Brighton and Hove
Brighton & Hove is Britain’s most populous seaside resort. Situated on the south coast, Brighton is of course synonymous with all British seaside traditions: the famous Victorian Pier; fish and chips (which will be stolen by seagulls); donkey rides on the beach and the annual struggle to put up a deck chair! This stretch of coast is equally beautiful on a clear day as it is during the winter months.
The seafront has been recently reinvigorated and it’s where you will find the Artists’ Quarter. The stunning Brunswick and Palmeira Squares are worth a visit with fabulous views of the sea.
The largest and most iconic site in Brighton is the remarkable Royal Pavilion, dating back to 1783. This palace boasts Indian style domes, minarets reminiscent of the Middle East and a Chinese inspired interior. It is but one of the fine examples or Regency architecture which can be seen in the city.
Brighton is a haven for sun-seeking Londoners looking to escape the sweltering capital and since it’s only around an hour on the train from one of London’s major rail stations it’s perfect for daytrips. Good rail connections are available to all major UK cities. There are regular train connections to Hove from Brighton, taking only a few minutes. From Europe there is the Eurostar which arrives at London St Pancras then you can catch a direct train to Brighton. Brighton station is a 10 minute walk to the centre of the city, bus and taxi services are available outside. Brighton is conveniently located near to three major airports: Gatwick is only 30mins away by road; Heathrow (around 2hrs 15mins by train via Heathrow Express or London Underground); and Luton (2hour direct train).
Good times of the year to visit
Brighton is an extremely popular tourist destination. In the height of summer the beach is jam packed with holidaymakers, it may be advisable to avoid these months for this reason although there is a friendly buzz to the city as it bustles on a sunny day so it’s not all bad!
The seafront provides an array of water based activities. Brighton Marina Watersports offers yacht or Powerboat cruises of the south coast, lessons and teambuilding style corporate activity days including Powerboat races.
The Brighton Festival is a 23 day long celebration of the arts from theatre to dance, from debate to circus skills. It takes place every May and is in its 48th year. There is also the Brighton Fringe festival in May/June which showcases fringe theatre/dance/comedy/cabaret and visual arts. The Great Escape music festival also takes place in May. Over 40 live music venues across the city play host to some 400 up and coming bands.
For culture vultures there are plenty of museums and galleries to take in: the Natural History, the Toy and Model and the International Vintage Electronics Museum to name a few. Or why not take a walking tour to learn about the architectural history and development of the city.
Brighton’s nightlife is second to none! As the sun goes down head down to the pier to see the beautiful lights and enjoy the rides, take a stroll along the beach or visit any number of bars, restaurants and clubs.
If you’re feeling brave then why not take in a ghost walk ( ghostwalkbrighton.co.uk ) at night around the city and hear the darker side of its history.
Brighton famously has one of the largest gay populations in the UK and there is a wealth of nightlife to suit all tastes, the scene is centred around St. James’ Street. In fact all the nightlife of Brighton has a bohemian and relaxed atmosphere.