Guide To Brighton
|| You only need to take
a short stroll through the city centre streets to see that Brighton
is bursting with creative splendour.
From theatres and concert halls to sculptures
and art galleries, this city has
a lot to offer those looking for a bit of Great British culture.
The city’s connection to the Royals is perhaps what first brought
about the influx of artists, designers and performers, when the Prince
Regent, later King George IV, made Brighton a trendy place to
So it seems very fitting that one of Britain’s finest displays
of architecture is the King’s former Brighton home, the Royal
with its Indian architecture and Oriental-style interior. 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.
Possibly just as famous as the palace are the city’s piers that
attract a mixed crowd of followers, with entertainment lovers usually
heading for Brighton Pier, while historians settle for the crumbling
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.
The once magnificent Victorian-style West Pier [map],
on the other hand, is now the poor relative that is falling apart
due to years of neglect.
Before we delve into the array of museums,
art galleries and music
venues on offer here, let’s first just mention the other
splendid – and perhaps strange – architecture that has
helped Brighton become the leading tourist destination on the south
For starters there is St Helen’s Church [map],
which is the oldest building still in use in Brighton and Hove,
dating back to the 11th century.
Located on the beach next to Brighton Pier is a mesmerising circular
sculpture officially called The Big Green Bagel but known locally
as the ‘Seasick Doughnut’. This unique sculpture was given
to Brighton as a gift from the Mayor of Naples.
Another monument worth visiting is the magnificent Peace Statue
on Kings Road, which was erected in 1912 to celebrate the reign of
King Edward VII.
With such a huge array of art galleries
and exhibition venues, it’s no wonder Brighton is a popular
location for artists, sculptors and media types.
Museum & Art Gallery [map]
is the city’s premier gallery, which has a number of innovative
exhibits including fashion and style, 20th century art and design,
and world art.
In nearby Hove you’ll find the Hove Museum and Gallery [map],
which has a film gallery celebrating Hove's role in the birth of cinema,
two craft galleries displaying the South East Arts Craft Collection
and a paintings gallery featuring displays of fine art.
Back in Brighton city centre, Fabrica [map]
is a contemporary art gallery that offers a hands-on experience, while
most local artists hang out in the Arts Quarter, a series of
small studios and shops under the King’s Road Arches where painters
and sculptors sell their products.
Working hand in hand with the art galleries
are the city’s museums, which uncover
the history of Brighton, its industries and its lifestyle.
Among the most popular are the Booth Museum of Natural History
which exhibits of dinosaur bones and British birds, and the Brighton
Toy and Model Museum [map],
which displays aeroplanes, dolls and teddy bears, to name but a few.
There’s also plenty of theatrical entertainment
in Brighton, what with the Theatre Royal [map]
playing host to touring musicals, the Pavilion Theatre
staging gritty dramas and the Ray Tindle Centre [map]
putting on a selection of international dance performances.
Brighton is also regular haunt for clubbers with the likes of Fatboy
Slim and other top DJs playing here most weekends.
You can also catch some of the best bands and solo artists at a number
of venues, including the Brighton Centre [map]
and Event II [map].
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