Brighton Beach (Palace Pier)

One of the UK’s most famous beaches, Brighton Beach is a pebbly beach with certified Blue Flag waters a 4-mile promenade that buzzes with life in all seasons. It is known as London’s beach, even though it is 47 miles away. Unsurprisingly, it can get very crowded on Bank Holidays, but that’s all part of the appeal.

The waters can be chilly but are popular for swimming and watersports such as windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and wakeboarding. They all look good from the comforts of a deckchair! Kids can have fun in the free paddling pool. Sand is imported each summer to accommodate the volleyball court.

There’s a Victorian pier nearby and a traditional fairground along with cafes, restaurants, fish and chips and beach clubs. Next to the pier is the Sea Life Centre which is probably the oldest aquarium in the world, dating back to 1872.

A stroll along the prom will be enhanced with an ice cream or an entertaining performance by street performers around the Fishing Quarter of the beachfront. Brighton Beach is within walking distance of the town and shops. There are car parks nearby (fees apply) and a regular bus service.

The eastern end of Brighton Beach is an official naturist beach. When it opened in 1980, it was the first in the UK.

In December, the beachfront hosts the Winter Solstice celebrations followed by the annual New Year Swim. Brrrr! There’s lots of homemade paper lanterns and lantern making workshops if you want to make your own rather than buying one for a local shop.

Also known as:

Palace Pier

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs restricted.

East Sussex dog friendly beaches »


  • Swimming/bathing
  • Surfing


  • Pier

Nearest town




OS grid ref.

TQ 3151 0374


Plentiful parking. charges generally apply.

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Blue Flag Award

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Brighton Beach Reviews

First time in Brighton

Susan Scimeca
Dec 24th 2021

Our UK friends brought us to see Brighton, as this was our first time visiting England. I loved all the many things to do here, with all the shops and the pier.
The only thing I was quite surprised to see is that your beaches don’t have sand, but pebbles. Not sure why, but strange for us. Otherwise we enjoyed the visit and hope to return some day soon to visit again.

What did we get wrong?