Vibrant, dynamic and edgy, Brighton is Britain’s hippest seaside city. It developed from small fishing village to regal spa retreat to bohemian enclave over the course of its history. This half-day private tour takes a look at its developing fortunes and offers you an insight into how and why Brighton has such a distinct character and reputation. You’ll explore the narrow streets and lanes of the old town, see the grand Georgian terraces that remain from its heyday as a well-heeled resort, and walk along the busy waterfront in a diverse tour that offers a great introduction to the city and its residents.
Your local guide will meet you at the train station and take you into the city on foot. The walk is pitched at a leisurely pace, with frequent stops, and has a total distance of 4 km (2.5 miles). As you explore, your guide will go into the history of Brighton and how it progressed from a poor fishing village to a popular seaside spa retreat frequented by royalty.
Your first stop is Trafalgar Lane, a small street close to the station that offers a first glimpse of some of the impressive and creative street art found throughout the city. You then continue south to North Laine, once a slum but now firmly in the city’s Cultural Quarter and home to a range of eclectic, independent shops and restaurants. This is a great place to revisit at the end of your tour, if you’d like to shop for something out of the ordinary.
Your guide will then take you past the Royal Pavilion. Built in 1811 as a seaside pleasure palace by King George IV, it combines the grandeur of the Regency era with Indian and Chinese influences. Its striking design has made it a city landmark, and your guide will offer some insight into the inspiration behind it as well as its royal inhabitants and the scandal caused by their antics.
You next head into the historic Lanes, once the heart of the original fishing village here, but now a collection of narrow streets, known for their galleries, antiques stores and boutiques.
At the end of your tour, your guide can either return with you to the station, recommend more places to visit or suggest where to eat or shop around the city.