||Brighton is undoubtedly
a top destination for British sightseers, overseas visitors and businesspeople
alike, as the city attracts eight million tourists, 310,000 foreigners
and 200,000 delegates each year.
But once you arrive in the city, you will quickly realise why it is
so popular and was voted in the top ten in the Observer’s
Travel Award for Best UK City in 2000.
Brighton’s most famous tourist attraction is undoubtedly the
Royal Pavilion, which attracts 350,000 visitors a year and
was nominated "best history and heritage attraction in Britain"
by Holiday Which magazine in 2003. With its Indian architecture and
Oriental-style interior, this former home of George IV is one of the
UK's most beautiful buildings.
One of the main reasons why people come to Brighton is to see its
historic piers, one of which, Brighton Pier [map],
is the UK's fourth most-visited leisure attraction.
And although the West Pier [map]
is crumbling into the sea, the once magnificent Victorian structure
is still worth a look, especially if you’re a keen historian,
as it has an interesting story to tell.
Dubbed the' city-on-the-sea' by its fans, Brighton is also
hugely popular with sun worshippers, who head to the beach every year
in their thousands. Pebble collectors too should be happy; a city
academic estimates there are around 100 billion pebbles on Brighton
beach, which would take one man about 2,500 years to count!
Ever since the Prince Regent, later King George IV, came to
party in Brighton at the beginning of the 19th century, the city has
been known for its wonderful sense of fun. This in turn has helped
to establish the city as the south coast’s premier destination
for entertainment offering everything from clubbing and dance
classes to museums and cinemas.
Among the most popular venues are the Brighton Dome Complex
which is home to three theatres, and the Brighton Centre [map],
which plays host to party political conferences and major music events.
With more than 400 restaurants and cafés to choose from,
Brighton is also a food lover’s paradise, offering a huge range
of cuisines including Chinese, Mongolian, Mexican, Spanish, and Indonesian.
Shopping is also on the list of priorities
for day-trippers to Brighton, as the city has an array of shops selling
everything from designer gear to gadgets, and wacky shoes to souvenirs.
The most popular shopping districts are The
Lanes, for its designer names, and
North Laine, for its crazy independent stores, but there are also
department stores and the Churchill Shopping Centre [map]
in the city centre.
If you’re a die hard clubber then you’ll probably already
know that DJ Fatboy Slim lives in Brighton with wife Zoe Ball, and
that he does regular gigs in the city. But you’ll also be glad
to here the city attracts plenty of other top DJs making the
clubbing scene nothing short of spectacular, with dance, indie,
pop, retro and garage playing every night of the week.
In recent times Brighton has also become famous for its gay
scene, with more than 25,000 gay men and around 15,000 lesbians
now living in the city.
The Kemptown district has also been affectionately renamed ‘Camptown’
by locals, as this is where the majority of gay
bars, clubs, cafés and shops can be found.
So, whether you’re heading to Brighton for a day’s sightseeing,
a weekend of partying or a summer holiday, one thing’s for sure,
you shouldn't be disappointed by what’s on offer here.