I’ve lived in Brighton – well… Hove, actually – for 7 years. It’s where I arrived in 2014 when I moved from Germany, giving myself the option to go somewhere else if it didn’t feel right, and I never left. Well, that’s until I moved to Lancing in 2021.

The thing is, Brighton&Hove instantly felt like home when I arrived. The energy, the people, the atmosphere… it all just felt right.

Over the years, I learned my way around the city and thought I’d share some outdoor locations that are great for any kind of photos – and some that might not be the best choice for you, depending on what you’re looking for.

Best outdoor photo locations in Brighton&Hove for your family photos

While I LOVE family photos taken at your home, it’s not for everyone. And I’m not here to convince you that in-home family photos are the best if that’s not your jam. So instead, I would like to give you some options on Brighton-based locations that would be amazing for your photo session. Let’s go….

1. Brighton Beach and Seafront

Let’s start with the most obvious choices for photos. The beach and seafront… This is for you if you like a summery and beachy vibe for your photos. But you might have to share the space with lots of other people. Specifically, over summer, the beaches between Brighton and Hove can get very busy.

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier is a beautiful place, especially when you’re out and about with your children. There are rides and snacks and the view over the sea. BUT, it’s a very touristy place and it can get quite expensive if your children love fairground rides.

I would say, this is definitely a place for family photos if Brighton is a day trip for you! It’s an exciting attraction.

But even if you live locally, I wouldn’t dismiss this as a place for photos. Since children grow up fast and their relationship with their surroundings changes over time, it’s a lovely place to include in family photos before their appreciation for a place like this changes.

Brighton Seafront

Brighton Seafront is one of my favourite places ever. The sight of the ruins of the West Pier never gets old to me. Over time, the seafront changed a lot as well. Little boutique shops, a playground, the Bandstand, and the Upside Down House on one side, and the Minigolf, another playground, and the path towards the marina make for great walks and therefore great photos.

There are lots of locations that can work well for family photos, portraits, headshots, and everything else in between.

Hove Beach

Hove beach is a little quieter than Brighton Beach. There are fewer attractions and a calmer feel which lends itself for any kind of photos with a bit fewer distractions and stimulation for you as well as your kids.

Depending on the dynamics and personalities within your family, the locations you want to incorporate in your photos can support what stories your photos will tell about your life (or day) in Brighton. Similarly, if these images are just for you, it helps to know what feeling you want to connect with the images taken.

Hove Lagoon

Nestled in the far western end of Brighton& Hove along the beach is the Hove Lagoon. Watersports, a playground, a skate park, an outdoor gym, and a cafe co-owned by Fatboy Slim make this a perfect place to spend some time with your kids (or friends or by yourself) – with or without a photographer in tow.

2. Brighton town centre

Central Brighton is full of atmosphere, colours and quirkiness. But it’s also full of people. That means it can be tricky to get photos, especially on weekends. It’s absolutely not impossible though!

If this is your vibe and you thrive in the buzz of the city, here are a few locations that could look amazing as part of a day exploring and having documented by me.

The Lanes

The Lanes are the part of Brighton town center that’s closest to the seafront. There is a labyrinth with narrow alleyways with jewelry shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, hidden squares, and boutique shops.

There’s a mix of old and new that gives The Lances its special charm. Especially during warmer days, you can get lost in this area, exploring alleys, listening to buskers, and sipping coffee or tea.

North Laine

The other part of town, going from the seafront towards the train station, is called the North Laine. This is the vibrant hub of independent shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants, which Brighton is so well-known for.

Everywhere you look, you see quirky art, smell great coffee and hear buskers entertain passersby. But aside from the busier areas, you can also find quieter streets to explore, graffiti-filled alleys, and colourful houses. All of these can be perfect backdrops to photos of you and/or your family enjoying the city.

The Level

A bit further away from the beach, you can find an urban park called The Level. It’s one of the largest open spaces in town with a big green area, and my personal favourite – a skate park. Do you have skaters in your family and don’t know where they could practice their skills? The Level would be the place to go for that!

3. Parks

While Brighton is known for its quirky town center, independent shops and creative businesses, there are lots of parks as well to provide space for the nature lovers. I can’t possibly cover all of them in this article but wanted to introduce you to a few of my favourites…

Preston Park

Preston Park is one of the parks where I used to do ParkRun on a Saturday morning. I’ve also used it for family photo sessions. It’s got a cafe, lots of green space to let your dog run – or your kids.

Hove Park

Another park I got to know thanks to ParkRun. And another park that’s loved by dogs. There’s space to run around, a cafe to pick up coffee and snacks. A playground, a basketball court, and a few climbing frames to burn some energy.

With or without children, this is a fabulous space to use for photos.

Stanmer Park

Stanmer Park is massive. While Preston Park and Hove Park might be easily accessible from Brighton or Hove, Stanmer Park definitely requires you to drive or take a train. But it’s worth it!

Besides Stanmer House and big green fields, there are woods too. And OneGarden which is a walled garden open to the public. With a few shops, a restaurant, regular events, and markets.

Have a day out with your kids, your friends or just go for a walk exploring the beauty of Stanmer Park – and let me tag along to get some photos of the day for you!

4. Gardens

If big parks are a bit too much for you – too many people, too big in size, too far away – but you’d love to incorporate nature into your photos, then let me share my favourite smaller green spaces with you…

St Nicholas Rest Garden

I’ve stumbled over this place years ago on my way back home from work. The garden has an iron gate and looks secluded which I think is the reason not that many people know of it. It’s near the Brighton town center, just up from Churchill Square. It’s popular with dog walkers but generally rather quiet.

I’ve used this garden for my mini-portrait sessions in the past and loved being able to walk around freely without having to worry about other people in the background.

St Ann’s Well Gardens

For 7 years, I lived just by St Ann’s Well. My friend and I buried our Christmas tree there (I don’t think it’s still alive though). It’s been my Sunday afternoon walk for years. It’s semi-secluded and has a lovely little cafe in the middle.

I’ve even used it for a big commercial shoot this summer – the fact that it’s much less frequented than bigger parks really helps with getting natural photos of you and/or your family.

Brunswick Square Gardens

Brunswick Square is in Hove, along the seafront. There are a few seafront squares like this one along Brighton&Hove, Brunswick was the closest to where I used to live in Hove. It’s not very big but what I love about this one is that you can see the beautiful townhouses surrounding the gardens in the middle. While it’s right by the seafront and the A259, it still has that secluded feeling and calmness of a small garden.

If you know Brighton a little, you know that I barely scratched the surface of locations that lend itself to photos. But maybe these places give you a little idea of where to go, depending on what kind of images you’re looking for.

It depends on who’s in the photos – is it just you are your whole family – as well as what works with your own personality? All these places have different atmospheres and can support different feelings and moods of your images.

If you’d like to venture out of Brighton and wonder what other locations might be worth exploring, have a look at Worthing. I wrote a blog post about my favourite outdoor locations for family photos on Worthing.

Besides that, you could also explore:

  • Seven Sisters
  • Devil’s Dyke/South Downs
  • Shoreham-by-Sea
  • Borde Hill Gardens

… just to name a few.


And if all of this is too much to choose from, be aware that sometimes the best place for photos is your own home. Specifically, if you want authentic family photos that tell the story of your beautiful life, unfiltered, undistracted.

More on the topic of family photos