Cycling in Brighton and Hove a Complete & Helpful 2021 Guide


We don’t think there’s any better way to see Brighton and Hove than on the back of a bicycle. It keeps you fit, it lets you enjoy the city in a way that’s simply not possible in a car and it means you can get much farther than you could walking. It’s great fun and there are so many options for you to cycle in Brighton which is why we put together this guide.

The complete guide to cycling in Brighton and Hove includes the 5 best cycling routes in Brighton and Hove, the 5 most useful bike shops, the 3 most interesting bike tours, the 3 best places to hire a bike and the 3 secure bike parking options in the area. It’s everything you need to come to Brighton and Hove and have a great time on your bike.

The 5 Best Cycling Routes In Brighton And Hove

Brighton has plenty of cycling routes in and around the city and we’ve picked the 5 best for you: the sea front, Rottingdean to Shoreham, Stanmer Park, The Dyke Railway Trail, and Hove Park.

The Sea Front (Easy And Quick)

Brighton’s sea front offers the perfect opportunity to slip away for a short time on a hot summer’s day and get engaged with nature. Please remember that while you can’t cycle down the promenade after 11 a.m. you can if you turn up before then and it’s worth it.

This is a superb way to enjoy the seaside town nature of Brighton and let the world go by you. It’s also a great route for families because it’s flat and short and that means even the smallest kids can have fun without becoming exhausted.

Rottingdean To Shoreham (The Big One)

If you want to extend your seafront cycle to something a little more challenging, then you might want to consider the Rottingdean to Shoreham route. This is a splendid way to spend an afternoon (or morning for that matter) and it is probably the best cycling opportunity

Start at Rottingdean, which is a small village to the east, and head on the undercliffs path to Shoreham in the west. You’ll be able to see nearly everything there is to see regarding the sea and the city from this route. It takes about 2 hours to do (though it can take longer if you want to stop) and it’s all on the flat.

Stanmer Park (Go Off Road)

Grab your mountain bikes if you want to go off road and head to Stanmer Park. The good news is that there’s free parking on site and thus it’s a very affordable day out for Brighton. The park is a great place for cyclists to commune with nature.

You have a multitude of routes you can choose from in the park and we find that the Trailforks website can really help you plan the best day out.

We’d encourage you to take a packed lunch or at least some refreshments with you because there aren’t very many places to get food and drink in or near the park.

The Dyke Railway Trail (Hove’s Best Option)

This is a short but fun route. You’ll find the start of the trail near the Downsman Pub on Hangleton Way, Hove. It ought to be obvious where it begins but if you’re in any doubt, just ask someone passing by if they’re local, they’ll be sure to know it.

It’s a fully tarmacked route and you follow the old railway line down towards the dyke. If you’re looking for a bit more of a challenge and you’ve got mountain bikes (as you’ll be cycling over gravel), you can keep going down to the Devil’s Dyke for a bit more adventure.

Hove Park (Inner City Fun)

Hove Park is very cycle friendly and, in fact, each year the Hove Park Crits (a major cycling race) is held within its grounds. When the Crits isn’t on, everyone is free to use Hove Park for cycling and they have a great network of cycle paths on the grounds.

One thing to keep an eye out for while cycling around Hove Park is The Goldstone which has a human face on the surface of the rock and was thought to be a religious monument for Britain’s original religion – The Druids.

The 5 Most Useful Bike Shops In Brighton And Hove

Brighton is blessed with a wealth of bike shops to choose from and we’ve selected what we think are the 5 best options in the city for you: Baker Street Bikes, Evans Cycles Brighton, Hove Cycles, Prestige Cycles and Brighton E-bikes.

Baker Street Bikes

Address: 7-8 York Place, Brighton, BN1 4GU

Website: Baker St Bikes.co.uk

We like Baker Street Bikes for their local roots – they opened in 2000 in Brighton. They’ve got a fantastic range of second-hand bikes (and we recommend buying second-hand if you can – it will save you money and it’s good for the environment) and they back them all with their own warranty.

They also have a decent range of new bikes from half a dozen brands and they stock e-bikes. If you’ve got problems with your current bike – they offer a free check-up service so that you can find out what’s wrong and what it might cost to fix.

Evans Cycles Brighton

Address: 4 Air Street, Brighton, BN1 3FB

Website: EvansCycles.com

Evans is a reassuringly well-equipped chain store and the holding group has many stores across the UK. We think this is important if you want to buy a bike and take it around the country and want service from the same retailer.

They’re also big enough to own their own ranges of bikes which you can’t find elsewhere: HOY and Pinnacle. (HOY was designed by Sir Chris Hoy the British Olympic Cycling Champion).

We like the fact you can test drive any bike in store, that they offer a full-servicing range and that they can order nearly everything you could want or need quickly and efficiently if they don’t have it in stock.

Prestige Cycles

Address: Stanmer Village, Stanmer Park,  Brighton, BN1 9PZ

Website: Prestige-Cycles.co.uk

If you’re looking for a luxury model, then you can’t go wrong with Prestige Cycles. They sell “the most amazing bikes from around the world” according to their website. They’re not cheap but they are amazing.

They can even offer a full fitting service which includes the use of their wind tunnel to model the airflow of the cyclist and tailor the bike to offer maximum aerodynamic efficiency.

They do offer bike servicing but there are no freebies at Prestige Cycles, and we suspect for most cyclists, there are better deals elsewhere.

Brighton E-Bikes

Address: By Appointment

Website: BrightonEBikes.co.uk

Electric bikes have come a long way in recent years and they’re no longer for specialist use. The reason they’re so popular is that the bike does the hard work when you need it to. For example, when you’re finding a gradient too hard going, you can switch the motor on and get a quick boost.

Buying an electric bike is, however, still quite specialist and you need a personal service which is why Brighton E-Bikes only offers appointments. That way they can assess your needs and help design the right bike for you. They also do e-bike repairs and they too are by appointment only.

Hove Cycles

Address: 101 Blatchington Road, Hove, BN3 3YG

Website: HoveCycles.com

If you’re in Hove and you’re looking for a bike or need one serviced, then Hove Cycles is probably the answer to your needs. They’re a real family operation and while their website is a little lacking, they’re professional and helpful.

We like the large range of bikes that they have on site and you can try before you buy. We’re also pleased to report that if you’re looking for a tax break – they supper the CycleScheme.co.uk if you intend to ride to work.

The 3 Most Interesting Bike Tours In Brighton And Hove

Brighton is one of the best cities in the UK for a bike tour and we’ve picked our three highlights for you: The Grand Brighton Bike Tour, The Grand Coastal Bike Tour and the e-Bike Tour of Brighton’s Coastline.

The Grand Brighton Bike Tour

The best rated tour on Trip Advisor is The Grand Brighton Bike Tour and we’d say that because this exceptional tour really wraps up the best of Brighton for you. It’s only 2 and a half hours long which is perfect because it slots into a morning or an afternoon and then once you’ve seen the city – you still have time to go and enjoy some of the places you’ve encountered along the way.

The guide will make sure you laugh and learn as you delve into Brighton and what makes it unique. You’ll get tea and cakes at the Royal Pavilion and get to drink in the majesty of Brighton’s seafront. It’s an unmissable experience.

A Full List of Places You Will See on this Tour:

  • Brighton Dome
  • Brighton Pier
  • Brighton Rock Garden
  • British Airways i360
  • Eagle – Great Eastern Pub Stop
  • East Street- Brighton’s oldest street
  • Fishing Quarter
  • Graffiti Adorned back streets
  • Graffiti adorned Kensington street
  • Grand Hotel
  • Grand Parade
  • Icons Wall – Banksy
  • Little St Peters church
  • Pavilion Gardens
  • Pavilion Gardens Cafe
  • Pet cemetery
  • Poppy Filled Wild meadows
  • Preston Manor House
  • Preston Park
  • Preston Twins
  • Royal Pavilion Palace
  • Secret Garden
  • St Bartholomew’s church
  • St Peters church
  • Sydney Street
  • The Lanes
  • The Level
  • The North Laine – Bohemian Quarter
  • The Railway Viaduct

 

The Grand Coastal Bike Tour

For those who really love the water, this tour is all about Brighton’s coastline. It’s also 2 and a half hours long and it begins on Victoria Lawns before heading all the way to Hove. There’s some lovely freewheeling to be had on the way – so you won’t get tired.

You can enjoy something to eat and drink at the megastar Fat Boy Slim’s café and then head back to Brighton whilst getting a chance to appreciate the brilliance of the i360 which is the most striking item on Brighton’s skyline.

A Full List of Places You Will See on this Tour:

  • Beach Huts
  • Big Beach Café – Fat Boy Slim’s place
  • Brighton Dome
  • Brighton Pier
  • Brighton/Hove boundary
  • British Airways i360
  • Eagle – Great Eastern Pub Stop
  • East Street- Brighton’s oldest street
  • Fishing Quarter
  • Graffiti Adorned back streets
  • Graffiti adorned Kensington street
  • Grand Hotel
  • Grand Parade
  • Hove Lagoon
  • Hove Lawns
  • Hove Promenade
  • Icons Wall – Banksy
  • Pavilion Gardens
  • Pavilion Gardens Cafe
  • Peace statue
  • Queen Victoria Statue
  • Royal Pavilion Palace
  • St Bartholomew’s church
  • St Peters church
  • Sydney Street
  • The Lanes
  • The Level
  • The North Laine – Bohemian Quarter
  • Victorian Birdcage Band Stand

CannonBall E-Bike Tours – Brighton Coastline Tour

We’re huge fans of CannonBall’s e-Bike tours they a huge amount of fun and we think that every visit to Brighton could benefit from taking a tour with them.

Their electric mountain bike tour of Brighton’s coastline will only take an hour and it takes you all the way from Brighton to Rottingdean and back.  You can choose whether to follow the cliff path on the way back (which is our favourite as it offers spectacular views of the city) or go off-road if you want something a little more adventurous and you’re used to mountain bikes.

The 3 Best Bike Hire Options In Brighton And Hove

There are several bike hire options the most dominant of which is BTN Bikeshare the publicly funded and operated scheme but Brighton Beach Bikes and Electric Bikes Sussex can help extend your choices and it’s also worth considering taking a tour if you just want to see the city on a bike as it can work out the best value.

BTN Bikeshare

By far the best known of the bike hire options in Brighton is BTN Bikeshare. If you want to use this service then you’ll need to create an account on their website and do so before you come to Brighton.

Then you can download their app and use the app to control the rental service as you need it. There’s no doubt that BTN Bikeshare is handy and useful for short trips, but their bikes aren’t the most comfortable and finding somewhere to park them isn’t always easy. We’d also like to see them provide cycle helmets because your safety matters.

Brighton Beach Bikes

You can find Brighton Beach Bikes, as you might expect, on the beach and they’re the only bike hire shop around. Bike hire is a little more expensive than from BTN Bikeshare, but they offer wide super cool wide handle barred beach cruiser bikes with a simple single speed.

You should be aware that you can’t cycle on the lower promenade after 11 a.m. but you can always cycle the seafront cycle path, instead. Plus now the Green Party has go in, the cycle path has been exstended to part of the main road of Kings Parade, towards the Hove end. So enjoy.

Electric Bikes Sussex

You’ll find Electric Bikes Sussex at Brighton Marina and if you want to hire an e-bike they’re your best bet. Many people say that this is the best way to cycle now because when the going gets tough – the bike does the hard work for you.

We’re purists and prefer to do our own cycling (and get our fitness up) but we completely understanding if you’d like the bike to take some of the load. Just remember though, convenience comes at a price and it’s not the cheapest service in town.

Where To Find Secure Bike Parking In Brighton And Hove

Brighton suffers from a serious amount of bike crime and it’s important that whenever you need to leave your bike, you keep it secure. Unfortunately, there’s not a huge amount of secure parking for bicycles in the city and that means planning your route carefully – the main secure parking area is at Brighton Station at the CycleHub and soon, there will be a similar facility at Hove Station and Brighton Beach Bikes also offers a secure parking facility near the beach.

Brighton Station Cycle Hub

The Brighton Station Cycle Hub has 500 parking bays and best of all it’s free! The area is completely secure, but you will need an access card in the form of a Key Go or Key Smartcard issued by Southern Railways (you can also use these cards to buy train tickets). This facility is a real asset to cyclists and to Brighton.

Conclusion

As you can see the area has a lot to offer cyclists of every stripe and we hope that you’ve found our complete guide to cycling in Brighton and Hove valuable in planning your visit to Brighton. We look forward to seeing you here!

Carlo

Local Tour guide of Brighton and blogger

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