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Photographed by Caitlin McClinchy

Overnight in Brighton

If you haven’t yet got something exciting to look forward to after exams, don’t discount areas of the UK when looking for a fun weekend. With one of its constituencies securing the only seat for the Green Party in the recent general election, Brighton is often thought of as free-thinking, where anything goes. It’s easy to relax and enjoy the liberal community atmosphere and be kept busy during your stay with the variety of things to do.  

The eclecticism of the area is not something new; it can be experienced through a visit to The Royal Pavillion. This was most famously owned as a holiday home by George IV, who was drawn to the growing flair of the area during the 18th century. The mixing of different cultures reflected in the interior is visually stunning – the decadent rooms in the centre of the building are inspired by Chinese and Indian cultures, whereas more muted décor is used in outer rooms; this was done for visitor enjoyment. The history of the building and its various owners and uses is very interesting, for example, it was used as a hospital for the Indian army during the First World War. Visiting here highlights the vibrancy of Brighton, and the gardens are lovely if the weather is in your favour. It is also easily accessible as it is located centrally.

Having enjoyed the magnificence of the Royal Pavillion, there will still be time in your day for some shopping; the North Laine area has an extensive mix of independent shops and cafes. There are also great antique shops that are suited to a wide price bracket and are fun to peruse even when you aren’t looking to buy anything. From ‘junk’ shops to more expensive furniture shops, there is something for everyone – even these vintage hair salon chairs and dryers.

As a seaside town, the pebbled beach is also a lovely place to relax at the end of the day and swim if you’re feeling brave.

During the evening, experiencing some live music is a must and there are plenty of free gigs if you’re looking for something last minute. We went to a pub which had a jazz band playing and there was even a swing dance group. With its predominantly young population, Brighton boasts a busy nightlife with a wide range of bars and clubs in the seafront area.

Whether you want to spend just a day or longer, you won’t run out of things to do and there are plenty of reasonably priced places to stay.

About Caitlin Mcclinchy

c.mcclinchy@student.reading.ac.uk'

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