Brighton is a charming city full of royal history, artistic inventiveness and seaside splendour. You’ll encounter elegant gardens, some of the best sea-centric museums in England and a street full of adorable colourful houses, but what must you do above all else? This is just our list, our ideas, our thoughts, but you can’t go wrong by ticking these off. And yes, we’re serious about George.
Hit the beach
You aren’t going to be spending hours lying on the sands at Brighton Beach, as there is no sand to lie on. This is a beach of pebbles, rocks and stones, but don’t be disappointed — this is one of England’s most iconic shores. Brighton wouldn’t be Brighton without the beach, so be sure to visit it early and visit it often.
Embrace your inner royal
The Royal Pavilion was purpose built for the young chap who grew up to be King George IV, and it has been restored to the glory that his royal highness would have desired. If you close your eyes tight enough while visiting, you might just be able to convince yourself that you are next in line for the throne, but if you close your eyes too tight you’ll probably do some damage to your eyes. Best to keep them open and admire the furniture instead.
Find George’s grave
Woah, that escalated. We’re not talking about the final resting place of the 5th British monarch — this is far more important than that. George was the Pavilion’s beloved cat, a stray who made himself at home and became a Brighton legend the process. He died at the age of 20 — not bad for a cat — and is buried in the Pavilion Gardens.
Visit England’s ugliest church
Maybe we’re being a little too harsh on St Bartholomew’s, but it is definitely different. Once described as ‘uselessly large, painfully ugly and sadly out of place’, the tallest church in town divides opinion to this very day. We’re kinda in love with the thing.
Sleep with the fishes
Okay, more morbidity, but this isn’t what it sounds like. Brighton’s Sealife Centre is Britain’s oldest and best aquarium, a fascinating centre for ocean dwellers found in an old Victorian arcade. Its newest offer is the most interesting, as the centre will allow nighttime visits in order to see just what happens to coral when darkness falls. Fascinating stuff.
Photograph the dead and the delightful
Brighton’s West Pier isn’t going to be around forever, but it remains one of the most haunting images on the South Coast. The UK’s first Grade I listed pier is a wrecked shell of its former self, but what remains of the pier provides quite the aesthetic. At the other end of the photogenic scale is Blaker Street, Brighton’s most adorable street and one full of colourful houses that look good enough to eat.
Get a bird’s eye view
The best way to get a grip on Brighton and its layout is by climbing its massive observation tower, or the British Airways i360 to be exact. The UK’s first vertical pier offers unbeatable views of the city, the least you’d expect from such a lucky vantage point, and also offers you the chance to booze in the South Coast’s highest bar. Brighton at its most beautiful.
Spend a night in the cells
No, don’t drink too much at the tower and get into a scrap. The Old Prison Cells Museum is one of the most interesting in Brighton, helped no end by the city’s occasionally gruesome history. They don’t call it the ‘Queen of Slaughtering Places’ for fun, you know. The horrible history of a beautiful town is best discovered here.
Wander The Lanes
Before the royals came to expand the town into a seaside resort, Brighton was a fishing town with angling on its mind and charm in its heart. That charm remains of course, and it is best experienced by wandering around the old centre, known as The Lanes. The neighbourhood is all adorable independent shops, cute cafes and fun-filled bars, making it everyone’s favourite part of Brighton’s city centre.
The world isn’t getting any healthier, we all need to accept that, and the better educated we can be about its plight then the more chance we have of tempering the damage. Places like Earthship Brighton will grow ever more important as time passes, so don’t be late to the party or there won’t be a party to enjoy. Head to Stanmer Park to enjoy this self-sustainable house, museum and educational centre.
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