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With its iconic attractions, top beaches and thriving shops and restaurants, Brighton is one of the country’s best spots for a break by the sea.

Southern trains run direct to Brighton from London Victoria, taking just under an hour to arrive at the station on Queens Road, about 10 minutes from the city centre. Find out about the facilities at Brighton station.

From there, it’s easy to get to the bustling seafront and all the main sights, as well as explore the more laid-back Kemp Town and the independent shops, cafes and restaurants in North Laine.

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See the sights

Once a favourite destination of George IV, Brighton has a cluster of historic sights that should all be at the top of your must-see list.

These include the famous Royal Pavilion, built in a distinctive Indian style with its impressive dome and swirling minarets. Head inside too, where design and décor get even more intricate, featuring dragons and hand-painted Chinese wallpaper.

You’ll also want to take a stroll down Brighton Pier. Opened at the end of the 19th century, it’s the place to go for classic seaside fun, including slot machines, dodgems and fish and chips.

There are more modern attractions too, such as the British Airways i360 that gives you the chance to take in stunning views of Brighton and the surrounding area from 162 metres above the ground.

On Brighton Beach, meanwhile, you can have a go at kayaking and paddle-boarding or simply hire a deck chair and relax by the sea.

Hit the shops

Brighton is known for its independent shops, as well as for its vibrant arts scene.

Head to the Lanes for a great choice of boutiques offering vintage clothes, designer labels and statement pieces of jewellery.

There are also plenty of places to indulge in some foodie treats, from the unforgettable cakes of Choccywoccydoodah to homemade fare at That Little Tea Shop.

For a glimpse into the city’s cultural scene, head to Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, home to a wide collection of 20th-century art and design.

And after dark, take your pick from traditional pubs such as The Cricketers or pull an all-nighter at one of Brighton’s many clubs. Some of the most popular include Shooshh, Proud Cabaret and Komedia.

Step back in time

Brighton’s stunning Regency creation – the Royal Pavilion – draws 400,000 visitors annually. A tour of the perfectly preserved palace will give you a taste of the extravagance of the age.

Or if you prefer the more modest Edwardian elegance made famous in Downton Abbey, head to nearby Preston Manor, just a short walk from Preston Park station.

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Seaside delights

Brighton Pier is one of the best in Britain and it has everything you’d expect – arcades, doughnuts, dodgems, candyfloss, a ghost train and a carousel, as well as rides for the thrill seekers.

There are around 614,600,000 pebbles on Brighton beach. Then again, you can always hire a comfy deckchair.

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Get a bird’s – or a fish’s – eye view

The new i360 vertical cable car takes you 450 feet above Brighton’s beach, giving you a whole new perspective on Brighton and the South Coach. On a clear day, you can see for 26 miles.

Complement your ride in the sky with a trip under the waves at SEA LIFE Brighton, the world’s oldest operating aquarium.

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Food and drink

You’ll find all the usual seaside treats in Brighton, of course, but the city is also famous for its excellent vegetarian and vegan cuisine. Taste for yourself at the famous Food for Friends or the award-winning Terre à Terre.

Brighton’s nightlife is equally famous. West Street offers clubs aimed at the younger party set, or you could head up to The Lanes for more traditional or eclectic options.

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Getting to Brighton

Southern’s network offers many routes to Brighton. Enjoy direct service in just an hour from London Victoria and London Bridge. Or if you’re coming from the South Coast, take a direct train from Southampton to the west or Ashford International to the east – or any point in between.

Search for upcoming events on the Visit Brighton website.

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Buying tickets

You can buy tickets online and collect them from the ticket machine before you travel. You can also buy them at the station from a ticket machine or staffed ticket office.