Choose from 4 Fun Things to Do in Brighton
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Windsor is a handsome town in Berkshire, southeast England, with an ancient heart, a setting along the River Thames and a connection by bridge to Eton, home of one of England’s oldest and most prestigious public schools. St George’s Chapel sits next door to Windsor Castle, which is both the largest permanently occupied castle in the world and one of the official homes of HM The Queen. The chapel was founded in 1348 by King Edward III and is a fine example of Gothic styling with flying buttresses, glorious stained glass and a vaulted interior of exceptional grandeur, as befits the place of worship of the Royal Family.
It is the burial place of 10 English kings including Henry VIII and George III, as well as many other members of the monarchy, and is also home of the Knights of the Garter; this is one of the oldest chivalric orders in the world and the highest ceremonial accolade in the UK. Members currently include the Queen, Prince Charles and former leaders of the armed services, captains of industry and ex-Prime Ministers; their heraldic banners hang high above the choir in the chapel. St George’s is closed to visitors on Sunday, but all are welcome at any of the services throughout the week; they are held daily at 8:30am, 10:45am, noon and 5:15pm.
Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ. Open Mar–Oct Mon–Sat 9:45am–5:15pm; Nov–Feb 9:45am–4:15pm. Admission includes entry to Windsor Castle: adults £19.20; seniors & students £17.50; under 17 £11.30; under 5 free; family ticket £49.70 (chapel services are free). Take the train from London Waterloo or Paddington via Slough to Windsor. By car, take the M4 and leave at exit 6, signposted to Windsor.
Address: Windsor Castle, Windsor, West Berkshire, England
Hours: Mar–Oct Mon–Sat 9.45am–5.15pm; Nov–Feb 9.45am–4.15pm
Admission: Includes Windsor Castle; dults £19.20; seniors & students £17.50; under 17 £11.30; under 5 free
From $ 52
Climbing up the hillside from the waterfront, the maze of shopping streets known as “The Lanes” make up Brighton’s most atmospheric quarter. The pedestrianized area is home to more than 200 independent shops, galleries, and antique stores, along with a great selection of cafés, restaurants, and historic pubs.
The only way to explore The Lanes is on foot, and with the lanes sloping down to the seafront, it’s impossible to get lost. Opting to visit with a tour guide will give you an insight into the historic quarter, its street art scene, and thriving LGBTQ community. A Lanes walking tour typically includes nearby attractions, such as the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Museum, and Brighton Pier.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Most shops and cafés are open daily, with reduced opening hours on Sundays.
- Wear comfortable shoes to tackle Brighton’s steep hills and cobblestone lanes.
- Free Wi-Fi hot spots are located around The Lanes.
How to Get There
Brighton's Lanes are located at the heart of Old Town just south of North Laine. Trains from London and other destinations arrive at Brighton train station, an around 5-minute walk from The Lanes.
When to Get There
The Lanes are busiest in July and August, when smaller shops and cafés can get crowded. For quieter shopping, visit on a weekday outside of peak season, or join locals for a Sunday brunch at one of the cafés.
The History of The Lanes
Dating back to the 18th century, the narrow streets of The Lanes were once home to hundreds of fishermen's cottages, and their quirky, overhanging roofs were purpose-built to shelter the lanes from the coastal storms. Today, The Lanes retain much of their original character, with their old-fashioned shop fronts, brick-paved streets, flower-filled window boxes, and labyrinth of hidden passageways, known locally as “twittens.” Notable buildings include the Cricketers Arms, Brighton’s oldest pub, which dates back to 1545.
Address: Brighton, England
From $ 19
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is an important site for the British Royal Navy, having played a part in the war against the Spanish Armada, the Battle of Trafalgar during the Napoleonic Wars, and both World Wars. Although the dockyard is still a working naval base, many of its historic ships have been converted into museums.
Explore famous ships such as the Mary Rose, a Tudor carrack and Henry VIII’s flagship; the HMS Victory, from which Admiral Nelson commanded the victory at Trafalgar; the HMS Warrior, an iron-hulled warship that was the first of its kind in the world; the HMS Alliance, an Archeron-class submarine; and the HMS M.33, a WWI warship. Other highlights include the National Museum of the Royal Navy, the Explosion Museum of Naval Firepower, and the Dockyard Apprentice exhibit. The interactive exhibits at Action Stations and Boathouse 4 are ideal for families with kids, with a Ninja Force assault course and other hands-on activities.
You can explore Portsmouth Historic Dockyard on your own or opt for a guided tour to maximize your time and gain greater insight into the history of each ship. It’s also possible to visit on day trips from London or Oxford, which typically include round-trip transportation and extras such as harbor boat tours.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is a must-see for first-time visitors to Portsmouth or anyone interested in Britain’s military history.
- Visitor facilities include a selection of restaurants, cafés, and shops.
- Wear comfortable shoes and clothes for exploring the shipyard—some vessels have steep steps, narrow passageways, and low ceilings.
- Most of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is wheelchair accessible, but some ships (including the HMS Victory) are inaccessible due to steep steps.
How to Get to There
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is located roughly 90 minutes by road from both London and Oxford. Trains from London also take about 90 minutes, and it’s also possible to arrive by ferry from France, the Isle of Wight, or Spain. Entrance to the dockyard is through the Victory Gate at the corner of Queen Street and the Hard, a short walk from the Portsmouth Harbour train and bus station.
When to Get There
Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is open year-round but can get crowded on weekends and school holidays, especially during July and August. During this time opt for an early morning or late afternoon visit to avoid crowds.
Exploring the History of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard
Established in 1495, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is the British Royal Navy’s oldest base and was once the largest industrial site in the world. Here you can find centuries of military history, with interactive exhibits that narrate the bravery and heroism of soldiers and serving personnel, offer insight into what life was like aboard these vessels, and outline how Britain came to be the ruler of such a grand empire.
Address: Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, England
From $ 18
Encompassing three different venues – the Concert Hall, Corn Exchange and Pavilion Theatre – under one roof, the Brighton Dome is Brighton’s number 1 destination for the arts. Housed in an elegant Grade I-listed building at the center of the Royal Pavilion Estate, the stylish venue is linked via underground tunnels to the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Museum, and boasts a fascinating history, once serving as a Royal stables and WWI hospital.
The award-winning venues host hundreds of shows, concerts and workshops each year, with events including music, theatre, dance, comedy, visual arts and film. The top ticket is the legendary Brighton Festival, renowned as one of England’s leading multi-arts festivals and held over three weeks each May. As well as the trio of venues, the Dome is also home to the Brighton Dome Café-bar and Studio Theatre Bar, both of which are open to the public.
The Brighton Dome is located in central Brighton, close to the Royal Pavilion and is open daily from 10am.
Address: Church Street, Brighton, United Kingdom BN1 1UE, England
Hours: Open daily 10am-late
Admission: Entrance: free; ticket prices for shows and performances vary
From $ 19