What are the best things to do in Brighton, and why make a
day trip from London to Brighton?
Brighton Royal Pavilion
Photo Courtesy of Visit Brighton
Brighton is a small town, easily explored on foot, and the main reason for going is to enjoy a day out in one of England's most popular seaside resorts. Brighton isn't filled with conventional tourist attractions like museums, though it does have a small museum and gallery, and everyone should see the Royal Pavilion. This means that it makes the ideal day out – you can see all there is to see and still have several hours to enjoy the seafront, Brighton Pier, the souvenir shops, the amusement arcades, and have time for some good old British fish and chips too.
Booth Museum of Natural History
The Booth Museum is out of the centre, about a 20-minute walk from the train station. It's named after Edward Booth who opened the museum in 1874 with one of the largest collections of stuffed birds in Britain. There's also an extensive collection of butterflies, local fossils and bones, over half a million insects, 60,000 shells and over 60,000 examples of plants. If you only have a day in Brighton you probably wouldn't want to spend too much time here, but it is an excellent collection for anyone who's especially interested in natural history.
Brighton Museum and Art Gallery
If you're going to the Royal Pavilion – and everyone visiting Brighton should – then you're also right by this free museum. It's got some interesting items on display, including a Gallery of Fashion and Style that explores fashion from Regency times to the present day. It also has very good collection of World Art, Art Deco, an Images of Brighton Gallery, and much else to reward a visit.
You can't go to the seaside without going on the pier. Brighton Pier opened in 1899 and is another free attraction, with the usual sideshows, a fun fair, amusement arcades, bars and restaurants.
The Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion is definitely one of the best things to do in Brighton. It dates back to 1787 when it was built as a seaside retreat for the Prince of Wales, later to become King George IV. When he was still Prince Regent he lived in the Pavilion with his mistress, and the buildings were expanded and redesigned over the years into a kind of fantasy of an Indian Palace. Much of this was done by the architect John Nash, whose painting of the Banqueting Room can be seen above.
Shopping in the Lanes
Brighton's best shopping area is the historic part of town known as The Lanes. This was once the original fishing village out of which Brighton grew, Brighthelmstone, and is a jumble of narrow streets that now contain lots of independent shops, cafés, restaurants, music from buskers, and a generally buzzing atmosphere. It's especially good for antique shops, by the way.
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