Our ultimate guide to Brighton harbour

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 32 seconds.



The wonderful thing about visiting Brighton is that there are so many wonderful things to do here. One of the most popular being Brighton harbour. In recent years it has undergone tremendous development, making it the perfect spot for tourists. So, whether you’re staying with us here at Brighton Retreats in either Marine View or Brighton Bedrock, or simply visiting for the day, make sure you slot Brighton Harbour in as one of your places to see.

The origins of Brighton harbour

It was only in 1968 that the Brighton Council gave the go-ahead for a harbour to be built in Brighton. Work didn’t get underway until 1971 and it wasn’t completed and open until 1978. Meaning that, though Brighton is a very historic place, it has a relatively new harbour in comparison to other classic British seaside towns.

However, this also means that the Brighton Marina is very modern and well-developed in comparison to the harbours and marinas you’d find elsewhere in the UK. Another way in which the Brighton harbour differs is that it doesn’t actually serve any sort of ferrying services abroad. Instead, it is nearby ports of Dover and Southampton which steal the show.

Back in the 1970s and 1980s it was a different story. There was a regular sea ferry service that ran all the way across to Dieppe in France. This project, and others, was eventually scrapped and Brighton no longer ferries passengers abroad. Instead, the harbour is now dominated by private yachts and boats.

The area around Brighton harbour has seen tremendous development over the years, as you might expect. As well as a rise in the number of hotels and houses built nearby, we’ve also seen a large increase in tourist attractions. Notably, a very popular event that ran from 2003 till 2010 called The Big Splash. It featured a number of street performances and stalls as well as fireworks at the end of the day.

Brighton harbour and marina

What is there to see and do around Brighton harbour

Though events like The Big Splash no longer run, there is still a lot to see and do in and around Brighton Harbour. This includes:

Going on a boat trip – Brighton harbour is home to more than 1,500 berths, meaning there are plenty of commercial operators to choose from. You can choose from a variety of different boating day trips, ranging from a couple of hours to a full day if you’d like.

Fishing and diving – As well as leisurely boat trips, you also have the opportunity to partake in some more high adrenaline activities. Such as deep sea diving and boat fishing.

Other watersports – If the weather’s nice and you’re feeling up for a thrill, then Brighton harbour offers a number of watersporting activities, such as jet skiing, power boating and sailing.

Watch a movie – Brighton Marina now houses a large, Cineworld cinema, with films and showings all throughout the week. You can check showtimes here.

Have a meal – You’ll find plenty of restaurants all around Brighton Marina, many of them offering wonderful views out over the harbour and the sea. Including a range of family favourites, such as Five Guys, Frankie & Benny’s and TGI Friday’s.

What about Mini Golf? – When strolling through the Brighton harbour, you’ll come across Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf. It’s open from 10am every day and is perfect for kids and adults of all ages.

Other rides and games – At the Funplay Leisure park, you’ll find other great activities for the kids. Such as bumper cars and inflatable slides.

Go shopping – Recent years have seen an explosion of shops and outlets in Brighton harbour. For small gifts and nick-nacks, you can peruse the variety of boutique shops and stalls. Or for something a bit pricier, why not purchase your own personal yacht?!

Go for a bike ride – It’s possible to rent regular and electric bikes from stalls along Brighton harbour. Meaning you can cycle around the marina or choose to go even further afield if the feeling takes you.

A spot of bowling – Just next to the cinema you’ll find a Hollywood Bowl. The perfect place to unwind and let loose with a few games of bowling, followed up by a go on the arcades.

Try your hand at the casino – There is a state-of-the-art Rendezvous Casino right by the marina. Offering all the classic casino games, such as Blackjack and Roulette.

How to get to Brighton harbour

Getting to Brighton harbour is actually relatively straightforward and you have a few different options available to you. This includes:

Bus. The bus service in Brighton is incredibly efficient and is an affordable way to get in and out of Brighton City Centre from all directions. Busses leave from all across town and it will take you around 20 minutes to get to the harbour with minimal traffic.

Taxi. It is a straight road all the way from Brighton City Centre and taxis can reach here in less than 10 minutes, all depending on traffic.

Walking. If it’s a nice day and the sun is out, why not walk to the Brighton Marina? From Brighton Pier, it will take you about 35 minutes, making for a nice leisurely 2-mile stroll that the whole family will love.

As you can see, there is so much to do in Brighton harbour, whether you’re looking for a night out with friends or a day’s sightseeing with the kids. Regardless of whether it’s a warm and sunny or a typical British Summer rainy day!

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