By Tiffany Frye
Even before Brighton made its claim as the “Gay Capital of Britain,” it had always been a hip destination spot that attracted trendy vacationers; ranging from aristocratic health-seekers looking to reap the benefits of Brighton’s sea water, to tastemaker King George IV, who favored Brighton as the location for his famous weekend dalliances.
Today you don’t have to be royalty to enjoy the pleasures of this seaside town. Brighton is easily accessible by train from London – only an hour’s journey – making it the perfect place for London-based tourists to travel for a weekend out.
Brighton’s proximity to the Capital has contributed to its reputation as a place to go to escape the daily grind. As such, a sort of “what happens in Brighton, stays in Brighton” attitude has developed. What this translates into for the casual tourist is a fantastic nightlife and laissez-faire ambience to the city.
With one of the only official nude beaches in the UK, and the line between beach and nightclub invariably blurry, the beach is a good place to be, both day and night. Brighton Pier is at the heart of it all. A Coney Island-esque fun park during the day, Brighton Pier is also just a stone’s throw from Revenge, a three-story nightclub specializing in house music and raucous parties.
Revenge hosts some of Brighton’s best club nights. It is well known for its gay-friendly atmosphere and has been recognized by Brighton’s local gay publication “Gscene” as “Brighton’s Favorite Club.”
Another name to look for on the Brighton nightlife scene is “Wild Fruit.” Wild Fruit is a production company that hosts themed nights at several venues around Brighton. Its annual Red Party is one of the most anticipated clubbing events and raises money for a local HIV awareness charity. Wild Fruit also has a hand in coordinating Brighton Pride, which usually takes place in the summer, but will begin on September 1st this year, due to the Olympics taking place in London this July.
After all of that nightlife, you might need a place to relax and revive. The Amsterdam Hotel overlooks the seafront and specializes in serving the gay and lesbian community. It is also home to the A Bar and the Amsterdam Sauna. A quieter and more intimate accommodation option can be found at Coward’s Guesthouse, a gay-owned bed and breakfast in central Brighton.
In short, if you’re traveling to the UK, don’t let the hub-bub of London distract you from the country’s outlying gems, like nearby Brighton.