Welcome to our Befriender’s Page. This is the place for Fun’s befrienders to get ideas about great places to visit and things to do in and around Brighton.

Please feel free to contribute your comments on the various activities featured. Even better still we always welcome new suggestions.

These activities are free.

 

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Address

Tilgate Park and Nature Centre,
Tilgate Park,
Titmus Drive,
Tilgate, Crawley,
West Sussex,
RH10 5PQ.
01293 51168
http://www.crawley.gov.uk/stellent/idcplg?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=256

Ages

All

Cost

Free, but in order to help pay for the running of the Nature Centre, they suggest a minimum donation on entry of £1.00 per person.

Facilities:

Car and Coach Parking
Lakes, Lawns and Gardens
Miles of Woodland Walks & Bridleways
Nature Centre
Walled Garden & Cafe
Craft Units
Picnic Areas (sorry, no barbecues)
GreenZone environmental centre
Toilets (incl. Disabled)
Tilgate Forest Golf Centre
Children's Play Areas

How to get there:

By car: From M23/A23, take Pease Pottage exit and follow signs towards Crawley, then follow brown tourist signs to Tilgate Park (which also direct visitors entering Crawley from other directions).
By train: to Crawley or Three Bridges, then taxi to Park, or bus to Tilgate shops, followed by 10-minute walk up Titmus Drive.

Extra Info:

Barbecues are not allowed, dogs are not permitted in the Nature Centre, Walled Garden or Play Area and cycling is allowed on the bridleways on the Park’s perimeters, and with care along the roadway to the Nature Centre, where a rack is provided. Please check the website for opening times.

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Address

The Level,
Brighton. (see map on right for location).

Ages

All.

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Café located outside of the park
Kiosk inside the park, with ice cream, chips, sandwiches and more
Skate Park
Toilets
Paddling pool
Swings, slides, climbing frames, bridges and sand pit

How to get there:

It’s between the bottom of Ditching Road and Lewes Road, Not far from London Road and St. Peter’s Church.

Extra Info:

This has been a popular area for leisure and public events since Regency times. Originally it included the area now covered by Park Crescent, which was laid out as a cricket ground for the Prince of Wales in 1791, and is commemorated by the Bat and Ball public house in Ditchling Road.
Brighton & Hove City Council and the Brighton Public Skate Park Project Team has seen proposals for a new, concrete park at the Level. On this page you will find details including visualisations for this project. The site has amazing potential for developing skating and other wheeled sports within Brighton & Hove, and also could hold major national and international demonstrations and competitions. Significant funding is already secured for full redevelopment of the Level.

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Address

Stanmer Park,
Brighton,
BN1 9QA.
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1001373

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Café, Donkey wheel, Toilets, Stammer House, Logs to climb, Nursery Plant shop, Stanmer tea rooms, Church, Goalposts

How to get there:

To walk from Wild Park, walk away from the bridge, further out of Brighton and you will see it on the left.

Alternatively, take the 25 or 25A bus from Churchill Square and get off at the University

Extra Info:

One of its most unusual features is an entire village - including an 18th century stately home - completely private and hidden away until bought by the council in 1947.

English Heritage, under the National Heritage Act 1983, registered the park as a Grade 2 site of special historic interest.

The park encompasses Stanmer House, built in 1720 (listed Grade 1) (Nicholas Dubois) by the 1st Earl of Chichester, Thomas Pelham, along with a listed stable complex, walled kitchen gardens used as a plant nursery and base for the council's Cityparks department.

Stanmer Church (listed Grade B) stands adjacent to the village pond and was rebuilt in 1838 along with the continuing development of the estate by the Pelhams on the site of a 14th century building.

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Address

Stanley Deason Leisure Centre,
Wilson Avenue,
Brighton,
BN2 5PB.
01273 694281
http://www.dcleisurecentres.co.uk/Centres/East+Sussex/Stanley+Deason+Leisure+Centre/

Ages

all

Cost

You can walk on for free but may be moved on when hockey or football tournaments start.

Facilities:

Two astroturf courts - good for playing football and other sports

How to get there:

Get bus number 21 from town and get off at Wilson Avenue.

Extra Info:

The Stanley Deason Leisure Centre is in the Whitehawk suburb in the east of Brighton. The area is a large, modern housing estate built in a downland dry valley historically known as Whitehawk Bottom. The estate was originally developed by the local authority between 1933 and 1937 and included nearly 1,200 residences. Subsequently, the Swanborough flats were built in 1967, and during the 1970s and 1980s much of the estate was rebuilt by altering the road layouts and increasing the number of houses. Whitehawk is overlooked by the White Hawk, a chalk carving in the hill at Sheepcote Valley. The White Hawk was carved in 2001 by local artists Same Sky with support from the Friends of Sheepcote Valley and Whitehawk residents.

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Address

Rockpooling at Rottingdean Beach,
Just off Marine Drive,
Rottingdean,
BN2 7HR.

Ages

All

Cost

Free.

Facilities

Café and shops just off the beachfront where you can get ice-creams and purchase cheap buckets, spades and nets for rockpooling.

How to get there:

Get the 12 from the city centre get off at the windmill in Rottingdean. Or parking at the Tesco Express car park just off Marine Drive in the centre of the village.

Extra Info:

Rottingdean Beach was a notorious landing place for smuggled goods. There was a wooden pier, demolished in 1914, the remains of which can still be seen. The Reverend Thomas Hooker, owner of a particularly fast grey mare, was reputed to have been involved in the "free trade". It is said that a stranger rode into the village one night when a big landing was being dealt with on the beach. The man was appalled by the lawlessness in front of him and he asked a villager whether there was no magistrate or justice of the peace to maintain order here.
"No."
"Then where is the vicar who might serve to uphold the law?"
"He's over there, holding the lantern."

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Address

Preston Park,
Brighton,
BN1 6HN.
01273 503477 (Chalet Cafe)
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1001375

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Playground, Football, Cricket, Bowling, Tennis, Multi-sports area, 500m cycle velodrome, Toilets, Healthwalks

How to get there:

Take the 5 or 5A from the city centre towards Patcham. Get off when you see the park.

Extra Info:

Preston Park was Brighton's first and largest planned park. It was brought by Brighton Corporation in 1883 for the sum of £50,000 from Mr William Bennett-Stanford who owned the Preston Manor estate. The purchase (£50,000) and layout cost (£22,868) was funded by a bequest of £70,000 from a local bookmaker, William Edmund Davies in 1879. The park was formally declared open on 8 November 1884. Preston Park has undergone a major lottery-funded restoration project - find out more on our Preston Park restoration project pages. In 2008, it was recognised with another Green Flag award.

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Address

Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project,
Queensdown School Road,
Brighton,
East Sussex,
BN1 3XG.
07988 837951
http://www.seedybusiness.org/

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

This is open Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays from about 12 til dusk. They have open days during the summer. There is a pond full of newts and a bonfire in a pit, a little house made of wattle and daub, a tree house and a willow tunnel for children to play in. Kids can help with the gardening, weeding etc, or just play. It is a real little paradise.

How to get there:

Bus: Numbers 25, 25A, 10, 24, 28 and 49. Get off at Brighton University (Cockcroft site) and walk along Lewes Road for a couple of minutes. Then turn left up Queensdown School Road. Follow road up and round, go under the railway bridge, then take first left. We are just past the electricity buildings.
Train: Moulsecoomb station is on the Brighton-Lewes line and is just two stops from Brighton station with trains running every 15 minutes. Come out of gate as you get out of the train and we are directly in front of you.
Car/bike: Go along the Lewes Road (there is a cycle track from Saunders Park) until you get to Brighton University. Turn left into Queensdown School Road. Follow road up and round, go under the railway bridge, then take first left. We are just past the electricity buildings.

Extra Info:

Warren Carter established and co-ordinates the Moulsecoomb Forest Garden and Wildlife Project. He says "I moved to Brighton about eleven years ago. I was a self-employed gardener in my home town of Slough. When I come to the town I wanted to carry on growing food. I got a list of different allotment sites from the Council and just cycled around. I stuck my head over the fence at this one, and it was half-derelict, but I just thought it was perfect. There was something nice and secretive about it. So, we took one plot on, and it was basically a group of friends that were involved in the court house squat against the Criminal Justice Bill, so it was around '94. I met people that were interested in gardening. We took on another plot, and another one, and eventually over time we had an open day. Sixty local residents come and had a nose around. We gave the project a name and we started doing our regular work days. Now we do three regular work days a week."

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Address

Hove Park,
Hove,
BN3 7BF.
01273 727003 (tea rooms)
http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1001368

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Playground, Football training pitches, Football astroturf - winter months only, Bowling green, Tennis courts (12), Basketball court (with floodlighting), Climbing boulder, Toilets, Healthwalks, Tea rooms, miniature railway.

How to get there:

You can walk to the park, where the miniature railway is at the North end. The 5B stops by the co-op and there’s a road down to the park next to the co-op. If you are on a 5 or 5A, get off when the bus turns left into Old Shoreham Road and walk in the opposite direction to the Park. There are detailed car directions on the website

Extra Info:

Hove Park's great claim to fame, the Goldstone, lies in its southwest corner. This huge rock, weighing about 20 tons, is commonly believed to have been used by the Druids for worship. Legend has it that the devil threw it there while excavating Devils Dyke, the deep valley through the Downs above Hove. Whatever the reality behind these legends, the shape of a human face is clearily visible in the stone - have a good look and you'll spot it.

Another of the park's unique attractions is it miniature steam railway, which runs during the summer weekends. You'll find the operating times on the information board near the cafe.

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Address

Hove Library,
182-186 Church Road,
Hove,
BN3 2EG.
Renewals (01273) 290700
Enquiries (01273) 296937
http://www.citylibraries.info/libraries/hove.asp

Ages

All.

Cost

Free entry, please read about all the other prices on this page.

Facilities:

Books, CDs, DVDs, computers, ...

How to get there:

Buses: 1, 7 or 49.

Extra Info:

Opening Hours are:
Monday closed, Tuesday 9.30am-7.30pm, Wednesday 9.30am-5.30pm, Thursday 9.30am-5.30pm, Friday 9.30am-5.30pm, Saturday 9.30am-5pm

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Address

Hangleton Library,
West Way,
Hove,
BN3 8LD.
01273 296904
http://www.citylibraries.info/libraries/hangleton.asp

Ages

All!

Cost

£3.00 a week for DVDS, £1.00 a week for CDs but much is free. Check their website for precise details.

Facilities:

Books, DVDs, computers, local history collection.

How to get there:

Catch the 5B bus from town, it stops over the road from the library. Or the 5 or 5A and walk down from The Grenadier.

Extra Info:

Little Hangleton is a fictitious Muggle village of significant importance. It enters the story of the Harry Potter books at several points, but is notable as the place of origin of Lord Voldemort's maternal and paternal ancestors, and as the place where he was restored to bodily form in Goblet of Fire. Although the village first appears in Goblet of Fire, the fourth volume in the series, it is not described until Half-Blood Prince, the sixth volume. The two are not related.

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Address

Fabrica Art Gallery,
40 Duke St,
Brighton,
East Sussex,
BN1 1AG.
01273 778646
http://www.fabrica.org.uk/

Ages

Varies: check website for what exhibition is on.

Cost

Varies: check website.

How to get there:

Fabrica is 5 to 10 minutes walk from bus stops on North Street and at Churchill Square.

Extra Info:

Fabrica is a visual arts organisation based in a former Regency church in the heart of Brighton that commissions contemporary visual art installations specific to the building.
Opened in March 1996 in the deconsecrated Holy Trinity Church, Fabrica was established by a group of artists from Red Herring Studios in Brighton, as a focus for contemporary visual art practice, with the support of South East Arts, Brighton Borough Council, The Foundation for Sport and the Arts, and Chichester Diocese.
Fabrica is a place where artists come to make new work. Fabrica supports and encourages the artists with whom it works to be adventurous and to test the boundaries of their practice. It encourages an open dialogue between artists and visitors within the gallery space and produces an integrated programme of education and audience development activity that strives to remove barriers to access, engagement and understanding.

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Address

Ditchling Beacons,
Ditchling,
East Sussex.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ditchling_Beacon

Ages

Suitable for all.

Cost

free!

Facilities:

Walking and kite-flying area.
Ice-cream van at car-park

How to get there:

None.

Extra Info:

Ditchling Beacon is the third-highest point on the South Downs in south-east England, behind Butser Hill (270 m; 886 ft) and Crown Tegleaze (253 m; 830 ft). It consists of a large chalk hill with a particularly steep northern face, covered with open grassland and sheep-grazing areas. Situated just south of the East Sussex village of Ditchling and to the north-east of the city of Brighton, it is the highest point in the county of East Sussex. A road runs from Ditchling up and across the northern face and down into the northern suburbs of Brighton, and there are car parks at the summit and the northern base. Various charity, sporting and other events which are run regularly between London and Brighton incorporate this steep road as a challenging part of their route.

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Address

Brighton Museum and Art Gallery,
Royal Pavilion Gardens,
Brighton,
East Sussex,
BN1 1EE.
01273 292882
http://www.brighton.virtualmuseum.info/

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Lots of 20th Century Art and Design, Pottery, Images of Brighton, Fine Art, Fashion Style and World Art
Spacious foyer and shop
New education facilities with art room and a dedicated education 'pavilion'

How to get there:

The Museum is fifteen minutes walk from Brighton train station. Buses stop either outside the Royal Pavilion on Steine Gardens, or on North Street which is within 5 minutes walk of the Museum.

Extra Info:

Brighton Museum & Art Gallery has been transformed by a £10 million redevelopment. Dynamic and innovative new galleries provide greatly improved access to the Museum's nationally and locally important collections. Objects are displayed in stimulating contexts with a wide range of interpretative techniques, including the latest interactive information technology.

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Address

Brighton Library,
Jubilee Street,
Brighton,
BN1 1GE.
01273 290800
http://www.citylibraries.info/libraries/jubilee.asp

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Books (!)
Large IT Centre
Sound and Vision Area
Special Young People's Area

How to get there:

Jubilee Library is approximately 10 minutes on foot from both Brighton Station and the seafront.

The nearest bus routes are:
North Road 21,47,47A, 78, 79, 80
Gloucester Place / Grand Parade 5, 5A, 5B, 10, 10A, 17, 20, 21B, 22, 24, 25A, 25B, 25C, 26, 28, 29, 35, 40, 46A, 49, 49B, 50, 50A, 55, 56, 78, 79, 80, 80A, 87, 273.

Jubilee Library can be easily accessed by bicycle with routes through the North Laines and New Road and a contra flow running along Jubilee Street and Church Street. There is ample cycle parking either side of the library.

Extra Info:

None.

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Address

Brighton Fishing Museum,
201 Kings Road Arches,
Brighton,
BN1 1NB.
01273 723064
http://www.sussexmuseums.co.uk/brighton_fish.htm

Ages

All!

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

The main museum arch is the focal point of Brighton's fishing quarter. It contains a 27ft beach boat, prints, photographs and memorabilia of Brighton seafront life from the Regency days to the post-war boom in pleasure boat operations. A computer archive is also available which can be consulted for more information about the local fishing and boating fraternity. The museum also operates a 12 seater passenger boat, Skylark, off the beach in fair weather during the summer months. There are also two shellfish stalls, a smokehouse and a smoked fish shop adjacent to the Museum.

How to get there:

Nearest Bus Service: Pool Valley - 5 mins walk
Nearest Railway Station: Brighton - 15 mins walk

Extra Info:

None.

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Address

Booth Museum of Natural History,
194 Dyke Road,
Brighton,
BN1 5AA.
01273 292777
http://www.booth.virtualmuseum.info/

Ages

All

Cost

Free!

Facilities:

Half a million specimens
Natural history literature
Discovery centre
Gift Shop

How to get there:

Get the 27 or 27A bus from the grenadier or bottom of Queens Road, and get off in Dyke Road, after BHASVIC and when you see a park. The Booth Museum is opposite the park.

Extra Info:

Over half a million specimens, natural history literature and data extending back over three centuries are housed in this fascinating museum, including hundreds of British birds displayed in recreated natural settings. Plus butterflies, skeletons, a whale and dinosaur bones. Children and families can explore the Museum's collections through a variety of interactive displays in a new 'hands on' gallery.
Please check the museum website for opening times.

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Address

BHASVIC Sixth Form college,
205 Dyke Road,
Hove,
East Sussex,
BN3 6EG.
Tel: 01273 552200
http://www.bhasvic.ac.uk/

Ages

All.

Cost

Free.

Facilities:

Two tennis courts

How to get there:

You can catch either the 12 bus or the 27a as they both stop outside BHASVIC.

Extra Info:

BHASVIC is a Sixth Form college. It might be wise to phone ahead and check that the courts are not going to be in use for the duration of the time that you would like to use them.

 

 

Tomorrow's PeopleTomorrow's People are an organisation working with young unemployed people, aiming to get them back on the road to employment. Under the direction of Zoe Jackman, 6 young people worked over the summer researching numerous ideas for activities and days out for our befrienders and their children to enjoy. The end result was a fabulous booklet packed full of ideas which Zoe and the young people presented to Fun in Action in November, 2008. This information has now been turned into the online resource above. We are certain this will help our befrienders add even more value to their weekly outings and would like to thank Zoe and all involved at Tomorrow's People for their tremendous work.

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