Travelers searching for a lesser-known and exciting coastal destination in England are in luck thanks to a new long-haul airline.
While London may seem like the obvious destination when flying into Gatwick airport, for those seeking something different, you can catch a 30-minute train south and visit the cool and vibrant city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex on the country’s south coast.
Whether it’s watching the sunset on the beach with the ruins of the iconic West Pier on the horizon, soaking in some traditional English seaside attractions on the promenade, or enjoying amazing cuisine from all corners of the globe in its many trendy restaurants, Brighton is one of England’s most cultured destinations.
The city has always been a popular day trip for those staying in London, but in recent years tourists have started to realize that Brighton has more than enough to keep them entertained for a long weekend or more.
Why is Brighton the perfect place to get a more alternative English experience?
There’s History On Every Corner
Brighton’s history spans back hundreds of years, seeing it rise from a humble medieval fishing village to a thriving seaside resort.
One of the most historic areas of the city is The Lanes, a maze of narrow streets that has now been pedestrianized as a boutique shopping area.
Another famous spot is the Royal Pavilion. Surrounded by stunning gardens, this grand palace was built in 1823 and was once a royal residence of King George IV.
The many domes and towers of this eye-catching building may remind travelers of India, as its design took some inspiration from famous Indian buildings of the 1800s.
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The Views Are To Die For
The Brighton i360 is a more recent addition to the skyline here and is a viewing tower with a difference.
Step inside the donut-shaped glass viewing pod at ground level and then watch the city unfold underneath you as it rises to a height of 452 feet, giving you unobstructed views of Brighton, the English Channel, and beyond.
Brighton i360 also has a sky bar and even hosts fun events such as silent discos, bungee jumping, and yoga in the sky.
A Welcoming Destination For LGBTQ+ Travelers
Brighton is sometimes known as the ‘unofficial gay capital’ of the United Kingdom. A little over 10% of its population identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual in the country’s last census in 2021.
This makes August a great time to visit for the annual Brighton and Hove Pride weekend, which is widely regarded as one of the best celebrations of its kind anywhere in the world.
The party atmosphere is something that many never forget.
Travel The World In Restaurants
The cosmopolitan vibe of Brighton can be experienced through its many trendy bars and amazing eateries.
The dining scene here is a truly global affair, with highly-rated restaurants offering food from all around the world. It has something for everyone.
Whether you want to sample a traditional English Sunday roast, enjoy some authentic Japanese sushi, try a genuine Indian curry, or stick to more familiar foods like Mexican or American-style, Brighton has it all.
This town is home to an estimated 70,000 vegans, so plant eaters will also find themselves spoilt for choice too.
Plenty Of Affordable Attractions
While some of the bars and restaurants in Brighton can be a little pricey, there are plenty of cheap or free things to do around the city.
A walk to the end of Brighton Palace Pier on a sunny day is hard to beat and gives you great panoramic views of the seafront.
Meanwhile, the pebble beach is always free and a great place for sunbathing, swimming, or even surfing.
Further afield is the South Downs National Park where you can wander among rolling hills and marvel at the iconic white chalk cliffs.
While it may not be the first place on your list when it comes to visiting England, Brighton is a warm and welcoming place that gives a different perspective on this history-rich nation.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com