About Brighton – East Sussex
Brighton (/ˈbraɪtən/) is a constituent part of the city of Brighton and Hove, a former town situated on the southern coast of England, in the county of East Sussex. It is best known as a seaside resort and is positioned 47 miles (76 km) south of London. It was created from the neighbouring but formerly separately governed towns of Brighton and Hove.
Archaeological evidence of settlement in the area dates back to the Bronze Age, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. The ancient settlement of “Brighthelmstone” was documented in the Domesday Book (1086). The town’s importance grew in the Middle Ages as the Old Town developed, but it languished in the early modern period, affected by foreign attacks, storms, a suffering economy and a declining population. Brighton began to attract more visitors following improved road transport to London and becoming a boarding point for boats travelling to France. The town also developed in popularity as a health resort for sea bathing as a purported cure for illnesses.
Brighton Coastline at Dusk
Drone shot flying along Brighton beach at dusk, United Kingdom.
Video footage provided by videvo, downloaded from www.videvo.net
In the Georgian era, the city developed as a highly fashionable seaside resort, encouraged by the patronage of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, who spent much time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavilion in the Regency era. It continued to grow as a major centre of tourism following the arrival of the railways in 1841, becoming a popular destination for day-trippers from London. Many of the major attractions were built in the Victorian era, including the Grand Hotel, the Hilton Brighton Metropole, the Palace Pier and the West Pier.
It’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, renowned for its diverse communities, quirky shopping areas, large and vibrant cultural, music and arts scene and its large LGBT population, leading to its recognition as the “unofficial gay capital of the UK”. Brighton has been called the UK’s “hippest city” and “the happiest place to live in the UK”.
Cafes and restaurants
Brighton is characterised by small dining establishments and independent coffeehouses. It has about 250 restaurants.
Festivals and rallies
Each May the city hosts the Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe, the second largest arts festival in the UK (after Edinburgh). This includes processions such as the Children’s Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The earliest feature of the festival, the Artists’ Open Houses, are homes of artists and craftspeople opened to the public as galleries, and usually selling the work of the occupants. Since 2002, these have been organised independently of the official Festival and Fringe.
Brighton Fringe runs alongside Brighton Festival, and has grown to be one of the largest fringe festivals in the world. Together with the street performers from Brighton Festival’s “Streets of Brighton” events, and the Royal Mile-esque outdoor performances that make up “Fringe City”, outdoor spectacles and events more than double during May.
Other festivals include The Great Escape, featuring three nights of live music in venues across the city; the Soundwaves Festival in June, which shows classical music composed in the 21st Century, and involves both amateur and professional performers; Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in pubs to show local bands; Burning the Clocks, a winter solstice celebration; Brighton Digital Festival, annually exploring digital technology and culture; and Brighton Pride, the first of its kind in the UK, which attracts 450,000 to the city over the Pride weekend. Disability Pride Brighton promotes acceptance and visibility for area residents who are disabled.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community in Brighton is one of the largest and most prominent in the UK, and it has been named the “gay capital of the UK“. There is record of LGBT history in the city dating to the 19th century. Many LGBT pubs, clubs, bars, restaurants, cafes and shops are located around the city and in particular around St James’s Street in Kemptown, including Club Revenge. Several LGBT charities, publishers, social and support groups are also based in the city. Brighton Pride is usually celebrated at the start of August.
Museums include Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, Preston Manor, Booth Museum of Natural History, Brighton Toy and Model Museum, and Brighton Fishing Museum, the long-established social epicentre of the seafront, which includes artefacts from the West Pier. The Royal Pavilion is also open to the public, serving as a museum to the British Regency.
Clean and Sweep covers the following areas around Brighton:
- Falmer, East Sussex, BN1
- Lewes, East Sussex, BN7
- Preston, Brighton and Hove, BN1
- Rottingdean, Brighton and Hove, BN2
- Stanmer, Brighton and Hove, BN1
- Woodingdean, Brighton and Hove, BN2
- Balcombe, West Sussex, RH17
- Patcham, Brighton and Hove, BN1
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