Deckchairs at Brighton beach
The oldest settlements in the Brighton area date back to 3500 BC, but it wasn’t until the 1700s till the place began making inroads into public consciousness. At first an ideal place for experimenting with the new-found health fad that was bathing with seawater, Brighton’s fame and fortunes grew exponentially with the arrival of the railway and the opening of its entertainment piers in the 1800s. By 1900, Brighton had become England’s most favoured seaside getaway, its cold waters and pebbly beach notwithstanding. The 20th century saw the city lose some of its sheen to a pier-side fire and the growth of air travel. Renaissance came with the 2000s, when the city saw a gentrification of sorts, with the emergence of a vibrant LGBTQ community, artisinal wining and dining, creative hostelries, and a bohemian, liberal citizenry. Today, Brighton remains an undeniably cool place to visit, retaining vibes that are simultaneously classical and avant garde, sophisticated and hedonistic.