Bohemian Brighton

Brighton boasts cosmopolitan flair as well as traditional seaside charms, and it remains a premier weekend getaway for Londoners. The town first blossomed during the late 18th century, when it transformed from a sleepy fishing village to a summer resort for Prince George, the son of ‘mad’ King George. The modern era has seen Brighton refreshed and revived once again. Think bracing Channel breezes, leisurely walks on the promenade, old-school family fun, and nights out amid a background of long sandy beaches and Victorian splendour.

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Peerless Piers and other attractions

A stroll down the gloriously colourful Brighton Palace Pier should be at the top of any list of what to do in Brighton. This Victorian beauty stretches out more than 1,700 feet from the beach, making it one of Britain’s longest piers. But its true appeal lies in the dizzying offers of fun for all ages arrayed along its length. A vast arcade, a children’s indoor soft play area, fairground attractions, pubs, and a top fish and chip restaurant, The Palm Court, dubbed by some as the spiritual home of fish and chips.

The Regency Era of the early 19th century was tumultuous and brief. From 1811 to 1820, King George III was deemed unfit to rule and his son George ruled by proxy as Prince Regent. This dramatic period had its own impact on Brighton, the prince’s summer playground, in its well-preserved architecture.

Of all the delights bestowed by that era, the Royal Pavilion remains one of the top attractions in Brighton. Heavily influenced by Indian styles and reminiscent of the Taj Mahal, it was built for Prince George as a kind of pleasure palace, with towering minarets and golden palm trees that flank its shining domes. Take a tour of its colourful and exotic interiors, including a theatrical banqueting room where guests would enjoy royal feasts of up to 70 different dishes. Although not quite as extravagant, a Regency brunch at the pavilion’s rooftop tearoom balcony—overlooking the beautiful gardens—remains one of the most civilised things to do in Brighton.

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