Fun and quirky things to do in Brighton

A turquoise wooden upside down house on the prom at Brighton. The house is literally on its roof and inside all the furniture is stuck to the 'ceiling' which makes it a really quirky thing to do as you can take photos and turn them upside down.

As a frequent visitor to Brighton I’m always looking for fun and quirky things to do there. It’s such a cool city and there’s plenty of things to do which aren’t necessarily featured in the standard ‘top 10 things to do in Brighton’ lists.

My list includes great things to do in Brighton, some with children and also more adult-based activities.

1. Treasure Hunt

I’ve written before about how much fun we had in the summer doing Black Cat Treasure Hunts all over Sussex. Prices start at just £2 for a download which gives you a series of instructions and quiz questions about a particular area. For Brighton there are many different hunts, from the seafront to the North Laine and beyond. We did the seafront one with my young son and his friend and had a great time, learning so much even though I thought I knew Brighton really well!

They tick so many boxes and these are the reasons why I love them :

  • Treasure hunts are fun to do
  • They are great for all the family (I’ve done them with my young son with his mates but also with my elderly mum)
  • Really cheap, from just £2
  • Flexible – you can do them whenever you want and at your own pace
  • Learn about a place even if you think you know it really well
  • Spend time outside and a fun way to get exercise walking

For more information visit the Black Cat Treasure Hunts website to view the full list of Brighton treasure hunts.

Special offer!
I’ve negotiated a 50% discount from the already-cheap price for Sussex Treasure Hunts! Just use ‘mystery’ when checking out and you can try one of the hunts at half price.

2. Upside Down House

There’s nothing more quirky in Brighton than visiting the upside down house on the seafront. It’s right next to the i360 and you can’t miss it! It’s bright turquoise and is a great experience for capturing fun photos in the upside down rooms.

Turquoise upside down wooden house on Brighton prom

It’s a very strange experience inside. You are warned that if you’re pregnant or get motion sickness that you shouldn’t enter, because it can make you feel quite dizzy! Your brain struggles to cope with the sloping floors and furniture on the ceiling. It’s well worth it though, for such a unique experience.

Here’s an example of the type of photo opportunity you get inside. You take the photos as normal and then rotate them 180 degrees afterwards.

You need to be tall for this shot!

Videos are even more quirky. My top tip is to crawl along the ‘floor’… They work the same as photos if your phone allows them to be rotated by 180 degrees. I’ve got the latest iPhone ioS and it worked on mine.

It was only supposed to be open for a year, but in Sept 2021 it’s still going strong. Tickets cost £5. You can find out more on their website here.

I’m very grateful to the Upside Down House people for giving us complimentary tickets so we could take these brilliant photos!

3. Retro Gaming Cafe – Boo Diddley’s

We recently found a real gem which is Boo Diddley’s retro gaming cafe in Gardner Street, right in the heart of the North Laine. It ticks all our boxes! Nice coffee for the husband, smoothies for me and milkshakes for my son. If you’re hungry then they serve delicious homemade cakes, toasted sandwiches and salads. There’s also a popcorn machine!

People playing retro arcade games in the Boo Diddley's cafe in Gardner Street, Brighton

But the main USP for this cute cafe are the retro games on every table. There are Nintendos, Game Cubes and early PlayStations with a range of games on the bookshelves. There are more games in the basement including full sized Donkey Kong and Space Invader arcade machines.

You can find out more on the Boo Diddley’s Facebook page.

4. Zip Wire

A recent addition to the things you can do near the pier in Brighton is the zip wire which is located on Madeira Drive. If you walk in an easterly direction from the Brighton Pier (or Palace Pier as we used to call it!) then its a couple of hundred yards away, opposite the Sealife Centre.

At 300 metres it’s the longest zip line on the south coast and includes options to race a friend on the dual wire, and also experience the drop zone which drops you 24 metres safely onto the deck below.

When I visited, there was only one wire open so no dual rides were possible. You wear a helmet and climb into a harness which is attached to a metal handle which is placed over the wire. Although the tower seems quite high when you’re climbing the steps the ride itself is actually quite sedate. The staff are really helpful and explain everything in detail so I felt extremely safe.

I absolutely loved it although I wasn’t quite prepared for the ‘landing’ when the brakes kick in. You jerk a bit at the bottom so it’s best to keep an eye out for the horizonal brakes which are a few metres from the end zone where someone will help you off the wire.

If you’re a thrillseeker and fancy doing something a bit different in Brighton then you can buy tickets here, and find out more. If a particular day is sold out then you may still be able to go as they hold back some tickets for people who turn up on the day.

There are some restrictions – you need to be at least 6 years old, 1.3 metres tall and between 30kg and 120kg.

5. Brighton i360

I’m not sure if it still qualifies as ‘quirky’ as it’s been there a while now but the i360 is a great way of getting a unique view of the city of Brighton. It dominates the seafront and is a giant pod which takes you 138 metres into the sky. To get some sense of scale, this is way higher than the seafront hotels and you can see for miles in all directions.

The view from the top of the i360 in Brighton looking east, with the sea on the right and the prom and town on the left.

The pod moves really slowly so it’s not a thrill ride. Instead, it takes you up very sedately and then pauses at the top for you to take in the 360 degree views.

Book tickets and find out more by clicking here.

6. Street Art Lesson

Brighton is a brilliant place for street art and there are many talented artists who paint murals around the city. A street art lesson is a great way to learn more about this artform and see if you have the skills to do a mural of your own.

Snub23 and Sprite, aka Seth and Amy, are two of the most well-known and prolific artists in the city. They both offer lessons and I arranged for Amy to give my artistic son some tips in the summer. The lesson lasted a couple of hours and it was so cool to create a mural in the street art hotspot of Black Rock, near the marina.

You can contact Seth and Amy either by emailing studio@snub23.com or via their Instagram profiles here : Snub23 and I.Am.Sprite. Sprite’s work is also available on Etsy here.

Another artist who gives individual lessons as well as organising holiday painting activities for children is Amy Kelly-Miller. Amy is based at our favourite art shop, Clarkes, in the North Laine. You can see some of her projects outside, in the alleyway next to the shop in Bond Street.

A mural of a turtle swimming underwater in the alley next to Clarkes art shop in Bond Street, Brighton.  The mural is by Amy Kelly-Miller.

You can contact Amy via her Facebook page here, or her Instagram profile here.

If you’re interested in Brighton street art then I’ve devised a tour around the best locations, which you can read here.

7. Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are really fun for a group of people and many are family friendly so children will have as much fun as the adults. Brighton has many escape rooms and we’ve tried out a couple of them. The first one we tried was BewilderBox, which has two locations, one in the Hobgoblin pub on London Road and the one we tried which is in the Brunswick in Hove.

Bewilderbox

Being situated in a pub is quite handy if you get there early as you can have a drink or even lunch while you’re waiting. The Hove game is called Judgement Dave and takes place in an upstairs room. The theming is great, including the Gamesmaster who plays the part of a nutty professor brilliantly. We really enjoyed this room and it’s ideal for first-timers as well as seasoned escapers.

Prices are per team and start at £79, so the more people you have the cheaper it will be. However, in my experience you wouldn’t want to have too many as you want everyone to be involved, so I’d say 3-5 people is perfect for this game. Find out more about Bewilderbox here.

Pier Pressure

The second Brighton escape room we tried is run by Pier Pressure. They have four rooms and the one we did has a 1960s mod theme, something which appealed to us as we are really into the scooter scene.

It’s called Modrophenia and we had been warned by the organisers that you need plenty of people for this one, and I would say it’s less suitable for newbies. They recommend at least four people but there’s a lot to do so more would be better.

The theming of the room was great, with a scooter, pinball machine and other 1960s items. We did need a few clues though, and found it quite a challenge. I’m sure that more experienced gamers would find it easier though.

Prices start from £18 per person off peak and £22 at other times. To find out more, visit Pier Pressure’s website.

8. Comedy at Komedia

One of my favourite things to do in Brighton is visit Komedia for a comedy night. I’ve been going for 20-odd years and it never disappoints. For the Krater Comedy Club nights you are treated to three comedians with an MC to warm up the audience and introduce each act. Although most of the time I’ve never heard of the acts, they are usually really funny. I saw Romesh Ranganathan there a couple of years before he appeared on TV and recently we saw Rob Deering there, and he was hilarious.

The outside of Komedia in Gardner Street, Brighton.

You can buy food to eat before or during the performance and they have a really well-organised bar where it doesn’t take forever to get served, and sell sweeties too like mini eggs and jelly beans! Tickets cost £26 and you can pay extra to get a meal deal to include food.

Komedia is also a venue for bands and other touring acts so check out their website here to see what’s on. Most nights are adult-only but check beforehand if you have children.

9. Paradox Place

One of Brighton’s newest attractions is the house of illusion at Paradox Place which is on the corner of Trafalgar Lane in the North Laines.

I took my son and his friend in half term and we all loved it! Set over three floors, there are different rooms with various optical illusions, quirky photo opportunities and activities to do.

an optical illusion with a child in the foreground at a table appearing to hold a pint of beer with another child sitting on the top.
One of many fun rooms in Paradox Place

I would highly recommend it and you can find out more on the Paradox Place website.

Visiting Brighton

I hope you enjoyed my list of fun and quirky things to do in Brighton. If you’re visiting and would like to stay over then check out the latest deals on Booking.com below!

Booking.com

More about Brighton

I’ve written many articles about Brighton and they are listed below if you want to read more!
Brighton Graffiti Tour
Fun and quirky things to do in Brighton
Secrets of the West Pier
Street Art In Brighton
My Favourite Brighton Shops
Scooters And Street Art
Best Paste-Up Street Art in Brighton


4 thoughts on “Fun and quirky things to do in Brighton

  1. Jo says:

    Fabulous post. We visit Brighton fairly often and I didn’t know about some of these attractions The upside down house and the zip wire look fun. Do you k ow how much the zip wire is currently?

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