During the 18th Century, Brighton grew in popularity as a health resort for Londoners seeking the benefits of the ocean air. The construction of a railway and the blessing of the Prince Regent in the 19th Century ensured the spotlight would continue to fall on this charming seaside town. Today, visitors continue to head south to recharge their batteries and revitalise the soul. Brighton is England’s principle beach retreat and, as such, is on a holiday footing year round. Easily explored as a day trip from the English capital, Brighton boasts great nightlife, delicious ocean-centric cuisine and a handful of curious attractions to keep visitors amused when they're not enjoying the sand and sea.
The most extravagant attraction in Brighton is the Royal Pavilion, created at the wishes of the Prince Regent who later became King George IV. The Brighton Pier, which is also known as the Palace Pier, is especially popular with families and the pebble beach is a great place to cool off in the heat of summer. The Sea Life Centre boasts an underwater tunnel for curious tourists to admire an array of marine life, while The Lanes precinct features quaint shops for souvenir hunters. For added ambience, the cultural quarter contains the Theatre Royal, the Pavilion Theatre and the Dome Concert Hall.
Thanks to its scenic seaside location, seafood stalls are plentiful in Brighton for those hungering for a budget-friendly feast. Just west of the pier are street-food stalls selling cockles, mussels, crab sandwiches, fish and oysters. At the other end of the spectrum, formal sit-down affairs include the likes of Englishs, Havana and Gingerman. Brighton is also home to a range of pizza joints, burger outlets and Indian restaurants, and vegetarians will rejoice at the choice of establishments serving up fare sans carne.
Where to Stay
Brighton has a complete range of accommodation options from humble backpackers to luxury abodes. The Grand Hotel Brighton is a fantastic centrally-located 5-star option that faces the seafront – many of the rooms are awarded brilliant views over of the ocean. Other popular hotels include the Thistle Brighton, The Old Ship Hotel, the Granville Hotel and The Claremont.
The hub of Brighton’s shopping district is Western Road. Once you’ve exhausted the mainstream options, head across to North Laine where you’ll find market stalls and an area known as The Lanes, which is adorned with a delightful array of antique shops. The Lanes Armoury is noted for its collection of war memorabilia and weapons, while music buffs will love browsing the various record shops that dot the city.
Brighton Like a Local
Brighton embraces diversity and welcomes people from all walks of life. As such, the town is a popular gay destination. The heart of the gay district is located in Kemp Town with many venues situated on St James’s Street and along the seafront east of the pier. Popular gay bars in Brighton include The A Bar, the Charles Street Bar, VaVavoom and Legends Bar. In summer, the town hosts a pride parade as part of gay pride week.