Brighton Beach by Aziz1005

Brighton, and its next-door neighbour Hove, together forms one of the biggest cities on England's south coast. An eclectic, creative and innovative hub, it's often known as the 'San Francisco of England', and features similarly steep hills, owing to its' proximity to the rolling South Downs, which serve as an inland backdrop to the city.

Brighton's and Hove's beach is a well-known weekend destination for many Londoners, (it's even sometimes known as 'London-by-sea'), with it's plethora of clubs, bars, live music venues, restaurants and that all-important beach. However, don't expect a comfortable lie down, as the beach is pebble, rather than sand. At one end sits the Marina, which is joined to the main town by an electric railway that runs during the summer down to the Palace Pier, Brighton's and Hove's midway point.

The Brighton Palace pier is still in operation and features an amusement arcade, a few rides and places to eat. Free deckchairs are available, for taking in the view. Further down the beach towards Hove, you will find the remainders of the old West Pier, whose ruins create a stunning backdrop for the large population of starlings who like to put on an ariel display as the sun sets each evening.

In between the two piers is the town itself, with a number of beachside bars and clubs. Crossing the road, you find yourself in the South Laines, a gorgeous maze of narrow alleys that feature unique and independent boutiques, jewellery shops and places to grab a bite to eat.

Further north takes you to the main, modern shopping Brighton and Hove centre, Churchill Square. Heading east from here will lead you to one of the most unique pieces of British architecture, the Royal Pavilion - known these days as 'Brighton Pavillion' - built for George, Prince of Wales in 1811. The building fuses Arabic, Indian and Chinese design to create a truly one-off must see, if you are visiting.

Just north of the Brighton Pavilion is the North Laines, where an assortment of eclectic clothes shops, interiors boutiques and yet more eateries reside.

If, however, you choose to head west from Churchill Square, you'll find yourself travelling down Church Road to upmarket Hove, with it's stunning Georgian houses, plush eateries and breathtaking designer boutiques.

As well as it's beach and nightlife, Brighton and Hove is also known for it's permissive, laid back, anything-goes outlook, and as such, there is a thriving gay scene in the city. Each summer the Brighton Pride festival attracts over 100,000 gay and straight revellers, and most weekends there is something happening along the seafront, for every taste and sexuality.

Brighton and Hove is well served by rail and air connections, with Gatwick airport a 40-minute drive, and London just an hour's train ride away. As such, this makes it a popular place to live for commuters. Property in the area ranges from small Victorian terraces in town, to the large Regency seafront houses and apartments that made Brighton the holidaymaker's choice in the early 19th Century. And, over a century on, the numerous attractions make the city a tourist attraction with something for everyone.