Things to do in Brighton
For many visitors, the beach is Brighton and Brighton is the beach. Brighton's pebble beach holds a Blue Flag for water quality and cleanliness and has a designated nudist area. To the east there are beach sports facilities such as beach volley ball courts. An arch that formerly served to house deckchairs overnight has been transformed into a fashionable beach bar.
Brighton became the tourist hot spot that it is today thanks in large part to the Victorian invention of the railways which brought day trippers from London in their droves. Evidence of the Victorians' love of this quintessentially British city by the sea can be seen everywhere especially the promenade along which are dotted trendy tea shops and eateries many of which are open long into the evening especially during the Summer months.
Brighton Pier is famous the world over and is the centre of eating, drinking and entertainment by day and by night. Tourists visit Brighton from all over the UK and from all over the world giving the city, particularly in high season, its unmistakable vibrant atmosphere. The city's night life centres on the beach front and pier too. There are comedy clubs, theatres and music venues a-plenty as well as bars, pubs, clubs and some fantastic restaurants.
However, if you can drag yourself away from the sea front you'll find there is plenty more to do in historical Brighton.
The Royal Pavilion
In 1783, the Prince Regent, who later ruled as George IV made his first trip to Brighton. So taken was he that he returned many more times and commissioned the famous Royal Pavilion the exterior of which is in the Indian style whilst its interior spaces were bedecked in the most opulent and extravagant chinoiserie ever seen in the UK. Quite a combination.
The city of Brighton bought the Pavilion from Queen Victoria in 1850 for £53,000. Today, the Royal Pavilion has over 400,000 visitors annually and houses tea rooms, the Indian Military Hospital Gallery and the ever so theatrical banqueting room.
Opening times October to March, 10am to 5.15pm and April to September, 9.30am to 5.45pm
Brighton Toy and Model Museum
The entrance to the Toy and Model Museum is through an arch between pillars supporting the forecourt of Brighton's main railway station. The museum boasts four thousand square feet of floor space and a catalogue bursting its bindings with in excess of ten thousand toys, games, puzzles and models.
This is a wonderfully nostalgic museum to visit: there's a blast from the past around almost every corner and the museum strives to keep itself up to date with all the newest and trendiest toys on the market. Children young and very, very old will just adore this place. Among the highlights are the Steiff bears (and spidey the Steiff spider) and two extremely highly detailed, working model railways, one an '0' gauge, the other '00' gauge.
The museum is open Tuesday to Friday 10am to 5pm and on Saturday from 11am to 5pm all year round. Website: www.brightontoymuseum.co.uk
Brighton is truly a wonderful cosmopolitan city full of life and activity day and night so although you can't always rely on the British weather, there is lots to do and see in Brighton both in and out of doors.
Written by The British Traveller, a British travel blog