Image by carrie227
South coast seaside town Brighton has made the Lonely Planet list of top 10 best beach cities worldwide. A wide range of fabulous hotels in Brighton make it the perfect weekend destination, so why not pay a visit to this unique coastal city and discover for yourself what makes it one of the world’s best beach resorts?
With the wealth of stunning white sand beaches in the world, some may find it surprising that Brighton, with its pebble beach, has gained this recognition. However, Brighton has a vibrancy all of its own. Part traditional seaside town and part cosmopolitan city, Brighton is a mesh of diversity that shouldn’t work, but just does.
The perfect seaside destination for families, Brighton also has a strong bohemian spirit. With a colourful mix of residents including students, hippies and young professionals, as well as a lively gay community, there’s a cherished freedom of expression in Brighton that makes it a vibrant place to visit.
Brighton is in very good company on the Lonely Planet best beach cities list, rubbing shoulders with Barcelona, Dubai, Miami, Tel Aviv, Valencia, Sydney, Tangier, Rio de Janeiro and Cape Town. At first glance, our little UK seaside town that only gained city status at the turn of the millennium may look to have little in common with these international destinations. The thing about Brighton, though, is that it has little in common with anywhere, and it is this uniqueness that gives Brighton an individual charm all of its own.
Fair enough, Brighton may not be the first place that springs to mind when you think ‘beach holiday’. While you may dream of lazing across a sun lounger on golden sands to the sound of gently lapping waves, what you’ll get in Brighton is the crunch of pebbles beneath your stripy deckchair. Brighton may not have miles of white sands, swaying palm trees or turquoise waters, but travellers shouldn’t let that put them off experiencing its charms.
Charm is one thing that Brighton does have in bucket loads. By day, visitors can visit the famous Brighton pier or stroll along the bustling promenade. Brighton is a place where you can indulge in all of our English seaside traditions such as fish and chips, fairground rides, arcades, candy floss and rock. The brave will enjoy the ghost train, whereas the more faint of heart may draw the line at the wooden helter skelter.
So far, so same-old seaside? Look a bit closer and you’ll find a cosmopolitan art and culture scene in Brighton, with some fantastic small galleries and trendy boutiques for your perusal. The Brighton Lanes shopping area is a maze of quaint little streets and alleyways crammed full of independent shops. You can browse antiques, jewellery and individually designed clothing while being entertained by street buskers. The Lanes also has some great little places to stop for refreshment when you feel yourself becoming shopped out.
For art lovers, there are countless galleries in Brighton. These range from the architecturally beautiful Brighton Museum and Art Gallery in the Royal Pavilion Gardens, to a wealth of tiny independent galleries showcasing the work of Brighton’s creative community.
Returning to the beach, water lovers can get active with a range of water sports including wakeboarding, kayaking, surfing and paddle boarding. Brighton has a thriving surfing community, so join the cool kids and get your wetsuit on.
Brighton in the daytime is an odd mix of the quirky and the traditional, but Brighton by night is something else entirely. With an amazing range of after dark venues, whatever you are into you’ll find your perfect place to party. In line with Brighton’s ‘anything goes’ attitude, diversity is celebrated and a night out in Brighton can have a real carnival feel to it.
Much more than just its beach, Brighton is a real melting pot of people and places. Brighton does more than just welcome its visitors, it drags them into its colourful community. So much about Brighton clashes and contradicts that it shouldn’t work. Traditional and new age, seaside and art; but it’s these contradictions that gives Brighton something extra special and sets it apart from any other place in the world. This uniqueness is what earns Brighton its place on Lonely Planet’s list of top 10 beach cities worldwide and makes it a very worthwhile destination for any traveller.