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Things to do in Brighton

A day at the races

Even if you have absolutely no idea about accumulators or speculators you can still get carried away with a flutter at Brighton Racecourse (tel: +44 1273 603 580; www.brighton-racecourse.co.uk). Horse race meets run most weeks from April to October.

Catch a show at The Old Market

The Old Market (tel: (+44) +1273 201 801; www.theoldmarket.com) is an independent theatre and venue funded entirely by artists. With a focus on innovative, fringe productions across all theatrical disciplines, they have solidified their place as the premier venue for new shows in the city.

Go vintage shopping in Kemp Town

If the North Laine doesn't have the vintage clobber you're after, head to Kemp Town's 'Antique Village'. With everything from kitsch paintings and tweed turn-ups to porcelain pots and once-loved lamps, you'll lose hours among the pre-owned paraphernalia. Start at the Trading Post and Coffee Shop (tel: (+44) 1273 698 873), which marries a good brew with a good browse.

Kick up a stink with a sewer tour

From May to September, Southern Water (www.southernwater.co.uk/brighton-sewer-tours) gives brave nose-holders the chance to see inside Brighton's Victorian sewage system. Although there are around 48km (30 miles) of sewers beneath Brighton, this tour takes you on a mercifully brief 400m (0.25 miles), teaching participants about their history and the route of today's waste and storm water. Book well in advance.

Ride the waves in Brighton Marina

With so much attention given to Brighton's dining, drinking and dancing, it's easy to forget about the sea. If you fancy doing something a little more expansive than sitting on the pebbles, head to Brighton Marina (tel: (+44) 1273 424 842; www.lagoon.co.uk) for some water-based fun from wakeboarding to stand-up paddleboarding.

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Hotel Pelirocco

Self-styled as ‘England’s Most Rock n’ Roll Hotel’, the Pelirocco wears its (tattooed) heart on its sleeve. With unique designs in each room, visitors can count sheep in sleeping quarters such as the Modrephenia (complete with scooter bedside table) and the Pretty Vacant (think: angry teenager’s bedroom with punk posters and guitars). For a naughty weekend away, the Nookii room is your best bet with its peep show shower and adult board games.

Seadragon

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.