Although several huge Christmas celebrations are taking place around the UK this year, nowhere is more cosy, festive and cheerful than Brighton Christmas Market. It’s a great complement to the independent shopping experience at The Lanes while also being a family-friendly day out.
In this guide, you’ll find the latest market dates for 2023, opening times and locations.
During Christmas in Brighton, there’s a huge focus on live entertainment, street artists and buskers, adding to the warm and lively atmosphere that Brighton is known for.
Brighton Christmas Market 2023
Update: It’s unsure that the regular Christmas festival is going ahead this year. For details on Christmas events and what’s on this year, Visit Brighton has the latest details.
An alternative festive option in Sussex is Glow Wild at Wakehurst, a winter lantern festival from 23rd November 2023 to 1st January 2024. Full details here.
The following information relates to previous years. I’ll update this page once I have further information.
To find a traditional alternative to Brighton’s events, my guide to the best UK Christmas markets can help you decide where to go.
Brighton’s Christmas markets are located at St Peter’s Church Plaza and Richmond Square, two adjoining squares between St Peter’s Church and Valley Gardens.
Christmas lights and decorations are throughout the city, and the ice rink is at the Royal Pavilion.
Dates and Location
Brighton Christmas Market dates: Possible dates: 17th November to 24th December 2023 (might be cancelled).
Location: St Peter’s Plaza and Richmond Square.
Monday to Thursday: 12pm to 8pm.
Friday: 12pm to 10pm.
Saturday and Sunday: 10am to 10pm.
Food and bar stalls close at 11pm daily.
Christmas Day: Closed.
Brighton Panto: Cinderella. 20th to 30th December 2023. Book tickets.
Christmas lights: Yes, switch on date: 17th November 2023 at 1pm.
Ice skating: Yes, at Royal Pavilion Ice Rink. Book online. Tickets cost from £12 for full price tickets (aged 12 and over), £9 for juniors (under 12) with 45-minute skate times running from 10am to 10pm daily.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, but not recommended during busy periods.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: In addition to the Christmas market you can see the beautiful Christmas lights at The Lanes and Valley Gardens, go skating at the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink and relax at the Apres Ski Lodge.
Recommended tour: Royal Pavilion Admission Ticket – Skip the line with this ticket to Brighton’s most popular attraction.
Specialities: Products from artisan bakers, markers, brewers, distillers and confectioners. There are also several charity chalets.
Where to stay: Blok-74 located in The Lanes, just across from Brighton Beach.
Brighton is the UK’s most popular beachside city. The incredibly popular Brighton Lanes is where you’ll find some of the best independent boutique stores in the country and a huge variety of places to eat out or go for a drink. This is where I recommend staying when in Brighton.
I suggest staying at Blok-74, right in The Lanes, across from Brighton Beach and 8 minutes to the famous Royal Pavilion.
Christmas in Brighton
Sussex Pond Pudding: Not your typical street food, but a traditional Brighton treat. It’s a steamed dessert packed with a whole lemon and rich buttery sugar, all encased in pastry. As you cut into it, the golden syrup spills out like a pond – hence the name.
Fish and Chips: It wouldn’t be a Brighton market without the iconic fish and chips. Choose your favourite from local fish coated in crispy batter and served alongside hot chips. Typically served wrapped in paper, they make for a warming, easy-to-carry snack as you wander the stalls.
Pierogi: Reflecting the international flavour of Brighton’s market, pierogi hails from Poland. These are delicious dumplings filled with a variety of stuffings like sauerkraut, mushroom, meat, or cheese. They’re served hot, often topped with crispy onions, making them a warm and comforting choice for the winter season. Sweet versions are available too.
Mulled Wine: No Christmas market would be complete without a warming cup of mulled wine. Steeped with spices like cloves, star anise, and cinnamon and served piping hot, it warms you up as you shop and take in the atmosphere.
Brighton Rock Candy: An enduring symbol of Brighton, these traditional stick candies are a fun treat. They come in a rainbow of colours and flavours, often with the name “Brighton” running all the way through.
Vegan Treats: Brighton is known for its vibrant vegan scene, so it’s no surprise to find a variety of vegan snacks. Look for vegan doughnuts, artisanal vegan cheeses, plant-based pies, and more – allowing everyone to enjoy the festive feasting.
What to Buy
Brighton Artwork: It’s easy to spot the creativity of Brighton’s local artists in their unique prints and illustrations. You can pick up pieces that depict iconic Brighton landmarks, fun seaside-themed cartoons, or abstract designs that showcase the city’s character.
Jewellery: Many stalls and shops in the Lanes carry handcrafted jewellery, from simple pendants to intricate bracelets. Often using locally sourced materials, Brighton artisans create fashionable and individual pieces.
Sussex Wines and Beers: Look no further for those who prefer liquid gifts. Brighton shops sell locally produced Sussex wines and craft beers. A bottle of sparkling Sussex wine or a selection of Brighton-brewed beers make a lovely gift.
Vintage Clothing: As befits Brighton’s eclectic style, stalls sell carefully selected vintage clothing. These items range from classic coats to retro dresses, each piece a little bit of fashion history.
Brighton Rock: Yes, the sweet treat also doubles as a nostalgic gift! Traditional Brighton Rock candies are a quintessential part of any visit to this seaside city.
Ethically Sourced Cosmetics: Brighton is known for its eco-conscious shopping. Stalls sell ethically sourced cosmetics and skincare. Locally made and cruelty-free, they make thoughtful gifts for the environmentally conscious.
Visit Brighton has information regarding events and the best ways to experience Brighton at Christmas.
Sustainable Travel Tips
Our choices have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. Try to implement these responsible travel measures when visiting Brighton and the UK.
Public Transport and Cycling: In Brighton, it’s easy to reduce your carbon footprint by choosing public transport. Brighton & Hove Buses provide frequent services across the city. For a more active alternative, Brighton’s comprehensive network of cycle lanes makes it one of the UK’s most bike-friendly cities. The city also has a bike-sharing scheme, BTN BikeShare, an excellent option for short journeys or a leisurely cycle along the seafront.
Eating Sustainably: Focusing on locally sourced and plant-based diets can make a difference to your environmental impact. Brighton excels at catering to sustainable diets, with restaurants and cafes offering locally sourced and vegetarian or vegan options.
Cutting Down on Food Waste: Be mindful of food waste when dining out or shopping at the markets. Buy only what you know you’ll eat, and consider sharing larger restaurant dishes to prevent leftovers. For your shopping, the Brighton & Hove Food Partnership runs a directory of places where you can donate unneeded food items, which helps support the local community and reduce waste.
Shopping Ethically: Brighton strongly focuses on ethical shopping, with many independent shops and market stalls offering fair-trade and locally-made products. Look for the Fair Trade Brighton & Hove logo when shopping to ensure your purchases support fair wages and working conditions.
Choosing Accommodation Wisely: Where you stay can also contribute to your sustainable visit. Many hotels in Brighton have strong environmental policies and use renewable energy sources. They actively promote water and energy conservation and have systems in place to minimise waste.
Low-Impact Activities: Brighton offers plenty of low-impact activities. Walks on the beach, hikes in the South Downs National Park, or exploring the city’s history at Brighton Museum are all great ways to enjoy your stay while limiting environmental harm.
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Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Brighton, UK. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.