One of the most vibrant, colourful and creative cities in Europe
righton is one of England's most attractive cities, some eight million annual visitors come for the liberal, funky and welcoming vibe, sea air, and sweet sticks of rock. The English seaside town has long been associated with quirky, funny and sometimes saucy weekend visits and none come more risque, entertaining or as juicy as East Sussex’s veritable melting pot of fun.
History and Heritage
Prince Regent George (later King George IV) put the sleepy, fishing village of Brighton on the map when he commissioned the Indian-inspired Royal Pavilion as the ultimate weekend pad in the late 1700s. Queen Victoria herself shunned the town (preferring the quieter Isle of Wight), but her subjects couldn't get enough of the fresh air and quirky goings on, and the Palace Pier , Regency squares & Georgian terraces (and some B&Bs) have changed little since.
Must See Attractions
Fish and chips and the Palace Pier are usually top of the list for daytrippers, followed closely by a meander around The Lanes or the North Laine area. In the autumn, thousands of starlings (and as many photographers) flock to the iconic, but sadly decrepit West Pier , for some of the best sunset views on the planet. Those looking for a great atmosphere should head to the bustling Kemptown area.
Food and Drink
Brighton’s poshest eateries include The Strand, Drakes , Riddle and Finns Oyster Bar and the Hotel du Vin Hotel du Vin , but for the true seaside experience, head to Due South on the seafront, where the catch of the day is served with locally-sourced produce. And then there are the two famous veggie restaurants: Food For Friends , and Terre a Terre , serving awesome meat-free dishes since the 1980s.
Brighton and Hove Albion Football club’s new Falmer Stadium is set to open for the 2011/12 season, and will be the town’s star sporting attraction. For now, horse racing fans can head to the Brighton Racecourse - high on the Downs with a commanding view of the English Channel. Brighton’s seafront Madeira Drive is home to many motorsport ‘meets’, including the world’s oldest motor race the British Speed Trials.
Music and Nightlife
With such a vibrant, young crowd of tourists and university students, it’s no wonder that Brighton’s music and nightlife scene is second only to London’s. The Hanover area has a pub virtually at the end of every street, gigs at the Concorde 2 and the Freebutt have seen many huge acts before they broke, and the Brighton Centre , Komedia and the Brighton Dome (where Abba won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974) are where bigger established acts play.
The Palace Pier offers old-school family fun, with penny arcades and seaside pictures to put your head through. Just opposite, the Brighton Sealife Centre is the world’s oldest aquarium, and home to black-tipped reef sharks, turtles and sea snakes. Have a ride on the world’s oldest electric railway (from the Palace Pier to the fishing boats at Brighton Marina ), or splash about in the fantastic kids play area between the West Pier and Hove Lawns.
Psst... Handy Hints
Brighton has many hidden parks, with cool cafes, incredible kids areas and a great atmosphere.
Fancy an open-air ice skate? The lawn in front of the Royal Pavilion becomes an outdoor ice arena from the end of November.
England's cities are fab for vintage shopping.Boutique & vintage hotspots
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