Brighton seafront is a glorious one mile stretch of beach running from Hove, eastwards to Kemptown, just east of the Brighton Pier. It is a mixture of hotels, residencies and commercial attractions and has something to suit everyone's requirements from food to entertainment.
Most visitors to Brighton make a beeline for the seafront area around the pier. There are in fact two piers but unfortunately, the West Pier, built in Victorian times, burnt down in 2003 and is now a skeleton at the mercy of the sea. The surviving usable pier, known originally as the Palace Pier and of late, Brighton Pier is the epicentre of tourism and probably the first attraction visited. Here you can go back to our childhood days and relive the haunted house and eat candy floss.
Between the two piers is the area of the Kings Road Arches. Originally built as fishermen’s huts, the arches have evolved into an area of shops, bars and restaurants. There are two main attractions here, one being the Mechanical Memories Museum with vintage gaming machines. You can purchase old pennies to play on the one armed bandits, slot machines and horse racing derby. Admission is free of charge.
Also in the Kings Road Arches you will find the Brighton Fishing Museum. Open daily and free of charge to enter, the museum displays fishing memorabilia documenting the association that Brighton possesses with the sea. Every May, the museum is the focus of the Mackerel Fair and the Blessing of the Fishermen’s Nets ceremony.
Just 100 metres from the Brighton Pier you can visit the Sealife Centre which has the honour of being the oldest public aquarium in the world. There is a glass tunnel under the tanks where you can see shark at close quarters. Other highlights include a glass bottom boat on the main tank and Lulu the giant sea turtle. It is open from 10am until 5 pm Monday to Friday and until 6pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Close to the Sealife Centre is the world’s oldest electric railway. The Volks Electric Railway runs from the pier to the new marina. This runs every 15 minutes from 10.15 am until 5pm on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Tuesdays and Fridays from 11.15am until 5pm and on Saturday and Sunday from 10.15am until 6pm.