Rottingdean – a guide for visiting this amazing part of Brighton in 2023


Brighton is an amazing city to visit - we've previously written about the amazing North Laine area, which is a haven for shopping and going out. Rottingdean is a step down in pace from North Laine, but is still a great area to visit if that's the sort of vibe you're looking for. It's also technically an entire village, and definitely has a different feel to the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city.

We wanted to publish a guide about what there is to see and do in this area, updated for anyone planning to visit in 2023. Let's get into it:

Where is Rottingdean?

You'll find Rottingdean a couple of miles to the east of central Brighton. The village borders the villages of Saltdean, Ovingdean and Woodingdean. Walking from the city centre to Rottingdean shouldn't take much longer than 90 minutes, but you can follow The Undercliff Walk which starts at Brighton Pier and takes you all the way to the village.

What is there to see and do within the Rottingdean area?

You might not find as much to do in Rottingdean as in some of the other parts of Brighton, but there is still plenty to check out in the area. Here are some of the highlights:

St Margaret's Church

This pretty little church is built from flint and stone, and has quite a distinctive look. The architecture is an interesting mixture of Saxon, Norman early English, Victorian, as well as some modern design elements. The beautiful stained glass windows were designed by Sir Edward Burne-Jones, a Victorian artist from the late 1900s. There is a replica of this church in Glendale, California called "The church of the Recessional" in honour of Kipling's famous poem. It's a lovely building to visit, learn more here -

The Grange

This lovely Georgian building was originally built as a vicarage but is now home to a very interesting library, gallery, and museum, where you can explore the heritage and culture of Rottingdean. Popular exhibits include a quirky model called the Daddy Long Legs, as well as lots of information about famous locals including Edward Burne-Jones and Rudyard Kipling. In the summer months the tea rooms are open, serving up simple yet delicious food. Learn more here -

Kipling Gardens

Rottingdean is a lovely area to visit, but for a real haven of peace within the village, Kipling Gardens is a must-visit. Awarded the prestigious Green Flag as well as many other awards, this traditional English garden is named after Rudyard Kipling and of all the parks in the city, this is probably our favourite. Both the woodland garden and the rose garden are extremely well-kept, but for a sit down the chalk garden is the best section within the park. Learn more here -

Beacon Hill Nature Reserve

This beautiful 45-acre area is an excellent place to head for a walk with amazing sea views.

The old Windmill (pictured) dates from the early 1900s and is very interesting to see up close. In the summer months the area is littered with beautiful wildflowers. You can easily reach this nature reserve by foot from the centre of Rottingdean, so if you've got the time we'd highly recommend a visit.

Because of the proximity to the sea and how open this area is, it can get really windy here (hence the windmill), so make sure you dress up warm!


Rottingdean Beach

This beach isn't huge by any means, but it is lovely to explore and the views out to sea are amazing on a sunny day. It's a pebble beach and features some large rocks which can be climbed on (carefully!), and there are some really interesting features along the beach including leftovers of the Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway. As we say, it's a quiet beach but if that's what you're looking for, it makes for a great alternative to the busier Brighton beach.

Rottingdean Pond

It might not be as vast as the sea, but this ancient pond is lovely to walk around. It's just next to The Grange so you won't miss it if you're heading there.


Visit the shops

Despite being a small area, Rottingdean has some excellent shops to visit - Devesons is a lovely little fruit and veg shop with lots of fresh produce, but it's the quirky shops like Arcadia, Pop Cycle, and the Rottingdean Emporium & Gallery where you might find a fun gift to buy someone.

Hopefully, this guide has inspired you to visit this brilliant area of Brighton. If you're looking for other great places to in this part of England, we've got a guide all about visiting Sussex. We've also got a guide about the lovely town of Petworth.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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