Brighton for design lovers – self guided tour

Brighton is a perfect day trip from London, especially for design lovers.

It has a lovely selection of design shops and small galleries, an excellent city museum, and the gorgeous Royal Pavilion.

In this guide, I’ll take you on a self-guided walk to see the best places for design lovers in Brighton city centre.

The centre is quite compact and very walkable, so you can see everything in this guide in one day.

Get an offline map of this self-guided tour

Brighton design guide

The Royal Pavilion

Brighton Pavilion

Start your tour in the city’s most unique attraction and the ultimate design gem: the Brighton Royal Pavilion.

A former pleasure palace, this spectacular building has some of the most lavish rooms I’ve seen in any historic house in England. It was a joy to walk through it.

Each of the main rooms in the palace is heavily decorated and has so many items to explore, from awe-inspiring chandeliers to magnificent carpets.

There’s a strong and fascinating Chinese cultural influence on the design of the palace. Expect to find all sorts of pictures and sculptures of Chinese people, alongside dragons, snakes, and lotus leaves.

Book a ticket to visit the Brighton Royal Pavilion in advance.

Check availability here:

Address: 4/5 Pavilion Buildings, Brighton BN1 1EE

The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery

Brighton Museum

After the Pavilion, check out the city museum. It’s just a short walk away, through the Pavilion Gardens.

You can easily see both the Pavilion and the museum on the same day.

The collection at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is broad-ranging and varied.

It covers art, design, and history with a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.

On the ground floor, you’ll find the 20th Century Art & Design exhibition, which is a must-see for design lovers.

It’s a collection of crafts and furniture arranged in chronological order, so you can go on a tour through the styles of the 20th century and see how they evolved.

It was the Art Nouveau display that caught my eye first, and then I saw that the entire part of the museum was dedicated to all the major movements (including Arts & Crafts, Art Deco, Surrealism, and so on). That was definitely my favourite part of the museum.

Design lovers should also check out the Fashion & Style gallery. It has a brilliant display on the history of fashion.

I especially liked the LGBTQ+ outfits, linking fashion to identity, as well as to the local community (Brighton being one of the most gay-friendly cities in Britain).

Address: Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton BN1 1EE

Brighton design shops – self-guided walk

After the Pavilion and the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, it took me just a few minutes to walk to Bond Street.

That part of Brighton, very close to The Lanes, is full of charming indie shops.

I found quite a few really lovely design shops around there and listed my favourites here.

You’ll also come across plenty of places to eat and drink while you walk around, so it’s the ideal part of the city to take a break if you need to.

Irregular Choice – shoe design

Irregular Choice - shoe design shop in Brighton

A fun spot to start this walk is the sweet shoe shop Irregular Choice, with its colourful front and window.

Inside you’ll find the most creative and whimsical shoe designs, with great colours and unusual patterns.

Address: 38 Bond St, Brighton BN1 1RD

Collectif – vintage style

Collectif - vintage style design shop in Brighton

A cheerful vintage-style shop. You’ll find clothing and accessories inspired by the 1940s and 1950s.

It has a large range of items and everything I saw in there was super cute.

Address: 29 Bond St, Brighton BN1 1RD

Enter Gallery

Across the street from Collectif, I found a colourful commercial art gallery called Enter. It’s a lovely place to browse contemporary art and limited-edition prints.

Address: 13 Bond St, Brighton BN1 1RD

Hold – design shop

Hold Brighton design shop

Next to Enter Gallery, there’s a beautiful design shop called Hold. It has a stylish selection of items, from home decor to stationery.

If you’re looking for a gift, it’s the kind of shop where you can easily find gift ideas.

Address: 14 Bond St, Brighton BN1 1RD

Abode Living – home design

Abode Living Home Design shop Brighton

A small home design shop that’s full of well-curated styles. It has tableware, wall art, lamps, furniture, bedding, etc.

Address: 32 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL

Lucy & Yak – sustainable fashion

Lucy Yak Brighton fashion shop

From the outside, it may look at first like another vintage shop, but it’s actually a very contemporary boutique, making organic and durable clothing.

The brand is known for its comfy and colourful dungarees, which made it famous online (I found out about them on Instagram).

Beyond dungarees, you can find trousers, t-shirts, dresses, and other items in the shop.

Address: 18 Kensington Gardens, Brighton BN1 4AL

Dowse – design shop

An elegant design shop and a gallery with a range of items, from home decor to jewellery.

I found a lot of items inspired by Japanese and Scandinavian design styles, all beautifully curated.

They also have a lovely selection of retro and minimalist art prints.

Address: 37 Gardner St, Brighton BN1 1UN

More things to do in Brighton

The self-guided tour ends in the city centre and is quite close to the beach. Brighton is famous for its beaches and the pier.

You can take a guided tour with a local guide to learn more about the Brighton story and see all the highlights in the city.

Another popular attraction in Brighton is the viewing tower called Brighton i360. If the weather’s nice, you’ll get some amazing panoramic views.

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Brighton design guide

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