How to Travel From London to Brighton by Car, Train, and Bus

People in Brighton Standing By Sea Against Clear Sky During Sunset
Mauro Di Buono / EyeEm / Getty Images

With the pebbly beaches of Brighton just an hour's reach from the capital city, it's a wonder why Londoners aren't there all the time. The seaside resort that is often called "London's beach" has a magical pier, quirky shopping, the extravagant Royal Pavilion and, of course, the wide, shallow bay that beckons sunbathers in the summertime. Its British Airways i360 observation tower is just the cherry on top. Brighton is 54 miles (87 kilometers) from London—close enough to cycle between the two—and you can get there by car, bus, or train.

  Time Cost Best For
Train 1 hour from $30 Arriving on a time crunch
Bus 2 hours, 11 minutes from $6 Minding a budget
Car 1 hour, 30 minutes 54 miles (87 kilometers) Exploring the local area

What Is the Cheapest Way to Get From London to Brighton? 

Budget travelers will be glad to know that you can get to Brighton from London for less than $10. The average National Express ticket actually costs about $7.50, but if you book your trip far enough in advance (and for a weekday, ideally), you can get a ticket for as cheap as $6. The National Express coach departs from London Victoria Coach Station every two hours, 24 hours a day, and the ride takes a minimum of two hours and 11 minutes. It can sometimes take up to three hours and 40 minutes, though, which is why most people pay a little more to take the express train instead.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get From London to Brighton? 

The fastest and all-around easiest way to travel to Brighton is by train. The ride often takes about an hour and trains run every 15 minutes or less all day long. Southern trains depart from London Victoria Station every four hours, the Gatwick Express departs hourly, and Thameslink trains run every 30 minutes, so you should have no problem getting a ride any time of day or night. Tickets start at around $30, but deals can be found when you book well in advance. Use the National Rail Fare Finder to get the cheapest price.

How Long Does It Take to Drive? 

It takes about an hour and a half to drive it no matter which route you take out of the city, but there are three main options: to go via the A23, the M23, or the M25. None are particularly scenic, but the A23 is shorter by a few minutes. Lots of Londoners and international tourists arriving via the Channel Tunnel (the Chunnel) take day trips and short getaways to Brighton, so expect traffic at peak times such as Friday afternoons in the summer. As far as parking goes, you can find park-and-ride services as well as covered car parks that cost about $20 for the day or as little as $1 per hour in Brighton.

When Is the Best Time to Travel to Brighton? 

The best time to travel to Brighton is any time outside of the busy summer season, which begins in June and continues through August. These sunny days tend to attract tons of southern Englanders and international visitors alike, meaning: pricey transportation and accommodation, overrun beaches, and rowdy bars. Spring and fall offer a quieter experience and temperatures that dip to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). You will also probably find that the motorways, trains, and buses are busiest during rush hour, so try to plan your trip outside of peak commuter hours on weekdays.

What Is There to Do in Brighton? 

Brighton is London's seaside playground. This coastal getaway that was once a humble fishing village now has some 400 restaurants, a bustling pier, and a modern, 162-meter-tall observation tower with a trendy cocktail bar at the top. When the weather's nice, you can spend an afternoon at the beach or strolling the Brighton Palace Pier with an ice cream in hand. There is also the Royal Pavilion, a former royal residence that was built during the 18th century, and the British Airways i360, whose viewing pod offers 360-degrees views across the South Downs and the English Channel. While you're at the coast, you might want to stop into one of the many restaurants for some of England's famed fish and chips.

Was this page helpful?