I wanted to write about my favourite Brighton shops because it’s such a vibrant and interesting city and the shops are unique. Although there are plenty of chain stores in Churchill Square, the best shops are further east, in the Lanes and the North Laine, which are either side of North Street, between the railway station and the seafront.
The stress-free way to get to Brighton is to go by train because if you drive then parking can be expensive and spaces difficult to find at busy times. If you pick the wrong car park like the NCP in Russell Road then you’ll pay over £5 per hour!
When I visit Brighton I use JustPark – a website and app which lets you book a space in advance and I’ve parked right in the middle of town and saved a fortune. I use them every time I go and can pick a space in a variety of private and public car parks, or also on homeowners’ drives. It’s so easy to do and is great for gigs and other events too. I parked near Wembley too using their service and it was great value and right next to the venue.
Best Brighton shops
Here is the list of my personal favourite Brighton shops but there are many more in the area. I have listed them in order to form a tour from the centre, in Churchill Square, ending up at a gorgeous coffee and cake shop for a well earned rest!
Vinyl Revolution is run by the lovely Simon and Rachel and they have certainly succeeded in their aim to build a great vibe which makes everyone feel welcome. As well as records, they sell cool art prints and various other merchandise including clothing and homewares.
There are record decks on their shop counter to showcase some of the great music they stock which is new as well as second hand vinyl. They sell hi-fi systems, decks, amps and speakers too and are happy to demonstrate them to customers looking for a vinyl experience which is built to last.
Check out their shop in Duke Street or visit their website here to buy online.
England At Home
The next stop is England At Home, in Ship Street. They sell funky, unique homewares and gifts, I’ve been shopping here for many years. There are two Brighton shops, one on the corner of Prince Albert Street and one opposite. They do mail order if you can’t get to the shop, using their website here.
The Duck House
The next stop is a relative newcomer, The Duck House in Union Street. They are a one-stop-shop for plastic ducks, and what a collection they have! There are ducks to suit all tastes, from Darth Vadar and Spiderman ducks to painter-and-decorator ducks. Sporty ducks, scooter-riding ducks, teenage mutant ninja turtle ducks – you name it! Something for everyone. Check out their website here to see just what an amazing range they have!
I’ve been buying cakes from Choccywoccydoodah for years. They started with just a small cafe in Boyces Street, which must have been the best part of 20 years ago, but are now in Meeting House Lane. They went from making yummy cakes to go with your lunchtime sandwich to building incredible masterpieces out of chocolate. I think they made Zoe and Norman’s wedding cake! They are even on TV now and have opened shops in fancy London. Their Brighton shop has a ‘bar du chocolat’ upstairs where you can buy drinks and decadent cakes galore, but there is often a queue so be prepared to wait. Or visit early to be sure of getting a seat! Downstairs is where you’ll find their range of outrageous chocolate creations, from cakes to chocolate popcorn, giant belgian buttons and many different shaped treats. Visit their website here to see what’s on offer and you can buy online if you’re not planning on a visit anytime soon.
Although most of my favourite Brighton shops are independently owned, there are some smaller chains which are worth a mention too, like Bravissimo in North Street. I pay them a visit almost every time I come to Brighton as they have a brilliant choice of bras and clothing for ladies with D-L cups (which is most of us these days!). Their staff are outstanding, and very knowledgeable about all things boob-related. Customer service is key and there’s a nice waiting area with comfy sofas for the men in your life who would otherwise be pacing up and down while you try on all the tempting lingerie. They do mail order if you can’t get to a store, so pay their website a visit or give their customer service team a ring if you need advice because they are superbly trained on the fit and style of all the products.
The next stop on the tour of my favourite Brighton shops is Happyology in Bond Street. Anywhere which has such a pretty bike outside deserves inclusion for that reason alone! They sell clothing for babies and young children up to the age of seven. Their stock is classic, timeless and extremely cute. They also have branches in Leamington and Bath, but their website offers mail order if you aren’t local to any of these.
Malarkey is bursting with a massive range of greeting cards, gifts and pictures. There are cards for everyone, from Brighton-themed ones to cheeky ones, to cute and mainstream ones. Something for every occasion, in fact. I can’t find a website so you’ll have to go in person to see what’s on offer. I would highly recommend it though as I’ve been shopping there for decades.
This is one of the most vibrant shoe shops in the world! The exterior is a hint of what is inside, with its amazing floral street art designs. But you need to head inside to see the full array of what is on offer, with bright and cheery colours and designs, for both shoes and bags. Ideal for a wedding or party, or if you simply want to be a bit different in your everyday fashion. Their website includes shoes and accessories, all available online if you can’t get to a store. You can also see what they offer on Amazon here.
I visited again in May and they had some stunning sandals for the summer! Feast your eyes on these…
Sass and Belle
This is my new favourite shop! I’ve bought their products online before from Amazon (see their selection here), and visited their Covent Garden store, so it’s great to finally get one in Brighton.
They sell homewares, gifts and an array of items you didn’t think you needed. I’m currently obsessed with glasses cases, having got to the age where I have a pair in every room of the house (or so it seems), and have at least three of their current designs! Who doesn’t love a flamingo case to inspire you at work? Visit their website too.
Ooh, glasses cases!
I used to pay Dockerills regular visits when I was setting up home in my first flat in Hove, as the staff are so helpful and it’s the type of old fashioned ironmonger which is sadly lacking in most towns these days. It’s a family-run business which is over 100 years old, and must be one of the most successful Brighton shops in history. Their website lists the amazing array of services they provide, including key cutting, metal fabrication and a ‘grindery service’. So you know where to go the next time you need to grind…
Moving north into Gardner Street, my next stop is known in our house as the veggie shoe shop. With a vegetarian husband who is keen to avoid leather it’s the perfect place to buy footwear. The prices are reasonable and I’ve bought sandals and shoes from there too, as they sell veggie lookalike versions of Birkenstock, Converse, Doc Marten and desert boot styles. They sell other animal-friendly products such as belts and satchels.
See their website for mail order if you don’t live near Brighton and want to save a few cows.
I won’t dwell too much on this shop in case my mother is reading, but suffice to say it has a very pretty exterior and many floors of adult fun inside. Some very rude (and often hilarious) gifts await you on the ground floor, and then as you move upstairs the stock gets more ‘exotic’. What’s more, the staff are extremely friendly and helpful. If you want to find out more then visit their website here!
Jump The Gun
Righto, back to a less fruity subject! Jump The Gun has been selling 60s style menswear for 20 years and is a mecca for anyone of the modernist persuasion. They mainly stock own-brand clothing, including suits and a collection of colourful shirts, all made in the UK or Europe. They sell t-shirts, badges and other merchandise related to the mod and scooter scenes. Check out their website for some great photos and videos of the local scene.
Little Beach Boutique
One of my oldest friends also comes to Brighton regularly and recommended a new shop to me which I just had to visit as it sounded right up my street. It’s on North Road which is a left turn at the top of Gardner Street, just a short walk from Jump The Gun.
She was right! Owner Suzanne makes beautiful glass pictures, coasters and other lovely homewares, much of it with a Brighton theme.
She also sells a lovely range of gifts, some handcrafted, including jewellery, bags and children’s clothing.
I treated myself to one of their scarves! They sell greetings cards too and my son chose a nice one for Father’s Day.
There’s a fab collection of clocks which would look lovely in a child’s bedroom.
They are open seven days a week and the shop doubles up as a workshop where you can watch Suzanne creating one of her masterpieces. They have a collection of ceramic hearts which you can string together to create a lovely banner.
It’s a great place to go if you need to buy a gift, or treat yourself to something special. Check out their website for mail order too if you can’t make it to Brighton. You can even learn to make your own unique glass creation and they cater for hen parties or other groups.
I believe this was formerly calls the Vintage Magazine Shop but it seems to have rebranded as Retro Cards and is in Kensington Gardens. It’s a great place for gifts, cards and posters and there is so much choice. From badges to mugs, t-shirts to fridge magnets and too many cards and posters to count. They have a website, which is here, if you’d like to see what’s available online.
That’s the end of the main tour so I’m sure by now you are probably in need of a rest, and Cloud 9 is one of many coffee and cake shops in the area. If you head south towards the seafront to the Lanes then you’ll find it in the little alleyway next to Donatello. Their offerings are absolutely delicious and I struggle to resist the wide range of cakes, cupcakes and ice cream treats. The rainbow cake is a masterpiece and they make gluten-free versions of some of the cakes too. They can cater for occasions and make amazing wedding cakes and personalised cupcakes. Check out their website here for inspiration.
After a wander around the shops it’s nice to stroll along the prom, and if you’re near the i360 (the new seafront attraction next to the West Pier) then do pop in to the Brighton Photography gallery in the arches on the lower promenade. Their prints are stunning, especially of the pier and surrounding areas. Their calendar is always amazing and is currently proudly displayed in my kitchen! Check out the website to see their stunning work.
And so concludes my shopping tour of Brighton! There are too many other great shops to mention, so you have to come and see them for yourself. It’s a busy, cosmopolitan city with so much to do and see. What are your favourite Brighton shops? Please leave a comment below and I will make sure I pay them a visit them on my next trip!
Don’t forget – for the best value parking you can book in advance try JustPark.
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If you plan to travel to Brighton soon you may also enjoy my recommended travel accessories here.