"BRIGHTON - THE CITY THAT ATE HOVE" Top 5 Page for this destination Brighton by themajor

Brighton Travel Guide: 962 reviews and 1,717 photos


The author and playwright Keith Waterhouse put it very well when he described Brighton as "the sort of place that looks like it has been up all night helping the police with its enquiries". It is a town (though nowadays officially a city) for which the phrase 'raffish charm' could have been invented. It unquestionably has good taste which it chooses to sprinkle with a goodly dollop of kitsch dressing. It has definite style but also does a rather impressive seedy. It is in many respects an fascinating amalgam. For most of the last century it was known in the United Kingdom as the place where respectable businessmen would go to spend dissolute weekends with energetic secretaries. It is naughty but nice - and of course it is often nice to be naughty!

Over the last 20 odd years the city has been turning away from the dwindling 'bucket and spade' trade (the provision of cheap bed and breakfast seaside holidays) and been trying, with some considerable success, to turn itself into more of a café society based on the much envied continental European model. This has gone so well that anyone collapsing in the street would be more likely to suffer coffee burns than impact injuries.


Brighton is often describes as a 'young persons' city. It has pubs, clubs and music venues by the bucketload, a thriving music scene with plenty of opportunities for band nurturing, and a smattering of celebrity residents. During the last century it became a popular base for many actors - most notably Sir Laurence Olivier - and nowadays counts Steve Coogan, Fatboy Slim and Heather Mills McCartney (needless to say Sir Paul no longer lives here!) amongst it's residents. Tis theatrical association led to Brighton becoming a major resting place for the gay community and it could probably be described as the UK's San Francisco.

It definitely likes to see itself as a 'go ahead' destination but when it isn't being mercilessly hip, Brighton is more than capable of being historical. The Royal Pavilion, a stunning Regency palace, is probably the jewel in the crown but the city also has a plethora of other fine Regency and Victorian squares and buildings. The city can trace it's roots all the way back to Saxon times when it was little more than a tiny fishing settlement, and in 1086 Domesday Book you can find it listed as listed as Brighthelmstone. I'm not sure who borrowed the other letters but it certainly makes spelling easier.


Well the question has to be asked. 'What exactly makes you think you know anything about Brighton whatsoever Major?' And I reply, 'Thank-you for asking, would you care for a nice cup of tea?'

To be honest I have been a resident of Brighton (and Hove) since I was a mere babe in arms and simply by default I have managed to stumble across information in much the same way that one will accrue a nasty bruise if your head is repeatedly beaten against a brick wall. I did not come here because it was hip - it wasn't - it simply became hip around me....whatever that means.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Fashionable, trendy, energetic
  • Cons:Fashionable, trendy, energetic
  • In a nutshell:The next place to visit after London...
  • Last visit to Brighton: Sep 2010
  • Intro Updated Sep 27, 2010
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Reviews (34)

Comments (8)

  • Acirfa's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2008 at 4:15 AM

    Delightfully witty and informative. O h the cheese shop, now replaced by a sandwich shop, not quite the same affair I would agree.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Aug 9, 2008 at 2:19 AM

    Oh, so this is Brighton :-)) What a shame that I didn't buy Brighton Rock, mybe it would have paired with my Bexhill Rock to form Bexton Rock? I love that optrician's display, good that we didn't pass the shop, I might have died laughing :-))

  • riorich55's Profile Photo
    Aug 7, 2008 at 12:19 PM

    My wife and I will be in London for the very first time at the end of Sept. The new musical at the Theatre Royal at that time "Come Dancing" looks like a toe tapper.

  • Jul 16, 2008 at 9:27 PM

    i think we should advise the people of brighton marina to go to your homepage and see what melting iceblocks can do to their properties!! what a great page major, full of your witty charm!

  • sourbugger's Profile Photo
    Jul 16, 2008 at 3:56 PM

    a mention of mushy peas betrays some northern roots in your soul, major. bet you can't get then in tunbridge wells.

  • Jul 14, 2008 at 9:29 AM

    Nick, is the mental hospital still standing? I can only imagine the arsonist must have caused such a stir, considering he made headlines in The Argus.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jun 29, 2008 at 7:53 AM

    I enjoyed reading your excellent, articulate tips on your home town. Even the ironmongers shop sounds delightfully English -- until I remind myself that it's just an ordinary hardware store. But those conversations are the same the world over.

  • craic's Profile Photo
    Jun 25, 2008 at 4:26 AM

    brighton looks (and sounds) fun

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