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Buzzing, bold, brash, bohemian and brilliant, Brighton scarcely needs an introduction these days. Placed firmly on the map by a party-loving Prince Regent who built the wonderful Royal Pavilion as his spectacular seaside folly during the mid eighteenth century, Brighton has been drawing the fun-loving crowd ever since, and is firmly established as the place to be, and a modern day London by the sea. A South of England holiday cottage in the vicinity offers the very best of beachside city break, with all the fun of Brighton itself as well as a host of superb holiday spots and great family days out within easy reach. Discovery of Brighton has to begin with the Royal Pavilion, a building that simply cannot be ignored. Exotic, whimsical, grand and flamboyant, this is a historic house unlike any other. Be dazzled by the outrageous decoration, enjoy tea and cakes overlooking the Pavilion Gardens and browse the eclectic collections of rare and royal artefacts and objets d’art. The city’s Museum and Art Gallery is located in the Pavilion Gardens, and has recently enjoyed substantial investment to make it a state of the art gallery for world art, twentieth century art and design and well as fashion and style. The streets and waterfront of Brighton are a pleasure to wander. Marvel at the sumptuous Regency and Victorian architecture that lends a chic and genteel air to the town; enjoy the vibrant waterfront, and be seduced by the lure of beachfront cool. Enjoy the appealing contrasts thrown up by the town; take a stroll along the Victorian Pier, complete with traditional British seaside trinkets, trappings, fish and chips and fun arcades, before relaxing in an uber-cool beachfront bar, all cutting edge design and ultra-sophisticated Mediterranean appeal.

The famous pebble beach is a blue flag winner, great for strolling, playing, sunbathing and sports. By night, the seafront is alive with buzzing clubs, bars, and cafes to cater for all tastes and budgets. Shopping in Brighton is everything you want it to be, from high street mainstream in Churchill Square to individual art pieces at the Beachfront Artists’ Quarter, and not forgetting the bohemian bargains of North Laine, retail therapy is truly a year-round pastime in Brighton. At the Marina there are bargains to be bagged from a collection of discount outlets whilst the Lanes lends itself to leisurely shopping; drift from boutique to gallery to quirky independent emporium whilst discovering the narrow lanes at the heart of old Brighton, serenaded by buskers all the while. When it is time for refreshment, Brighton has it covered, from hip hostelries and Michelin starred restaurants to cheap eats, and from sushi to traditional English fare, there are more al-fresco dining options than you can shake a stick at.

Part Two of our holiday cottages guide to Brighton to follow shortly …

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