If you read my latest post, you’ll know I’ve launched a Brighton neighbourhood guide series on the Ellie & Co travel website.

So far, we’ve covered London Road and Kemptown. Today, in the third instalment, we’re getting to know Seven Dials, the Brighton neighbourhood I write about a lot, I’m embarrassed.

Seven Dials – or ‘The Dials’, as locals call it – is an attractive hilltop neighbourhood in Brighton, a mile north of the beach with distant sea views. It feels sophisticated but laid-back and there’s always a pleasant buzz about the place.

Its walkable location is one of its biggest drawcards: Brighton station is a swift few minutes away for day trips to London, while the city centre shops and seafront are easily reachable in 15, but still a nice distance away for respite.

Seven dials, Brighton: A neighbourhood guide

The quiet, leafy residential streets – I call ‘the Notting Hill of Brighton‘ – hide some of the city’s most beautiful historic architecture, the high street is lined with a handful of great pubs, cafes and useful shops.

It’s compact but still offers enough things to do to fill a slow day, including a couple of museums and a (mini) art gallery. Let’s explore…

dog and bone gallery brighton

Things to do in Seven Dials, Brighton

find Brighton’s smallest gallery

The diminutive Dog and Bone Gallery is set inside two once-abandoned, now-restored tomato-red London phone boxes. You’ll find them tucked away on the edge of the grassy and green Powis Square. The exhibitions change regularly and they’re available for hire. Find out more here, and follow the Dog and Bone gallery on Instagram, here.

Hidden Seven Dials walk

A good way to get your bearings in the neighbourhood is to follow my hidden walk around Seven Dials. It’s perfect if you love snooping around residential neighbourhoods, as I do. It’s part of the popular hidden Brighton walks series I put together during the Pandemic. It takes in the high street as well as the Clifton Conservation Area I call ‘the Notting Hill of Brighton’.

Despite how beautiful this city-centre neighbourhood is, it remains off most people’s radars as a place for a wander. You can do this walk either way around but I tend to start on Dyke Road then zigzag my way south. Follow my self-guided hidden walk around Seven Dials, here.

annas museum brighton

Anna’s Miuseum

Anna’s Museum is a mini natural history collection in an old Victorian shop window. It’s one of my favourite secret Brighton discoveries I recommend. The display changes regularly – think taxidermy seagulls, bones, eggs, and even letters from fans!

It’s also near this great coffee shop and this 70s-styled cafe with a bright-yellow shopfront you can’t miss, known for its stacks of pancakes heaped with toppings. Read the full story about Anna’s Museum here and find it at 44 Upper North Street, Brighton BN1 3FL

Brave the Booth Museum

Stepping into the off-beat Booth Museum of Natural History on the leafy fringes of Seven Dials is like walking into a giant musty Victorian attic of a compulsive collector.

Lining each wall are 300 dioramas of every British bird – from seagulls and owls to hawks and starlings – each one stuffed and on display in its natural habitat. Also on display are insects, fossils, features, butterflies and bones. Find the Booth Museum of Natural History at 194 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 5AA

Other things to do in Seven Dials include: exploring nearby Dyke Road Park and St Anne’s Well Gardens and catching a show at the Brighton Open Air Theatre set in a once-abandoned bowling green. 

restaurant interior

Where to eat in Seven Dials

Red Snapper

The Red Snapper is a small, buzzy BYOB Thai place with a colourful dining room. When I say buzzy, I mean this place gets noisy. This works if you’re with friends, not so much on a date or with family.

That said, the food is cheap and consistently good, especially the Thai green curry. Thai Pad Thai a few doors away is a quieter option, but I can’t vouch for the food having not been there. Find The Red Snapper at 90 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JD


This postage-stamp-sized local-favourite Japanese restaurant opposite The Red Snapper is good for a quiet lunch or dinner. It has a soothing décor – natural wood floors, clean white walls – a handful of tables and always feels relaxed. They serve Japanese classics like katsu, tempura, sushi, nigiri, and bigger portions of noodle and rice dishes, everything designed for sharing.

You can’t go wrong with the aubergine miso yaki: chunks of aubergine with crispy tofu in a tangy miso sauce to start, prawn tempura and mixed sashimi. Find Murasaki at 115 Dyke Road, Brighton BN3 1TJ

Latina Deli

For a quick bite with a Portuguese flavour, Latina Deli is the place. The front glass cabinet is filled with tempting little savoury Portuguese pastries like rissoles and croquettes with fillings like tuna and salted cod. They also do salads and sandwiches – the Piri Piri chicken salad baguette is a must.

Another deli option in the area is family-run Ricci’s Deli opposite the Post Office. They stock lots of local products, and all take-out food is homemade. Find Latina Deli at 104B Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JD

Brighton pub with fire

Shakespeare’s Head

Called the Shakies for short, this small, laid-back pub just got a makeover. Gone is the cosy, rustic, shabby bar room with references to Shakespeare. In are stripped floorboards, new-old, mismatched furniture and bags more room – walls have been knocked down; outside it’s had a new paint job and the front terrace tidied up.

On the menu? Nothing but the classic English favourite: sausage and mash. There are 11 sausage varieties, seven flavours of mash and six gravies to choose from: “That’s 560 meal combinations.” Find The Shakespeare’s Head at 1 Chatham Place, Brighton BN1 3TP

Where to drink in Seven Dials

Puck Coffee

Brighton is full of coffee shops, and like fish n chips, where to get the best is hotly and regularly debated. Puck is one of my absolute favourites. The coffee is consistently good, and the staff are friendly. It’s also unique in that it hides a tiny record shop upstairs and serves bratwurst.

It also has a buzzy setting right by the Dials: in the morning, it’s fun to sit on the front terrace and watch the neighbourhood coming to life. There are some tables inside, too, hidden to the right of the counter. Find Puck Coffee at 19 Chatham Place, Brighton BN1 3TN

Stoney Point

A tiny, local favourite coffee shop oozing New York vibes – dark paintwork, plants, vintage-style typeface and the name – Stoney Point – transporting us to a spot in the Appalachian Mountains it’s named after. Originally a sit-in café serving breakfast, but since lockdown, they continue to serve customers from their beautiful old front sash window.

On the menu, just coffee and rich banana and walnut bread. They change their espresso according to the crop, season and flavour profiles. Find Stoney Point at 15 Montpelier Place, Brighton BN1 3BF

The Crescent Pub

A laid-back local set within a beautiful old Regency-era building on the corner of Clifton Road and Clifton Hill away from busier main roads. It’s also a stop on my self-guided hidden walk around the area and makes a great discovery no matter what time of day or year you’re visiting.

There’s a huge suntrap paved terrace complete with an outdoor TV for sipping Pimm’s on sunny summer days and watching tennis, and a roaring fire inside for winter. On the menu: unpretentious pub stables, like burgers, and plenty of veggie options. Find The Crescent at 3 Clifton Hill, Brighton BN1 3HL

florist shopfront

Where to shop in Seven Dials

Hi Cacti

Standing out with its bright-yellow facade, Hi Cacti, is easily one of my favourite shops in Brighton for its unique spirit and colourful aesthetic. It’s also unique as Brighton’s only shop specialising in cacti, and easy-care houseplants.

It’s run by the lovely Sabine Palermo who started it when she moved to England from Austin, Texas – which explains the Tex-Mex meets Palm Springs vibes inside. If you’re having a bad day and arrive at Hi Cacti sad, you will leave full of inspiration and cheer. Find Hi Cacti at 83 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JE

brighton bookshop exterior

The Feminist Bookshop

This is the newest and most radical Brighton bookshop and it’s located in the founder, Ruth’s, front room. She originally started it as a feminist book club, as a way to make new friends and share a love of feminist literature, held in members’ living rooms around Brighton and Hove.

The community snowballed which gave her the confidence to open her shop in 2019. As the name suggests, every book it stocks is either written by a female author or takes a feminist stance. Inside, the décor is simple – white walls with colourful furniture – and there’s a café for coffee and cake. Find The Feminist Bookshop at 48 Upper North Street, Brighton BN1 3FH

pink shopfront brighton

Kate Langdale Florist

There are plenty of florists in Brighton but none more special than Kate Langdale. She’s been crafting beautiful bunches of flowers for all occasions for 35 years out of her pastel-pink Wes Anderson-movie-worthy studio, which she opens as a shop occasionally.

It’s here she makes bespoke designs for weddings and events, and hosts appointments and flower workshops. She’s friendly and lovely to work with and always nails it with the vaguest of briefs and the tightest of budgets. Find Kate Langdale Florist at 84c Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JD. Open by appointment only (email katelangdale@hotmail.com)

Brighton shopfrontTreasure and Trash

Next door to Kate Langdale’s studio is this tiny antique shop with an enticing faded maroon front and gold-painted sign. If it’s not raining, there’s always an enticing jumble of vintage furniture haphazardly spilling from inside onto the pavement.

When you step inside the shop and see how tiny it is, it’s hard to imagine where all this treasure and trash comes from, yet it’s piled high with even more antique finds, from sideboards to chairs, to lamps to picture frames. The mind boggles. Find Treasure and Trash hidden at 27 Bath Street, Brighton BN1 3JD

seven cellars off licence brighton

Seven Cellars

There are several things to love about this local wine shop: the pleasing sage green old shopfront (yes, I have a thing for old shopfronts), remnants of its former life as an old butcher’s shop – old tiles and hatch – visible behind the counter at the back (see above picture) and that it feels like you’re in Aladdin’s cave of wine.

Floor-to-ceiling shelves on either side wall and crates lining the middle shop floor creak and bulge with the stuff. It makes browsing even more fun. Staff say hello and ask if you need help but leave alone. They also host the occasional tasting night. Find Seven Cellars at 104 Dyke Road, Brighton BN1 3JD

Other shops in Seven Dials worth stopping by are Salvage and Sawdust vintage clothing, Tinkers hardware, Between Two Thorns florist and Up North Vintage.

Where to stay in Seven Dials

Most Brighton hotels I like to recommend are located nearer to the city centre, but there are a few AirBnBs in Brighton nearby, like this lovely studio apartment for two with bags of vintage character and just £88/night (pictured above). It’s in the heart of the Clifton Conservation area, well located for shopping and the local bars and restaurants. See the full listing here.

Final tips

Seven Dials in Brighton is a small neighbourhood and easy to walk around. It’s a five-minute walk to Brighton station and 10 minutes to the seafront and central Brighton.

Find a map of Seven Dials’ independent shopping and nearby addresses of note, here.

If you want more inspiration, my secret guidebooks will take you off the beaten path.

New here? Head over to the check-in desk for a welcome tour, join other curious travellers and subscribe to the Ellie & Co travel website via email or follow me on my new Facebook page.

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