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Places Of Interest in Brighton

Places of Interest in Brighton You’ll never be short of things to do during your stay in Brighton as the city is packed to bursting with some fascinating places of interest.

From a doughnut on the beach to a guided tour of The Body Shop factory, the city-on-the-sea has all the right ingredients for a day out to remember.

Brighton’s best-known attraction, and certainly one not to be missed, is the Royal Pavilion [map], one of Europe's premier royal palaces that won tourist attraction of the year in 1995. With its Indian architecture and Oriental-style interior, this former home of George IV is one of the UK's most beautiful buildings. Each room here is exquisitely decorated, but the cream of the crop is undoubtedly the Music Room, which has a ceiling made up of 26,000 scallop-shaped shells and is lit by nine lotus-shaped chandeliers.

For another of the south’s top historic buildings make the trip out of Brighton to the lovely little town of Arundel, where you’ll find Arundel Castle [map]. This magnificent stately home, built by the Earl of Arundel at the end of the 11th century, has a wonderful collection of 16th century furniture and artworks by Gainsborough and Van Dyck. The castle has a fascinating history and links with Mary, Queen of Scots and Henry VIII, which you will learn about during the tour. There is also a restaurant and a shop so you can make a day of it.

Back in central Brighton you can pay a visit to the famous Clock Tower [map] at the junction of West Street and Queens Road, which also has a royal connection as it was built in 1888 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee. With the clock’s portraits of the Queen, Prince Albert and their son, the future Edward VII, and his wife, it is well worth taking the time to linger here for a while.

Religious buildings are also high on the list of must-sees in Brighton, what with the city being home to a number of churches and one of the finest synagogues in Europe.

The Brighton and Hove Jewish Congregation [map] in the swanky Lanes district was designed by local architect Thomas Lainson and built in 1874. Its Romanesque façade has round arched windows and a sumptuous interior, including galleries raised on marble columns depicting stories from the Old Testament.

Situated in Hangleton Way in Hove, St Helen’s Church [map] dates back to the 11th century making it the oldest building still in use in Brighton and Hove. The building contains many ancient features including religious wall paintings and original timberwork, while the churchyard has many interesting headstones, including that of the actress Dame Flora Robson's parents.

Brighton’s parish church is St Peter’s [map] in York Place, which is one of the finest early Gothic Revival churches in the UK. Built between 1824 and 1828 by Sir Charles Barry, who later designed the Houses of Parliament, the church has a mesmerising tower along with an impressive interior.

The city-on-the-sea is also famous for its two piers, Brighton Pier, which is an all-year-round entertainment venue, and West Pier, which is fighting for survival against the elements.

Open 364 days a year, Brighton Pier [map] has the biggest funfair on the south coast, a hugely popular fish and chip restaurant, plenty of amusement arcades and three bars.

West Pier [map] is a fundamental part of Brighton's history, although its once beautiful Victorian structure is now falling apart at the seams due to years of neglect. The pier, which opened is 1866, has been closed to the public since 1975 but its continuing importance in English heritage is reflected in its status as a Grade I listed building.

Right on the beach next to Brighton Pier is a large circular sculpture officially called The Big Green Bagel but known locally as the ‘Seasick Doughnut’. This unique sculpture, which was given to Brighton as a gift from the Mayor of Naples, has long since been a topic of heated debate among the city’s residents. But love it or loathe it, one thing’s for sure, you can’t miss it.

Another monument worth visiting if you get the chance is the Peace Statue on Kings Road, which sits on the boundary of Brighton and Hove. The statue, which was erected in 1912, actually celebrates the reign of King Edward VII but has become a symbol of peace as the angel holds an orb and an olive branch, both symbols of peace.

For outstanding views of the South Downs head to Devil’s Dyke [map], a National Trust landmark that is still a favourite day out for Brighton families. Legend has it that the dyke, a deep valley, was created by the devil in an attempt to flood the Wealdm, but he was disturbed when an old woman put a lighted candle in her window. There is a pub and an information centre at the top of the dyke and an open-topped bus runs to the site at hourly intervals from Brighton Pier.

Ever wanted to know how raw ingredients become bubble bath or moisturiser? Well take a trip out of the city centre to The Body Shop International Ltd [map] and find out. Based at Littlehampton, you can enjoy a guided tour of the headquarters and get a rare insight into the world of Peppermint Foot Lotion and White Musk bubble bath. There is also a factory shop offering products at bargain prices and a café for refreshments.

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