10 Fascinating Facts About Brighton You Need to Know

March 15, 2024

10 Fascinating Facts About Brighton You Need to Know

Brighton is a vibrant, exciting, culturally rich city on the south east coast of the UK. A seaside city it has a laid back, unique charm and it has a great deal of history and lots to explore. Within this article we are going to discuss ten fascinating facts about Brighton that will lead you to wanting to explore this wonderful city. 

10 Fascinating facts about Brighton you need to know. Image shows a seagull at Brighton, UK. Shallow depth of field. Focus on the eyes.

1: Brighton Palace Pier is Over a Century Old

Brighton Palace Pier was designed and constructed by R. St George Moore in the late 19th Century. The inaugural ceremony for laying of the first pile was held on 7 November 1891 and work was mostly completed in 1899 and the pier was officially opened on 20 May by the Mayoress of Brighton. 

The pier was an immediate success and quickly became one of the most popular landmarks in Brighton. By 1911, the reading rooms had been converted into a theatre and both Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin performed at the pier to hone their comic skills early in their career. 

In modern day, it is still a great attraction to people visiting Brighton and locals alike as there is so much to see and do on the pier. There are a variety of attractions from the arcades to roller coasters to just having something nice to eat whilst you look out on the sea. 

2: The Lanes Offer a Unique Shopping Experience

Nestled between the North Laine and the seafront, The Lanes are a famous part of Brighton & Hove. Parts of The Lanes date back to the late 16th Century when Brighton was a small fishing town called Brighthelmstone. Some of the alleyways have an even older feel to them. The Cricketers Arms on Black Lion Street was built around 1545, and is believed to be the oldest pub in the area.

Along with a rich history, The Lanes offers up a unique shopping experience. A quirky labyrinth of narrow alleyways, hidden squares, exciting shops, legendary jewellers and plenty of places to eat, drink and watch the world go by, it is a must visit when in Brighton. 

3: The Royal Pavilion Boasts a Distinctive Indian and Chinese Architectural Style

The Royal Pavilion was constructed as the seaside pleasure palace of King George IV after he was told that the sea air would benefit his health. As an extravagant  man who loved decadence, he hired architect Henry Holland to transform his Brighton lodging house into a modest villa which became known as the Marine Pavilion. With a love of visual arts and fascination with the mythical orient, George set about lavishly furnishing and decorating his seaside home with especially chosen Chinese export furniture and objects, and hand-painted Chinese wallpapers. 

After he became King in 1811, after his father was deemed too ill to act as monarch, George commissioned John Nash to begin the transformation from modest villa into the magnificent oriental palace that we see today.

In 1850, Queen Victoria was on the throne and she sold the Pavillion to the city of Brighton for £50,000. Thinking the building would be demolished, she ordered the building to be stripped of all its interior decorations, fittings and furnishings, for use in other royal homes.

The Pavillion was, of course, not demolished and instead restored and opened to the public in the late 19th Century. It is now a museum and you can go and look at all the rooms in which King George had built and designed in his own style, mixing Chinese and Indian design. 

4: Brighton is Renowned for Its Arts and Cultural Scene

Brighton is known for its vibrant arts and music. Home to BIMM, many musicians move to the city to study and never leave because there is so much going on within the city. 

Two big events are Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe. They both showcase local talent, and bring in a great deal of visitors, whilst giving locals something to look forward to each year. 

5: Brighton is Considered the LGBTQ+ Capital of the UK

The LGBTQIA community of Brighton and Hove is one of the largest in the United Kingdom. Brighton has been described in some media as the “gay capital”l of the UK, with records pertaining to LGBT history dating back to the early 19th century. By the 1930s, Brighton started to flourish as a LGBTQ+ destination and many gay and lesbian pubs started to establish themselves.

In modern day, Brighton remains significant for LGBTQIA people, with Brighton Pride being an event not to be missed. Starting in 1973, Brighton Pride is now the most popular Pride event in the UK, it has events on to suit all people, including music and a queer film festival. 

Even when Pride is not on, Brighton remains an extremely inclusive city with many LGBTQ+ bars and events on throughout the year. 

6: Brighton Beach Features a Unique Pebble Shoreline

Brighton Beach has been regarded by many travel outlets as one of the top tourist destinations in the world. Overlooking the Brighton Pier, the pebble beach offers a fantastic seaside experience for visitors such as water activities and quick and easy access to the British Airways i360, which offers 360 views of Brighton. 

The beach is made up of pebbles and not sand due to natural erosion. The pebbles are made from flint deposited in the chalk cliffs adjacent to Brighton. Through natural erosion the flints are released from the cliffs and slowly make their way to the beach, where the groynes are in place to capture the pebbles and help them to collect onto the shore. 

7: Brighton is a Leader in Environmental Sustainability

In 2023, Brighton was named as one of 119 cities across the globe to receive a top score for climate action by the CDP. They achieved this by taking actions to reduce emissions, restore nature, and help the city adapt to a changing climate. This included things such as installing 350 electric vehicle charge points across the city and 3 on-street rapid charging hubs for taxis and rewilding a former council golf course. 

The city is also known for being a vegan and vegetarian-friendly destination and has many green spaces, alongside the beautiful seaside resort. 

8: The Culinary Scene in Brighton is Diverse and Innovative

Unsurprisingly, there are many seafood restaurants in Brighton. Riddle & Finn has offered exceptional seafood since it opened in 2006. It has now become established as a premier destination for lovers of seafood on the south coast.

But, as we have already mentioned, vegetarians and vegans do not need to fret as there are many vegan and vegetarian restaurants. Food for Friends is Brighton’s original vegetarian and vegan restaurant. Opened in 1981, it offers award-winning vegetarian and vegan food and has even been featured in ‘The Sunday Times’ Top Vegetarian and Vegan Restaurants. 

9: Brighton is a Hub for Education and Creativity

Brighton is filled with students as its laid back, unique charm is extremely appealing, alongside it having some excellent universities. 

The universities that are in the city include BIMM, perfect for musicians, University of Brighton, University of Sussex and Brighton and Sussex Medical School. Whatever you want to study, you are bound to find a course within one of the universities located in Brighton.

Once people move to Brighton, many people stay as the city offers such a large array of opportunities, particularly those in creative fields with the likes of Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe happening every year. 

10: Brighton Hosts a Wide Range of Festivals and Events Throughout the Year

Along with Brighton Festival, Brighton Fringe and Brighton Pride, there are many other events and festivals that happen throughout the year.

The Brighton Marathon is a big event for any sports fans and athletes, whether professional or amateur. It was first held in April 2010 and has been held every April ever since. It has grown to become one of the UK’s most popular marathon events. 

BITE Sussex run events throughout the year, championing the food and drink industry in Brighton and Sussex. 

10 Facts About Brighton 

Brighton is a city with a great deal going on whilst having a laid back, seaside atmosphere. It is a city that needs exploring and we hope we have inspired you to do just that.

If you are local to Brighon and find yourself in need of self self storage, our self storage will be an excellent solution. To find out more, please click here or give us a call on: 01273 560 660. 

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