Welcome to North Laine

Photo:Kemp Street, North Laine

Kemp Street, North Laine

Photo by Maureen Brand

Photo:An 'inn' joke at Brighton Tavern

An 'inn' joke at Brighton Tavern

Photo by Maureen Brand

My North Laine

By Maureen Brand, North Laine resident

My North Laine - the way I see it - is an area with a smile on its face, a bustling village within a city, distinctive and quirky, lying between the railway station and the Royal Pavilion. Our North Laine has been called Bohemian, funky, and so-ho bo-ho (whatever that means). Living in North Laine is to love the buzz, the terraces of housing, the small independent shops so different from the boring multiples, and we are in strolling distance of the Pavilion, Dome concert hall and Museum, city centre shopping, the Theatre Royal, and the sea. We have our own range of North Laine cafés and restaurants and award-winning pubs.

Stroll through

If we start from Brighton Station forecourt, walk to the right around its railings and down into the underpass beneath that forecourt. You are in Trafalgar Street and the first of the small shops. At the end of the underpass on the left hand side is the excellent Toy Museum. Take a look inside and you are sure to see that favourite toy from your childhood. Children love the packed showcases of toys and the train layouts.

Housing in North Laine

Keep walking down. On the right you will see the narrow side streets of terraced housing, some two, three or four storey. This housing in North Laine dates from the early to mid nineteenth century, much of it built cheaply for artisans using a mix of materials known locally as bungaroosh. Some houses have small gardens. Many have a small courtyard tucked in behind, but in Trafalgar Terrace (to the right as you walk down) their gardens are at the front of the house across the narrow lane.

A spotty duck?

At the bottom of Trafalgar Street is Pelham Square, a leafy public square, an oasis in the city centre, but before you get there turn right into Sydney Street for more quirky shops, then across Gloucester Road at the end of Sydney Street, into pedestrianised Kensington Gardens heading south, then Gardner and Bond Streets (still walking south in the direction of the sea).  All can provide for your needs. Currently if you seek delicious sausages, vegetarian shoes, architectural salvage, a kite, jewellery, bric-a-brac, trendy clothing, mystic support, books, handbags, a spotty bath duck, hairdressing, pictures, toys...and so much more, they are all to be found in North Laine.

New residents

Newcomers moving in to North Laine and seeking items for the house can find what they need in our local ironmongers, bath stores, and design shops. There is no need to go far.


Street buskers come by. The Brighton Festival launches itself each May with the Children's Parade starting from North Laine. Excited children walk through in procession in their costumes to fit the year's theme. On that morning hooters hoot, whistles blow and the traffic stops for a while.

So there we have it: North Laine, with a smile on its face. Welcome to North Laine!

This page was added on 25/05/2008.

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