Is there anywhere else in the UK where a skateboarding Jack Russell or an over-rouged octogenarian in tatty black Edwardian clothes would seem just a part of ordinary everyday life? In Brighton, the annual naked bike ride raises a cheer rather than a jeer, and nobody gives a fig when the bearded young man in fishnets and tartan mini flashes a cheeky twirl. Brighton has colour and character in droves, and it’s hard not to be wooed by its inclusive impulsive vibe.
Of course history has played a part in the city’s offbeat character: Victorian sea bathers, ‘Prinny’ and the Indo-Chinese extravaganza of his Royal Pavilion, 1950s theatre luvvies and Graham Greene’s portrayal of its seedy underbelly have all shaped the anything-goes Brighton of today. To get the best sense of its alternative vibe, factor in leisurely strolls through villagey Kemptown, hip Seven Dials, and the colourfully boho streets of North Laine.
Explore our interactive map below for all the local highlights, and scroll down for our suggested day-by-day summary of the best things to see and do.