Brighton photo of Brighton pier

Brighton photography guide

Where are the best views in Brighton?

Want to know where to take the best Brighton photos? There are lots of stunning views in Brighton & Hove, but where to start? What if you’re short on time? I’m here to help, so below is my own personal top 3 along with why. The following make for great Brighton photographs, or anyone looking to enjoy the best of Brighton.

1. Hove Promenade Beach Huts

Colourful, quirky, and traditional

Start Location / End Location (or vice versa)

Follow the promenade west of West Pier and you’ll find yourself at Hove Lawns and the start of Hove’s Beach Huts. Hundreds of ’em! After Hove Lawns, stop at Marocco’s for a delicious ice cream before carrying on west where the beach huts start continue for another 1km, ending with the promenade at Hove Lagoon water sports centre. Coincidentally, there’s also a cafe if you’re in need of more sustenance! Well, you’re on holiday after all!

The beach huts popped-up in the 1930’s and continued to be added to over the years. Each hut remains in the original heritage colours with owners going crazy with creativity on the doors. This freedom has made Hove promenade a characterful place with stripes, spots, rainbows, block colours and even a rainbow.

Visit the Brighton Photography Collection

When to visit

Around sunset, the huts can take on a magical feeling with the last of the light doing its thing. If photographing, the winter-sun sets over the sea illuminating the colourful doors. In summer the sun sets behind requiring careful management of the exposure or embrace the backlit silhouetted huts. Ultimately it’s a pleasure to visit at any time of day. I always find the promenade takes on a more traditional feeling on Sunday’s and Christmas Day as families stroll along the promenade, admiring Hove’s beach huts.

2. The Royal Pavilion

Exotic, Beautiful, and historical

Location Map

I simply couldn’t pass over the stunning Royal Pavilion in the heart of Brighton! The Pavilion and Prince Regent (later crowned King George IV) are intertwined with Brighton’s history and its journey to becoming a go-to destination. I highly recommend visiting the public gardens around the Pavilion where you’ll find many photo opportunities – some highly creative and others more tried and trusted. If you have time do buy a ticket to go inside. Buy a ticket and head inside to enjoy the Royal Pavilion’s interior, it really is a spectacle to behold and best described as flamboyant! note: photography is not permitted inside but there are plenty of opportunities outside, in and around the gardens on both sides of the pavilion.

The Prince Regent later crowned King George IV, visited Brighton in his youth, as was the fashion for Londoners, for the health benefits of the fresh sea air and to bathe in its restorative waters. The Prince Regent would also use Brighton as an escape from his father and the displeasure of parliament where his frivolous lifestyle was becoming more and more frowned upon.

The Prince Regent initially enjoyed a modest farmhouse as a holiday home however, it did not stay that way for long! The large stable complex, now the Brighton Dome & Corn Exchange events venues, was built and the farmhouse extended and re-modelled several times into the famous Landmark as it stands today. The Indo-Saracenic architecture was designed by John Nash – also known for jointly designing of Buckingham Palace.

Brighton Museum is located at the north end of the Pavilion Gardens.

When to visit

The gardens are open 24 x 7 and offer a peaceful green space to enjoy during warm sunny days. You’ll often hear music in the breeze and the gentle hubbub of friends, families enjoying the open space. Look out for the ideal conditions of soft light on partly clouded days or around sunset & sunrise. Soft light makes the Pavilion’s stonework glow with a soft warmth that needs to be seen to be believed.

Enjoy ice skating in front of the Pavilion during the winters months and bring your camera to capture the Pavilion with the colourful rink winter lighting.

Additional information

Entry to the Pavilion is available all year round. Save 10% on tickets when buying online, and for Brighton residents enjoy 50% off with proof of residence.

Pavilion Opening Times
Further Information on the Pavilion from Wikipedia

3. THE WEST PIER

Rusted, architectural and charming

Location Map

Sure, there are no surprises with this one and for good reason! The Brighton West Pier is part of Brighton’s identity and has many stories to tell.

It’s hard to think of any other historic structure that has quite the unusual history that continues to unfold even now. The West Pier has always been a beautiful sight nestled against Brighton beach, and somehow the pier still has its own charm even in the current charred and rusted state.

West Pier was first opened in 1866 as a leisure pier and offered its visitors a stroll out over the sea, along with performances in the theatre and music hall. The pier later fell into a state of disrepair and funding attempts to restore it were unsuccessful. Sadly, the fire of 2003 destroyed the West Pier apart from its metal frame and one of its fortune-tellers hut that survived, or so the local legend goes!

Visit the Brighton Photography Collection

When to visit

Low tide is a great opportunity to view the pier on its sandy beach. The low tide also gives a different perspective allowing visitors to look up at the pier, and even walk right up to it on very low tides. But do be careful not to get too close as there’s plenty of buried metal structure.

Late autumn sees the Starling’s return; flocking together in large murmurations to mesmerise and entertain. While away an hour or 2 watching this spectacle from the shore and bring your camera and a tripod if you feel like getting creative. Just wrap up warm!

Sunrise & sunset bathes the pier in warm light often with magnificently colourful skies, especially so in the winter when the sun sets and rises over the sea.

Additional Information

Learn more about the pier’s history, fires, and failed rescue attempts with the West Pier Trust

What are your favourite views of Brighton?

Leave a comment below and perhaps teach this local (me!) a new hidden gem?….

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