ivy covered building brighton
Preston Park Rock Garden © Ellie Seymour

I love a good Brighton walk. I’ve published a few self-guided Brighton walking tours in the past year. Brighton is a seaside city, so it’s not a place you’d associate with leaf-peeping and autumn colours, but today I want to share with you a few under-the-radar places for a walk in the city which lend themselves to autumn.

Autumn Walks in Brighton

Having said that, you can do any of my Brighton walks in any season, but there are some that lend themselves best to a specific time of year. Whether it’s because of spring flowers or fall colours, they come into their own during certain periods. Because of this, I’ve chosen walks for this blog post that focus on under-the-radar outdoor spaces.

The leaves change at different times every year. Sometimes the foliage is at its best in October, sometimes November. It’s great to do these walks again and again to see how things look different on each visit.

preston park waterfall brighton

1 Self-guided Walk in the rockery, preston park

 The first of my autumn walks in Brighton takes you into one of Brighton’s hidden parks. This is a great place to visit if you like getting into nature in the city, and discovering secret Brighton. It’s also home to the city’s mysterious waterfall.

The park is small so you don’t need a map to find your way around. Just head through the gate and follow the little cobblestone paths that weave their way up and around the garden. It’s place is bursting with colour in autumn, especially the little gardeners’ hut is covered in Virginia creeper.

Follow the path to the top of the garden for a lovely view across to Preston Park opposite, with its beautiful tree-lined promenade, tons of colourful foliage.

This walk is good in autumn because the leaves are turning and the colours are at their best. There are fewer crowds than during the summer months, too.

You can head over to Preston Park afterwards for a hot drink in the Rotunda Café or Pavilion.

If you want to do this walk, find out more information here.

2 Self-Guided Walk in Seven Dials

The second of my autumn walks in Brighton is in Seven Dials. This Hove neighbourhood is full of pretty residential streets and Regency architecture. It’s a great place to explore if you like getting off the main roads and onto the side streets.

This is a great Brighton walk if you want to get to know a part of the city most visitors don’t make it to. It’s one of the prettiest parts of Brighton and Hove, and feels like a village.

It’s nice in autumn to walk around the leafy streets, and past the pretty Powis Square, where you’ll find the city’s smallest art gallery, in two red London phoneboxes.

The pubs in the area make a nice place for a drink on a chilly day.

Following this autumn walk also gives you the opportunity to go on a jaunt to the Booth Museum of Natural History.

If you’d like to do this walk, find a map and more information here.

preston manor walled garden

3 Self-guided Walk in Preston Manor Walled Garden

 My third autumn walk in Brighton is around a hidden garden. You’ll find it in the Preston Park area of the city, in the grounds of Brighton’s off-radar historic house, Preston Manor, most people don’t know about or if they do, don’t realise you can actually go inside.

Within its grounds hides this beautiful walled Edwardian hideaway, another secret Brighton discovery, which looks beautiful when it bursts into bloom come spring, and the leaves turn come autumn. It’s an escape hatch from the busy main road nearby and it’s filled with hidden corners, thinking benches and flower beds bursting with foliage. It’s compact, but an easy place to lose a good hour exploring its cobbled paths.

It’s also home to bizarre but fascinating little Victorian pet cemetery, home to the graves of 14 dogs and 2 cats – including George the Pavilion Cat, who once lived at the pavilion to help catch rats and mice. 

If you’d like to do this walk, find out more here.

brighton pavilion garden mindful walking tour

4  Self-Guided Walk in the Pavilion Gardens

 The fourth of my autumn walks in Brighton takes us over to the Royal Pavilion gardens.  This area is usually heaving with visitors from spring and throughout the whole of summer. Autumn is the perfect time to visit when there are fewer crowds than there are during the summer months.

There’s a stunning acer tree which burst into a firey red come the start of November, and lots of other fall colours. It’s not a huge park, so again you don’t need a map. A nice way to visit this place is by following a mindful walking tour I wrote about here.

Listening to it on your phone, the tour’s author, Craig Jordan-Baker, shows you to five spots in the garden, and tells you a little story about each one.

If you’d like to do this walk, find out more here.

woodpile cemetery brighton tomb trail

5 A self-guided Walk in Woodvale Cemetery

 My fifth autumn walk in Brighton takes you to discover the beautifully haunting Victorian burial ground in Woodvale Cemetery. This cemetery complex is Brighton’s answer to Pere Lachaise in Paris yet so many overlook it or don’t really know it exists.

Woodvale Cemetery near Hanover is a mind-blowing 70-acre cemetery complex in the centre of the city. It’s home to a Victorian burial ground with a romantic (but eerie) 19th century atmosphere all its own. The paths are overgrown with moss and lined with wonky, ivy-covered gravestones. It’s an incredibly atmospheric place to wave goodbye to autumn.

It’s somewhat of a mini-city of unique mausoleums and intricate graves, some given extraordinary detail and pomp back in the day. What’s surprising is that despite its gargantuan size, it’s likely you’ll only ever encounter a handful of other people while you’re here. Weather permitting, you can picnic in the little picnic garden near the entrance.

If you’d like to do this walk, find out more here.

I hope you enjoyed your autumn walks around Brighton and Hove!

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