Brighton Accommodation

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Brighton Travel Course

Exploring Brighton

A thoroughly enjoyable combination of beaches, British royal history, fascinating architecture, a lively community and cosmopolitan dining, drinking and entertainment options, the charming East Sussex seaside resort of Brighton is the perfect place for a city break or longer stay. Occasionally referred to as ‘London by the Sea’ for its location just 50 miles from the capital, it’s a residential hub for musical and media folk preferring to live in its Bohemian atmosphere. A small fishing village for most of its 1,000-year history, Brighton became a centre for therapeutic sea bathing and salt-water therapies due to the efforts of a local doctor.

Fashionable and wealthy Regency society followed the Prince of Wales in droves to see and be seen, inhabiting the newly-built Georgian terraces and transforming the town. Victorian day-trippers arrived from 1841 via the new London and Brighton Railway service, spurring the construction of many of the resort’s Victorian hotels, the West Pier and the Palace Pier, and the Grand Hotel, once the haunt of wealthy Londoners, now serves visitors from across the world. The seafront and its promenade are still much as they were in Victorian times, although the Blue Flag beach itself now has a nudist area and the former fishermen’s cottages hold art galleries and boutiques.

Sights nearby

Brighton has a plethora of sights, from Georgian heritage buildings through famous Brighton Pier to the impressive Royal Pavilion itself and the charming old Lanes district with its antiques and curio shops.

- Brighton’s Royal Pavilion

One of the UK’s most quirky architectural treasures, the Royal Pavilion resembles an Indian palace on the outside and an Imperial Chinese palace on the inside. Inspired by the then Prince Regent, the Prince of Wales, the extravaganza dates from the early 19th century and was the place to see and be seen in the late Georgian era.

- Brighton Beach and Promenade

Brighton’s pebbly Blue Flag beach is as popular now as it was in the ’50s and earlier, and its promenade hasn’t changed much over the decades. The Victorian and Edwardian hotels still overlook the ocean, and the promenade is a hub for parades, seafood stalls and typically British fish ‘n chip shops.

- The Lanes

The twisting Lanes district is crammed with tiny shops offering antiques, jewelry, collectables and oddities, and is a favourite place to wander for Brighton’s tens of thousands of visitors. The narrow alleyways are lined with shops and smaller booths, making for a treasure trove for bargain-hunters.

- Brighton Pier

Known as the Palace Pier, Brighton Pier is an atmospheric reminder of the days before package tours and cheap flights, when Britian’s seaside restorts were croweded with families and young couples playing the slot machines, eating candy floss and Brighton rock and picnicking on the low-tide sands amongst the sandcastles. Nowadays, the pier still boasts arcades and and end-of-the-pier theatre, but security guards patrol its entrance.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

The town centre is packed with restaurants, fast food joints and pubs serving pub grub, and Brighton Marina to the east of downtown is home to lively bars, eateries and the nearby Blanch House Hotel as well as a great selection of upscale yachts and pleasure boats. Shopaholics love the resort for its quirky, alternative fashions as well as its upscale boutiques, and North Laine Antiques and the flea market on Upper Gardner Street are great for non-mainstream goodies. The Open Market along London Road near the Hotel du Vin is for serious bargain-hunters, and the Beaded Lily Glassworks shows gorgeous designer costume jewellery created from hand-made glass lampwork beads.

Public transport

Brighton’s location within a reasonable journey by car, coach or rail from Heathrow and Gatwick airports makes getting to the resort less than time-consuming. Travelling from the capital is equally straightforward, with regular fast trains from both Victoria and London Bridge stations taking around an hour. Self-drive from London and Gatwick Airport is via the A23 fast road, although traffic can be heavy at rush hours and road conditions in town can be very congested, especially on weekends. In town, buses and taxis take the strain, although most of the places of interest are within walking distance of the major hotels and the beach.

Brighton travel guides

Brighton travel guides