St George’s Mews, North Laine. East Sussex county.
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.
Brighton pier, a Victorian relic that is free to enter and loaded with fairground-style entertainments.
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’.
An original Banksy in an original Brighton. Love the place!
Hove, adjoining Brighton and just a short walk along the prom but a different era in time.
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.