Young, vibrant and always buzzing with energy, Brighton is an amazing city, offering students a great environment, famous entertainment scene and a beautiful seaside combined with fantastic universities. Great atmosphere and a world-class education mean that thousands of student flock to Brighton every year. And there is just so much to do, that you will never run out of ideas!
But just in case you’re looking for some alternative spots to add to your Brighton student bucket list, we decided to share with you some of our favourite places, especially the ones you won’t see on the most traditional recommendation lists. We promise, even if you haven’t heard of them, they’re very much worth a visit! So start planning now, and your student life in Brighton will be as rich and interesting possible.
Did you know that Brighton is considered as one of the best cities in England for a holiday or a weekend away? And there’s a good reason for that. The city couldn’t be in a more perfect location for holiday makers, and it also boasts a thriving entertainment scene that caters for any taste. If you decide to study here, you must check out the BOAT, Brighton Open Air Theatre, for a completely alternative night out with friends. After opening in 2015, this unique open-air theatre has welcomed over 22,000 visitors through the gates to over 140 performances. Open during the warmer months (May to September), the events here range from theatre, music, comedy to even circus. The unique construction attracts large crowds of locals and visitors, and our students particularly recommend the regular comedy nights.
If you know anything about Brighton, you’ll be aware of its fantastic range of festivals, including Brighton Fringe and the Pride, the UK’s biggest LGBTQ festival, that paints the city in all colours of the rainbow every summer. However, one unique alternative festival you might not be aware of yet, is Burning the Clocks. It’s a winter solstice festival taking place on 21st December every year to mark the shortest day of the year. The festival is all about welcoming the return of the sun and bringing in the winter season. Don’t miss out on seeing the blazing fireworks and bonfires that brighten up even the darkest night – it might even help you see Brighton in a completely different light and make you fall in love with its more mysterious side.
Popular with the locals, but not always the first on the list for tourists, Brighton Dome is a great place to check out if you’re into various types of arts. This multi-arts venue hosts concerts, plays, film screenings, literature, participatory events and more. Being a student can be tiring and busy but taking time to immerse yourself with the local culture can be so beneficial both for your mental health and help you see the city you’re living in through completely different lens. Brighton Dome is located in the magnificent grade listed building situated in the heart of the city, so it’s easy to find and take your friends to when you’re looking for something different to do on a weekend or after lectures.
Whether it’s the Brighton Marina, the Pier or the beach, there are many reasons why students choose Brighton, particularly if they’re partial to a warm beachy lifestyle. If you’re looking to take up a new sport, Brighton offers a variety of water sports to choose from. While it’s not always recommended to students, we think your years studying in Brighton universities are a perfect time to try out some of the water activities on offer. Lagoon Watersports in Hove Lagoon is ideal if you’re a newby and want to learn in a safe environment. The sheltered waters of the lagoon offers activities like windsurfing and paddle boarding. And you don’t even have to run back to your Brighton student accommodation for a snack, the Big Beach Café will take care of that! Even in the colder months, the locals don’t stop trying to get sand in their toes and neither should you.
Again, not always the first thing on Brighton students’ bucket list, the Sea Life Centre is truly worth a visit! One of its kind in the UK, the new state of the art Day & Night exhibition gives you a chance to experience the 24-hour wonder of a coral reef as it moves through the day in a 750,000 litre display. The £2.7 million refurbishment took 8 months to complete and is truly magnificent. You can also take a ride on their Glass Bottom Boat to watch some more amazing ocean creatures!
If you’re looking to see Brighton from above, there is no better way to do it than to visit this cool observation tower located right on the seafront. It is considered the world’s tallest observation tower, and a unique place to visit to get a different perspective on this wonderful student city. If you’re looking for an even more alternative way to experience this observation tower, why not take part in one of the events or classes that are held here. How about yoga in the sky? You can start your weekend with an uplifting yoga session high above Brighton! Check out their website for more information on it, and other similar events.
If you’re looking to discover the quirkiest items in Brighton, start here. Kemptown’s Madeira Lift is one of the unique antiques from the seaside holiday heyday of the 19th century. Built in 1890 to transport visitors down from Marine Parade to Madeira Drive, it has now been restored to its former glory and is free for the public to use. The lift originally operated by a hydraulic pump and 15 people could be carried at any one time from Madeira Drive to Marine Parade for a charge of a halfpenny each way. Now it is an interesting touristy spot and loved by the students and party crowds as it still operates and drops its riders directly into a nightclub.
Unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1921, the Chattri is a white marble war memorial dedicated to the Indian soldiers who gave their lives for the British Empire during WWI, many of whom were treated in makeshift military hospitals in Brighton. The Chattri (meaning ‘umbrella’ in Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu) is a beautiful site to visit on a weekend, particularly if you’re a history fan or just want to get out of the city for a short while.