ESL Brighton tips - Don't miss out on what the city has to offer!

Pick up a copy of the Brighton Source

ESL - ESL Brighton tips
This is Brighton’s top local listings magazine and is free. Pick up a copy in local pubs, cafes or shops to keep up with what’s going on. See for more information. Alternatively, look out for the What’s On Guide, which is published as a free little booklet or a large poster which is stuck up all over town.


ESL - ESL Brighton tips
If you book an English course in Brighton during the spring and summer months, you can enjoy fantastic local festivals. Brighton’s best-known festival is the Brighton Festival ( in May but there are smaller events throughout the year. You can find a good list here : In recent years, Brighton has held a food festival in March and September. Local producers and restaurants set up stalls on New Road and Jubilee Street in the North Laine area where you can try various culinary delights, both local and international. Find out more at Brighton’s Pride festival in the summer is one of the largest in the world.
Buy your travel tickets online
If you need to commute around the city, Brighton & Hove’s buses are excellent but expensive. You can get much cheaper tickets if you buy them in advance, either from a shop in the city (ask around) or from the official website A weekly or monthly “saver” ticket is the best value. You will also find the best deals for train tickets online. If you buy a ticket on the day you travel it will be expensive, but you can get them much cheaper if you buy online in advance. is a good place to look. 

Have Sunday lunch at a pub

ESL - ESL Brighton tips
A “Sunday roast” in a pub is a local tradition. Get in early, around midday, and you will be able to find a table. Order your lunch at the bar, along with your drinks (Harvey’s Ale, from nearby Lewes is perfect) and prepare for a lazy Sunday lunch, best followed by a walk on the beach. If the weather is bad, you can stay in the pub and watch football matches in the afternoon, but it won’t make your English lessons easier on Monday morning!
Snoopers Paradise
Brighton is fantastic for shopping (see our Brighton shopping tips) but one place stands out. Snoopers Paradise on Kensington Gardens is an iconic antiques shop which sells just about anything.
Lots of little stalls share a big space in the middle of North Laine and the result is a place that is just perfect for spending a spare hour. Vinyl records, vintage clothes, old magazines, musical instruments and lots more unexpected stuff make this place a real Brighton institution.

To watch, read, listen

ESL - ESL Brighton tips
Quadrophenia (1979) Director: Franc Roddam
London to Brighton (2006) Director: Paul Andrew Williams
Brighton Rock (2010) Director: Rowan Joffe

Brighton cinemas

The biggest cinemas in Brighton are the Odeon at the bottom of West Street (on the seafront) and the Cineworld at Brighton Marina, both of which show mainstream movies. Brighton’s leading independent cinema is the Duke of York’s Picturehouse (, which shows a much broader variety of movies and is famous for its Eurovision Song Contest party each year. 
Sugar Rush by Julie Burchill
West Pier by Patrick Hamilton
Dead Man's Footsteps by Peter James
Inside In/Inside Out by The Kooks
You’ve Come a Long Way, Baby by Fatboy Slim
Colour it in by The Maccabees

Brighton music venues

Despite the local council’s best efforts, Brighton remains one of the best places to hear live music and DJs in Britain. The Concorde II ( on Madeira Drive is a longish walk along the seafront from the pier, but it is well worth it: up-and-coming bands regularly play here before hitting the big time. Casablanca on Middle Street looks a little dank but is a funky club, with regular live music and a DJ booth made from an old VW Beetle. The biggest international artists play at the Brighton Centre (, which also has regular record fairs during the daytime. Elsewhere, smaller venues and bars regularly put on bands. Komedia ( on Gardner Street has club nights, live bands and comedy nights. “Open mic” nights, where members of the public play, are also popular on weeknights. Check out the Brighton Source (one of our Brighton tips) for listings.
Image credit: Sam Ford (CC BY 2.0)
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