On green hillsides above the town, the Brighton Racecourse is set in the Sussex Downs. Newcomers to racing can buy one of several packages including a £30 deal featuring a premier enclosure ticket, a racecourse tour, a £2 tote voucher, a Raceday program and a drink voucher. Besides the horse races, there are great views of the coast from the better seats.
This isn't just a beach resort. The Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, in building 4-5 of the Royal Pavilion, is an amazine treasure trove, with no entrance fee to visit - open daily except Mondays.
Galleries include: Art Nouveau; fashions and styles from Regency to the present; puppets, masks, costumes and musical instruments; fine arts including works by Constable, Turner, Stella, Calder, Hogarth, Gainsborough, and William Blake; late 15th century woodcuts, old masters of major European schools, 20th century works including New York abstract expressionists. In all nearly 1,500 oil paintings, 4,000 watercolours and drawings, and over 10,000 prints.They also display topographical materials on the history of Brighton & Hove, and prized Chinese export watercolours and oils.
Also in their collection: 13,000 items from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas, dating back two millennia, ranging from textiles and religious iconography to performance-related material. It illustrates how British people, specifically those of Brighton, have engaged with the world. The Financial Times calls it "one of Britain's richest collections of non-western art."
A wonderland of food, drinks, and amusement arcades. The fun fair here has roller-coasters: the Wild River flume with a splash landing, and the Crazy Mouse with fantastic views of the coastline. The Super Booster is famed for the thrill of dropping and swinging from 125 feet at 60mph; and the Booster rotates 360 degrees as it drops from 130 feet with a force of 3.6Gs. The Palace of Fun is packed with all the latest electronic amusement-game machines, and side stalls offer a chance to win cuddly stuffed animal toys.
Brighton Pier is always open - all-year round, with many attractions including rides under cover, so don't let bad weather put you off.
The Jubilee and Hove Library has rare book collections of over 50,000 volumes, ranging from 13th to 20th century works. They encourage easy and free access and will soon launch an online rare books catalogue. They also offer regular talks, events and exhibitions. See What’s On on their website for upcoming events.
Special collections span more than seven centuries to include: early printed books, illuminated manuscripts, examples of fine bindings, private press publications, first and limited editions, early children’s books, and those with beautiful illustrations, woodcuts and engravings, covering subjects from history, literature, and the arts to philosophy, natural history, and theology.
At the Royal Pavilion, on the upper floor, their warm weather balcony overlooks glorious gardens.
Stop here for a genteel afternoon of tea, local English wine or Sussex beer or cider. They also have a wide-ranging traditional English menu with Regency dishes such as potted prawns, spiced lamb with apple chutney, devilled kidneys on toast or winter vegetable and cider cobbler. Snacks too: Welsh Rarebit or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, or a wide range of sandwiches. Classic English puddings include: spiced ginger bread butter pudding, apple rum and raisin crumble and Pavilion Mess (inspired by ‘Eton Mess’). Cream Tea features their own Royal Pavilion Tea, with smoked salmon and cucumber sandwiches; and for fizz include some sparkling wine.
At Black Rock just to the east of Kemp Town, shuck the clothes at the Brighton Nudist Beach (established in 1979). In summer months get here from the Sea-Life Aquarium by way of Volk’s Railway, the world's oldest operating electric railroad (since 1883). It's popular with gay men, but straight couples mix quite comfortably too. There are no shops or cafes here, so take with you whatever you'll need.
If windsurfing, sailing or other watersports are more your fancy, try Hove Lagoon where Lagoon Watersports can set you up with all the gear and/or training courses for any level - no previous experience needed.
Stretching for miles along the coast, with cliffs, piers, and working harbour at Shoreham, the beach provides a great path to stroll while sampling the area's many art galleries and bars.