Brighton’s Gyms – Pros and Cons

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Which gym is for me? I hear you ask. Don’t worry here at Brighton Journal we’ve done our research to offer you a selected comparative ‘which gym guide’ for Brighton and Hove.

Freedom Leisure: Multiple locations. 

The calm before the storm. The Synergy workout station.
The calm before the storm. The Synergy workout station.


  • Freedom Leisure offers access to seven of its sites throughout the city.
  • Your membership also includes free swimming at the Prince Regent, 10 % off racket sports and hundreds of free classes every week.
  • Great value for students who pay 1/2 price with a valid NUS card.
  • Withdean Sports Complex offers 4 power-lifting stations.


  • Adult gym prices are expensive almost £60 a month.
  • The Prince Regent could be closed down soon if vital repair work isn’t done to the air conditioning system. This could jeopardise free swimming with memberships.
  • 3 month minimum joining payment + compulsory joining fee.
  • Pay as you go can at peak times cost £8!

Overall the Freedom Leisure complex’s seem to cater for all. They are extremely clean and spacious with the equipment replaced and updated regularly. They also offer a lot of equipment (such as power-lifting stations) which aren’t offered by other gyms. This would be our recommendation for students who train seriously due to the equipment offered and the price it’s available at. Very suitable for anyone who power-lifts on a regular basis.

4 power racks? Yes, there really is 4 power racks at Withdean.
4 power racks? Yes, there really is 4 power racks at Withdean.

 The Gym: London Road/Madeira Drive

Get more pump for your pound at 'The Gym'.
Get more pump for your pound at ‘The Gym’.


  • Very cheap just £21.99 for adults (no joining fee for students with a valid NUS card).
  • Open 24/7 so you can work out when you like.
  • No Contracts so you have the freedom to join and leave whenever suits you.
  • Pay just a £1 more a month to use both sites.


  • It can get very busy, especially the London Road site between 4-8.30 (avoid these times if you can).
  • Just one power-lifting rack, there also is often not enough weights.
  • Very hard to park in the surrounding areas of both sites (especially for free)
  • 24 hour means there is often a shortage of staff members.

If you want to just workout from time to time without a fixed contract this is the gym for you. It’s cheap, the locations are central and easily accessible by public transport. The London Road gym is also very close to the station so ideally located for commuters. Good value for money.

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Cheetahs: Kingsway (Hove)

This place is proper old school.
This place is proper old school.


  • No-nonsense training, this is a very results motivated gym. Traditional old school gym.
  • Separate ladies training area.
  • Just £4 on pay as you go.
  • Delicious health shakes prepared by staff.


  • At first it’s a little intimidating, due to the no-nonsense attitude to training but you do get used to it.
  • The multi-floor layout can be hard to navigate.
  • Limited opening hours at weekends, 9-4 on Saturdays and just 10-2 on Sundays.

This traditional gym is the place to go if you’re serious about your training. There’s no doubt this place will get you results. Reasonable prices, whilst still catering for those seeking a traditional gym experience.

No pain, no gain at Cheetahs.
No pain, no gain at Cheetahs.

Virgin Active: Village Way (Falmer)

Splash out on Virgin Active, splash about in the pool.
Splash out on Virgin Active, splash about in the pool.


  • Pool, Spa, Sauna and Steam room facilities.
  • Brilliant racket sports facilities.
  • Hundreds of classes available free to members.
  • Modern, high tech gym equipment.


  • Price, £74 a month + £30 joining fee for one sit is very expensive.
  • Out of the way, Falmer is out of the city, it’s however easily manageable by both train and bus.
  • Pool is very busy due to the large amount of classes offered, lane swimming is pretty much restricted to weekday afternoons.
  • Membership cancellation can be tricky.

If you have the money to pay for a high end gym this may well be for you, especially if you’re a fan of racket sports. They have a number of excellent courts and rackets available for use/hire.

Tennis anyone?
Tennis anyone?

Honourable mentions:

  • Health & Leisure Club at Waterfront Hotel, great fit fix 5 deal which allows you 5 visits at a discounted rate!
  • Alive Fitness and Natural Health Limited (Castle Street), free reviews on your workout progress available!
  • Active4Less (Portland Road, just £19.99 a month with no contract!

We’ve done the research, if you aren’t already a member don’t waste any more time. Sign up! Let us know which gym you’re with and your thoughts on the package they offer.


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  1. Just tried the new Gym known as The Gym, in Blachington Road… First impressions cheap but pretty awful with having to que up to get in through the two entry points that require you to key in a pin with the same two entries also serving as exit points where, again a pin is required… how absolutely rediculas! Payed extra for classes but everyone is fully booked for ten days, no facilities to wipe down equipment after use despite this being promised folling my intervention and what appears, not particularly good instructors.. looks like I will be turning back to Corals|


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