Unique, quirky shops line a labyrinth of rambling lanes. The ostentatious Royal Pavilion with it’s Indian inspired domes and minarets. Rainbow coloured Pride flags flapping in a sea breeze. And vibrant street art on every corner, junction box and more than a few recycling bins. Brighton has to be one of England’s most colourful and eclectic towns. When the sun is shining and the sea shimmers under a clear blue sky, it’s particularly enticing. It’s a town I could never tire of and one thing that never fails to inspire me is Brighton’s street art. While some works are permanent fixtures, others, like those that line the walls of Trafalgar Lane, are ever-changing. I may be a little sad when a particular favourite is painted over but It’s nevertheless fun to know there will always be something new to see. Here’s my guide to finding Brighton’s best street art including Bansky’s Kissing Coppers.
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Where to find the best of Brighton’s street art
Banksy’s Kissing Coppers
While you won’t have to look far before stumbling across street art in Brighton, the most famous piece, Banksy’s Kissing Coppers, is a little tricky to locate.
Banksy has been using his distinctive stenciling technique to produce often subversive works of art since the 1990s yet his identity is still unknown. All we know is that he comes from Bristol in the south-west of England.
The easiest way to find his work in Brighton is by starting at the town’s railway station. With the station behind you facing the food trucks turn right (even if your GPS says to turn left). Almost immediately, turn left into Trafalgar Street, taking the road that leads under the front of the station.
Once you through the tunnel, you’ll find yourself on the corner of Frederick Place by the Prince Albert pub. On the pub wall (pictured above), Banksy‘s Kissing Coppers, is a life-size black-and-white graffiti work of two policemen kissing. When it was painted in 2004 it caused quite a stir and sadly, soon became a target for vandals. The owner of the pub eventually sold it to a buyer in Miami for some £345,000 causing more controversy. Before it was sold, however, he did have a facsimile made and it is this that you cn now see, protected by a perspex casing on the side of the pub today.
The Moco Museum in Amsterdam is a fabulous place to see more of Banksy’s work including some of his indoor pieces on canvas, wood, and paper.
Req & SinnaOne’s wall of fame
The colourful wall of fame that surrounds Banksy’s policemen on the side of the Brighton pub is a tribute to musical legends, a collaboration between graffiti artist Req, the original creator, SinnaOne and Chris Steward the owner of the pub.
Stink Like Dog
Continue east down Trafalgar Street and you’ll come across a detailed black and white image with just the odd splash of colour by Stink Like Dog. I love the intricacy of his work.
Trafalgar Lane Street Art
From Terrance Street turn south into Terrance Lane, a narrow road bedecked with artwork after colourful artwork all along both sides of the path. But don’t expect to necessarily see the images pictured below. This lane, in particular, is ever-changing as new works are painted over old.
That’s just a glimpse of the street art in Brighton and I’ll be heading back there sometime to photograph more. I need little excuse to visit this wonderful bohemian town, where the people are as colourful as the walls are. From the music scene, the shops, the art and the seaside, not to mention a myriad of fabulous restaurants, I love it all. And it was here that the first Green Party MP was elected, Caroline Lucas. Brighton gets my vote, that’s for sure.
Below is one of my favourite works from Brighton, sadly, for me at least, long since painted over.
How to get to Brighton?
Brighton is on the south coast of England in East Sussex, around an hour by train from London’s Victoria station (via Gatwick Airport). Trains also run here along the coast from Southampton to the west and to Eastbourne to the east. There’s limited free parking and the car parks cost a fortune so I much prefer the train.
Where to stay in Brighton?