social distancing brighton

Hello and welcome to my Brighton post-lockdown social distance-friendly survival guide! If like me, you’ve been feeling uncertain of what to do once Brighton starts to open up again, I hope this post will come in handy.

We’re now allowed to roam the streets more freely, shops are slowly opening up their doors, and pubs are starting to come back to life. I know returning to “normal” may still seem a long way off for us all but I’m not writing off 2020 so easily. Instead, adventure awaits! Now’s the perfect time to rediscover unfamiliar neighbourhoods, look up and admire hidden architectural details, seek out the independent shops that need our support, follow street art trails. The city is our oyster!

Hopefully you’ll find a way to bookmark this post and refer to it when you need. And, it goes without saying that you should wear a mask, travelling with hand-sanitiser and stay safe and alert! Happy socially distant adventuring!


Appreciate Brighton and Hove as an open-air Playground

clifton terrace brighton notting hill of brighton ellie and co blog

Discover the ‘Notting Hill of Brighton’, one of the most beautiful areas in the city for its whitewashed Regency-era homes

Stumble on a secret museum of curiosities in a shop window

Seek out Brighton’s famous twittens and alleyways with this guide to the city’s hidden streets

Take yourself on an artist date to Brighton’s tiniest art gallery in an old red London phone box

Go on a treasure hunt for ghost signs around the city

Take a breather from the city and beach on a hot day at the hidden orchard which features in my guidebook, Secret Brighton

Speaking of Secret Brighton, you could treat yourself to a copy if you don’t already have it and learn about the city’s hidden treasures, some of which you can discover on a stroll (see here)

Find my secret Brighton garden where you’ll find a miniature pet graveyard

Lunchtime walk ideas: A different hidden city treasure to discover every day for a week

Discover remnants of Brighton’s perilous floating railway that once ran through the sea

Can’t take the summer crowds? Here’s a handy guide on how to get away from everyone!


Support local shops and small businesses

raining books brightonSupport the city’s beloved booksellers – City Books, Kemptown Bookshop, Raining Books and Magazine Brighton

Enjoy a socially distanced movie date night from 10 July at Brighton’s vintage cinema, the oldest in the country

Shop for sustainable fashion at Preloved

Discover a hidden emporium of kitsch – incredible tableware, colourful bags, Indian trinkets, Mexican loteria cards, cards and nostalgic match boxes at Blackout Shop in the North Laine Bazaar area

Diplock’s Yard flea market in the North Laine has reopened for snooping

Stock up on foliage at this miniature plant shop hiding inside a vintage clothes store

Calm your nerves at this hidden herbalist in the Open Market, a treasure trove of magic potions

Love Middle Eastern design? Head to Yashar Bish, an emporium of incredible handmade kilim rugs and cushion covers

Pop into cute corner shop by the sea, the Tidy Street General Store, open most days and occasionally by appointment

Explore the city’s cabinet of curiosities when it reopens in July

Sleek Brighton design store, Dowse, is open a few days each week for your boutique shopping fix

Watch a cult movie at the appropriately named  The Socially-Distanced Summer Screen indoor and outdoor pop-up cinema, from the people behind the Secret Movie Club



Busby and wilds kemp town

Our fave Kemptown pub, Busby and Wilds in Kemptown with the prettiest terrace is opening for weekends from 5pm each Friday from 24 July and will be serving roasts!

Grab some picnic food and head to Blaker’s Park where local pub The Cleveland is serving takeaway drinks

The Roundhill has been open for a week for drinks and is the pub is now taking reservations as it gears up to serving Sunday roasts again from 4 July

Head to The Hatch at The Jolly Brewer Beer House for weekend beers and pizza

Take-out food

Treat yourself to one – or several – of these Instagrammable cakes baked in Brighton by the Frida Kahlo of home baking

Pick up a delicious Ottolenghi-inspired lunch at this cosy neighbourhood gem in Fiveways, or the legendary Brighton falafel house, Smorl’s, in the Open Market, where you’ll find lots of other little shops open for things like fruit and vegetables, eggs, Greek food, honey, refills etc

Pay a visit to authentic French bakery, the Real Patisserie for a delicious pastries, quiches and sandwiches, also serving coffee

Order in (probably) the best Mexican food and cocktails in the world (delivered to your door)

Four charming Brighton cafés (except Chard, so far) open for takeout coffees, pastries and bread…

Order your favourite luxury chocolates online from Audrey’s, the city’s 1960s time-capsule sweet shop hidden up a Hove side street, which also makes chocolates also for legendary London food emporium, Fortnums…

Indulge at Roly’s on Kensington Gardens. Its mouthwatering handmade crumbly Devon fudge is too good to resist

Grab a wholesome vegan budda bowl to go from the Real Junk Food Project’s new café on Gardner Street, available from 1pm, Wednesday to Sunday

Friday night wouldn’t be right without a fish and chip supper from the oldest chippy in the city, Bardsley’s, open for takeaway and delivery


Pretend you’re on holiday

Go camping in a spacious secret Sussex wild meadow – perfect for social distancing

Brighton’s beach box sauna with a distant view of the pier is open for sauna session in your social bubble.

Hideout in an ‘AirShip’ surrounded by private Sussex woodland

Bookmark these five Sussex secrets to discover this summer, some of which don’t have the green light to re-open yet, but are worth bearing in mind

Check in to this floating home near Brighton

Take a walk through a magical ancient forest of yew trees

Escape to Thorney Island in Chichester Harbour with its secret sandy beach


That’s all for now readers! I’ll update this list as more restrictions end… In the meantime, if you’d like any advice from the Ellie & Co investigative team, please get in touch with our secret concierge at any time!

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