You can get to Brighton from London in less time than it probably takes you to get home from work.
The seaside town often called London's Beach, has a magical pier, quirky shopping, the extravagant Royal Pavilion and, of course, miles of pebbly shingle beach. But its newest - and coolest - attraction, the British Airways i360 should definitely put Brighton on your must visit list.
If you're fit and up for a challenge, you might even try cycling. It's less than 60 miles.
How to Get to Brighton
Brighton is 54 miles due south of London. It takes about 1 1/2 hours to drive. South of the M25 ring road, the M23 leads into Brighton. This is an easy but very popular route. Lots of Londoners take day trips and short getaways to Brighton. Visitors from France, through the Channel Tunnel also like Brighton's arts, antiques and gay scenes. All this means that you can expect plenty of traffic at popular times.
There is good municipal parking in Brighton - covered and underground car parks where you can leave your car out of the sunlight for most of the day for a relatively reasonable price.
If you drive, keep in mind that gasoline, called petrol in the UK, is sold by the liter (a little more than a quart) and the price is usually between $1.50 and $2 a quart.
- Use the Automobile Association Route Planner to map a route with suggested stopovers and gasoline stations.
The easiest and fastest way to get to Brighton is by train. The 54 mile trip usually takes less than an hour and trains run from very early to very late - so if you get caught up in the party animal side of Brighton, there's a good chance you'll still be able to catch a train back to London.
Thameslink and Southern Trains run frequent trains to Brighton Station from London Victoria, London Bridge Station and St Pancras International throughout the day and through most of the night. The journey takes between and hour and an hour and a half depending upon the service you choose. In 2016, Anytime round trip tickets cost £24.90 from St Pancras and £31 from Victoria or London Bridge. The St Pancras tickets are cheaper because, even on direct services, the trains are local and make more stops.
If you plan well and book your tickets about two weeks in advance, you can save quite a bit. I found advance fare, round trip tickets for mid-September 2016 (booked in August) for only £10.60. If you can be flexible about travel times, use the National Rail Enquiries Cheapest Fare Finder to get the best deals.
- Read More AboutTrain Travel in the UK
- Plan a Trip with The National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner
- Book Train Tickets for the UK
National Express run coaches from London to Brighton. You can save quite a bit - with some journeys costing as little as £10 round trip - but plan on warming a bus seat for at least an hour longer than if you had taken the train. Journeys take from 2h 20min to 3h 40min.
There is one, fast trip each way that takes two hours but most coaches take considerably longer. Buses travel every half hour between Victoria Coach Station in London and Brighton Coach Station. Some services have Wi-Fi to help you while away the time. To find the cheapest fares, click on the fare finder on the National Express home page.
UK Travelers Tip - Bus tickets are usually sold as one way journeys with each leg of your trip priced differently, depending upon when you travel. If you are flexible about travel time you can usually save more.
Bus tickets can be purchased online. There is usually a £1 booking fee.