7 beaches near Brighton: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf
Brighton has always been known for its seaside beauty, and many people still come to the beaches near Brighton to get a seaside break. From lovely rock pools to soft sand dunes, there are all kinds of beautiful places near Brighton to spend time. Brighton Beach is one of the most famous seaside locations in the UK, and if you're in the area, you might want to spend some time exploring the coast.
Before you plan any activities near Brighton Beach, consider storing your luggage with Bounce. That way, you can wander around, taking in the beauty and excitement of the area without dragging heavy suitcases behind you. Besides, the beach is no place for your bags. Now, let's see which of the best beaches near Brighton will intrigue you the most.
Brighton Palace Pier is one of the coolest beaches near Brighton. There are all kinds of fun theme park things to do here, and there are also lots of places to eat and get a drink. Brighton Beach is right by the pier as well, so you can easily enjoy a day on the sand if fair rides and shopping are not your ideas for a fun beach day.
Brighton Pier travel distance from Brighton
You can walk to Brighton Pier from a variety of locations in Brighton, or you might just need to grab a taxi and enjoy a quick three-minute ride from the city center.
This is one of the best beaches for amusement arcades and activities, and kids love it here (and adults, too). Heading to this part of the coast in East Sussex is a win for family time. Brighton Central Beach being nearby, offers you the chance to wander on the beach with ice cream, or you can even choose to sit in the sun for the day - if it makes an appearance.
There are many good restaurants and pubs at the pier, so you can easily stay here all day. While there are no beach huts here and no paddling pool, you will find so many other things to love.
Birling Gap Beach
This pebble beach is a really beautiful wild beach area. There is nothing in the way of resort activities to do here, but that does not mean that you can't head here to walk, enjoy the beauty of the scenery, and check out the rock pools. This is an undeveloped bit of coastline, which is rare in this area of Brighton.
Birling Gap Beach travel distance from Brighton
You will need about 40 minutes to get here in the car, or you can plan on going to the Brighton Train Station to take a longer but more relaxing journey that will take around an hour and 20 minutes.
This beach in East Sussex is a great place for a quiet day of contemplation. You will be unlikely to see any crowds here, and you can collect some coffee or tea in the nearby village before heading down to the beach. The swimming situation here can vary, and it is never very warm here. You will need to check on the status of the swimming conditions throughout the year if you are thinking of going in the water. Sometimes it can be unsafe to swim here.
This is one of several pebble beach locations in this area, but it is one of the most untouched beaches overall.
West Wittering Beach
This lovely stretch of sand is the most like a holiday beach in a lovely location. There is a kite surfing club here and a lot of amenities. You can come here to get comfortable in the sun, enjoy activities that water sports enthusiasts love, or have a good meal and a drink near the water. While there is a cold season, this location is one of the best beaches for the sun compared to some of the other locations on this list.
West Wittering Beach travel distance from Brighton
You can drive to West Wittering Beach in about an hour, or you can ride the train, which will take about two hours.
The tide changes quite a lot here, meaning that you can enjoy a lot of room to walk when the tide is out, or you can wander in the surf when the tide is all the way back in. West Wittering offers you access to beach cafes and beach huts in the summer, and there are toilet facilities and other necessities near the water.
There are tidal pools and dunes to see here, as well as a smooth beach area where you can tan or read. This is one of the prettiest beaches along the South Coast and is worth a visit.
This is a sandy dunes beach that offers limited amenities but beautiful views. You can come here to walk and look at the sights and enjoy the sounds of the coast. You can also choose to walk across the bridge to East Beach during your trip to get more beach time in. The two beaches are about two miles apart, which means that you can get a lot of bang for your buck in this area.
West Beach travel distance from Brighton
This beach is about 40 minutes from Brighton itself by car or an hour and a half from the city center by train.
There is an amusement park and mini golf, which is great if you're traveling with the kids. The beach is always a fantastic option, as many people come here to enjoy the beach resorts near the sand, which often have pools, beach bars, and more to make your day special.
West Beach is more natural than East Beach, so you can get the best of both worlds in this area. Being able to pass between the two beaches is really nice as well since it makes it possible for you to wander along the beach all day long if you want. There are lots of amenities on the East Beach side, so you will not go hungry or get thirsty while you are visiting.
Littlehampton is nearby, which is nice if you want to go shopping or if you need something else to see during your beach day trip. This is another beach that offers a very high tide and very low tide, which can make wandering the beach really fun for those looking for shells and sealife that has not receded with the waves.
Hove Beach is another of the closest beaches to Brighton since it is right near the center of town. This area has become an entertainment hub in recent years, which is really fun. For younger people, this is a great place to head to the beach. There are train rides to enjoy, nightclubs, restaurants, and more in the town nearby.
Hove Beach travel distance from Brighton
This beach is actually right by the downtown Brighton area. You just need about five minutes to get here, depending on where you're coming from, of course.
The beach itself is really calm here, and you could easily sunbathe all day long. This is a shingle beach, but that doesn't mean it's not ideal for a beach day in Brighton. You will also have access to many shopping and restaurant amenities in this area. For those who are young and love adventure, this is a really fun area to socialize and enjoy a pint or a snack while people-watching.
There are tennis courts near the beach here, as well as lawn bowling, crazy golf, or even a lagoon to enjoy. Brighton Beach is near this beach area as well, so you could wander between the two if you feel the need.
This is just a little pitstop along the South Coast, but that doesn't mean it isn't the perfect place to head for a day of fun in the sun. There are pastel beach huts and family fun activities to enjoy, and this is also a great place to head for wading and playing in the sand and sun.
Lancing Beach travel distance from Brighton
This beach is about 20 minutes from downtown Brighton.
Kite surfing is a big deal here, and you can get changed in a charming little beach hut before you head to the water itself. This is a great place to wade and have fun in the water due to the gentle nature of the slope of the beach.
Even if you head here in the off-season, you will still find that there is enough shelter to make it fun to walk here and enjoy the scenery. There is also a children's play area that you can spend time at year-round with your little kids. This is a pebble beach and it's definitely pleasant to spend time here when the weather is warm.
Consider staying at one of the charming guesthouses in the area if you want to make the most of this part of the South Coast. You will find that most of the shops and restaurants are owned by families, and you will feel like you have always lived in this area from the moment that you get settled in your room.
A few miles east of Brighton, Saltdean Beach is one of the places where you can see the white cliffs quite clearly, and you will love the undercliff pathway that allows you to walk from one side of the beach to the other. This is a dramatic location that offers you access to a wild and beautiful beach that is as scenic in the winter as it is in the summer.
Saltdean Beach travel distance from Brighton
You will need 10 minutes to drive to this beach spot from the city centre. Alternatively, you can take the 12X coaster bus for a travel time of around half an hour to cover the 5.5 miles.
Head here to walk along the beach and enjoy the unique under-the-cliff walkway. The white cliffs are incredible here, and you will be amazed at the beauty of the beach itself as well as the cliffs. You are a hop and a skip from Ovingdean and Rottingdean beaches as well, and there is a wide promenade area to enjoy if you don't want to wade in the water.
While this location is a pebble beach, it is still pleasant to walk along and enjoy. There is easy parking here for your access to the beach as well, and you can enjoy a walk far out on the beach when it's low tide. You can count on seeing people with their dogs or just walking and talking on the beach, making this a calm and comfortable place to head for a beach day no matter the season that you are visiting Brighton.
If you have enjoyed all that Brighton Beach can offer, you might want to look into some weekend trips from Brighton to explore more of the area. There are lots of really interesting places to visit near this famous city if you have the extra time. The beaches mentioned here are great ways to keep costs low if you're traveling to Brighton on a budget, so it's always a good idea to fit at least one or two into your itinerary.
Brighton is one of the loveliest places to visit, and you should be sure to add a day at the beach to your plans when you travel here. East Sussex and the South Coast are truly picturesque and can make the ideal location for a special vacation that you will never forget.