Adventurous Activities near Brighton
Coming to Brighton but don't want to spend all your time sipping lattes or cocktails in our many fine coffee shops and bars? Want to get your blood pumping doing something other than dancing in our many nightclubs? Here's some adventurous things you can do in or near Brighton.
Learn to Kitesurf
Strap a big kite to yourself and get on a surfboard? Sounds like an obvious thing to do, if you're absolutely mental.
Kitesurfing is pretty big down here on the south coast of Sussex, where we get a steady amount of breeze across the sea for most of the summer months. Every day in Brighton and Hove you can see a few people down in the water, whizzing along attached to their curving kites, with the more advanced pulling tricks off of the waves. We've even had former British kitesurfing champion Lewis Crathern jump over the pier in a spectacular stunt.
If you'd like to try kitesurfing, there are lessons available from a variety of local companies. If you're serious about learning, you may be better off travelling a little way down the coast to Shoreham or Worthing, where there is more space in the water for kitesurfers. If you just want to watch, Lancing, between Shoreham and Worthing, is the place to go as many experienced kitesurfers use the beach there to practise their tricks.
Learn to Wind Surf
A rather more traditional pursuit than Kitesurfing, but also easier to learn and less hazardous, is Wind Surfing. There are regular lessons in Hove Lagoon, a shallow outdoor pool between the tennis courts and port on Hove seafront. When you're confident on calm water, you can move up to working on the waves of the sea proper.
There are RYA (Royal Yachting Association) courses available from the Lagoon at both beginners and intermediate level.
Diving off of Brighton beach
The most popular sites for diving are a sunken barge off of the east side of the Pier, and the site of the long disappeared Chain Pier, which is in line with the Volk's Railway station closest to the remaining Pier.
Do not be tempted to dive near the remains of the West Pier as this area is still very dangerous, with lots of sharp metal ready to cut the distracted diver.
There are lobster and crabs available for the picking if you know where to look. If you enjoy diving it's best to try to link up with some local divers before going out in the water. It will give you someone else to go out with, which is best for safety and for swapping tall tales of previous exploits, and they can show you the best sites without you having to hunt around for hours.
Mountain biking in the South Downs
The northern edge of Brighton is created by the South Downs, and it has some excellent trails for mountain biking.
You can get from Brighton to Chanctonbury Ring and Cissbury Ring, both the remains of Iron Age hill forts, over in Findon, with little on-road action getting in the way of the fun. Or going east, you can get from Brighton to Lewes and back through another set of trails.
The Downs is very varied and you can have fun whether you're an underpowered amateur just starting out, or a seasoned biker with the knee and elbow scars to prove it. Remember to bring your helmet and any other safety gear you have, a lot of the trails have a roots running through them which are always ready to surprise you as just as you get distracted by the lovely views.
If you're coming to Brighton to ride, you should get in touch with the Brighton MTB club. They do a ride every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as some weekend ones. If you don't want to join them, you can check out their maps and find an interesting route without leaving it all up to guesswork.
Whether you're coming to Brighton to be near, on, or under the sea, there's plenty to do if you want to get out and about. When you're done, you can retire back to the centre of town and have your pick of restaurants and pubs to relax in and tend to your aching muscles.