Thinking about visiting Brighton from London? We can’t blame you. After all, the air’s cleaner, the costs are lower and there are so many awesome things to do in Brighton. It’s the perfect day out from the capital.
To make life easier for you we’ve got the 6 best ways to get from London to Brighton with distance and times: train (1 hour, 47 miles), coach (1 hour, 44 miles), taxi (2 hours, 53.5 miles), rental car (2 hours, 53.5 miles), bike (5.5 hours, 59.1 miles) and walking (17 hours, 51.1 miles). Now, let’s take a closer look at each option and see how the stack up.
London To Brighton By Train (Fast, Mostly Comfortable, Affordable)
There are many different ways to get from London to Brighton by train but the main station which serves the route is Victoria Station. The route covers just over 47 miles of track and there are more than 390 trains a day running from London to Brighton!
That doesn’t mean that you are guaranteed a seat, however. There are a lot of trains because there are an awful lot of passengers and in rush hour periods, in particular, you may find that you need to stand. That’s why we’ve put this route down as “mostly comfortable”. If you can find a seat, it’s completely comfortable.
If you’re buying a ticket on the day then you can expect to pay £20 or more for a one-way ticket from London to Brighton and potentially you could pay quite a bit more. That’s why it’s always best to book online and in advance. We’ve found standard one-way tickets for as little as £4 using this method!
The majority of services are direct but there are the occasional trains which require you to change at Hove, it might be faster to wait for the next train than to opt for those services. The fastest journeys come in at 53 minutes and they can run as long as an hour and 10 minutes.
Taking the train between London and Brighton is a fast, comfortable and (generally speaking) affordable option and that’s why it tops our list.
London To Brighton By Coach (Fast, Mostly Comfortable, Very Affordable)
If you’re on a tight budget or you’re travelling at anti-social hours then you might want to consider catching a bus from London to Brighton, instead. You’ll need to head to the London Belmont coach station to get a National Express service to the city of Brighton where it begins. This isn’t as convenient as London Victoria for most people and as the coach stops in the Victoria coach station – you may want to pick it up there.
The coach journey is marginally more direct than the train journey and covers a stretch of 44 miles. There are 11 coaches every day between the two cities. So, there are fewer options than with the train.
You can’t travel on a coach whilst standing, however, so if you get a ticket – you’re going to get a seat. You can expect to pay as little as £5 for a ticket on the National Express service which makes it cheaper than the train in most instances. You can find tickets online at their website here.
The service is fast and assuming that traffic conditions are normal then the estimated journey time is 56 minutes. However, it’s fair to say that there are days when this is very much a “blue sky” estimate and particularly on bank holiday weekends – it’s going to take much longer.
It’s not quite as convenient as the train but it can be cheaper, and it is a reasonably comfortable and very affordable way to get from London to Brighton.
London To Brighton By Taxi
(Slower, More Comfortable, More Expensive)
If you want to catch a taxi from London to Brighton, then you’re looking at a door-to-door service and that makes it much harder for us to estimate how much it will cost and how long the journey will be.
What we can say is that if you’re travelling from the City of London by car then you’re going to be covering around 53.5 miles (though there are other routes that are longer) using the M23 and A23. You should be aware that there are tolls operating on this route and that means it’s going to cost more than some of the shorter routes.
As you would expect private transport from London to Brighton is going to cost quite a bit more than a train ticket or a bus ticket, this is (in part, at least) because the driver has to get back to London and may not be able to get a fare as well as the fact that you’re getting a higher level of privacy.
We’d estimate that you’re going to pay a minimum of £50 from most of London and possibly quite a bit more depending on the route you follow, the time of day and whether it’s a bank holiday or a weekday. Your best bet is to book in advance and agree on a complete fare rather than relying on a taxi meter. Don’t be afraid to shop around for the best price, either.
How long will it take? Well, again it depends on where they pick you up. From the City of London, it’s going to be about 2 hours, but it could be much faster from other parts of London.
London To Brighton By Rental Car (Comfortable, Expensive)
If you don’t want to pay a taxi driver then you can always rent a car of your own and drive from London to Brighton. However, we’d warn you that it’s not likely to cost you very much less than letting somebody else do the driving.
You’re going to have to hire a car (which can be a time-consuming thing to do), then you’re going to have to pay for insurance (often more expensive than the car hire), then you need to pay for petrol (gas to our American cousins) and any toll charges and possibly the congestion charge too.
This isn’t going to save you anything in the way of time and/or money. In fact, for many people, it’s going to work out more expensive than a taxi and it’s going to take a lot more effort to do so.
In its favour, this is the most comfortable and private way to travel but it’s hard to recommend it unless you really want to drive yourself.
London To Brighton By Bicycle
(Not Too Slow, As Comfortable As Your Bike, Cheap Except For The Bike)
Once a year, every year, thousands of people cycle from London to Brighton in order to raise money for charity. It’s not as impractical as it might sound and in fact, if you were to cycle from Victoria Station (our preferred setting off point for Brighton) then you’re only talking about a 59.1-mile journey when following National Cycle Route 20.
Obviously, you’re not going to be able to bring much in the way of luggage and you certainly can’t take a passenger (unless you own a tandem style bike) but it’s a pleasant route with very little in the way of hills to interfere with your trip.
Assuming that you take no breaks then it’s going to take 5 hours and 31 minutes from Victoria to the centre of Brighton. However, we think most people would want to stop for lunch and possibly a pint too.
London To Brighton On Foot (Slow, As Comfortable As Your Foot Ware, Free)
We wouldn’t fancy taking this on ourselves but it’s not entirely impractical to walk from London to Brighton either. However, it’s not going to be easy and we think most people will need longer than a single day if they wanted to tackle this Herculean effort.
Assuming you start at Victoria Station and travel via the A23 (you cannot walk on a motorway in the United Kingdom which means other routes can be ruled out). Then you will be walking for 51.1 miles to get between the two.
Google says that it would take 17 hours and 6 minutes to cover the ground. That assumes you don’t stop and do the route at a constant pace. We cannot imagine anyone except an experienced athlete being able to do this. We’d say, 4 hours walking a break for lunch and then another 4 hours before stopping for the day. Then you’d want to repeat this the next day. That’s about doable.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways to get from London to Brighton. We’d recommend taking the train to most people though the bus is nearly as fast (most of the time) and cheaper. If you want to drive, then a taxi is probably the best option for most people and while both cycling and walking are real options – you need to be reasonably fit to consider tackling the route in these ways.