Summary

Stroll around Brighton's unique pedestrianised Lanes and New Street, as well as old churches, pubs and the iconic Pavilion and of course along the sea front.
Difficulty:
Leisurely
Distance:
4.4 miles (7.1 km)
Walking time:
02h 15m
Type:
Circular

Start location

Brighton Railway Station, Queens Rd, BN1 3XP

lat: 50.8286808

lon: -0.1412374

Map

Elevation

Route

1 of 0

Getting there

By public transport: Trains run to Brighton Station from London, Bedford, Bristol and from all points along the South Coast between Southampton and Ashford.  If you come by train, you can buy a PlusBus add on with your rail ticket which lets you use the extensive local bus service.  

A number of local Brighton buses also run to the station. https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/travel-transport-and-road-safety/buses

For bus and train times see Traveline South East or https://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/personal/home/search  

Car Parking is difficult.  https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/content/parking-and-travel/parking/car-parks 

Waypoints

1

Turn right out of the station with the bus stops on your left. Cross over Terminus Road to Guilford Road at the lights. A short way along here, opposite number 37, take the narrow passageway on your left. At the end of this, cross over and go left then right down North Gardens. Fork right along Kew Street and then right along Church Street.

2

Turn into the churchyard just before the church (A) to walk round along the far side of the church to the corner of the churchyard by the main road. Cross the main road and turn right up the hill and then left along Clifton Terrace (B). At the end of the gardens, turn right then left along Victoria Road. (A) St Nicholas Church is both the original parish church of Brighton and the oldest surviving building in Brighton, dating from the 11th century. At the far end of the churchyard, the Tudor-Gothic style of Wykeham Terrace is a refreshing contrast to the Regency style of building predominant in Brighton. Notable past residents include actress Dame Flora Robson, art historian Sir Roy Strong, singer-songwriter David Courtney and singer Adam Faith.(B)The Montpelier and Clifton Hill Conservation Area has a high concentration of listed buildings. The area was developed from the 1820s to the 1860s and were considered at the time to be the most salubrious part of the town. Today there are many fine examples of Regency and Victorian architecture to be seen.

3

Turn right up Powis Road and go left at the end. Follow Clifton Hill along into Windlesham Avenue and along Nizells Avenue. Take the path left into St Ann’s Well Gardens Park (C). Go right then left around the children’s playground and turn left before the Café down to the exit on Furze Hill. (C) St Ann's Well Gardens is known for its ‘Chalybeate' (iron bearing) spring and around 1800 it was a popular health spa. The name "St. Ann" is apparently based on a myth of Annafrieda whose lover was murdered in Saxon times. Her tears miraculously became the spring now called St. Ann's Well. The spring is also thought to be the starting point of a ley line that continues over the South Downs and beyond.

4

Continue downhill to Lansdowne Road where you turn right. Take the fourth left, Holland Road and then at the traffic lights with Western Road, cross to the far right corner to go right then left down through the gardens in Palmeira Square. Keep to the left and go down Adelaide Crescent (D). At the end, go right then left through the opening, cross the road and the lawns to reach the Promenade and the sea. (D) Adelaide Crescent was formerly known as Queen Adelaide Crescent, named after William IV’s wife. Building started in 1830 to the design of Decimus Burton but was not finished until the mid-1860s as work stopped after the collapse of the Anthaeum in 1833 which was being built where Palmeira Square is today and would have had a dome 70 feet high and larger than that of St Peter’s in Rome. The gardens in Adelaide Crescent used to be exclusively for residents but the surrounding railings were sacrificed during the Second World War to aid the war effort and the gardens opened to the public. Margaret Powell, author of ‘Below Stairs’, had her first job as a kitchen maid at a house in Adelaide Crescent. Adelaide Crescent is an example of Regency architecture. Buildings are Grade II listed.

5

Turn left and walk, keeping close to the sea on your right, for just over a mile, passing the Angel of Peace, the bandstand, a children's play area, the British Airways i360 tower (E) and the Brighton Fishing Museum on the way. When the path rises up to road level just before a jetty with the Palace Pier behind it, go up here and cross the road towards the Queen’s Hotel. (E) British Airways i360 at the landward end of the former West Pier (F) gives visitors 360-degree views across Brighton, the South Downs and the English Channel from an enclosed viewing pod 450 feet up. On the clearest days it is possible to see Beachy Head to the east and the Isle of Wight to the west. (F) The West Pier, designed by Eugenius Birch, was opened in 1866 and closed in 1975. The pier was the first to be Grade I listed in Britain but became increasingly derelict after closure. Then major sections collapsed in late 2002, and two fires in 2003 left little of the original structure. Subsequently, English Heritage have declared it to be beyond repair.

6

Walk up East Street to the left of the Hotel and take the second left along Bartholomews Avenue. Follow it as it turns into Prince Albert Street and then curves right. After passing The Black Lion (H) and The Cricketers (G) pubs on your left, almost immediately turn right up Meeting House Lane. Follow the narrow lane as it goes first left, first right then straight ahead through The Lanes (I) to reach North Street. (G) The Cricketers, in the Brighton Lanes, dates back as far as 1547 making it the oldest pub in Brighton. It has connections to Grahame Greene, author of Brighton Rock and Jack the Ripper (H) The Black Lion pub is a reconstruction of part of one of the oldest brewery buildings in the world. Established in 1546, it was founded by Deryk Carver, a Flemish immigrant who was subsequently martyred under Mary I. He is one of several Protestant martyrs whose death is marked by the bonfire celebrations in Lewes.(I) The Lanes are the oldest part of Brighton in the area that was part of the original settlement of Brighthelmstone and are a wonderful place to explore on foot. This narrow warren of streets holds many independent shops, restaurants, pubs, cafes and antiques shops.

7

Go right, crossing North Street at the lights. Turn left along New Road (J). Enter the Pavilion Gardens (K) on the right and follow the path right for a closer view of the Pavilion (L) and its entrance, before going left and back to New Road. Once back on the road, continue right. (J) New Road was built in the early 19th century to divert traffic around the Royal Pavilion and was developed with fine houses and the Theatre Royal. It now sits at the heart of Brighton's cultural quarter, linking the Royal Pavilion gardens to the new library. In 2007 it opened as the UK's first shared space street and has become one of the most popular visitor attractions in the city, thronged with people, buskers, street cafes, cyclists and the occasional car.(K) The Royal Pavilion Garden is one of a few fully restored regency gardens in the country. The garden was restored following John Nash’s 1820s plans and conforms as closely as possible to the original lists of plants supplied to George IV (L) The Royal Pavilion is a Grade I listed former royal residence. Started in 1787, it was built in three stages as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. The style is Indo-Saracenic and the current appearance of the Pavilion, with its domes and minarets, is the work of architect John Nash, who extended the building starting in 1815.

8

At the cross roads, go left along Church Street and then second right along Gardner Street. At the end go right then left along Kensington Gardens (M). When this finishes, go right along Gloucester Road, then left along Sydney Street (N). (Note: If your feet are getting tired and you have seen enough shops, you can just go left along Gloucester Road to find Trafalgar Terrace below). At the end of Sydney Street, go left then second left along Kensington Place back to Gloucester Road. Turn right along here and right down narrow Trafalgar Terrace (O) just before number 85. When you reach Trafalgar Street, turn left back to Brighton Station past the Prince Albert pub mural (P). (M) Kensington Gardens is a pedestrian shopping precinct dating from the early 1800s. (N) Sydney Street is a popular shopping street developed in the 1850s. It is part pedestrianised on weekends.(O) Trafalgar Terrace is a narrow twitten (a Sussex word for alleyway) of small terraced houses with their gardens on the other side of the path. They were erected in the late 1830s. (P) The Prince Albert Mural was painted by artists Sinna One and Req on the wall of the Prince Albert Pub facing Frederick Place. It was originally painted in 2013 and was replaced with an updated version in 2017. The mural consists of deceased pop icons (plus Oliver Reed and John Peel) against a multicoloured background.

Problem with this route?

If you encounter a problem on this walk, please let us know by emailing volunteersupport@ramblers.zendesk.com. If the issue is with a public path or access please also contact the local highways authority directly, or find out more about solving problems on public paths on our website.

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Sharing

Join the Ramblers and enjoy

  • unlimited free access to 50,000 Ramblers group walks
  • a library jam-packed with thousands of tried-and-tested routes
  • a welcome pack teeming with top tips plus our quarterly Walk magazine
  • exclusive discounts from our partners
  • knowing your support is opening up more places to walk and helping more people discover the joy of walking