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Guide to The Lanes including shopping, dining and where to stay

The Lanes is one of the oldest quarters of Brighton, once home to a bygone fishing village. This picturesque quarter is a cluster of winding alleys and packed with charming centuries-old buildings. Over time, the quarter has transformed into a popular shopping and dining destination.

The Lanes is in the heart of Brighton and a few minutes walk from the seafront. It’s small and compact, bounded by North Street in the north, Ship Street in the west, Albert Street in the south and East Street in the east. Within the borders are a host of delightful cafés, restaurants, pubs and independent shops.

A trip to the seaside resort wouldn’t be complete without visiting The Lanes. And this guide will help you with what you need to know about visiting the quarter. Don’t confuse The Lanes with North Laine, it’s another part of Brighton. Without further ado, here’s the guide to this interesting quarter.


Exploring The Lanes

The Lanes in Brighton, England
The Lanes | Bin im Garten

The Lanes is centrally located and easy to reach. East of The Lanes, the quarter is a short stroll from several major attractions on the seafront including Brighton Pier and Sea Life Brighton. In the west, it’s close to Churchill Square Shopping Centre. And nearby in the north is the Royal Pavilion, the eccentric royal palace of King George IV.

This historic area of Brighton has a unique old-world charm. Some of the cobbled alleys and old buildings go as far back as the 16th century. But most were built during the late 18th century. It’s a lively area with a modern vibe and combined with its old-world charm, the quarter is hard to resist for locals and tourists alike.

The Lanes is for the most part pedestrian only. The alleys are too narrow for cars to pass. Even in the few small streets where vehicles can pass through, there aren’t that many. So, enjoy your time walking and wandering through the quarter. And remember to wear comfortable shoes since there’s plenty to explore.

Some alleys pass in a north-south direction and some east-west. Meeting House Lane is certainly the longest and busiest. Spanning north-south between North Street and Prince Albert Street, it’s packed full of shops and places to eat. Other major alleys include Union Street, Brighton Place and Market Street.

An alley through The Lanes in Brighton, England
Passing through The Lanes | Frank Jepsen

Coming here, you’ll find some of the best shopping in Brighton. There are countless of quaint little shops and boutiques huddled along the alleys. Most are independent retailers and you’ll find all kinds of things from trendy fashion to quirky items. Even if it’s only window shopping, you could easily wander and lose yourself.

The Lanes is not only a shopping heaven but also a food paradise. As a matter of fact, the quarter offers some of the best dining experiences in Brighton. It’s literally packed with little cafés, restaurants and traditional pubs. You’ll find a fabulous variety from traditional fish and chips to foods from around the world.

Most businesses are open 7 days a week. The summer months are the busiest with tourists, especially weekends. Like the rest of Brighton, the winter months are the quietest. Spring and fall are great times to visit if you want to enjoy usually pleasant and mild weather while avoiding the large tourist crowd.

Shopping in The Lanes

Shops in The Lanes in Brighton, England.
Shops in The Lanes | Bin im Gartern

The Lanes is a must for shopping in Brighton. Independent shops dominate the retail scene inside the quarter. It’s a unique shopping experience as you wander through the twisting alleys exploring the hidden gems. That said, it’s a mix of high-street retailers and independent shops along the quarter’s borders.

Another appeal is the diversity of shops and boutiques. The only thing to hold you back is the limit on your credit card. If you don’t plan to shop, walk through the nooks and crannies and enjoy window shopping – it’s fun. Then take a break and enjoy a meal at one of the little cafés or restaurants.

Opening and closing times vary, depending on the individual store. Generally, business hours are from 10 AM to 6 PM throughout the week including weekends. Some may extend their hours during the tourist season in summer and public holidays. During the low tourist season in winter, shops may close earlier.

You’ll find a wide selection of jewellery including necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Other items to shop for include trendy fashion, everyday wear, sportswear and accessories. You’ll also find quaint little shops selling antiques, chic art, beauty products, gift items, souvenirs and the occasional odd curios.

Shops in The Lanes in Brighton, England
Shops on Meeting House Lane | Simon Carey

There are countless jewellery shops notably along Meeting House Lanes and around Brighton Square. You’ll find gold, silver and diamond jewellery including classic pieces by independent designers. There are also vintage jewellery and costume pieces. Whatever your style and budget, you’re sure to find one that suits you.

The quarter is also home to independent boutiques. There’s a wide selection of what to wear from casual to formal. You’ll also find hats, scarves and accessories for the wardrobe. Boutiques here generally focus on labels by emerging designers. And the quality here is on par with the big labels but at less the price.

When it comes to antiques, you’ll find old treasures like jewellery, silverware, vinyl records and timepieces. The Witch Ball (on Meeting House Lane) has rare collections of prints and maps. The Lanes Armoury (also on Meeting House Lanes) is a class by itself with its military collectables including swords, muskets and suits of armour.

The Lanes is also home to several independent art galleries. It’s a treasure trove of styles from traditional to pop art. The art here is not only by local talents but includes national and international artists. You’ll find not only paintings but also sculptures, ceramics and prints including those in limited editions.

The Lanes Dining Experience

Restaurant on Meeting House Lanes in Brighton, England
Restaurant on Meeting House Lanes | Bin im Garten

The Lanes is also a great destination in Brighton for dining. It’s a food lover’s paradise whether for a quick bite, lunch with friends or a romantic dinner for two. Housed in historic buildings along the maze of alleys, dining here adds to a special ambience and charm. It’s an enjoyable experience that’s unforgettable and unique.

There’s an abundance of dining options with no shortage of cafes, restaurants and pubs – many offer outdoor seating. Whether you’re in the mood for casual or fine dining, you’ll find a great selection of independently owned eateries. And it’s a wide choice of cuisines from British classics to foods from around the world.

Opening and closing times vary depending on the individual eatery. Establishments serving breakfast generally open between 7 and 8 AM. Lunch starts just before noon and dinner around 6 PM. Many stay open until 10 PM but during the summer months and weekends, some extend their hours.

Many eateries serve traditional British cuisine. Given Brighton’s seaside location, it’s no surprise that seafood is popular but much more than fish and chips. In addition to the local specialities, there’s a diverse selection of international options including Italian, French, Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese and Thai to name a few.

Restaurant at Brighton Place in Brighton, England
Restaurant at Brighton Place | Jwslubbock

For British classics, there’s no better place than the traditional English pubs. The quarter offers some of the best pub grubs in Brighton. Besides the hearty meal, you can expect a warm and welcoming ambience. Popular classics include fish and chips (usually cod or haddock), bangers and mash and shepherd’s pie.

Cafés and tea shops are the perfect stops for a snack or light meal. Many are also open for breakfast. You’ll find varieties of sandwiches, cakes and pastries. Many cafés offer more than just sandwiches like burgers and pies. For expertly crafted chocolate drinks and sweet bakeries, look no further than Knoops Chocolate on Market Street.

Vegans and vegetarians aren’t left out. Food for Friends (Prince Albert Street) is an award-winning fine dining noted for its creative dishes. Vegan L’italien (Market Street) makes great Italian dishes. Oowee Vegan (Market Street) and The Vurger (Brighton Place) are fast food restaurants popular for their vegan burgers.

How to Reach the Quarter

The Lanes is centrally located in Brighton, bordered by North Street, Ship Street, Albert Street and East Street. Staying in the central area, where visitors often stay and enjoy their time, you’re never more than 15 minutes walk from the quarter. And if you need transport to get here, taxis and local buses are always available.

By Train and Coach

Brighton Railway Station in England.
Brighton Station | Editor5807

The railway station in Brighton is Brighton Station. The train trip from London to the seaside resort generally takes 80 but less than 60 minutes on the fastest service. There are several stations in London that you can board including Victoria, St Pancras International, London Bridge and Blackfriars Stations.

Arriving at Brighton Station, there are 3 ways to get to The Lanes. You can walk south, which takes 15 or so minutes. Local bus no. 7 departing from Brighton Station stops on North Street, which is right beside The Lanes. If you prefer a taxi, you’ll find them waiting behind the station at the North Entrance on Stroudley Road.

National Express operates a frequent coach (long distance bus) service from London’s Victoria Coach Station to Pool Valley Coach Station in Brighton. The trips take 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on traffic. From Pool Valley, it’s less than 5 minutes walk northwest to The Lanes and Brighton Pier is in the south.

The Lanes Car Park

The Lanes Car Park in Brighton, England
The Lanes Car Park | Hassocks5489

If you plan to drive and park, use The Lanes Car Park. The car park is located between The Lanes and the Brighton seafront. Driving along the seafront, on Kings Road, turn north at the junction to Black Lion Street. Look for the signboard leading to the underground car park. Then go down the ramp to park your car.

The multi-level car park opens 7 days a week and round the clock. There are about 350 parking spaces here. In addition, there are 8 disabled parking bays on Level 1 and 4 electric vehicle bays with charging points on Level 3. Look closely for the chargers since they are hidden behind the pillars.

Parking here isn’t cheap. On weekdays, parking costs £9.00 for 2 hours and £33.50 for 24 hours. On weekends, the parking charge is £11.50 for 2 hours and remains £33.50 for 24 hours. For complete details about parking at The Lanes Car Park, including charges, please visit the Brighton & Hove City Council website.

There are other car parks further from The Lanes. Churchill Square Shopping Centre has 2 underground car parks, one entering via Canon Place and the other via Regency Road. From the shopping centre, it’s a 10-minute walk to The Lanes. There’s another underground car park at Regency Square, which is 15 minutes from The Lanes.

Where to Stay in The Lanes

Brighton Square Apartments in The Lanes, Brighton, England
Brighton Square Apartments | Paul Gillett

There are many accommodation options in Brighton, and the area along the seafront is particularly popular. If you want to make the most of your stay, consider choosing a location that is close to both the seafront and The Lanes. This way, you can easily enjoy the attractions by the sea and explore the historic quarter of Brighton.

Hotels in Brighton, England

You’ll find a range of accommodations catering to different budgets and preferences on the seafront near The Lanes. Here are some suggestions from the budget-friendly to luxury. Use the map below for their locations and click the links for a brief description. You can also use the following link to find more accommodations in Brighton.

The Lanes Hotel Map
Brighton Pier
The Lanes Car Park
Churchill Square Orange Car Park (1)
Churchill Square Green Car Park (2)
Pool Valley Coach Station
Regency Square Car Park
Sea Life Brighton
Aquarium Station

Accommodations in The Lanes

Two accommodations stand out if you prefer to stay in The Lanes. The Market Inn is a guest house on Market Street. Brighton Square Apartments is a self-catering apartment in the heart of the historic quarter. Many past guests have given positive reviews about the 2 accommodations on many travel sites.

The Market Inn

The Market Inn (guest house) in Brighton, England.

The Market Inn (⭐⭐⭐) – This guest house is situated on top of a traditional English pub. The rooms are elegant and fully furnished. All have a private bathroom with shower, seating area, wardrobe, TV and free WiFi. You can dine at the pub below or request room service. Room rates include a full English breakfast.

Brighton Square Apartments

Brighton Square Apartments in Brighton, England.

Brighton Square Apartments (⭐⭐⭐⭐) – The apartment is centrally located in the quarter. Within the area, you’ll find plenty of shopping opportunities and dining options. The apartments are spacious and options include 1 or 2-bedroom units. Each has a fully-equipped kitchen, dining area and lounge seating.

Hotels in Brighton, England

Seafront Accommodations Near The Lanes

The seafront near The Lanes is a central location in Brighton. You’re practically in the heart of the action. It’s a lively area with plenty of places to eat, shop and have fun. Besides, you’re close to many major attractions including Brighton Pier and Sea Life Brighton. Not to mention good transport links to explore the rest of Brighton.

YHA Brighton

YHA (hostel) in Brighton, England.

YHA Brighton (⭐⭐) – The hostel is housed in a charming Regency building near Old Steine Gardens. Accommodations include clean and spacious dormitories and private rooms, some with views of the sea. The hostel has a café, common lounge and dining area. Free WiFi is available and there’s no curfew.

Green Diamond

Green Diamond Apartments in Brighton, England.

Green Diamond (⭐⭐⭐) – This stylish apartment is suitable for couples, families and groups of friends. The 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom apartment units are modern, cosy and bright. Each unit has a fully-equipped kitchen, refrigerator, washing machine, dryer, dining area and a living room with sofa beds.

Queens Hotel

Queens Hotel in Brighton, England

Queens Hotel (⭐⭐⭐) – The hotel offers large rooms, studios and spacious 1-bedroom apartments. More than half have views of the sea. Studios have a kitchenette while apartments have a fully-equipped kitchen. Guest facilities include a heated indoor pool, sauna, fitness centre and restaurant.

Royal Albion Hotel

Royal Albion Hotel in Brighton, England

Royal Albion Hotel (⭐⭐⭐) – This hotel is housed in a grand Regency building. Rooms are elegant with retro décor. All are equipped with modern amenities including TV and free WiFi. Some rooms face the sea. The hotel has a restaurant and room service is available. There’s also an onsite ATM machine.

Hotel du Vin

Hotel du Vin in Brighton, England.

Hotel du Vin (⭐⭐⭐⭐) – This luxury hotel is a collection of eccentric Gothic revival and mock Tudor buildings. Rooms and suites are stylish with large comfortable beds and air conditioning. The onsite restaurant offers guests a classic dining experience and opens for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Old Ship Hotel

The Old Ship Hotel in Brighton, England.

The Old Ship Hotel (⭐⭐⭐⭐) – The hotel is an imposing Georgian building and a major landmark on the Brighton seafront. The interior is just as imposing with its classic features. Each room is individually designed with luxurious furnishing. The hotel’s restaurant serves a range of modern British cuisines.

Leonardo Royal Hotel

Leonardo Royal Hotel in Brighton, England.

Leonardo Royal Hotel (⭐⭐⭐⭐) – Formerly known as Jury’s Inn, this iconic hotel is in a prime location. Rooms are modern, spacious and equipped with amenities including TV, free WiFi, coffee/tea maker and well-lit workspace. The hotel has an indoor pool, fitness centre, sauna and restaurant.