist souvenirs. It really has it all!
A lot of people are surprised about how high-end the goods at Harrods are. Most of the things they sell are more expensive than what the average person can afford.
Take the stairs or escalator up to the second floor were you’ll find the Harrods gift shop and all the tourist souvenirs and Harrods-branded items.
Even if you only spend a few minutes in Harrods just to see what the fuss is about, it is worth stopping by. It is a lot of fun wandering through all the unique and expensive things they sell.
13. Leighton House Museum
Leighton House Museum is an art gallery housed in the former home of Victorian artist Lord Frederic Leighton. It is located just outside Holland Park near High Kensington Street.
The museum has a large collection of paintings by Victorian artists including 81 of Lord Leighton’s oil paintings. The rooms inside the museums are basically pieces of art as well so be sure to leave time to admire the interior design of each room.
Leighton House Museum is only open on Saturday and Sunday, and the hours of operation are 10am to 5:30pm.
Tickets are £9 for adults and £7 for a concession ticket. You cannot purchase tickets in advance, so you have to purchase your ticket at the door when you arrive at the museum.
This is one of the lesser known things to do in Kensington, but it should be on your radar. This is an especially fun attraction for anybody who loves art or the Victorian era.
14. Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum is my favourite museum in the Kensington neighbourhood! It is the world’s leading museum that focuses on art and design.
The Victoria and Albert Museum has a wide variety and range of exhibitions that cover centuries of art and design. There is a large section on Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (not really a surprise). But there are also exhibits on fashion, furniture, paintings, theatre, and more.
The museum has a number of rotating, temporary exhibits as well. The temporary exhibits range greatly in what is featured. They can be anything from wedding dresses to cars and anything in between!
The permanent exhibits are free to visit, but there is a fee for many of the temporary exhibits. The entrance fee varies depending on the exhibit, and tickets can be purchased online in advanced or at the museum.
You can easily spend three or four hours at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and it is by far the largest museum in the Kensington neighbourhood.
It is open every day from 10am to 5:45pm and on Fridays it stays open until 8pm.
This is one of the most popular things to do in Kensington, so it is often quite busy. It isn’t as busy with school children as the Natural History Museum, but it gets crowded with tourists.
15. Indulge in High Tea
What is more British than going for high tea in London? The clotted cream and scones are to die for!
There are tons of places to go for high tea in the Kensington neighbourhood. It is a nice neighbourhood with an mid- to upper-class population, so there are a number of restaurants that offer a high tea service throughout the week.
You can find a restaurant serving high tea at a number of different price points. It isn’t uncommon for high tea to cost £30 per person, so it definitely isn’t always an inexpensive experience. Of course, there are places that serve high tea for less than £30.
High tea comes with tea, scones, finger sandwiches, and sweets like cakes. It is a lot of food, and you always leave feeling full.
So even if it does cost more than your average meal out, it will be well worth your money, and you’ll leave full and happy to have had a new experience.
One of my favourite places to have high tea in Kensington is at the Kensington Orangery. Not because it is superior to the rest of the restaurants in the area but because that is where I went for tea with my mom the first time I took her to London, and it holds a special memory for me.
The Kensington Orangery does accommodate vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free guests, so it is a great place to go if you have dietary restrictions. The restaurant is located just off to the side of Kensington Palace and is a great place to stop in for high tea after touring the palace.
Wherever you decide to go for tea, be sure to book reservations in advance. Most restaurants require you to have reservations in advance because they are booked to capacity and cannot accommodate any walk-up guests.
How to Get to the Kensington Neighbourhood
The Kensington neighbourhood is quite large, and there are number of different public transportation methods you can use that will drop you off in different parts of Kensington.
Nearby Underground Stations
There are a number of underground stations around the Kensington area. They include:
Hyde Park Corner
High Street Kensington
I told you there were a lot of them!
Where you decide to get off depends greatly on what things you’re doing in Kensington and what underground lines are most convenient depending on where you’re staying.
I always like taking the path that requires the fewest transfers. They always seem to slow the process down. If a stop is within three or four blocks of where I’m going, I’ll happily get off and walk the rest of the way rather than transfer to a different underground line.
There are maps of the underground in each station, online, and you can even pick up a pocket map at any station. Having a map will come in useful when you’re planning your path to your next attraction.
If you are using an electronic map, be sure to download it to your phone, so you can access it even if you don’t have WiFi!
Pro tip: Don’t forget to use your Oyster card to save a little money on transportation!
There are countless bus routes throughout London. Kensington is in central London, so it is serviced by a number of different buses.
You can use Google Map to determine what bus you need to catch to get to Kensington or ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host what bus you need.
There are so many things to do in Kensington that it is impossible to see everything the neighbourhood has to offer in just one day! Kensington has so many diverse things to do that no matter what you’re interests are, you’ll be able to find something you enjoy!
Kensington has a nice mixture of museums, history, nature, shopping, and dining. It is a popular neighbourhood amongst both tourists and locals.
I personally think a visit to Kensington (even if just for an afternoon) should be on everybody’s London itinerary.
Brighton is an amazing city in the south-east of the United Kingdom. It has a wonderful seafront and one of the coolest royal sights I’ve ever seen- the Royal Pavilion. It is so easy to get from London to Brighton and from Brighton to London that there is no excuse not to go!
Whether you take a day trip from London to Brighton or spend a few days relaxing in the city, you’ll have to get back to London at some point.
This post will help yo decide how best to get from Brighton to London. It covers all the major transportation methods, so you can pick your own route from Brighton to London.
I’m not going to cover cycling because so few people would choose that route, but it is a possibility. It is approximately 75km from Brighton to London, so a fit, cycling enthusiast could make that journey. But, let’s be honest, most of us aren’t that fit.
This post covers the three major transportation options: train, bus, and car. It gives you all the information you need to choose how you want to get from Brighton to London.
Option One: Taking the Train from Brighton to London
This is by far the most popular way to get between the two cities. It is quick and convenient, so it is perfect for every kind of traveller. The train is also the fastest way to get from Brighton to London.
The train covers approximately 90km, but it doesn’t need to compete with traffic. This means it is nearly always on time, and the trip only takes about an hour and a half!
The Southern and Thameslink operate trains from Brighton to London. These are two of the main train operators in the United Kingdom and are very reliable. They normally depart and arrive on time with very minor delays if any.
The main difference between the two train companies is that Thameslink does not have dedicated luggage storage at the front of the cars and The Southern does. This isn’t normally an issue for people but can cause a few issues if the train is very busy.
If you take a Thameslink train, you either need to be strong enough to lift your luggage overhead onto the racks above the seats or stand near the door with your luggage.
Standing isn’t too big of an issue because it is such a short journey, but it is always nice to have a seat and rest your feet for a while.
Where to Trains Depart From in Brighton?
Trains from Brighton to London depart from Brighton Station. It is the only train station in Brighton and really easy to find!
If you’re near the Brighton seafront, the Lanes, or the Royal Pavilion, you simply walk up Queens Street (one of the major streets in Brighton) until you get to the station. You don’t need to worry about turning onto another street once you’re on Queens Street.
This makes it super easy to get from anywhere in central Brighton to Brighton Station. I promise it is very difficult to get lost. If you do manage to get lost, keep walking up away from the water, and you should eventually come across street signs pointing you towards the station.
Where do Trains Arrive At in London?
Obviously London is far larger than Brighton and has many more train stations. This means you have the opportunity to decide what major London train station you get off at.
The London stations you can get off at are:
King’s Cross/St. Pancras Station
You can also get off the train at Gatwick Airport, which is a huge plus! You don’t even need to transfer. The journey to Gatwick Airport takes approximately 45-50 minutes, so it is very quick!
A station you can walk to your accommodation from or
A station where a nearby Underground station has a line that goes to your accommodation without needing to transfer
By getting off at a station that is either near your accommodation or has a direct Underground line to your station, it will be very easy for your to get to your next accommodation.
For example, if you’re staying in Earl’s Court (my favourite area to stay in London), you will probably want to get off at King’s Cross/St. Pancras because the Piccadilly line is right there.
If you’re staying in The City (the one mile radius of central London), you’ll want to get off at London Victoria because you can most likely easily walk to your accommodation.
Be sure to do a little research before you purchase your train ticket to figure out what London station you should get off at.
Everything You Need to Know About Train Tickets
There are so many different different trains you can take and websites online trying to sell you train tickets that it can be a bit confusing.
I know I’ve fallen victim to a third-party site selling train tickets at an inflated price. These websites look like they’re legitimately a website for the train company, but they aren’t. They charge you an inflated ticket price and a booking fee.
It is really easy to get confused and spend too much money on a ticket by booking through sites like these.
Where Should You Purchase Tickets From?
There are a number of places you can purchase tickets from and get a fair price:
You may still have to pay a booking fee if you purchase your ticket online, but at least you know you aren’t overpaying for the ticket itself.
When it comes to purchasing tickets in person at Brighton Station, you can either purchase them at a ticket counter or at a ticket machine. Both options are convenient, easy to use, and normally pretty quick. There may be a short queue during peak hours, but they move pretty quickly.
If you’re purchasing your tickets at the machine, remember these helpful tips:
Not all machines accept cash. Make you go to a machine that accepts cash if you don’t want to use your credit card.
Double check whether you’re purchasing the correct ticket type. I was in a rush last time I purchased a ticket from Brighton to London and ended up purchasing a same-day return rather than a one-way ticket.
Types of Tickets
There are variety of different types of tickets you can purchase. Most of them are generic anytime, peak, or off-peak tickets that allow you to get on any train from Brighton to London within a given time period.
Peak hours are when the train is expected to be busiest, and you need an anytime ticket to ride them. Off-peak hours, on the other hand, are sold when the trains are pretty quiet and are less expensive.
There are also super off-peak tickets that are sold for either quite late at night or very early in the morning. These tickets are very inexpensive and great for people who tend to be awake outside of standard human hours.
When you purchase tickets online, you normally have to choose a specific departure time. However, when you pick up your tickets at Brighton Station, it normally says either off-peak or anytime on the bottom right-hand corner.
You can hop on any train that matches that description even if it is a bit earlier or later than the train you booked.
Overall, the types of tickets you can purchase for your journey from Brighton to London are pretty straightforward. You can get on any off-peak train if you have an off-peak ticket and on any train if you have a anytime ticket.
Price of a Ticket from Brighton to London
There is a large variance between how much tickets can cost. It depends on what type of ticket you purchase, the day of the week you’re travelling, and the time of year.
Typically, weekend trains in the middle of summer departing during peak hours are going to be the most expensive. Weekday trains leaving at off-peak hours during the off-season/shoulder season are going to be less expensive and super off-peak trains will be the cheapest.
Whether you purchase a single journey ticket or round-trip ticket will also impact the cost. You tend to get a bit of a deal if you purchase a round-trip ticket versus purchasing two single journey tickets.
For a general approximation of how much tickets can cost (please don’t quote me on this!), tickets from Brighton to London can cost anywhere between £5 and £25.
Can You Use Your Oyster Card to Travel from Brighton to London?
Unfortunately, you cannot use your Oyster card while travelling from Brighton to London. It would be very convenient if you could, but Brighton is outside the Oyster card fare zone.
Do You Need to Purchase Tickets in Advance
I don’t think you necessarily need to purchase tickets in advance. You can easily show up at Brighton Station when you want to leave, purchase a ticket, and hop on the next train.
Of course this may not work in the peak of summer, and you may need to purchase tickets in advance during that time of year.
But, in general, you don’t need to worry about purchasing tickets in advance. You can purchase tickets in advance if they make you feel more secure, but it isn’t mandatory.
Advantages to Taking the Train from Brighton to London
There are a number of advantages to taking the train from Brighton to London. Here are a few advantages to help you decide whether taking the train is the right transportation method for you:
It is reliable and rarely runs behind schedule
You can be flexible and hop on whatever train works best for you
The trains are spacious and clean
You can get off at multiple station in London
Disadvantages to Taking the Train from Brighton to London
There aren’t many, but there are a few disadvantages to taking the train between the two cities:
There isn’t always dedicated luggage space
The trains can be busy, and you might have to stand
The price of the ticket is mid-range. It is cheaper than taking a car but more expensive than taking the bus so may not be the best option for budget travellers
Option Two: Taking the Bus from Brighton to London
The National Express runs buses from Brighton to London. They depart from the Brighton Coach Station and arrive at London Victoria.
The bus is less expensive than the train, but the journey normally takes at least an hour longer. Most buses between Brighton and London take 2.5 to 3 hours, but if you’re not in a hurry, buses are a great option!
Buses have dedicated luggage space under the bus, so you don’t have to worry about wrangling your luggage like you do on the train. You simply give your luggage to the driver when you’re boarding and forget about it until you arrive in London.
Buses depart from Brighton to London every 30 minutes (less often during the middle of the night). You shouldn’t have a problem finding a bus that departs for London that fits your schedule.
Where do Buses Depart from in Brighton?
Buses depart from the Brighton Coach Station. The coach station is located near the Brighton seafront so don’t go to the train station thinking you’ll catch a bus there!
The coach station is located on Pool Valley just off of Grand Junction Road (the main road running east to west near the seafront). It is a two-minute walk from the Brighton Pier towards the Royal Pavilion.
Use those landmarks as a guide, and you shouldn’t have any trouble finding the Brighton Coach Station.
Where do Buses Arrive at in London?
Buses arrive at London Victoria. London Victoria is the main bus station in central London as well as a major underground station.
No matter where in London you’re staying, it will be fairly easy for you to get from London Victoria to your accommodation. Whether you walk, take a city bus, or ride the underground, you should have a fairly direct route that doesn’t require many, if any, transfers.
Because London Victoria is a large bus station, it can be easy to get turned around and get a bit lost. Make sure you follow the signs inside the station, so you get where you want to go.
There are signs that point you towards the underground and local buses as well as maps on the wall of central London to refer to if you’re walking to your accommodation.
Everything You Need to Know About Tickets
The National Express is the only bus company operating buses from Brighton to London, so it is pretty easy to navigate purchasing a bus ticket.
Where Should You Purchase Tickets From?
There are two ways you can purchase bus tickets from Brighton to London: online or in person at the station.
Purchasing tickets online is a great option during peak season because it ensures you have your ticket and don’t risk missing the bus you want. You can purchase your tickets online quite easily.
If you purchase your ticket online, you will need to show the ticket to the driver when you board the bus. You can either print out the ticket or load it on your smartphone to show your driver.
Screenshots of the ticket are not accepted. You need to be able to pull up the reservation and show them the full ticket they sent you. You’ll need internet access to do that, so you may want to load it at your accommodation or a cafe before you head to the bus station.
Please note there is a small service fee if you purchase your ticket online.
You can also purchase your tickets at the station either with a representative or directly from the driver. This is a great option for spontaneous travellers who want to have the flexibility to head from Brighton to London whenever they feel like it.
The downside of purchasing your ticket at the station is that you may not be able to get on the exact bus you want to. This is especially true on the weekends during peak season.
You may have to wait for the next bus for there to be room for you. This isn’t too bad considering buses travel every thirty or so minutes and the bus station is close to the seafront and lots of cafes.
Price of a Bus Ticket from Brighton to London
The good news is that bus tickets from Brighton to London are very affordable even if you purchase them last minute!
Tickets range from £2.50 to £5! That is a really good price for a train within the United Kingdom! The more expensive tickets tend to run during peak hours and the less expensive tickets are normally for buses leaving during off-peak times.
Advantages of Taking the Bus from Brighton to London
There are a number of advantages of taking the bus from Brighton to London:
It is the least expensive way to travel between Brighton and London
Your luggage is underneath the bus, so you don’t need to worry about lifting it overhead or standing because there is no where to store it
You won’t ever have to stand because they don’t oversell buses
The seats are comfortable
Disadvantages of Taking the Bus from Brighton to London
Similar to taking the train, there are a number of disadvantages of taking the bus from Brighton to London:
The bus takes longer than any other method of transportation
Your journey could take longer than expected if there is a traffic delay
It is not as accessible as the train, and people living with disabilities may have more of a struggle boarding and alighting the bus versus the train
Option Three: Driving from Brighton to London
The third option you have is renting a car and driving from Brighton to London.
The drive takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. This is, of course, dependant on traffic and what route you decide to take. There is a main highway from Brighton to London, so it is fairly easy to drive between the two cities.
There are a number of logistical things that need to be considered before deciding to drive from Brighton to London:
The Price of a Rental Car and Gas
You need to consider whether it is worth spending the money renting a car versus taking the train or the bus. This will depend a lot on your entire travel plans.
If you’re doing a multi-week driving tour through the United Kingdom and going to rural areas that are difficult to access via public transportation, then a car may be worth the additional price.
However, if you’re just driving from Brighton to London and nowhere else, a rental car probably isn’t worth the additional cost.
Driving on the Left-Hand Side of the Road
People in the United Kingdom drive on the left-hand side of the road. It can be difficult for people from countries that drive on the right-hand side of the road to adjust to it.
Be sure you’re comfortable and confident driving on the left-hand side of the road before you consider renting a car and driving from Brighton to London.
Pro Tip: It is always easier to adjust to driving on the left-hand side of the road if you have a passenger. The passenger can help you read signs and let you know if you’re getting too close to the curb on their side of the car.
Advantages of Driving from Brighton to London
As with the other methods of transportation, there are a number of advantages of driving from Brighton to London:
You have complete freedom. You’re able to choose when you leave, what route you take, and where exactly you arrive.
It is the quickest way to get from Brighton to London
You’re able to stop and visit other smaller communities during the drive if you want
Disadvantages of Driving from Brighton to London
I personally think driving from Brighton to London has the biggest disadvantages. It may not have the most disadvantages, but the disadvantages it does have are pretty hard to overcome.
It is by far the most expensive way to get from Brighton to London
You have to drive on a side of the road you may not be familiar with
The journey could take longer than anticipated if there is a traffic jam
There is a chance you could get lost. You could take a wrong turn somewhere along the way and have a difficult time finding your way back on track
I always believe you need to choose whatever transportation method works best for you and your style of travel. My preference may not be your preference, and that is okay.
That being said, I personally think the train is the best way to get from Brighton to London. It is very convenient, and I appreciate that there are multiple station is London you can get off at.
My second choice would be the bus with driving my last choice.
I hope this post illustrated that it is easy to get from Brighton to London and that there are multiple different ways you can make the journey.
Each transportation method has its pros and cons, so you’ll need to choose whatever one works best for you. It is hard to go wrong with any option, but I would encourage you to think seriously before you rent a car and drive from Brighton to London.
No matter how you choose to travel between Brighton and London, I hope you’re able to experience everything both cities have to offer! They are both amazing cities and two of my favourite United Kingdom cities.
This post will help you plan your perfect trip to the Queen’s Gallery and help you decide whether it is a sight you want to see while in London.
What Exactly is The Queen’s Gallery?
The Queen’s Gallery is a public art gallery that hosts up to 450 pieces from the Queen’s private collection. The exhibition is changed three to four times a year, so you have the chance to see a variety of different artwork.
The exhibitions at the Queen’s Gallery are curated and displayed based on a specific theme. All the artwork in that specific exhibition revolves around that theme, so you get an in-depth understanding of it.
A lot of the themes appeal to a wide audience and some are more appealing to a specific niche. The website has a listing of the exhibitions for the year, so you can decide if you’re interested in it or not.
Some of the previous exhibitions included:
Leonardo Da Vinci (a collection of his drawings)
Kind Edward VIII (a collection of photographs from his explorations)
King George IV (a collection of artwork he collected)
Russia (a collection of royal artwork and photographs from Crimea)
All of the exhibits are nicely curated and span a number of rooms. It can get a bit crowded for popular exhibits like the Leonard Da Vinci one, but it is often pretty quiet. This is especially true if you visit on a weekday.
There are also discounts for groups of 15 or more. Information for that can be found on the Royal Trust Collection website as well.
You also have the option of purchasing combo tickets. These tickets allow you into additional Buckingham Palace sights at a lower cost than purchasing each ticket separately.
The Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews
This combo ticket allows you entry to the Queen’s Gallery and the Royal Mews. These two royal sights are open all year around, so you can visit whenever you’re in London.
Ticket prices for The Queen’s Gallery and Royal Mews combo ticket are as follows:
Over 60: £21.00
Under 17/Living with a Disability: £12.00
Under 5: Free
There are also reduced fares for groups of 15 or more.
The savings don’t come out to more than a few pounds per ticket, but a combo ticket still saves you a little bit of money.
Strangely enough, the price for the combo ticket is different whether you go to the webpage for The Queen’s Gallery or the Royal Mews. The Royal Mews shows the price as being a few pence higher than The Queen’s Gallery webpage.
I’m not sure if the price would get sorted at checkout or if it is a typo on the website. Just to be save, you should purchase your tickets through The Queen’s Gallery website rather than the Royal Mews website.
Royal Day Out
The Royal Day Out gives you access to The Queen’s Gallery, the Royal Mews, and Buckingham Palace.
It is a full-day ticket with entrance times for each sight and is perfect for any royal lover! You start the day off by visiting The Queen’s Gallery, then head to the Royal Mews, and finally end at Buckingham Palace.
Ticket prices for the Royal Day Out are as follows:
Over 60: £44.50
Under 17/Living with a Disability: £26.50
Under 5: Free
Again, the savings aren’t huge with the Royal Day Out ticket, but it is worth it if you’re interested in all three sights.
What is Included with Your Ticket
Your ticket includes an audio guide that describes the artwork you’re viewing. It includes information on the artist, historical information, and information about the artwork itself.
It is very detailed, and there is the option to click through to a different recording to learn even more about various pieces. The audioguide is put together by the curator of the exhibit and often has experts explaining certain aspects as well.
Your ticket also includes free locker use and coat check if you don’t want to carry your coat or bag around. You may be asked to put your bag in a locker if it is on the bigger side so be prepared for that.
Upgrading Your Ticket to a Year-Long Pass
This is one of the best features of visiting any Royal Trust Collection sight! You’re able to convert your single-day ticket to a year-long pass when you exit.
Simply visit an employee on your way out and ask to convert your ticket. They will stamp the back of your ticket with the date and have you sign it. Once you’ve done that, you’re able to visit The Queen’s Gallery anytime you want for the next year!
It is the perfect way to keep going back and visiting all the different exhibits the gallery hosts throughout the year for one low price.
Technically when you do this, you’re telling the Royal Trust Collection that they can treat the price of your ticket as a donation rather profitable income. It is a win-win for both you and the Royal Trust.
I highly recommend you convert your ticket to a year-long ticket when you leave even if you don’t have another trip to London planned.
You never know when you’ll be back, and you may be thankful you now have free entry into The Queen’s Gallery rather than having to pay all over again.
Getting to The Queen’s Gallery
How you get to The Queen’s Gallery will depend largely on where in London you’re staying. Most people will take the Underground but some neighbourhoods (like Victoria) are close enough for you to walk.
For people taking the Underground, the three closest stations are:
Victoria (Victoria, Circle, and District lines)
Green Park (Piccadilly line)
St. James’ Park (Circle and District lines)
Each of these three stations are within a ten minute walk of The Queen’s Gallery. St. James’ Park is probably the furtherest away and Victoria and Green Park are pretty similar.
Don’t forget to use your Oyster card if you’re using public transportation.
There are a number of bus routes that run right by Buckingham Palace. The bus is probably the best option for people who don’t want to walk very far after they alight public transportation to get to Buckingham Palace.
Be sure to check the bus routes before you leave to see what bus you want to catch and how often it runs. Don’t forget that the Brits drive on the opposite side of the street as North Americans so be sure you’re heading the right direction!
You’re able to use your Oyster card on buses as well. You only need to tap when you get on the bus and don’t need to tap when you get off.
How Long Should You Spend at The Queen’s Gallery?
This is a difficult question to answer and is highly dependant on how interested you are in the artwork being displayed.
The average person can easily spend an hour viewing the artwork and listening to the audioguide.
People who are very interested in the artwork can spend upwards of 90 minutes at The Queen’s Gallery and possibly even two hours.
The Royal Trust Collection website recommends budgeting 75 minutes at The Queen’s Gallery in order to see it all, so that is a pretty good guide to follow.
Purchasing Souvenirs at The Queen’s Gallery
There is a large gift shop in the entryway of The Queen’s Gallery. It has everything from fine china to keychains to guidebooks to jam. Nearly everything you want to purchase as a souvenir can be found at the gift shop.
The gift shop is a bit on the pricey side, but it is all branded to Buckingham Palace and the royal family, so you can find a number of unique items.
Be sure to have a budget for the gift shop and stick to it! It is easy to get carried away and purchase a bunch of stuff that looks cool that you really don’t need.
The Queen’s Gallery is a great addition to any London itinerary. It is central and easy to get to, allows you to see artwork you can’t see anywhere else, and is relatively inexpensive for a royal attraction.
The fact that you can convert your ticket to a year-long pass makes The Queen’s Gallery even more attractive. It is the ticket that keeps on giving throughout the year. The fact that you can go back an unlimited number of times is great for budget travellers.
Whether you end up going back to The Queen’s Gallery or not, it is a sight that shouldn’t be missed. It is truly fun for the whole family!
The Brighton seafront is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Brighton. There are so many things to do that you can easily spend a day (or more!) there.
Everybody can find something they enjoying doing on the Brighton seafront. Children and adults alike with all different interests will enjoy their time on the seafront.
This post lists 41 activities you can enjoy, but there is no end to the possibilities! There really is no place like the Brighton seafront so be sure to carve out some time to visit it when you’re in Brighton!
How to Get to the Brighton Seafront
The first thing we need to do is figure out how to get to the seafront. Most tourists who visit Brighton are coming from London and arriving at Brighton Station. No matter where you’re coming from, if you’re arriving by train or bus, you will arrive at the station.
It is incredibly easy to get to the seafront from the station, and I promise that it is nearly impossible for you to get lost!
The train and buses stop at Brighton Station, and, because it is a relatively small station, there is only one entrance and exit. You walk away from the station with your back towards the entrance.
You keep going straight until you get to the Brighton seafront.
That’s right! All you have to do is walk straight down a small hill until you get to the water! I told you you couldn’t get lost.
There is a large shopping centre when you’re nearing the seafront, so be on the lookout for it! You are only a few blocks away from the seafront once you see it.
The entire walk takes about 15 minutes and is less than a mile! It is so easy and convenient to get from Brighton Station to the Brighton seafront.
Things to do on the Brighton Seafront
Now it is time to get into what you’re here for! All the fun things you can do on the Brighton seafront. There is a lot more fun to be had on the seafront than you would expect. I know I was surprised at how much there was to do!
1. Hang Out on the Brighton Palace Pier
The Brighton Palace Pier is undoubtably the most iconic sight along the Brighton seafront. The pier was built in 1899 and is still standing! The pier was widened in the 1920s, but the original structure is still intact.
The Brighton Pier survived both World Wars. During WWI, the sea around the pier was mined extensively, but the pier was not harmed. It was closed during WWII to protect it from being a target and to protect people who might be on it if it were attacked.
The Brighton Palace Pier sees over 4 million tourists a year, which makes it one of the most popular destinations not just on the Brighton seafront but in all of Brighton!
You don’t want to miss the pier when you’re hanging out at the seafront. It is truly an iconic sight!
It also offers a great view looking back on the Brighton seafront. You’re able to see a large portion of the most popular section of the seafront from the end of the pier, and it makes for great pictures.
2. Play Basketball
There is a public basketball court along the promenade along the seafront. It is located close to the pier towards the British Airways i360 (more on that later).
You have to bring your own ball to use the court, or you could just ask to join a game that the locals already have going. There are always people on the court practicing their skills and enjoying the weather.
This is a great way to enjoy the Brighton seafront! You get some exercise, enjoy the weather, and meet some locals. Some of the people who use the court are pretty good, so you may want to brush up on your skills before you go.
3. Read by the Water
This is one of my favourite things to do on the Brighton seafront! It is so relaxing to sit by the water, soaking up the sun, and enjoying a good book! It is difficult to think of a better way to pass some time!
There are beach chairs available along the beach. It is a stone beach, so you will definitely want to use a chair.
Some chairs are already sitting out on the beach ready to be used. There are other chairs available along the beach as well. At various locations along the beach there are big boxes that hold beach chairs.
They are free to use so just grab one and set it up wherever you feel like reading!
You may want to scout out a location that is part way between the water and the promenade. This will give you the best chance of finding a quieter location to read.
The promenade can get noisy, so you’ll want distance yourself a bit from it. The sea, on the other hand, can be a bit noisy itself with people swimming and perhaps children joyfully enjoying the water.
No matter where you choose to set up your chair, you’ll have a lovely time reading on the Brighton seafront.
4. Bike Along the Brighton Seafront
For just £16 you can rent a bike for an entire day! You can also rent a bike for 1, 2, or 3 hours if you don’t want to cycle all day. The cost of each is £6, £9, and £12, respectively. Helmets and locks are included in the price of the rental.
You rent the bike along the Brighton seafront promenade near the pier. The company is called Brighton Beach Bikes. You can also rent tandem bikes, children’s trailers, and child seats.
There are two routes you can take: Rottingdean and the East and Hove Shoreham and Beyond.
The Rottingdean and the East route takes you past the Brighton Marina and takes you all the way to the start of the white cliffs of Dover. The Hove Shoreham and Beyond route takes you through the most popular portion of the Brighton seafront and then onto Millionaires Row where you can see where the rich citizens of Brighton and Hove live.
The bike paths are not very challenging, so people of all fitness levels can participate in them.
There are 10 miles of uninterrupted paths that make biking incredibly simple! You don’t have to worry about whether you’re going the right way or not because the path is continuous the entire way.
Biking is a great way to enjoy the Brighton seafront. You get a little exercise while enjoying the beautiful sights the seafront offers. Biking is especially nice on a warm but overcast day where the sun isn’t beating down on you. You should definitely consider renting a bike as a way to enjoy the Brighton seafront.
5. Take Pictures of the Brighton Beach Huts
The beach huts are a staple along the Brighton seafront. They are little huts that people own and store their beach items in. The beach huts are in little clusters along the seafront.
They are wooden and are required to be the same colour withe one exception. Owners are allowed to personalize their door. Doors are allowed to be one solid colour or have vertical stripes in multiple colours. The one thing you can count on is that the doors are very colourful and fun to look at.
The beach huts are often passed down from generation to generation, and the owners take a lot of pride in making sure the beach huts are well kept and looking good.
You’ll have so much fun stopping to take pictures of the various beach huts as you stumble upon them as you’re walking along the Brighton seafront.
6. Look for Shells
I remember looking for shells as a child every time I visited a beach. It is an iconic beach activity, and it would be a shame not to partake in it while you’re at the Brighton seafront.
It may be a little more difficult to find and gather the shells because it is a rocky beach, but it is still possible. There are always people looking for shells along the beach or sorting them on the promenade.
Children will love this activity, and it makes for the perfect souvenir. Looking at a shell you found yourself will help you recall the memories you made in Brighton for years to come.
7. If You Can’t Find a Shell, Buy One
There are tons of souvenir stores along the Brighton seafront, and they all sell shells (flashback to learning the sea shell tongue twister!) among other items.
If you can’t find a shell on the beach or don’t want to spend the time looking for shells, then you can buy one.
The souvenir stores all sell similar items at a similar price so pop into whichever store tickles your fancy and purchase the perfect shell.
You can, of course, purchase other souvenirs in these stores. They all carry the standard souvenirs like magnets, shirts, postcards, and shot glasses. The usual touristy stuff.
8. Ride a Rollercoaster
You can ride a rollercoaster on the Brighton seafront! It is located at the vey end of the Brighton pier, so you get a great view while you’re riding it.
The coaster has a loop, so it may not be appropriate for everybody, but if you like coasters, it is a pretty cool one to ride.
There are a number of other rides on the pier as well. You can ride all of your classic favourites. There is a “haunted” house, bumper cars, and a number of kiddy rides for the younger crowd.
Rides cost between £3 and £5, which is quite expensive! You can also purchase a wristband that gives you unlimited rides if you planning on partaking in more than two or three attractions. Wristbands cost £13 for people 1.2m and under and £22.50 for people over 1.2m.
Buying a wristband is definitely the best bang for your buck if you’re interested in riding the rides.
Riding the rollercoaster or any of the other rides makes for a great way to spend some time along the pier. It brings back memories of going to the county fair as a child. Plus you get a great view of the water and the Brighton seafront.
9. Eat Ice Cream Along the Brighton Seafront
What trip to the water is complete without indulging in some ice cream?! There are a number of ice cream shops along the Brighton seafront and the pier.
Most of the ice cream is made with diary source from UK cows, and it is luxuriously creamy. All the classic flavours are available all along the Brighton seafront.
If you’re looking for unique flavours, then Boho Gelato is the place for you! It is located along the Brighton seafront near the aquarium. The shop is very close to the pier and is fairly easy to find.
It offers flavours such as Thai green tea, sour cherry, fig and mascarpone, and passion fruit custard. Boho Gelato is a great place to try out a new flavour of ice cream and enjoy a view of the water.
But, really, any ice cream you choose to indulge in is going to be great! There are so many options that you may have a difficult time choosing what ice cream to try. No matter what you choose, it will be good!
10. Paddle Board
Now that your body is fueled with ice cream, you might want to rent a paddle board and paddle along the water. Paddle boarding is a great way to expend some energy while getting a unique view of the Brighton seafront.
The Sea Lanes is a company that allows you to rent paddle boards right at the Brighton seafront without a prior reservation. You simply head to their shop whenever you feel like going for a paddle and rent a paddle board.
The Sea Lanes is located partway between the Brighton Palace Pier and the Brighton Marina.
To get to the shop, you need to walk away from the pier with the British Airways i360 at your back. Follow the path until you get to the shop! It is as easy as that.
You can rent a paddle board for an hour or for an afternoon. There are no prices listed on the website, so you’ll have to sort that out when you’re renting your board. More information on The Sea Lanes can be found here.
Paddle boarding is a really fun sport! I would highly recommend it to anybody who is looking to spend a few hours out on the water.
11. Buy a Piece of Art Featuring the Brighton Seafront
There are a number of shops that sell artwork along the Brighton seafront. Some shops are dedicated art shops and some shops sell art along with a variety of other items.
There are a variety of different price points from rather inexpensive prints to expensive pieces of original art, so there is something for everybody!
A lot of the art features the Brighton seafront, but there are a few shops that feature a variety of different styles of paintings. The art-specific shops are located very close to the Brighton pier and are on the lower level near the beach.
You can find some really unique pieces of art in these stores. My personal favourite was a painting with a black background featuring a neon cat. Unfortunately, it would have been quite difficult to get back to Canada, so I didn’t purchase it.
If you’re looking for art that specifically features the Brighton seafront, you won’t have to look too hard. You can find prints and small original paintings featuring the seafront in many different shops and stalls along the Brighton seafront.
Most of the shops are located on the lower level near the beach so be sure to head down there if you’re looking for art.
I personally think bringing home a piece of art from your travels is a great souvenir. You can potentially fill an entire house with art from everywhere you’ve been!
Art is a great way to remember your trip. It is often out in the open where you look at it everyday and remember all the fun you had in Brighton and along the seafront.
12. Learn About the History of the Brighton Seafront by Going to the Fishing Museum
The Brighton Fishing Museum is curated and run by the Brighton Seafront Heritage Front. It is a small museum located between the British Airways i360 and the pier. The museum is also located on the lower level by the water.
The museum is free to enter, so there is no excuse not to wander through and check it out!
It is a small museum, but it is packed with information. The museum takes you through the history of Brighton as a small fishing community that was transformed into the tourist destination it is now.
The Brighton Fishing Museum has three sections.
The first is the history section. It is a permanent exhibit where you learn about the history of Brighton.
The second is called “The Gallery”. This is a rotating exhibit that features artwork of the Brighton seafront by local artists.
The final portion of the museum is a sign writing course where you can learn how to create a traditional sign. It is a five-day course, so it probably isn’t suitable for most tourists. It is a really cool idea though!
The museum is open daily from 10:30 to 5. Be sure to check out the Brighton Seafront Heritage Front website for anything else you want to know about the Brighton Fishing Museum.
13. Have a Picnic
Another fun and inexpensive thing to do at the Brighton seafront is to have a picnic! It is the perfect way to relax for a while, refuel the body, and enjoy all the beauty the Brighton seafront has to offer.
There are lots of grassy areas past the British Airways i360. You just walk with your back to the pier and the British Airways i360 for about five minutes, and you will come across them!
There are a lot of grocery stores in Brighton where you can pick up some food to eat at the Brighton seafront. Many stores offer pre-made food that you can grab-and-go. You can also buy some bread and make whatever sandwich suits your fancy.
I love the idea of having a picnic at the Brighton seafront- especially on a really nice day. It is so relaxing to sit around with your travel mates, eat some food, enjoy the sights, and make memories.
14. Feed the Birds
You may as well give the birds a bite to eat as you’re enjoying a picnic at the Brighton seafront.
There are seagulls everywhere along the water, and they would love to get a piece of food from you rather than rummaging for their own.
Please be do not feed the birds bread though. It is bad for their stomach and can ultimately lead to their death. They enjoy popcorn, nuts, and seeds. That is far healthier food for them!
Feeding the birds is another great way to spend some time along the Brighton seafront and make memories. It is also an iconic activity to partake in when walking along any body of water!
15. Play Some Beach Volleyball
Beach volleyball, like basketball, is a great way to expend some energy, interact with locals, and have fun along the water! It is another classic beach sport! Lucky for you, the volleyball courts along the Brighton seafront come with their own sand, so you don’t have to play on the rocky beach.
There are two different locations you can play beach volleyball. The first is right next to the basketball court between the British Airways i360 and the Brighton Pier. This location only has one court and is regularly in use.
The second location is further down the seafront in the direction of the Brighton Marina. It is a bit of a walk away from the pier, but it is another option if you’re really interested in playing beach volleyball.
The location closer to the Brighton Maria has multiple different courts, and they aren’t nearly as busy as the main court by the pier. You still get a great view of the Brighton seafront while playing, but you don’t have to worry about it being too busy!
I personally love beach volleyball and think it is a great option for a group looking have some fun in the sun.
16. Eat a Lot of Fresh Seafood
Brighton is right along the water, so it makes sense that they have a strong seafood game. You can’t walk too far along the Brighton seafront without stumbling across someone selling seafood.
There is no shortage to the type of seafood you can find either. Fish, shrimp, and scallops are all available for you to try. It is a great way to try a new type of seafood.
Brighton is a great place for people to try seafood for the first time. It is also a great place for seafood junkies. You know everything you try will be good because it is so fresh! It has never been frozen and is cooked by locals who know how to cook it properly.
The most difficult part of eating seafood at the Brighton seafront is deciding what to get because it all looks so good! You may end up trying it all.
17. Take a Ride of the British Airways i360 to Get a Great View of Brighton and the Seafront
The British Airways i360 is a new addition to the Brighton seafront. It opened in August of 2016 and offers the best views in all of Brighton! It was built with goal of revitalizing the historic West Pier. The attraction saw its 1,000,000th visitor on March 11, 2019!
The British Airways i360 is a 360 degree glass viewing platform that moves up and down a needle-type structure in the middle. It is the largest moving viewing tower in the United Kingdom and was designed to resemble a vertical pier. It is a really unique design!
The “flight” as they call it takes 25 minutes from start to finish. You have access to a bar inside the observation deck, so you can enjoy a drink while taking in the view.
The coolest part of the British Airways i360 is that you are able to walk around the entire observation deck and see the city of Brighton and the Brighton seafront from the sky. It makes for an incredible view!
It is open year-round, but opening hours vary depending on the weather. You’ll have to check the website to see when it is open. It is possible to also just show up when you want to take a flight and see if it is open.
You can purchase tickets in advance or when you arrive at the attraction. You receive a 10% discount if you purchase tickets in advance on the website, so you may want to consider doing that.
There are a number of different ticket options to choose from. You can go on a standard flight or choose to upgrade to a flight that includes a drink or food. Discounts are offered for students, seniors, and local residents.
The British Airways i360 is a must-do activity when visiting the Brighton seafront. It is a unique experience to have on the seafront and is worth the money!
18. Have a Pint and Enjoy a View of the Brighton Seafront
Stopping and having a drink in one of the many restaurants along the Brighton seafront is the perfect way to pass an hour or two. There are plenty of different places to stop for a drink, and many of them have a patio, so you can enjoy a view of the Brighton seafront.
19. Play Arcade Games
You read that right! You can play a large selection of arcade games at the Brighton seafront! The arcade games are located on the Brighton pier inside the first building.
You can find a surprising number of arcade games. There are classic games and newer games, so there is something for everybody!
There are change machines available if you need to break a bill, and they even offer cups, so you don’t have to worry about holding your change as you play games.
The arcade is a really fun feature of the Brighton seafront. It feels very nostalgic and makes you feel like your’e in a different decade. You should make a point to walk through the building even if you don’t plan on playing any games.
20. Play the Slots
If you prefer something with higher stakes than arcade games, you can play the slots. The slot machines are located on the right-hand side at the back of the building that houses the arcade games.
The slots are in a separate room, and you have to be an adult in order to play them. Because, you know, gambling laws. But they are there if you’re looking to do a little gambling while exploring the Brighton seafront.
21. Indulge in Mini Doughnuts
You can add mini doughnuts to your list of foods to eat along the Brighton seafront! The main mini doughnut stand is located at the entrance of the Brighton Palace Pier, and there is a second doughnut stand along the seafront away from the pier towards the British Airways i360.
I didn’t get the chance to try them when I was at the Brighton seafront (I was along and didn’t want to eat an entire bag of mini doughnuts by myself), but I will be indulging next time I’m there with a group of people!
The scent of the mini doughnuts and cinnamon fill the air near the pier, and it is the perfect snack to have after you’ve ridden a few rides and played some arcade games.
22. Explore the Brighton Marina
The Brighton Marina is on the opposite side of the Brighton seafront from the British Airways i360. It is quite a walk away from the pier, but there is a path the entire way.
The marina is where all the yachts and boats are docked, so you can see some fancy boats that you may never be able to afford. There are also restaurants, pubs, shops, and a casino. You can also find a movie theatre and a bowling alley. There are a lot of things to do for people of every age!
The marina is open seven days a week, so you can plan on visiting when other attractions are closed or if the weather is bad. The Brighton Marina website has more information on what you can do there, and there is an offers section where you can potentially get a discount to save some money!
The Brighton Marina was not one of my favourite activities along the Brighton seafront. You may want to do some research to see if it is the right fit for you! Although, it is a great stop to make if you have rented a bike and are peddling along the Brighton seafront rather than walking like I was.
23. Ride Volk’s Electric Railway to See More of the Brighton Seafront
Volk’s Electric Railway is a fixture along the Brighton seafront even though it isn’t one of the first things to come to mind when you think of the seafront. It is exactly what you would think it is based on the name: an electric train that runs along the Brighton seafront!
It opened in 1883 and has been in operation ever since even though the track was shortened in 1990. The train runs from the pier to the marina. Technically the stations are a little ways away from the pier and the marina, but they don’t take more than a few minutes to walk to.
A one-way ticket for an adult costs £3.80, and a return costs £4.90. There are discounts for seniors and families, and children under the age ride free!
The hours for the railway are a bit all over the place, and the train doesn’t run in the winter. The operating hours when it is running are as follows:
Monday and Friday: 11:30am to 5:15pm
Tuesday through Thursday: 10:30am to 5:15pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10:30am to 6:15pm
The train does shut down when there is bad weather, so be sure to keep your eye on the sky before you hop on board!
If you want more information about the Volk’s Electric Railway or want to learn more about its history, be sure to check out their webpage.
24. Go for a Swim
Swimming is a great activity to partake in on the Brighton seafront! I mean, you’re at an open body of water, so you may as well take advantage of it!
Swimming is especially great during the summer when it is hot, and you’re looking to cool down. There is a designated swimming area that is manned by a lifeguard to ensure swimmers are safe.
The designated swimming area is near the pier and is marked by yellow and red flags and yellow buoys in the water.
You can only swim in Brighton during lifeguard season. Lifeguard season runs from the end of May until the first week of September. You cannot swim outside those months, and it is very dangerous to swim outside the lifeguard season.
Please be very careful if you go swimming.The water can and waves can become very strong if certain weather conditions, and they can be challenging for even experienced swimmers.
DO NOT GO IN THE WATER IF YOU HAVE CONSUMED ALCOHOL!!!! The consumption of even a small amount of alcohol leads to an earlier onset of hypothermia if you are in an accident and stuck in the water for an extended period of time.
So please be sure to take precautions and enjoy the water in a safe way! You don’t want to ruin your entire holiday because you were careless when swimming.
25. Take Indoor Swimming Lessons
If you’re not a confident enough swimmer to venture into the open water, you can take indoor swimming lessons on the Brighton seafront! There is a facility that offers indoor swimming lessons in a pool that replicates the open water. It is actually really cool.
It is located along the seafront in the direction of the Brighton Marina. You will make your way to it if you walk along the promenade with your back to the pier. It is quite a ways away from the pier and closer to the marina, so you’ll have to walk for a while before reaching it.
I thought I took a picture of the building, so I could remember the name of the company, but it turns out I didn’t. I tried locating the company on Google and wasn’t successful. So I’m not able to give you a name of the company or any insight on prices, unfortunately.
26. Have Afternoon Tea on the Brighton Seafront
You can have afternoon pier on the Brighton Palace Pier! The restaurant is located just after the building that houses the arcade less than a quarter of the down the pier.
The regular tea service costs £ 22.50 and £25 if you want to add a glass of champagne. Those are really reasonable prices for afternoon tea in a tourist spot.
An advance reservation is not required. You can easily walk up to the restaurant on the day you want to partake in afternoon tea and be able to get a spot. You may have a short wait during the peak summer season, but it is still worth checking out.
Afternoon tea is a great thing to do on the Brighton seafront. You get a great view of the water and beach, a traditional meal, and a taste of British culture. You can’t go wrong with that!
27. Pet a Dog
There are sooooooooo many cute dogs going for walks along the Brighton seafront, and they are all incredibly friendly! You can’t help but coo at all the cute pups that you see out and about in Brighton!
I saw a baby St. Bernard as I was walking along the Brighton seafront, and it was one of the most adorable things I’ve ever seen in my life! There was a group of people around the puppy waiting for their chance to give it a pet. For those of you wondering, the puppy was very soft and loving all the attention!
You will have no shortage of dogs to coo over along the Brighton seafront! It is the perfect place for animal lovers and dog enthusiast. Just be prepared to fall in love with all the dogs and not be able to take them home.
28. Get a Free Vegan Whippie
I didn’t know what a whippie was until I saw a sign along the Brighton seafront advertising for free vegan whippies if you had a particular name. They are a soft serve ice cream and the perfect snack for a hot day!
The shop that gives you free vegan whippies is located along the Brighton seafront on the lower, beach-front level near the British Airways i360.
Every day they offer a free vegan whippie to anybody with a specific name. ID is required to get your free ice cream to prevent people from abusing the system so be sure to have your ID handy if you’re lucky enough to have the name of the day.
The first day I was there, the eligible name was Alfie, so I thought that maybe they only used obscure names, so they didn’t have to give out many free whippies.
However, the next day I walked past the sign, the name was Nathan, which is far more common than Alfie. So good luck to people with obscure and popular names- you have a chance of winning a free vegan whippie!
There is a shop in the same area that runs the same promotion with a non-vegan whippie, so you have twice the chance in a single day at winning!
29. Skip Rocks
Another classic beach activity! Skipping rocks is basically an essential activity whenever you go to the beach.
The Brighton beaches are rock beaches rather than sand beaches, so you can easily find the perfect rock to skip across the water.
This is a great activity if you’re travelling in a group of competitive people! The person worst at skipping rocks has to buy the rest of the group an ice cream. I would definitely lose that competition though. I’m horrible at skipping rocks!
30. Eat Fish and Chips with an Amazing View of the Brighton Seafront
Eating fish and chips is basically an essential activity when you’re in the UK, and what better place to do that than the Brighton seafront?!
As mentioned earlier, there are many restaurants and pubs along the Brighton seafront, so you won’t have to walk too far without stumbling on a place to grab some fish and chips. Plus the fish is local and fresh, so you know it is going to be good!
There are even places that sell plant-based fish and chips if you’re vegetarian or vegan! This makes it easy for everybody to grab a delicious, comfort meal even if there are dietary restrictions.
31. Get a Tan
Brighton and the United Kingdom aren’t necessarily know for their scorching temperatures or the first place you would think to get a tan, but the Brighton seafront is a great place to bronze up a bit!
The temperatures in Brighton can get into the high thirties in the summer months, which makes for great tanning weather. Even in the early-autumn months you can still catch some good tanning weather.
When the weather is nice, you can be sure to spot a lot of locals soaking up the sun! Grab a free beach chair and join them if you enjoy getting tanned by the sun.
Please just be sure to protect your skin as much as possible and avoid getting a burn!
32. Rent a Kayak
Renting a kayak is a great option if you’re looking for something active to do along the Brighton seafront! They cost £15 per hour, or you can take a two hour group lesson for £45.
The company that rents kayaks is called Brighton Watersports. You can pre-book lessons on their website, but hourly kayak rentals can only be done in the office at the time you want to use them.
Their office is located right along the Brighton seafront after the British Airways i360 but before the pier. Their are signs along the seafront, so you’ll easily be able to find their storefront.
You need either a credit card or identification in order to book your kayak. You also need to bring clothing or a swimsuit you don’t mind getting wet, a towel, and water bottle if you want one. Brighton Watersports provides lockers, wetsuits, and insurance.
Kayaking is a great way to get out on the water and enjoy the weather. It is so much fun, and I personally think it is one of the best things you can do on the Brighton seafront.
33. Go to an Aquarium
Sea Life Brighton is an aquarium located right next to the pier. The aquarium has a lot more than just fish for you to look at! It is also home to sharks, turtles, rays, seahorses, and much more.
There are a lot of different ticket options to choose from, and they can be found on the company’s website. You save 30% on admission and are guaranteed entry if you purchase your ticket online in advance.
The standard admission price for a child is £15 and £20 for an adult.
There is also the option of purchasing a season pass. You pay for one day and have entry for the entire year. This is a great deal! It may be worth it to buy a full-price ticket rather than a discounted ticket online just in case you want to come back another time.
The aquarium is open seven days a week from 10am. There are various closing times, and it is closed on certain holidays throughout the year. Be sure to check the website to confirm their hours of operation before your visit!
It is incredibly easy to access the aquarium because it is in the heart of the Brighton seafront! You can access it either from the entry to the pier or from the lower level by the water. There is a small sign and a walkway you can take from the seafront to the aquarium, which is quite convenient.
34. Take a Ride on a Zipline
One of the newer attractions on the Brighton seafront is a zip line! It is the longest zip line on the south coast of England and is a pretty cool addition to the seafront.
The zip line is located past the pier towards the marina. It is a little ways away from the pier, but it isn’t longer than a five minute walk away.
You have to pre-book your zip line experience in advance. You can either book online through the company’s website or call them to arrange a time to zip.
It costs £16 for a single rider or £30 if there are two of you who want to race to the finish! You can pay an addition £3 to get video footage of your zip line experience.
Brighton Zip offers discounts for students and residents so be sure to check out the discounts before you purchase a full-price ticket.
The zip line is a really unique way to have a bit of an adventure on the Brighton seafront. It isn’t an activity you can do just anywhere and makes for a cool story to tell your family and friends when you get home.
35. Walk Along the Promenade
There is a promenade that runs the entire length of the beach. It lets your get close to the water without having to navigate walking on the rocks.
Walking along the promenade is a great way to see everything the Brighton seafront has to offer with just one activity. It goes all the way from before the marina, past the pier, to the British Airways i360, and continues on for quite a while in that direction.
It is a relaxing walk with no hills, so people of all physical capabilities are able to use it.
The promenade can get busy when you’re in the heart of the Brighton seafront, but it is often pretty quiet on the other sections. You’re able to take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of the Brighton seafront without having to navigate crowds.
This is by far one of my absolute favourite things to do on the Brighton seafront. I go for a long walk along the promenade every day I’m in Brighton. I truly love it.
36. Join a Rally
There always seems to be something happening along the Brighton seafront. Whether it is a political rally, a walk for climate change, an LBGTQA+ event, or something in between, it is really easy to stumble upon a rally for you to join.
The people of Brighton seem to be very socially active and put on a lot of different events and rallies. In just three days, I managed to come across four different events!
So if you’re into politics or social issues, you may be able to stumble across a rally to join. They are a lot of fun, and I personally love when I come across a rally I am able to join (assuming my values align with it of course).
37. Play Crazy Golf
Crazy golf, mini golf, putt-putt, whatever you want to call it, but I’m going to stick with crazy golf because that it what it is called in Brighton.
There are two different crazy golf courses along the Brighton seafront. The first is a pirate-themed course near the zip line, and the second is a tropical-themed course closer to the marina.
Both are inexpensive and extremely fun! The pirate course is busier because it is closer to the pier, but it is still worth checking out. You get a putter and ball included in your admission fee, and you get to putt your way around 18 holes.
I’m a crazy golf addict and often annoy my travelling companion because I insist on playing any course we pass, so you can only imagine my delight to find that there were two courses along the Brighton seafront.
I highly recommend checking out the crazy golf courses. They aren’t too difficult, so beginners won’t get frustrated with the difficulty level, and they are honestly super fun. I will undoubtedly be back to play a few rounds next time I’m in Brighton!
38. Go for a Jog
What better way to get in your daily exercise than going for a jog along the Brighton seafront?
You’re guaranteed a great view and know you won’t get lost because you can follow the promenade. There are no designated running trails, but you are able to jog along the promenade and shared walkway on the pier level.
It does get crowded in the middle of the Brighton seafront between the pier and the British Airways i360 so be aware of that. The crowds can be avoided by jogging at a less busy time of day.
Going for a jog in the morning to watch the sunrise is one of the prettiest sights you’ll get along the Brighton seafront. It requires a certain amount of dedication and commitment to get up that early and start jogging while on vacation, but it is worth it!
39. Take Pictures of the Upside Down House
This sounds like a weird one eh? There is a stationary store near the British Airways i360, and the exterior is designed to look like an upside down house. It looks quite peculiar and out of place sitting in an open square, so it is quite a conversation starter.
People crowd around and take pictures, and it is hard not to be impressed by the store. It is cute and quirky and a great addition to the Brighton seafront. I didn’t go into the store, but I have no doubt it sells really adorable stationary.
It is a really cute and weirdly fun thing to do on the Brighton seafront. People are always posing next to the upside down house to get the perfect Instagram picture.
40. Play some Carnival Games
There are carnival games at the end of the Brighton Palace Pier by the rides. You can test your luck and see if you can defy the odds and win a prize.
You can play all the standard carnival games. From basketball to darts to trying to land a ring on a bottle neck, there are a lot of games to choose from. There is even the classic ducky game where everybody is a winner in case you have children in your party that want to play.
Carnival games are cash-only so be sure to have some money on hand if you plan on playing a few games. The prices vary, but it is very easy to spend way more than you were intending to once you start playing. You’re always so close to winning and think you’ll be a champion next time you play.
Even though most are the games are difficult and hard to win, it is really fun to play a carnival game or two. It is more for the fun than the prize though.
41. Clean the Beach
You’ve had a great day exploring the Brighton seafront and are ready to head home, but there is one final thing you have to do: clean the beach!
You were able to enjoy the seafront and beach, so it is only fair that you do your part and give back in a very small way. The Brighton beaches are always very clean, but there is always some way you can help. Whether it be picking up a few pieces of trash or helping put some of the beach chairs away at night, you can help keep the Brighton seafront and beach clean.
It doesn’t take more than a few minutes, but it makes a huge difference if everybody that visits the Brighton seafront does a little bit to keep the area clean. It really is the least we can all do seeing as the Brighton seafront gives us such joy.
Brighton Seafront FAQs
Can I Drink Alcohol While I Walk on the Brighton Seafront?
This is a bit of a tricky one to answer. Technically the answer is no. There are signs up on the Brighton seafront that say no open alcohol is allowed.
However, I saw a number of people walking along the promenade with open cans of beer, and there didn’t seem to be an issue.
I would suggest only drinking in pubs or restaurants just to be on the safe side. It would be dreadful to get in trouble with the local police while on your holiday!
Is There a Dog Park?
There is a dog’s beach on the Brighton seafront! Dogs are able to play in the water and run around without a leash on.
It is located past the British Airways i360 away from the pier. If you walk with your back to the British Airways i360 for about five minutes, you’ll reach the dog beach.
Am I Able to Enjoy the Brighton Seafront in the Winter?
The answer to this is yes! There are a lot of things you can do along the Brighton seafront in the winter.
There are a number of outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking, and paddle boarding that you won’t be able to do, but you can still participate in the other activities on this list.
You will want to dress for the weather though! Bring a warm sweater, something to cover your ears, and mitts to keep yourself warm!
Are There Public Toilets Available Along the Brighton Seafront?
Yes! There are a number of public toilets available all along the Brighton seafront. They are free to use and kept pretty clean.
Is There Any Sand on the Brighton Beach?
The Brighton beach is made entirely of rocks and pebbles, so you won’t find any sand along it.
There is, however, a large sandbox your children can play in near the beach volleyball courts located near the pier.
Where to Stay on the Brighton Seafront
I personally think that staying near the Brighton seafront is the best place to stay while visiting Brighton. It allows you to walk to the seafront as well as all the other major tourist attractions in the city.
Hotels near the Brighton seafront book up early and get more expensive the closer you book them to your date of travel. I recommend booking them as early as possible.
Below is a list of great hotels along the Brighton seafront:
The Brighton seafront is an iconic part of Brighton. You could spend days exploring it and still not see everything it has to offer!
I recommend dedicating at least one full day in Brighton to explore the seafront and enjoy as much of it as you can. You won’t be able to do it all so identify what you’re most interested in seeing and make those your priorities.
I adore the Brighton seafront and find myself walking along the promenade even on days when I had no plans of spending time on the seafront.
It is so easy to get to the seafront from anywhere in Brighton that I imagine that you’ll find yourself choosing to walk along the Brighton seafront to get back to your hotel as well.
The Brighton Palace Pier is probably the most iconic sight on the Brighton seafront. It is full of excitement and fun things to do!
It is definitely worth spending some time at the Brighton Palace Pier when you’re wandering along the seafront.
This post will give you the five best things to do on the Brighton Palace Pier. You’ll be amazed at how many things you’re able to do on a single pier! You really won’t want to miss it.
1. Play an Arcade Game or Slot Machine
The big building near the front of the Brighton Palace Pier is the first image that comes to mind when most people think of the Brighton seafront.
But little do you suspect that it houses a fairly large arcade! People of all ages are able to try their hand at a series of arcade games in order to win tickets and get a prize. There are tons of games to choose from, and there is bound to be a game for everybody.
You can convert your bills to coins in the arcade, so you don’t need to worry about lugging your change all the way to the Brighton Palace Pier! They also provide you with a cup to hold you change. They really think of everything to make your time more enjoyable (and for you to spend more money there).
It is a really fun idea, and it is often quite busy. I would recommend getting to the pier earlier in the day if you intend to spend a while playing the arcade games. You can definitely end up spending a few hours in there if you get caught up playing the games.
At the end of the building, there is a small room on the right-hand side that houses a number of slot machines. Adults are the only people allowed to play the slot machines for obvious reasons.
The arcade games and slot machines is a great way to start your time on the pier. They are super fun and getting you in the mood for the rest of the activities the Brighton Palace Pier has to offer. You may think that you’re too old to be playing arcade games, but I promise that you will have more fun than you expected!
2. Indulge in Some Ice Cream
There are a lot of different food options available on the pier. You can easily spend hours moving from one food stall to the next and trying out all the food. Your stomach may not like you at the end of that adventure though.
I suggest not expanding your stomach by eating everything on the pier because there are a lot of other food options on the seafront. But you should try out some food options.
Ice cream is a great option! I mean what is a more iconic food to be eating while walking along a pier?
The ice cream in Brighton is made with milk from the UK, and it is creamy and delicious. You won’t want to miss out on indulging in a scoop or two while exploring the Brighton Palace Pier.
There are a number of unique flavours along the pier, and you should definitely check them a try. You won’t regret it!
3. Go on a Ride or Two
The end of the Brighton Palace Pier is home to a small amusement park. It has a number of the classic rides including bumper cars, a roller coaster, a water log ride, and a number of other attractions.
You can purchase tickets individually or get a wristband that gives you unlimited rides. Each ride costs between £3 and £5, which is a lot of money! I personally think the individual tickets are overpriced.
There are two options for purchasing a wristband. You can purchase it on the pier, or you can purchase it in advance online.
There are two types of wristbands as well. One for people 0.9m to 1.2m tall. This wristband gives you access to all the rides that have a height requirement of 1.2m or under. The rides in this category are the “kiddie” rides.
The other wristband option is for people who are taller than 1.2m, and it gives you access to every ride in the park.
The wristband for shorter people costs £13, and the wristband for taller people costs £22.50. These are the prices for when you purchase the wristband on the Brighton Palace Pier.
You often receive a discount if you purchase your tickets online in advance. Sometimes you can get a discount of up to 25% off. If you know that you will be riding rides while on the pier, you should look into purchasing tickets online in advance.
All of the rides are outside. This means they are weather-dependant. They can be closed down due to rain, wind, and other weather conditions. It is best to check the forecast in advance to make sure you go on a nice day if you plan on riding the rides.
4. Have Afternoon Tea
What is better than having afternoon tea in Brighton on the pier overlooking the water? Not a lot I would say.
There is a restaurant just outside the arcade where you are able to enjoy an afternoon tea. You can have the traditional afternoon tea with scones, sandwiches, and sweets, or you can get the deluxe tea. The deluxe tea includes a glass of champagne, which is quite nice.
You don’t need to make reservations in advance. You can just show up and walk in. It is a really fun way to participate in a bit of British culture while soaking in a great view.
The tea was reasonably priced as well! In September of 2019, it was £22.50 for the standard tea and £25 for the deluxe tea. Those are great prices!
Afternoon tea is a really fun way to pass an hour or so while exploring the Brighton Palace Pier. It is certainly something to consider doing while you’re there!
5. Peer Through a Telescope
You can pop some coins into a telescope along the pier and enjoy looking at a magnified view of your surroundings. You can look back at the seafront or try to spot some marine life in the water.
This may not sound like the most exciting things to do on the Brighton Palace Pier, but it is more fun that it seems. It is an inexpensive way to get a closer look at your surroundings. Plus you never know what you’ll end up seeing.
This is a great activity for children. They’ll have so much fun looking around and finding different things to see. It is also quite fun for adults as well. I always enjoy using the telescopes when I’m at sights to get a better look around.
You can see things you aren’t able to see with your naked eye, and you get a better appreciation for the place you’re in. You really can’t go wrong with this activity!
Final Thoughts on the Brighton Palace Pier
The Brighton Palace Pier is without a doubt a must-see sight in Brighton. It is an iconic part of Brighton and has so much more to offer than you would think. I honestly had no idea you could do these things until I got to the pier and started walking around.
The Brighton Palace Pier is so much more than the average pier, and the activities you’re able to do there prove it. People of all ages can find something that interests them.
The entire pier is built around having fun and enjoying all the pier has to offer. It is impossible not to make amazing, life-long memories on the Brighton Palace Pier.
You’ll want to take lots of pictures to preserve your memories and relive them for the years to come!
If it is your first time flying into Gatwick, it can be a bit daunting to try to figure out the best way to get from Gatwick to Central London. It is actually extremely easy to get from Gatwick to Central London!
Gatwick is the second largest airport in London only behind Heathrow. It has two terminals that are linked by a free monorail service that only takes two minutes! Gatwick is a well-organized airport that is extremely easy and convenient to navigate.
There are a number of different ways to get from Gatwick to Central London, and there are some options that are better than others for certain people.
This post will walk you through all the different ways you can get from Gatwick to Central London and give you an idea of what option may be best suited for you.
Taking the Train from Gatwick to Central London
There are two ways you can take the train from Gatwick to Central London. They are both convenient, and the difference is mainly in the price. Both options drop you off at Victoria Station and have a similar travel time.
The Gatwick Express
The Gatwick Express is a newer train that runs directly from Gatwick to Victoria Station. It takes approximately 30 minutes, and it costs as little as £17.80 when you book online in advance.
The tickets are cheaper the further in advance you purchase them, and you get a 10% discount when you book directly through the Gatwick Express website or app. Tickets are available for purchase up to three months in advance.
You purchase a ticket for a specific date, but it does not have a specific time. This allows you to get on the train whenever you want. You don’t have to worry about changing your ticket if your plane is delayed or if you arrive earlier than you anticipated. It is a great feature!
You can purchase a return ticket online, which makes it convenient for people who want to pay for their transportation before they get to London and not have to worry about it when they get there.
You are also able to use your Oyster card to tap in and out of the Gatwick Express. This is extremely convenient for people who already have an Oyster card or purchased the tourist Oyster card.
Travellers Who May Prefer the Gatwick Express:
The Gatwick Express is a great option for people who want to pre-pay for their trip to and from the airport. It offers the flexibility of getting on the train at any time it is convenient for you.
The Gatwick Express is also great for people who want to know they’ll have a great seat and not have to worry about standing. The train is extremely comfortable and has lots of baggage storage space.
The Southern and Thameslink are two separate companies that run trains from Gatwick to Central London.
Both trains take between 30 and 40 minutes to get from Gatwick to Central London and only have two or three stops along the way. The costs is between £16.50 and £17 one-way.
You purchase your tickets at the station in Gatwick when you land either through an automated ticket machine or at the ticket window. You are also able to use your Oyster card or purchase an Oyster card to use.
I always take the Thameslink into London when I fly into Gatwick. The trip doesn’t take much longer than the Gatwick Express, and it is less expensive. The only downside is that you sometimes have to stand on the train because there isn’t enough space to store all the luggage.
Travellers Who May Prefer the Southern Train/Thameslink:
The Southern Train/Thameslink is, in my opinion, the best way to get from Gatwick to Central London. It only takes a few minutes longer than the Gatwick Express and is less expensive.
It is the perfect option for people who want to get into the City quickly without having to purchase tickets in advance or spend the extra money on the Gatwick Express.
What Train Should You Choose?
I always recommend taking the Southern Train or Thameslink. I think it is well worth saving a little extra money to make a few stops along the way. The ride is honestly not very much longer than the Gatwick Express, so I can’t justify spending the extra money on the Gatwick Express.
The Gatwick Express is a better deal than the Heathrow Express in my opinion, but it still isn’t my preferred method of transportation. I simply don’t think it offers any convenience over the public trains. It is more expensive and only takes a few minutes less.
There are two different operators that run buses from Gatwick to Central London. The National Express runs ever hour and easyBus runs from 4:25am to 1:10am everyday. Both buses drop you off at Victoria Station- the same as the trains.
The National Express costs £8 with an 85 minute journey time and the easyBus costs £4 with a 65 minute journey time.
You can purchase bus tickets online in advance, and they are normally less expensive than paying the driver when you get on the bus.
The only downside to buying your ticket in advance is that you have to pick a departure time. You need to pick a time far enough in advance that you are able to get through security, get your bag, and find the bus stop. I would also recommend leaving a buffer of time in case your plane is delayed.
The bus is a great option because there is guaranteed space for your luggage and it is comfortable. The major downside is that it takes at least twice as long as the train does.
Travellers Who May Prefer Taking the Bus from Gatwick to Central London:
Budget travellers who don’t mind spending a longer time in transit will probably enjoy taking the bus. You can’t beat the price of the bus!
The bus is also a great option for people who tend to get motion sick on the train. It tends to cause less motion sickness than the train. Although it is a longer transit time than the train, so you need to take that into consideration as well when considering motion sickness.
So How Should You Get from Gatwick to Central London?
There is really no bad option to get from Gatwick to Central London. Each option has its pros and cons.
They all offer some sort of convenience. Whether it is the convenience of pre-buying tickets and taking a train with no stops with the Heathrow Express, saving some money and still have a quick train journey with the Thameslink/Souther Train, or the affordability of the bus.
However, I would suggest the Thameslink or Southern Train. It is the best combination of affordability, convenience, and time efficiency.
You can’t go wrong with whatever option you choose. I would suggest that you make sure you purchase your tickets in advance for the Gatwick Express or the bus. This will save you some money.
No matter how you choose to get from Gatwick to Central London, you will end up at Victoria Station and have to take the London Underground to your hotel. Be sure to know how to get from the station to your hotel to save you the headache of trying to figure it out when you get to the station!
Buckingham Palace is one of the most iconic sights in Europe, and touring it should be on your London bucket list!
It is home to the British Royal Family and has been since 1837. While you normally can only see the outside of the palace, you are able to take a Buckingham Palace tour during the summer.
The palace is normally open form mid-July to mid-September, and you can find specific dates at the Royal Trust Collection website. You can sometimes take a Buckingham Palace tour in the winter months depending on whether the Queen will be in residence of not. You can find information regarding winter dates on the Royal Trust Collection website. It is open every summer when she is in Scotland though.
Taking a Buckingham Palace tour is exciting! You get a glimpse into how the British Royal Family lives, and it is an experience like no other. It is a super fun way to spend a few hours, but there are some things you should know before you go! These five tips will help you plan your trips, easily get into Buckingham, and follow the rules, so you don’t get kicked out!
1. Book Your Tickets Online in Advance
You should purchase your tickets online in advance. As far in advance as possible! Buckingham Palace tour tickets are extremely popular and normally sell out in advance.
You are able to select an entrance time when you purchase tickets online. The earlier you purchase tickets, the more likely you are to get an entry time that suits you. You run the risk of getting an entry time that is inconvenient or overlaps with other plans if you do not purchase tickets in advance.
You must arrive for your Buckingham Palace tour at the time listed on your ticket. It is not possible to enter the palace if you’re late, so make sure to be there on time!
I purchased my Buckingham Palace tour tickets five months in advance. My first choice in time slots on the day I was going was sold out, so I had to select my second choice. Obviously it isn’t a big deal to get a ticket for a half hour later, but that was five months in advance! You will have a very limited selection if you purchase only a few weeks before your tour.
You have the option of purchasing a combination ticket when you purchase your Buckingham Palace tour ticket. Combination tickets allow you entry to multiple attractions run by the Royal Trust at a slightly reduced fare.
You are able to get a combination ticket for other attractions such as the Royal Mews and The Queen’s Gallery.
You should consider purchasing a combination ticket if you plan on visiting multiple royal attractions. It won’t save you a lot of money, but you will save some!
2. Arrive Early
Since you’re not able to enter the palace if you’re late for your time slot, you want to get to the palace early. It is better to be a bit too early than to be late! It would be horrible to miss your tour and waste your money just because there was a delay in getting to Buckingham Palace.
You have an entry time on your ticket, but you should arrive at Buckingham Palace 15-30 minutes before your entry time. There is always a long queue to scan tickets and a security procedure that takes quite a while.
There are two sides to security in a tent after you scan your ticket. One side is for the current time slot and the other for the next time slot. You will be told what line you should join when your ticket is scanned.
The security guards are well-trained, so as long as you’re there with enough time to spare, you will have no problem getting to the proper security queue or getting into the palace on time.
3. The Entrance is on the Right-Hand Side of Buckingham Palace next to the Queen’s Gallery
The entrance for the Buckingham Palace tour is not at the front of the palace where the changing of the guards takes place. If you are facing Buckingham Palace with the Queen Victoria statue at your back, the entrance for the tour is to the right around the corner.
The entrance is part-way down the street when you turn right. If you reach the Queen’s Gallery, you have gone too far.
From my experience, there is normally a long queue of people waiting to enter Buckingham Palace and take their tour. You will likely come across the queue shortly after you turn right at the end of the palace. People often don’t believe the queue is for the Buckingham Palace tour because it is so long, but it is.
There will be a security guard walking up and down the queue occasionally calling for people with specific entry time tickets. If you’re at the back of the queue and you’re time gets called, let the security guard know, and s/he will bring you to the ticket scanning area.
People often show up to the tour way too early for their tour and will stand in the queue even if their tour isn’t for an hour. I guess people think they can get in early if they are there, but they can’t, so they end up standing around waiting for their time slot.
You should only leave the queue if you’re time slot is called, and you’re told to go to the front.
Closest Underground Stations
The London Underground is the most common and efficient way to get to your Buckingham Palace tour. It may be more efficient to walk to Buckingham Palace depending where in London you are staying, but, for the most part, you will likely take the Underground to the palace. Don’t forget to get an Oyster card to make using public transportation in London a breeze!
The 3 Underground stations that are closest to Buckingham Palace are:
St. James’ Park
They are all relatively close and are less than a 10 minute walk from Buckingham Palace.
The station furtherest from the palace is St. James’ Park, but it has the most scenic walk. You walk through the gardens at St. James’ Park, and it is a very nice way to get into the mood for a royal Buckingham Palace tour. If you have the extra few minutes, I would recommend getting off at St. James’ Park.
4. Know What You’re Not Allowed to Bring on Your Buckingham Palace Tour
You shouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are quite a few things that you aren’t allowed to bring into Buckingham Palace.
Items You Can’t Bring into Buckingham Palace
Items that are not allowed into the palace will either be confiscated or checked and returned to you when you exit the palace.
Items such as food and drinks will be confiscated and items like luggage and backpacks need to be checked.
The security process goes a lot quicker if you have already gone through your personal items to ensure there are no banned items inside them. I had a protein bar, and it was confiscated, so the security guards take their job seriously and are through when they inspect your bags.
Other Banned Items
You are not allowed to smoke or vape on your Buckingham Palace tour. Being caught smoking in the palace or in the gardens is grounds for removal from the property.
I visited Buckingham Palace on a very rainy day. People with large umbrellas were asked to check them and retrieve them when they exited the tour. I had a small umbrella that fit in my purse and had no problems. You should make sure to have a small umbrella that can easily be put inside a small bag, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of checking it and retrieving it when you leave the palace.
5. How the Buckingham Palace Tour Works
The Buckingham Palace tour works the same as all the other Royal Trust tours. You get an audioguide that has in-depth information about the palace, and the tour is self-paced.
The tour is self-guided in the sense that there isn’t a tour guide personally showing you the palace. But there is a designated route you have to follow during the tour, and you can’t deviate from it or go back to another room you have already visited.
There is a lot of information provided on the audioguide, so you will be standing around quite a bit in each room. It is worth listening to all the information and not rushing through the tour. You paid a lot of money for the tour, so you should take advantage of every piece of information they give you!
There are also secondary parts to the audioguide. In every room you have the choice to go more in-depth on a specific item and learn more about it. The items are normally pieces of art or furniture.
You can skip these parts of the audioguide if you’re not interested in it. The core of the information is contained in the main portion of the audioguide.
You get to see a very limited number of rooms on the tour. The rooms you get to see are mainly common areas and banquet halls. You don’t get to see any personal rooms so don’t expect to sneak a peak into the Queen’s bedchamber!
The rooms you are allowed to tour are spectacular and well worth the ticket cost.
The Buckingham Palace tour is the perfect option for any royal fan that is visiting London during the summer months. It gives you a small peak into how the royal family lives, and you leave with a lot more information than you had before you entered.
You need to make sure you follow the palace rules and arrive early to make the most out of your tour! You will also have a much more enjoyable tour if you purchase your tickets online months in advance. It would be a shame to not be able to take the tour just because tickets were sold out!
All in all, I would highly recommend the Buckingham Palace tour for any royal fan! It is truly the height of royal tourism and worth every pence you spend on it.
Scotland has a long royal history and is still visited yearly by the British royal family. It is often overlooked by royal fans because London is the hub of all things royal, but Scotland has a lot of superb royal sights as well.
For the most part, Scotland’s royal sights tend to be quieter than the ones in London. This makes for a more enjoyable experience that allows you to really soak up the atmosphere rather than being rushed or crowded.
The downside of touring royal Scotland is that some of the sights require you to travel outside the main cities, so you may have to rent a car.
But on the plus side, 3 of the 6 sights on this list are in Edinburgh, so you’ll be able to see some of royal Scotland without having to rent a car. This is perfect for solo travellers or people with a limited time in Scotland.
Edinburgh Castle was the royal castle from the 12th Century until 1633. It was endured 26 sieges in its history. It is the most attached castle in Great Britain and one of the most attached in the entire world.
The castle has an interesting history that includes the Jacobite rising, the Scottish Wars of Independence, being a military barracks, and holding the Scottish crown jewels.
Edinburgh Castle is the most visited paid tourist attraction in Scotland. It is popular and gets extremely busy in the summer months.
The cost of admission ranges from £13.60 to £19.50 depending on what ticket you purchase, what time of year you go, and whether you purchase your ticket online in advance or not.
You should definitely purchase your ticket online in advance to save money and time. It is easy to do. There are ticket-printing machines outside the castle entrance that make it simple to get a paper copy of your ticket if you don’t have access to a printer.
You will be able to select an entrance time if you purchase tickets online. Tickets for the 9:30am slot need to be purchased the day in advance. All other time slots must be purchased no less than 90 minutes before the entry time. Being able to purchase tickets the same day makes it convenient for people who like to wing their trip and don’t plan everything in advance.
You should try to get a ticket for as early an entrance as possible. Edinburgh Castle gets busy, and the crowds will be quietest at the beginning of the day.
What to Do and See
There is plenty of things to do and see at Edinburgh Castle. You could easily spend an entire day at the castle, and most people spend half a day there.
Some of the highlights include a panoramic of Edinburgh, a pet cemetery, the Scottish Crown Jewels, tours of the dungeons, multiple military museums, James VI birth chamber, the royal apartments, and St. Margaret’s Chapel.
The Crown Jewels are by far the most popular thing to see at Edinburgh Castle. You should try to visit them early in the morning, at lunch when people are eating, or in the evening. There will be a long line to see them if you go outside these times (but it is still worth it!). The Scottish Crown Jewels are not as impressive as the Crown Jewels you can see in the Tower of London, but they are still worth seeing.
The Royal Aspect
Edinburgh Castle is by far the least royal sight on this list. It is more of a historical sight than it is a modern royal sight. However, there are still a number of royal things to see.
The castle has an immense royal history, so while it may not be a modern royal sight, it is still somewhere royal fans will want to visit. The highlights for royal fans visiting Edinburgh Castle are the Crown Jewels, the royal apartments, and James VI birth chamber.
Holyroodhouse Palace is at the opposite end of the Royal Mile from Edinburgh Castle. It is the modern royal palace in Edinburgh, and the Queen visits it every year.
Holyroodhouse Palace has been the principle residence for the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th Century. Inside you are able to visit the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots, which makes Holyrood Palace quite unique.
Admission to Holyroodhouse ranges from £8.60 to £15 depending on what ticket category you purchase. Students, seniors, youth, and people living with a disability receive a discount. Children under 5 receive free entrance!
You can purchase tickets to the palace online in advance. This helps save time in the queue. The line can get quite long at peak times, so pre-buying your ticket is a great option.
You receive an audioguide included in the price of admission. The audioguide is quite well done and is very information, so you should make sure to pick one up and use it.
The tour of Holyroodhouse is self-guided and self-paced. You can take as long as you want in each of the rooms, so you won’t feel rushed.
You can also purchase a combined ticket that allows you entrance to both Holyroodhouse Palace and the Queen’s Gallery. They are both located on the same property, so it is easy to go from one sight to the next. The Queen’s Gallery has a number of great exhibits throughout the year, so it is worth considering.
Insider Tip: Near the exit to Holyroodhouse Palace (and the Queen’s Gallery) you can ask to have your visit treated like a charitable donation. By doing this you will receive free re-enty to the Palace (and/or Queen’s Gallery depending on what ticket you purchased) for a year!
What to See and Do
You will be able to see all the palace highlights when you visit Holyroodhouse Palace. Visitors will learn about past and present history as well as important events that took place in the various rooms you are touring.
You will see the apartments of Mary Queen of Scots, the state rooms, the throne room, the great gallery that houses a number of famous pieces of art, and tour the gardens.
There is a lot to see and do, so you should budget half a day to tour the palace. The audioguide is lengthy, so expect to stand in each room for 5-10 minutes listening to its history.
The route you can walk through the palace is pre-determined, so you won’t be able to get away from the crowds if it is busy while you are there. You will want to visit the palace right when it opens or a few hours before it closes to beat the crowds.
The Royal Aspect
Holyroodhouse Palace is seeping with royal history. It is perfect for people who are interested in modern royal history and being able to say they walked in the same place as the Queen.
The palace has a long royal history, so it is perfect for people who enjoy any aspect of royal history from the 16th Century onwards.
Holyroodhouse Palace is a unique British royal palace. It is one of the few active palaces in Scotland. It was often used as the gateway to the Highlands by members of the royal family in the past, so it has great stories to be shared with you.
The HMY Britannia is the sight of all sights for anybody that is interested in modern royal history or the Queen. HMY Britannia was originally supposed to be used by King George IV, but he passed away before it set sail.
After her father died, Queen Elizabeth II saw the construction of HMY Britannia to completion and decorated it in her personal style.
The yacht was in service from 1954 until 1997. During its career, HMY Britannia travelled more than 1 million nautical miles and was the vessel of multiple royal tours. (It is featured on The Crown as well when Prince Philip is on his tour in the second season).
The yacht is now permanently docked at Ocean Terminal in Edinburgh and open for the public to tour.
Ticket prices range from £8.70 to £16.50 and children under the age of 5 go free. You can purchase tickets online, or you can go to the ticket booth up to 7 days before you want to visit and get a ticket for any day.
While HMY Britannia is a popular sight, it normally doesn’t see the lines that Edinburgh Castle and Holyroodhouse Palace see. You should be able to purchase your ticket on the day of your visit without having much of a queue.
Your ticket gives you access to an audioguide. The audioguide is very well done and gives you lots of information, so it is worth using.
Just as with Holyroodhouse Palace, there is a pre-determined route you take while touring the yacht. You are able to walk through different levels and parts of the ship.
What to See and Do
There is a lot to see on HMY Britannia. You get to see where Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip’s bedrooms, the room Prince Charles and Princess Diana stayed while on their honeymoon, the dining room where banquets were held, and so much more!
You also get to see all the mechanical and practical elements of the ship. The engine room, the staff quarters, and the bridge are all included in your tour.
It is interesting to see how the staff lived versus how the royal family lived while on the yacht. There was a huge difference between their living conditions (unsurprisingly).
You are able to have tea or eat a meal on the yacht. The Royal Deck Tea Room gives you the opportunity to feel like a royal. There is a beautiful view from the tea room, and the food is delicious. It is a bit overpriced, but what else would you expect from a royal tourist sight?
Overall, you should budget 2-4 hours to tour HMY Britannia. The audioguide takes a long time to listen to, so it will take multiple hours to tour the entire yacht. The tour is self-paced, so you can linger on the top deck taking pictures and enjoying the view for as long as you want.
The Royal Aspect
There is no doubt that HMY Britannia is one of the most popular royal tourist attractions in Scotland. It has the most modern royal history of any other Scottish sight.
People who are fans of the current generation of the royal family will love this attraction. You learn so much about the royal history from just a few years ago. Even the most intense royal fans will walk away from HMY Britannia with new information.
Outside of Edinburgh
Balmoral is known as the Scottish home to the royal family. It was purchased by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. They renovated the castle to suit their tastes, and Balmoral quickly became their favourite place. After Prince Albert died, Queen Victoria continued to spend a lot of time at Balmoral.
The royal family still spends a large part of the summer at Balmoral. It is used every year by the Queen and other members of the royal family. Balmoral has a huge grounds, so it allows the family a lot of privacy while also letting them participate in outdoor activities.
Balmoral is located in the Scottish Highlands, so it is difficult to get to if you don’t have a car. There is a free parking on sight if you do drive, so that is a nice bonus.
Admission to Balmoral ranges from £6 to £11.50. You are able to purchase your tickets online in advance.
Your entrance tickets gives you access to the grounds as well as one room in the castle. You can only enter the one room in the castle, so you shouldn’t visit Balmoral if you want to see the castle rather than the grounds.
Balmoral is still worth a visit when you’re in Scotland. The grounds are beautiful, and you learn a lot about the royal family in the Victorian era.
You receive an audioguide that guides you through the estate grounds. You have to pay a £5 deposit for the audioguide, but you get the money back when you return it. The audioguide is incredibly helpful. The tour is through the grounds, so there isn’t an opportunity to put printed signs up explaining the sights. The audioguide fills that gap and is you sole source of information.
There is the option to take a free guided tour of the grounds. It only takes place once a week, and it is first come first serve. It often fills up quickly. If you want to partake in the tour, you will want to get to Balmoral as soon as it opens and sign up.
Balmoral is only open during certain months of the year. Normally it is open from April through July annually, but you should check the website to confirm dates. It would be horrible to show up at Balmoral on a day it is closed!
What to See and Do
There is a lot to see at Balmoral even though you don’t get to tour the castle. You get to visit the garden that feeds the royal family when they are in residence, the exhibits in the stables, and the largest room in the castle. You also get to walk through parts of the estate and take in the natural beauty.
The beauty of Balmoral is in the nature, so taking the time to walk around and thoroughly enjoy the surrounding area is what makes this sight so special. You are able to walk along a river on the way back to the parking lot, and it is beautiful.
Balmoral is not a sight for people that want to see inside the castle and care more about the architecture and grandness of the building. But for people who are interested in Victorian history, nature, and the Scottish Highlands, Balmoral is the perfect place.
The Royal Aspect
Balmoral is the pinnacle of royal sights in Scotland for people who are interested in the Victoria era. It is such a special place because you know you are walking where Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (along with every royal since their time) has walked.
The downside of Balmoral is that you aren’t able to tour the inside of the estate. This takes away a bit of the experience, but Balmoral has so much to offer that you don’t feel like you’re missing anything by not being able to tour the inside of the castle.
Overall, Balmoral has a nice mix of old and new royal history. It is a great tourist attraction for people who are Victorian era fans and modern fans. The informational guides at Balmoral do a good job of mixing information about the past and present. This makes for a well-rounded experience that any royal fan will enjoy.
Royal Lochnagar is a scotch distillery. It might seem like an odd choice for this list, but it actually has a very interesting royal history.
When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert moved into Balmoral, the owner of Lochnagar asked the royal couple if they would like to sample his scotch. Victoria and Albert toured the distillery the next day, loved it, and gave it a royal patronage. The name of the distillery then changed from Lochnagar to Royal Lochnagar. Royal Lochnagar has held its royal patronage ever since that first tour.
Royal Lochnagar is located a few minutes’ drive away from Balmoral, so it is easy to visit both sights in the same day.
Admission is £9. This includes a tour of the distillery and a sample at the end. You can pay extra to be able to sample two different scotches, but most people opt for the standard admission.
Tours of the distillery run every hour. You are able to book in advance if you have 4 or more people. You will have to either email or call them as you are unable to purchase tickets online. Their opening hours change, so you should refer to the website to ensure it is open when you want to visit. Oftentimes the last tour is at 4pm.
What to See and Do
This is a guided tour. It takes your through the distillery and gives you information about the malting process.
Royal Lochnagar is a small distillery that still does things the traditional way, so the tour will be different than any other distillery tour you’ve taken in the past.
The most interesting part of the tour, in my opinion, is learning about the environmental steps the distillery has taken. It is remarkable how much they are able to reuse throughout the malting process.
The Royal Aspect
This is definitely the least royal activity on this list, but is still has a royal background. You watch a video at the start of the tour about the royal link Royal Lochnagar has. It is also fun to try scotch that the royals still drink to this day!
St. Andrews is a small town in western Scotland. It is a short drive from Edinburgh and easy to access by car or train.
You probably already know that Prince William and Duchess Kate met while attending the University of St. Andrews. It is pretty fun to walk through this small town in Scotland and imagine William and Kate walking down the same road while falling in love.
St. Andrews is a town not a tourist sight, so there is no admission fee to walk through and explore it. You can, of course, pay to enter specific tourist sights like the castle and church ruins. The only real admission expense to visiting St. Andrews is the cost of transportation and a hotel if you stay in the city.
What to See and Do
St. Andrews, like many towns in Scotland, is pretty quiet. You can walk through the historical town centre and visit the golf course in a single day. There is also a castle, ruined church, museums, and a botanical garden you can visit.
You can easily spend 2 or 3 days wandering through St. Andrews and taking in the scenery. It is a pretty unique small town in Scotland because it has this royal history and golf history as well as a university, so there tends to be an interesting mix of tourists, golfers, and students.
The Royal Aspect
St. Andrews’ ties to William and Kate is what makes this an attractive city for royal fans. While there aren’t many overtly royal things to see, it is still pretty fun to walk through the town imaging William and Kate doing the same.
There is one coffee shop you can visit that opening declare that William and Kate went on a date there. The food is apparently pretty good, but I haven’t tried it to confirm that.
St. Andrews is a fun town to visit while in Scotland, and the ties to the royal family makes it even more fun! It is definitely worth visiting while you’re in Scotland.
Scotland is home to a number of interesting and unique royal sights. There a lot of royal sights to visit in Edinburgh, so you don’t have to rent a car and drive to get your fill of royalty while in Scotland.
However, if you have access to a car, it is worth it to go out and visit some of the more remote royal sights like Balmoral and Royal Lochnagar. They are worth the effort to get to, and they let you better understand a piece of royal history that you can’t find anywhere else.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made Scotland an important part of the United Kingdom to the royal family. They created a love for the country that the royal family continues to share to this day.
Scotland is a great country for hard-core royal fans that want to see royal sights outside London. It gives royal fans an intimate understanding of the royals’ lives that nowhere else can give them.
Scotland is a unique country, and it makes sense that the royal tourist sights in the country are unique as well. You won’t be disappointed if you take time out of your Scotland vacation to visit a number of the royal sights listed in this article. They won’t disappoint.
If you’re going to London for the first time, you’re probably considering visit one a London cathedral. The two most popular choices are Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
This post will hopefully help you choose which London cathedral you want to visit if you only have the time (and money) to visit one. It can be a difficult choice, so I hope lying out the pros and cons of each will help you make your choice.
Westminster Abbey is filled with centuries of British history. Kings, Queens, poets, scientists, and many other historical figures are buried in the Abbey. It is also a popular venue for royal weddings- it has hosted 17!
Westminster Abbey is the most conveniently located London cathedral. It is right in the heart of the City.
If you take the Underground, get off at either Westminster station or St. Jame’s Park station. Westminster is the most convenient stop and can be accessed from the Jubilee, District, and Circle lines. St. Jame’s Park station can be accessed from the District and Circle lines. And don’t forget to use your Oyster card to save money on public transportation in London.
Follow the signs for Westminster Abbey when you get off the Underground, and you will be able to see the cathedral as soon as you get to street level. All you will have to do is walk across the street, and you will be at the Abbey.
Westminster Abbey is centrally located, so you are able to walk to it if you’re in Piccadilly Circus, the West End, or at Buckingham Palace.
It’s location is extremely convenient, and there are lots of tourist sights nearby.
No matter what London cathedral you go to, entry is expensive. That is one reason people only visit one of the two main London cathedrals while on holiday.
Entry to Westminster Abbey is £20 if you buy tickets in advance. It costs £22 if you buy tickets at the door.
The Abbey is always busy, so buying tickets online is a good idea assuming you know when you want to visit. It will save you money and time standing in line.
What You Get to See
Westminster Abbey has lots of unique things for you to see.
You are able to see the tombs of Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Sir Issac Newton, and Queen Elizabeth I. There are over 3,300 people buried or commemorated in the Abbey, so everybody is guaranteed to find someone they are interested in.
You also have the opportunity to view the Coronation Chair that monarchs sit in when being coronated. It is near the exit and definitely a must-see!
You also get to wander through the gardens. They are filled with beautiful flowers and are extremely peaceful. When it isn’t too busy that is.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is also steeped in history. Martin Luther King once spoke at the cathedral. The Suffragettes even had a plan to blow the cathedral up.
You can get off the Underground at the following stops for easy access to St. Paul’s Cathedral: St. Paul’s, Mansion, Blackfriars, and Bank. The most convenient is to take the Central line to St. Paul’s and walk from there.
You will not be able to see the cathedral when you exit the Underground station, so be sure to check a map at street level to make sure you are going the right way. You will not need to walk more than 3 blocks to get to St. Paul’s. If you feel like you’re walking a long ways, you are probably heading in the wrong direction.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is not as centrally-located as Westminster Abbey, but there are still other tourist sights in the area. It is close to The Globe, Monument, and the Tate museum. So there is definitely a day’s worth of sights to see close to St. Paul’s.
Just like Westminster, it is expensive to visit St. Paul’s Cathedral.
If you buy tickets online in advance, the entrance fee is £17. Same-day tickets purchased at the door are £20.
Entrance to the dome is included in the price of admission.
St. Paul’s Cathedral is normally not as busy as Westminster Abbey, so you are more likely to not have to wait in line if you’re buying your ticket on the day you are visiting the cathedral.
What You Get to See
You get to climb the dome when you go to St. Paul’s. The views from the dome are my favourite in all of London. You will get a unique view of London from the sky from the top of St. Paul’s.
You also get to see the High Alter. It is a particularly stunning piece of architecture. My favourite part of any cathedral or church is the organ, and St. Paul’s has a huge one! Sometimes they are even played while people are wandering through the nave.
Similarities and Differences
This is an extremely difficult question to answer because they are both historic sights that deserve to be seen. They do, however, offer two very different experiences.
Both cathedrals cost basically the same
They both have historical significance
An audioguide is included in the price of admission at both cathedrals
They are both convenient to get to
Westminster Abbey has more royal history
You get a bird’s-eye view of London at St. Paul’s Cathedral
Westminster Abbey is home to the tombs of some of the most influential people in British history
St. Paul’s Cathedral is arguably a better piece of architecture
Trying to decide where to stay in London? Check out this article!
Which London Cathedral Should You Visit?
The London Cathedral you choose to visit on your trip is ultimately your choice. I can’t tell you which one you will enjoy more.
If you enjoy royal history and historical figures, you would probably prefer Westminster Abbey.
If you enjoy architecture and seeing London from above, you would probably prefer St. Paul’s Cathedral.
I feel one visit to Westminster Abbey was enough for me. However, I would go back to St. Paul’s Cathedral multiple times. This is due to the viewing area from the dome. You will always be able to see something new from the top of the cathedral. The London skyline is always changing, so every time you went up, you get to see something you didn’t see before.
I enjoyed visiting both cathedrals. They both have something unique and worthwhile to offer.