Progressive, fun, and Stylish, Brighton could easily pass as England’s party capital.
It attracts many day-trippers from all over the areas of the south thanks to beaches, shopping, and nights out.
This city is known for its thriving creative and arts industry, and it has a strong reputation when it comes to culture supported by the Brighton Festival held every May.
From the end part of the 18th century, what was known as the “upper class” of that time arrived in the area, which was then just a fishing village so that they could “take the cure”. This involved drinking and bathing in seawater.
During the initial wave of “holidaymakers”, Prince Regent (the future George IV) was one of them. He ordered the Royal Pavilion, which was an Indo-Saracenic, a palace that looked nothing like any of the other palaces from the west. This building featured bulging minarets and domes.
Brighton is also known for its large LGBT community, and more than 400,000 people visit the city every year for the Brighton Pride in August.
Here is a list of some of the best attractions in Brighton:
#1 Royal Pavilion
As a stylish, 20-something, the Prince Regent, first visited Brighton in 1783, and not long after, he started to spend a lot of his holidays in this town, that he decided to commission his own seaside palace.
John Nash was the architect, who also worked on Buckingham Palace and London’s Regent Street. The first palace was Neoclassical but in the year 1815, just before he became King George requested that Nash change the design of the building, so that it reflected his taste and interest in the oriental.
With minarets and onion domes, the fantastic Royal Pavilion looked very similar to a mosque. There is an audio guide that takes you through the plush and luxurious interiors, which leads into the Great Kitchen, the Banqueting Room, where you can find out more about what King George liked to eat, and the Royal Bedrooms. These bedrooms underwent changes when he picked up weight and started to ail later in his life.
#2 Palace Pier
One of the major landmarks in the UK, the Palace Pier extends into the English Channel, for around 1/2 kilometre from the bottom part of the Old Steine thoroughfare.
This pier is well-known as a “bucket and spade” stalwart since its opening in 1899. During the 20th century, this area was heavily dominated by a popular theatre that was demolished and pulled down in the 1970s, when it was no longer structurally sound.
Since then, the Palace Pier has turned into an amusement park with traditional games and fairground rides, two arcades, concession stands, and the large soft-play area at 4-storeys high. If you are into old-school English seaside fun, Palace Pier should be at the top of your list if you are visiting Brighton with kids.
#3 The Lanes
When Brighton was still a humble and quaint fishing village, a quarter which is now called the Lanes, was the main portion of this settlement. This neighbourhood offers a double appeal since it is the oldest portion of this city, and among the top places to shop, dine, and enjoy the nightlife.
The Lanes is made up of an intricate labyrinth of alleys which is often not wider than your arm span. These alleys twist through the ravines of two-storey painted buildings, which are slightly different from the Victorian and Regency townhouses.
This cosy and quaint part of this city is the perfect place to visit bakeries, cafes, hand-made jewellery boutiques, antique shops, and find out more about the buskers who have been a long-term fixture when it comes to this quarter.
#4 North Laine
Between the Royal Pavilion and Brighton Railway Station, North Laine is one of the trendy shopping districts where over 300 shops are all crammed into under half-a-square mile.
In the Medieval era, this compact street grid at North Laine was once a network of a variety of tracks surrounding farming plots. After that in the 19th century, the area was paved over and this part of the city turned into a very overcrowded slum.
In the 20th-century the entire area was planned for demolition and re-development, but in the 70s, it was rescued and dedicated as a Conservation Area, which allowed the area to grow into a bohemian district containing vintage shops, music stores, trendy cafes, and design boutiques.
There is currently a designer community that earns a living from the studios in North Laine. They produce clothing, sculpture, ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, and glassware.
#5 Going Out
For many years, Brighton was the English choice destination for hen and stag parties, and over the weekends, especially in the spring and in the summer, this city is filled with visitors from London for celebrations before they go ahead with their nuptials.
For all other visitors, many other venues match up to their scene, style, or speed, from gay pubs to gastropubs, craft beer bars, and live music pubs, multilevel mega-clubs, and trendy alternative bars.
These venues are spread across North Laine, the Lanes, east into Kemptown, Western Road, and along Trafalgar Street, on Churchill Square. If you had to choose one of the nightspots that would sum Brighton up, The Haunt, built in an old cinema attracts a very trendy crowd. This venue books live bands 4 nights out of the week.
#6 Brighton Beach And Seafront
When you are close to the water, it is easy to know you are in an English seaside resort, with deckchairs that flutter in the wind, and the distinctive aroma of fish and chips. The pebble beach stretches over 5.4 miles, representing Victorian glamour along with a touch of Brighton’s youthful style and energy, with many clubs and bars, that keep the waterfront thriving long after dark.
From the front part of the New British Airways i360, you will notice the shell of West Pier. In the 1970s, the West Pier was abandoned and later lost in a fire that occurred in 2003. The arches that face what remains of this pier are the home to small independent shops that sell homewares, photographic prints, and books.
#7 Brighton Museum And Art Gallery
Part of a similar ensemble, the Royal Pavilion, a building that houses the Brighton Museum, was supposed to be a tennis court for Prince Regent. The tennis court never reached completion, and instead turned into calvary barracks (a highly ornate barracks with multifoil minarets and arches).
The museum is home to collections for natural sciences, decorative art, world art, fine art, textiles and costumes, films, toys, oral history, and more. All this is stylishly presented in highly absorbing galleries.
A few pieces that you shouldn’t miss include a Kinemacolour Camera invented by George Albert Smith, a British film pioneer around 1910. Breeches that belonged to King William IV, the Hove Amber Cup, a lifelike Egyptian funerary portrait that dates back to the 2nd century, and a Bronze Age vessel, made from amber.
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