Brighton is actually part of the city Brighton and Hove but it is commonly known as being a city in itself. It is sometimes given the nickname 'London by the Sea,' and once you've been to this beautiful and bohemian city you will know why. Many people who live in this delightful city choose to do so because it is a major centre of the UK, but it is far from the hustle and bustle of London. High-speed transport links, mostly in the form of rail, mean that it is incredibly easy to travel from the capital city to Brighton. Brighton is a city that instead of being filled with businessmen, as you might feel London is, is instead populated by creative types, such as musicians and artists.
Unlike the major cities of the UK, Brighton would be regarded as a relatively young city. It was not until the Royal Pavilion was built in the early 19th century that the city really saw its growth. The development of the railways led to a boom in the city's growth. Interestingly, the foundation of modern Brighton can be traced back to one man, an 18th-century doctor by the name of Richard Russell. He prescribed seawater from Brighton and his patients flocked to the area; and thus, Brighton was born.
Brighton is a town known in the UK for its incredibly liberal attitude and bohemian atmosphere. It is the gay and lesbian centre of the UK and the Kemptown area of the city is the gay area. In line with these liberal attitudes, there is a nudist beach just to the east of Brighton Beach.
Other than the arcades Brighton provides many fantastic shopping opportunities. The Lanes is a famous place to shop for jewellery and there are also a great number of bars and Italian restaurants. Speaking of drinking and eating, Brighton is a town with an endless selection of bars and pubs.
The city boasts one of the most vibrant nightlifes in the UK and is a centre for music culture. Every evening there will be live bands playing at numerous venues across the city. It wouldn't be too much of an exaggeration to say that there is a pub on every street in Brighton.
Dining in Brighton is also a treat, its seafront location means there is plenty of fresh seafood in the restaurants but for those who fancy something different there are a great number of restaurants offering cuisines from all over the world. If you're on a budget, Brighton is famous for its take-aways, there are a vast number in the city and have fairly cheap prices. After a night out they can also offer a great snack as they are open late.
For those seeking fine cuisines Brighton does not disappoint. Havana is an opulent restaurant that is known for its exceptional food and its famous clients.
The music culture of Brighton has meant there are dozens of independent record shops all over the city. For those with an interest in vinyl records Brighton is a treasure trove of opportunities. The Resident area of Brighton has the greatest density of music shops and you will find something to suit any possible taste.
There are of course the typical shopping opportunities you would find in any city across the UK, but Brighton has so much more to offer that it would be a waste to stick to these generic high-street stores.
As with every other city in the UK there are a great many sleeping options, from budget hostels starting at less than 20 quid, to exquisite boutique hotels costing hundreds of pounds a night. Many hotels in the city boast fantastic sea views and also have excellent restaurants.
There is no question that Brighton is a city with a culture that runs deep. Apart from its thriving music scene there are a great many art galleries located in the city, and many of these galleries have a focus on contemporary art. Fabrica and Lighthouse are two artist lead galleries that have no permanent exhibitions but are usually housing fantastic works. Ink D is a smaller operation. Displaying obscure art, this is the kind of small operation that Brighton is famed for. Museums also abound in Brighton, and there are numerous locations dedicated to a wide variety of subjects from toys to taxidermy.
Depending on what time of year you choose to visit Brighton, you will find a great many festivals and parades. The Brighton Festival is the second largest arts festival in the UK and the Fringe Festival hosts a great many comedians during the summer. It is also the home to the largest gay pride parade in the UK, generally this occurs in either July or August.
Brighton is a city that is very hard to put into words. It is as culturally developed as the capital but does not have the same busyness and crowding that some find too much. The laid-back atmosphere and bohemian, liberal culture of the town make it a sheer joy to visit. Other than simply enjoying the city for what it is, there are a great many sites and activities for a visitor to enjoy. Couple this with the excellent accommodation, wide-ranging cuisine, seafront location, and shopping opportunities and you have a destination that should be on the top of the list for people to visit in the United Kingdom.