The Brighton & Hove Independent newspaper dubbed Brighton the “most colourful city” in the country once. Of course, they were cheating as the UK’s colour run was being held in Brighton at the time and the participants were being coated in colourful powders.
That’s pretty colourful but Brighton’s still full of colour even without the powder. We’d like to give you a tour of Brighton’s most colourful houses, buildings and beach huts from the comfort of your screen before you come to check it out for yourself.
Blaker Street: The Terrace Of Many Colours
If you want to live in Blaker St. then you’re going to have to come up with some serious money. Right, Move’s property tracker says that in September of 2019 a 4-bedroom terraced house on the street shifted for just shy of £600,000.
Now, that’s pretty good for Brighton where a house in the most expensive area in town is going to set you back £1.5 million or so but it’s still quite a bit more than a house in most other cities in the country.
However, if you want amazing colours then Blaker Street has to be high on your list to visit as the entire terrace is painted in bright colours. You’ve got blues, pinks, reds, oranges and more. This is Instagram gold for many and if you check out the photo-sharing site, you’ll find awesome images like this one, which showcases the area very well, indeed:
But if you really want to get into the swing of things on Blaker Street, there’s also quite a bit of coverage on Pinterest too.
North Laine: Where The Colours Aren’t As Immediate
The North Laine area also has plenty of colours to offer though not in such a dramatic way as Blaker Street does. The word “Laine” comes from the original Sussex dialect which meant “open tract of land” anywhere on the South Downs.
Brighton was once surrounded by five lanes. However, as the industrial era came upon the 19th century, Brighton (the town) began to encroach on the open lands surrounding it and the lanes began to be swallowed up by residential and industrial development.
By 1840, the North Laine was no longer an open tract of land at all but had houses, a market, a railway station, Brighton Railway Station to be precise, and even a pub.
However, while the area is close to the Royal Pavilion for years it langured in squalor and was generally considered an awful place to live packed with slaughterhouses and urban wretches.
Over the years the area began to be viewed with contempt and in the 1970s it was proposed that the city demolish North Laine and replace it with a flyover and a bunch of high-rise buildings. Fortunately, Brighton’s Borough Planning Officer, a chap named Ken Fines, had a clear vision for the future of Brighton and saw the charm in North Laine.
Today, it’s a bohemian paradise for both tourists and locals alike. The area has gentrified massively since the 1970s and while it isn’t as colourful as Blaker Street (but would the city really benefit from two brightly coloured districts?), there are plenty of moments of colour on the streets of North Laine.
Check out this great photo from Instagram for an example of the local hues.
The best time to visit is a Saturday when Upper Gardner Street is blocked off to traffic and opened up for a street market, instead.
The Red House Of Elm Grove
If you have a spare £520,000 (or thereabouts, that was the price back in 2018 and that is a long time ago in terms of Brighton’s property market), you might be able to buy yourself the bright red terraced house that sits on Elm Grove.
It may look small from the outside but on the inside, there are four bedrooms across four floors and there are bright murals painted on each wall. The West-facing garden has superb access to the evening sunlight which bursts into the main living area via two sets of double glass doors.
The original owners were artists and say they were inspired to do up their house in bright colours inside and out by the travels they’ve made around the world. The view from the front door is also fantastic.
However, that’s not the only brightly coloured house on Elm Grove. It appears that some of the neighbours are competing with the Red House of Elm Grove and there is now something in all the colours of the rainbow on the same street!
Hove Lawn Beach Huts
Possibly the most famous brightly coloured spectacle in Brighton and Hove is the Hove Lawn Beach Huts. These chalets are designed for holidaymakers to be able to get changed in peace and perhaps have a cup of tea before heading back out onto the beach to soak up some rays.
Given that it is the beach that most people come to Brighton for, it makes sense to have made the place as cheerful and bright as possible and the Hove Lawn Beach Huts have each been painted in at least one striking colour.
Somehow, it works. It doesn’t feel gaudy or like it’s trying too hard but instead, it offers a near-perfect glimpse into the English past and the national heritage. It’s not hard to see why weary Londoners tired of all the grey of the capital would choose to head down to Brighton for a break to recharge their batteries in the Hove Lawn Beach Huts.
You can get a feel for these splendid chalets in this lovely image from Instagram:
If you want to rent a Hove Lawn Beach Hut you can. In fact, the rents are pretty reasonable, you’re going to need to sign a 5-year tenancy agreement, but they are £1,378.71 for 5 years at this moment, an absolute bargain if you intend to spend much time on the beach.
Brighton Sea Life Center
OK, this might be something of a cheat, but the Brighton Aquarium opened back in 1872 and it has been open to the public ever since. It’s now called, The Brighton Sea Life Centre and while it’s not always colourful – there is a rainbow lit ceiling in the building which we think is exceptionally colourful.
We appreciate that not everybody approves of aquariums, but we think that, when they’re run as professionally as the Sea Life Centre, they do more good than they do harm. This isn’t a zoo and most (if not all) fish would be incapable of sensing they were in captivity.
Check out the ceiling at the Brighton Sea Life Centre in this Instagram photo:
Of course, if you want to see it in person – you will have to pay an entrance fee and at the moment an adult ticket can be bought online for £16 but if you turn up and try to buy one on the day, it’ll set you back £35.50!
The Prince Albert Pub: Brighton’s Rock Star Venue
The Prince Albert Pub is recognizable at some distance away because not only is it painted in some of the brightest colours around – it’s also covered in the faces of most of the famous rock stars of the previous decades. There’s even a little bit that was done by “Banksy” Britain’s most famous and, yet, anonymous artist.
Yes, as you might be able to guess – it’s a music venue and a good one at that. Their food is decent when the bands are not on and the beer is always wet (and that’s the important thing).
You’re going to love grabbing a selfie outside before the evening begins (don’t leave it too late though – it’s not quite as striking late at night).
See for yourself in this stunning Instagram shot:
The Brighton Rainbow Crosswalk
A local artist has also made the Promenade in Brighton much chirpier by installing her latest piece “Happiness in the Rain”.
This is a brightly coloured crosswalk that is intended to lift people’s spirits in gloomy weather. Not surprisingly, the public reception to the work has been positive and it’s a nice additional spot of colour in what may already be one of Britain’s brightest and happiest cities.
You can see a wide range of Lois’ work on Instagram @loisohara including this fabulous shot of “Happiness in the Rain”
As you can see Brighton’s most colourful houses and beach huts are a wonder to behold. You can also find other bright spots around the city including The Prince Albert Pub, The Sea Life Centre and the Brighton Rainbow Crosswalk. So, if you need your spirits lifting – it might be time to plan a trip to Brighton.