Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK


Stretched out along the nearest south-facing beach to London, Brighton is a complex mix of kiss-me-quick fun and bohemian style. It is London-by-the-sea, and as such has always boasted charm and sleaze in almost equal abundance. But the city has style too, from the elegant Regency architecture of its central core (and that of its conjoined sister Hove), to its top-notch restaurants and the thriving creative community that they serve. Above all it’s a positive place, with a famously free and non-judgmental vibe – no more than you would expect, perhaps, from the original home of the ‘dirty weekend’. Perhaps partly because of that, it’s thronged with visitors throughout the summer, many of whom like it so much they end up relocating here for good.


Brighton has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a Saxon fishing village. In the 14th century it was a smugglers’ den, but in the 18th century it was at the forefront of the movement to make seawater bathing as fashionable as spa weekends are today. In the late 1700s, Prince George, the Prince of Wales, put Brighton on the map by hosting wild parties in the seaside residence he later converted into the magnificent Pavilion, during which time much of the city’s grandest architecture was either built or designed. With the opening of the railway from London in 1841, Brighton’s fortunes soared and rapid expansion followed, leading to social problems and neglect but rocketing property prices have brought prosperity once more in the late 20th century. These days Brighton is known as one of the UK’s progressive cities, with the country’s only Green MP and a population that fancies itself as a maverick and creative force: seemingly every teenager here claims to be in a band, and every 20- or 30-something works in art, design or new media and still finds time to go clubbing at weekends.

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A unique mix of shabby chic and slick cool, London's favourite seaside resort has it all.
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