If you are a cycling fan visiting Brighton, you couldn’t possibly leave disappointed; it really has everything; beautiful green scenery and seashore to enjoy while riding, the correct infrastructure to keep you safe and most importantly organized self-guided routes and also bike tours inside and outside the city to cater to every taste possible.
Following, I have gathered up some of the most interesting and original bike tours and cycle routes from the main providers in Brighton, that can transform your trip and give you a view of the city you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Brighton Cycle Routes and Bike Tours that will make your trip:
- Grand Coastal Tour
- Absolute Brighton Tour
- Twilight Tour
Cycle Routes in the city:
- Instagram Trail
- Ethical Business Trail
- Cultural Trail
Cycle Routes from Brighton:
- Coastal Worthing
- Stanmer Park and Falmer
- Lewes and South Downs
If you’d tell me that you found nothing that appealed to you even in this small list, I would consider it a lie.
As you can see the tours are roughly divided in tours mainly for the culture admirers, city girls and city boys who want to explore the more urban aspects of Brighton. On the other hand, I have included routes which focus on the natural beauty or the shake of cycling itself and are for those of you who might want to explore more than the city center. So, there’s something for everyone.
Some of the routes in the third category are provided with slight alterations from different providers. In those cases, I have suggested the less tiring ones or the ones which had more things to offer although I do realise that these aspects can conflict sometimes.
And of course, the routes/tours above are only indicative of the ones that you can actually do in your trip in Brighton.
So, in the rest of the article I will, first of all, explain the benefits of choosing a bike tour in Brighton and specifically of the ones I recommended for you. Then I will do exactly the same for the cycle routes in and out of the city.
And finally, I will also talk about other tours/ routes, our honourable mentions of this article, which didn’t make it to the top 3 of our categories but are also worthwhile.
So, let’s begin
Why Choose a Guided Bicycle Tour in Brighton?
Generally speaking, people say go with a local if you want to really learn a city. A guided tour will give you an overview about the place you’re visiting and tell you why things are like they are and look how they look. Plus, you’ll be introduced in amazing food and drinks instead of jumping exhausted and starving to the first MacDonalds that you see after a long walk or to the most touristic pub of all.
But why specifically in Brighton?
In Brighton, the main company that does guided tours, the Brighton Bike Tours, aka us, offers some great choices when it comes to bike tours.
I don’t want to brag about it but with the Grand Coastal Tour, which grandiose name is very promising yet true, you’ll see, well, everything. You are getting a pinch of street art but also historical trivia and fun facts about the city. Υοu will cycle near the sea (which is worth a visit even in rainy days) but you will also get your share of greenery aka the Preston Park. It’s probably the most well-rounded way to see the city and then go on and carve your own paths and routes.
There is also the Absolute Brighton Tour, which is the Grand Coastal Tour’s upgrade, an extended version of it, kind of like a small fieldtrip. If you are a seafood and fancy promenade lover this tour will also take you all the way down to Brighton Marina.
Last but not least, who wouldn’t want to cycle in the early evening and enjoy the beautiful Brighton sunset colours over the promenade? With my personal favourite tour, the Twilight Tour you get to do it. If you aren’t a morning type or if you don’t want to miss the opening times of the museums in Brighton, this is the tour for you.
Why Choose a Non-Guided Cycle Route in Brighton?
Sometimes you just want to literally set your own pace. You do realise the benefits of a guided tour in Brighton (if you do it means that I convinced you) but you want to go completely independently in the city, and this is understandable. Or you’d love to go into the hills, for which there are not so many things to be said anyway and get lost in the magic of the city as seen from above.
Let’s see what your options are in this case
Inside the city
Not guided but already designed routes are provided by the BTN bikes scheme or Brighton and Hove’s share bike scheme which is one and the same thing. From 2017 Brighton like other European cities has its bike scheme with hubs around the city and bicycles that you can just rent after creating an account in the Social Bicycles mobile app.
I have to give creativity and inventiveness points to the bike scheme since in its website there are some rather creative routes to be found some of which I already mentioned in the beginning.
Those routes are rather short (10 to 30 minutes tops) and mostly very specifically but interested themed. They won’t give you a full picture of the city, but definitely a fun fresh aspect of it. Maybe they are more suitable for people who have visited Brighton again and want to experience alternative views of it.
So there is the Instagram trail because let’s be honest, we all want to take a picture next to the most photographed spots of the city to prove we were there. In this route, there are gathered some the most “instagramable” places around the city such as the Bansky’s kissing cops or the infamous colourful Blaker street houses, one of Brighton’s trademarks.
Next there is the Ethical Business Trail which takes you to some of the most sustainable businesses in the city. Brighton is a very “green” place to be and this is also reflected by the local shops which this trail invites you to explore.
Finally, you can follow the Cultural Trail, which will exclusively introduce you to the main exhibition spaces, for example, the Fabrica and other places of cultural interest.
Click Here for a full list of short cycling routes from the BTN bike scheme website.
Outside the city
For some rather more physically challenging and non-guided cycle routes outside the city, I would say, take a look at Cycle Brighton who has very kindly rustled up a number of cycle routes starting from Brighton and spanning all across Sussex.
The first one I have chosen for you is the Coastal Worthing because I am a merciful person and didn’t want to start off with the harsher ones. Coastal Worthing is a relatively flat route along the coast which will provide you with a beautiful view of the sea passing by Portslade Shoreham and other small cities of Sussex all the way till Worthing (and since you are there the Worthing museum is absolutely worth visiting -pun intended-)
The second is Stanmer Park and Falmer. Brighton is surrounded by beautiful green zones large part of which constitute Stanmer Park. This is a challenging steep one but with beautiful scenery. Take a walk also in the Falmer Campus of the Brighton University and spot the monumental Amex Stadium.
The third and final one is Lewes and South Downs. And this is the steepest (it reaches 1454 f uphill at points) but also the most rewarding one since the surroundings are amazing plus you get to see the quaint city of Lewes with its bonfires and Castle.
Other Routes/ Tours that are Worth your Time
From where should I begin? First of all, our most honourable mentions come from the Komoot website. Komoot is a great navigation app for cycling and trekking and except for organizing your own routes, you can also find already planned ones in Brighton and Hove.
Some of the most interesting are the ones to Devil’s Dyke, ( the point with the most beautiful panoramic view of Sussex) such as Devil’s Dyke- Stan’s Bike shack loop from Aldrington or Devil’s Dyke loop from Brighton and also various routes to Ditchling Beacon.
A complete list of them with 20 routes can be found here
As you can see, I could go on and on about your bicycle options in Brighton. I haven’t exhausted the topic, that’s for sure, but I will stop now with the hope that I have given you at least a full scope of your possibilities for your visit in Brighton.