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What to See and Do in Brighton – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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Colourful, open-minded, eccentric and irrepressibly energetic, Brighton is the UK’s most endlessly surprising coastal city. A chaotic mishmash of brash seaside charm, vibrant countercultural energy and chic bohemian style, it guarantees a thrilling time. The nightlife is legendary, with a world-class local music scene and a reputation as one of the world’s most gay-friendly destinations. Plus, its independent boutiques make for a far more diverse shopping experience than your average British high street.
Brighton Pier

 

 

Brighton’s iconic pleasure pier is a one-stop destination for all manner of traditional seaside frivolities. Cavernous amusement arcades rattle with the sounds of coin-guzzling slot machines, while tempting aromas of candy floss and fish and chips fill the air. At the end of the pier you’ll find a thrilling selection of hair-rising thrill rides and retro fairground attractions, all decked out in gaudy neon lights. If you fancy a more sedate experience, grab yourself a deck chair and simply take in the gorgeous sea views.

 

Royal Pavilion

 

 

Brighton is the proud home of a bona fide architectural marvel. The Royal Pavilion is Britain’s quirky answer to the Taj Mahal, a gleaming-white former royal residence topped with ornate onion domes and minarets, surrounded by beautiful, lush gardens. Its jaw-droppingly opulent interiors draw influence from the Chinese and Indian styles that were the height of fashion during the reign of the Pavilion’s first occupant, King George IV.

 

Kemp Town

 

 

Just east of Brighton Pier lies the city’s thriving, long-established gay quarter. Take a walk down colourful St James’s Street and you’ll find a host of bars, restaurants, and shops catering to LGBT visitors from all over the world. The area’s laid-back, welcoming vibe is intoxicating, and it’s all too easy to while away a day here browsing boutiques and lounging around in chic cafés. Things really heat up at night, with seafront venues playing host to some of the UK’s biggest and best gay club nights.

 

North Laine

 

 

Bustling, bohemian North Laine is a one-of-a-kind shopper’s paradise. This eclectic collection of over 300 quirky independent retailers is the perfect antidote to the drab uniformity of the typical high street. Here you’ll find bric-a-brac shops the size of department stores, eccentric fashion outlets selling everything from vintage chic to day-glow rave wear, and responsible retailers committed to eco-friendly practices. The area’s pavement cafes and pub terraces are among the best spots in the city for people watching.