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Brighton Travel Guide

About Brighton

Decamping to Brighton is de rigueur in British summer time. Kitsch, confident and cool, this town has everything you could possibly want from a day at the seaside.

On a sunny day, the pebble beach is a merry jumble of splashing swimmers, windy picnics, lively ball games and stripy deckchairs. Jutting out into the water and laden with colourful confectionery, flashing arcade games and classic fairground rides, Brighton Pier is one of the city’s most recognisable icons.

The extravagant Royal Pavilion, built to satisfy the whims of King George IV, is Brighton’s other big name attraction. But beyond this gaudy slice of Georgian architecture you’ll find a modern city centred around Jubilee Square. Here you’ll find an impressive library, top notch restaurants and plenty of room for some serious people watching.

The boho vibe of North Laine and South Lanes is not to be missed either. Shop for vintage clothes, flick through crates of second–hand vinyl, stock up on vegan treats or duck into a pub for a pint of Harvey’s Sussex Ale.

Brighton has a well-earned reputation for its gay-friendly scene too, especially in Kemptown. The summer and winter pride events attract huge crowds from all across the UK.

There’s a strong cultural streak here too, with heavyweight acts always passing through the ace Brighton Centre and cutting edge bands and DJs playing at venues such as Komedia. The Great Escape music festival sees the city taken over by independent artists for a weekend in May, turning Brighton into the hippest place in the UK.

If all that partying gets too much, remember the rolling South Downs National Park is just a short drive or train ride away. And if you don’t fancy a dip in the sea, the soon-to-be-reopened art deco Saltdean Lido will be a great way to soak your bones on a hot day.

Key facts

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Featured Hotels



Suitable for the budget-conscious, this low-key hostel is set away from the hustle and bustle on a quiet residential side street in Hove. Rooms come with one, two or four beds, with shared facilities on each floor. It has stylish wooden floorboards, warm basement kitchens and a converted coal cellar for a chinwag.

The Grand Hotel

Brighton's most famous hotel and one of the only 5-star establishments in the city the The Grand’s elegant Victorian building enjoys a central seafront position. This extensive hotel has more than 200 lavishly appointed rooms and offers a stylish and luxurious base from which to explore the city. Its afternoon teas are world famous too.

Drakes Hotel

This Georgian townhouse is where the media set stay when they’re in town, with the likes of Sadie Frost and Woody Allen amongst its former guests. The interior combines orientalism and Indochine French design, and it pitches for laidback glamour. The onsite restaurant is fabulous, while the accompanying cocktail bar has an abundance of classics on offer - though mercifully no Sex On The Beach in sight.

The Granville

Styled as Brighton's original boutique hotel, The Granville exudes a thoroughly old school charm. Each of the 24 rooms are individually themed, so visitors can stay in the likes of the Noel Coward Room, with its art deco furniture, or the blue Lace Room with its Jacuzzi bath. Even Thomas Kemp, the local hero behind Kemp Town, has his own four walls.

The White House

If you’re planning on spending your evenings amongst among the pomp and wonder of Kemp Town, but still want to escape once the lights come up, The White House is a sound option. Built in the 1930s, and with only 25 rooms, its recent refurbishment now has it on point with the rest of the competition.

Hotel Una

A boutique hotel stationed in the centre of the Regency Square, Hotel Una names its rooms after the rivers of the world. Each has been individually designed with a focus on style, so when you’re not sitting at your pine bureau scribbling in your journal, you’ll be lounging on slick leather sofas. The Fifty Five Cocktail bar downstairs is ideal for sophisticated pre-dinner oiling.