Only a handful of places spring to mind when you think of a great British seaside holiday. One of these places will be Brighton. Without a doubt, Brighton has become one of the most popular towns in Britain in the last 10-15 years, and is the ideal destination for a family holiday, day trip, stag weekend, hen night, school trip and just about everything else in between.
No matter why you find yourself in the town that many have dubbed ‘London by the sea’, these five attractions are suitable for everyone to experience and enjoy while they’re down on the South Coast.
The Lanes are a series of small streets in Brighton, which can be found near North Street, Ship Street, Prince Albert Street or Bartholomew Square. The small alleyways are home to plenty of shops, including a few antiques shops so anyone who is looking for a quirky gift or item for their home should head here. You can also find plenty of good shops in the North Laines, which isn’t to be confused with the Lanes, but is relatively close. You’ll find plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants in the North Laines, as well as Komedia, which is great for live entertainment and comedy shows. It used to be a Tescos!
The Royal Pavilion should, in theory, look incredibly out of place in Brighton but to me it looks as if it belongs here and simply adds to the charm that Brighton already exudes at every turn. A former royal residence, the Pavilion was a holiday retreat for Prince Regent, later King George IV and was built over a period of 36 years. Starting out as a farmhouse, Henry Holland was drafted in to help transform that humble farmhouse into the huge, sprawling neo-classical villa that it is today. Queen Victoria eventually sold the Pavilion to the town on Brighton in 1850 as she disliked Brighton and the level of privacy the Pavilion afforded her family was not enough. Following the sale of the Pavilion to Brighton the royal stables were converted to what is now the Brighton Dome concert hall.
The Marina is a great place to go for lunch and for a spot of shopping, as it houses many restaurants and a selection of boutique shops. You can also find a hotel, bowling alley, health club, cinema and casino here, meaning that this is an ideal place for Brighton stag weekends, hen weekends and throughout the day it is a perfect place for families too. As to be expected, the Marina is exceptionally busy in summer and is incredibly popular with local fishermen during this time too. You can find a place on one of the Marinas’ many sightseeing tours and fishing boat trips on most days with little bother.
The Palace Pier (or Brighton Marine Palace and Pier, to give its full title) is actually Brighton’s third pier, following the first Royal Suspension Chain Pier which was destroyed by a storm in 1896 (working out well for the town as it was required to be removed so that the Palace Pier could be constructed), and also West Pier, which was closed in 1975 (fires and storms have also put West Pier in a much more dilapidated state). Palace Pier today offers all the fun of the seaside, with a large amusement arcade and fairground rides all found on the pier. You can also find plenty to eat and drink, with a small pub also found on the pier. This Grade II listed structure has become iconic with Brighton, often being highlighted in films and television shows to set the scene in Brighton.
And finally, we have the Brighton Wheel. Perhaps this is why people refer to Brighton as London by the sea? The wheel is actually fully transportable and was used as an attraction at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Transported to Brighton in 2011, the wheel has permission to stay in its place in Brighton until 2016. Open from 10am to 11pm every day, the wheel can hold up to 286 people when full, and the ride lasts for three whole rotations, which takes around 12 minutes. You can get some incredible views of the Brighton city skyline, the beach and pier and the view out to sea.
There we have it, five of the most interesting and iconic attractions that the little old seaside town of Brighton has to offer! No matter why you’re here, you’ll love them all.
Lee is the Stag Company’s Web Content Editor, producing a neat line in articles and content that highlights the best of British and European locations for stag weekends and stag dos. Almost always in possession of a mug of coffee too.