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.