Brighton, England

Street mural, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

St George’s Mews, North Laine. East Sussex county.

Brighton Tourism

Brighton, on England’s south east coast, is the favourite seaside resort of Londoners since the 19th Century when the Prince of Wales started to visit and had the Royal Pavilion built there. Royal hangers-on, the rich and the want-to-be rich soon followed, but it was the construction of the first rail line from London to the south coast in 1840 that kick-started serious development.

This city is something of a favourite with gays but enjoyed by straights and families too as it’s easy to reach from London, anarchic, creative, boisterous, fully-oxygenated, inexpensive and very compact. In fact it has been known as London-by-the-Sea.

Depending on reliability of trains or traffic congestion the trip should take about an hour from London Victoria or London Bridge stations by frequent trains. Or hop on a coach (comfortable, long-distance buses) or rent a car.

The pier, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

Brighton pier, a Victorian relic that is free to enter and loaded with fairground-style entertainments.

Brighton buildings

Royal Pavilion, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

The Royal Pavilion, the city’s most enduring cultural attraction, East Sussex.

Once in the town centre transport is unnecessary as most of the action is in the compact centre, stretching a block or two north of the four-mile beach, its promenade and the tacky but colourful Pier.

The labyrinthine The Lanes area immediately north of the promenade is Brighton’s wildlife watering-hole while just north of The Lanes is, confusingly (or not), North Laine – the grazing ground for alternative eating, arty shops, boutiques, bohemians and off-the-wall eccentricity. See our Brighton map.

Georgian housing, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

The region embraces a range of housing styles from hideous council monstrosities, though Victorian and back to Tudor.

The Lanes, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

The Lanes area, near the beaches.

LGBT

Graffiti, Brighton pictures, East Sussex, England

The city hosts an active counter-culture, both gay and anti-establishment. This is Church Street.

The Gay scene: Interestingly there is an old main street  called Dyke Road and a Dyke Golf Club. Is it a coincidence that this is probably Britain’s most vibrant LGBT scene?

Brighton Pride is a week-long pink fest at the end of every July that climaxes in a weekend parade, while Kemp Town, east of the pier is the city’s ‘gay quarter’.

Banksy graffiti, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

An original Banksy in an original Brighton. Love the place!

Hove

Hove housing, adjoining Brighton, East Sussex, England

Hove, adjoining Brighton and just a short walk along the prom but a different era in time.

The promenade, Brighton Pictures, East Sussex, England

Hove’s wide promenade, lawns and elegant buildings offer the London refugee more space, less stress, more quiet and less tacky entertainment than wild brother Brighton. This wired and rapping space case was a superb example of the city’s style and creativity.