10 fun things to do outdoors in Brighton this spring
Located on the south coast of England, less than an hour from London by train, and close to one of the UK's best loved national parks, Brighton is a popular, welcoming and vibrant city.
Whether our students are on a long-term A-level or Foundation course for one or two years, or a short-term programme such as the Intensive English or IELTS preparation course, this wonderful city by the sea has endless opportunities for outdoor activities, especially in the spring and summer.
Here, we explore just a few of the options available.
Have a go at paddle-boarding
On calm evenings, you’ll see hundreds of people taking to the sea on their paddleboards along Brighton sea front. The popularity of paddle-boarding has grown massively in the last few years and there are now lots of places offering boards for hire or lessons for first time paddle-boarders.
As well as being a great core and arm work-out, paddle-boarding offers a great opportunity to see the city and seafront from a new perspective. Hire paddleboards via Brighton Watersports.
Go hiking in the South Downs
The South Downs National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty that can be found just a few miles from the city centre of Brighton. Home to rolling hills, ancient woodland and amazing panoramic views of the UK countryside, it’s the perfect destination for a weekend hike. Jump on the 77 bus up to the Devil’s Dyke to find lots of great walking trails.
Go to an open-air theatre performance
Did you know that Brighton has its very own outdoor theatre? Located in Dyke Road Park, about 20 minutes’ walk from Kings Brighton, the Brighton Open Air Theatre hosts performances throughout the spring and summer.
You’ll find a range of different performances taking place, from Shakespeare plays and modern dramas, to cabaret and comedy shows.
Al fresco dining on the sea front
Brighton has an endless array of cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs — many of which have great outdoor areas for dining outdoors in the spring and summer.
Some exciting newly opened venues include:
Shelter Hall - Brighton’s first seafront food market, which opened in 2021, features 7 kitchens led by some of the best local chefs all under one roof. Located in between Brighton Palace Pier and the i360, this new venue offers something to suit everyone.
Rock Water - the recently opened Rock Water venue, situated at the Western end of the beach in Hove, is a stylish food and drink destination offering everything from traditional British Sunday Roasts, to coffees, cocktails and seafood lunches.
Bison Beach Bar - located towards Brighton Marina, at the Eastern end of the seafront promenade, Bison Beach Bar offers a coffee shop, bar and BBQ food. With cosy fire pits and comfy traditional ‘deck chairs’ to sit in, it’s a great spot for a sunset
Cycle down the coastal path to Rottingdean
The BTN BikeShare scheme offers the opportunity to explore Brighton, Hove and beyond on two wheels by borrowing a bike from one of the many pick-up points around the city. Simply download the app onto your smartphone and sign up for an account to be able to use the bikes at your leisure.
We’d recommend cycling East down the coastal pathway towards the villages of Saltdean and Rottingdean for a relaxing route with amazing sea views and some nice cafes and shops to discover on the way.
Play volleyball at Yellow Wave beachside volleyball courts
Although Brighton’s pebbly beach doesn’t offer the ideal surface for beach volleyball, luckily there are dedicated sand courts at the Yellow Wave beach volleyball complex on the seafront. Situated between the Brighton Palace Pier and Brighton Marina, Yellow Wave offers courts for hire as well as volleyball lessons throughout the year.
If volleyball isn’t your thing, there is also a great clubhouse house serving food and drink throughout the day if you want to relax whilst cheering on your friends from the sidelines!
Have a picnic in the park
Pack up a picnic and head to one of the city’s sprawling parks with some friends for the perfect lazy Spring or Summer afternoon.
Preston Park, located 15 minutes up the road from Kings Brighton, is one of the city’s biggest with wide open spaces and ancient trees to shelter under. Hove Park, located on the other side of town, is also a favourite with locals and offers a cafe, tennis courts, food trucks and toilets.
Other parks in Brighton include Queen’s Park, The Level (opposite Kings Brighton), Dyke Road Park, St Ann’s Well Gardens and Brunswick Square.
Join an outdoor exercise class
You’ll find a hue array of outdoor exercise classes available in Brighton and Hove. Many of these started up out of necessity due to the pandemic in Summer 2020, but due to immense popularity, are here to stay!
Choose from yoga, bootcamps, dance classes, football, boxercise, HIIT classes, Pilates and much more.
Take part in a beach clean
Unfortunately, during the Spring and Summer when the number of visitors to Brighton increases, so does the litter they leave behind. Luckily, there are lots of organisations that run fun beach cleans that you can get involved with and give something back to the community.
The Pier2Pier Beach Clean organisation offer regular silent disco beach cleans throughout the year on Brighton beach, supplying headphones, music and litter-picking tools to create a beach clean experience like no other!
Take a stroll down the sea front
The seafront promenade runs all the way from Brighton Marina in the east, to Hove Lagoon in the West — around 6.5km in total.
It’s flat, wide and has fantastic views the whole way along. Stop for a photo in front of the ‘Instagrammable’ beach huts in Hove, or sit down and enjoy a musical performance from one of the many buskers normally dotted along the route.