The seaside has always been a convenient location for settlements. While some of the most powerful metropolia has been built near the sea or other bodies of water, it cannot be denied that most of the world’s best vacation towns can be found near the shores. In the mid-eighteenth century, the small fishing village of Brighthelmstone became known for the healing properties of its seawater. The town was renamed Brighton, which also became the site of the Royal Pavilion. In the 1840s, railways were built around the city, which catapulted the city’s growth. The humble fishing village eventually became known as London-by-the-Sea. Apart from its convenient coastal vacation offerings, Brighton has been popularized as an urban escape for media and music lovers who do not wish to stay in England’s capital.
Exploring the City
London-by-the-Sea is also known as Britain’s gay capital. Kemptown boasts of a significant gay district, which further intensifies the city’s Bohemian atmosphere. The humble town is also home to two of England’s best universities, the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex, which can be found at Falmer near the edge of the city. Guests can explore the city by train which runs from the London and Victoria bridge stations. Since the city’s streets can be quite congested, as with other European cities, it may not be easy to bring a car in. Ironically, the best way to travel through the city is by the Stagecoach bus services, which offers a day’s worth of unlimited travel. Book your Brighton Hotels with Reservations.com.
The city’s best attractions are found right along the shores. Start by the Brighton Pier, and stroll along BrightonBeach, which is usually covered with flocks of tourists and residents during the summer. The beach features a nudist area and an avenue for surfing. The Sealife Centre, the world’s oldest working Aquarium, has a historic walkthrough underwater tunnel. See the interesting architectural piece built by John Nash, the Royal Pavilion. Once built for the prince, the pavilion has an Indian façade, while the interior is filled with Asian décor. See the floral gateway at the Old Steine, which transforms into one of England’s biggest flowerbeds during the Brighton Fringe Festival. The St. Bartholomew’s Church is one of Brighton’s best-known landmarks and exists as one of the tallest churches in Europe.
The Lanes is perfect for shopping souvenirs, which features little shops where the fishing village used to be. The avenue is famous for the Lanes Armoury, which is famous for the weaponry and the war memorabilia. The North Laine is a diverse district, which sells everything from magic potions to fairy wings and fire staffs. There are also interesting second-hand clothes stores and cafes along the area. Make sure not to leave town without taking home bottles of organic beer, a one-off party dress, and leather bound book. Apart from the North Laine’s quirky deals, Brighton also has a more generic shopping option in Churchill Square Shopping Centre, which has mainstream goods.
The Booth Museum of Natural History along Dyke Road features an interesting collection of more than 300 bird species, a giant bear, and the bizarre feejee mermaid. The museum also features the infamous Bone Room. The Toy and ModelMuseum is a delightful place for kids, but you’ll have to look for it under Brighton Station’s viaducts. The Brighton Museum and ArtGallery have a permanent collection of artworks and paintings depicting Brighton’s rich art, culture, and history.