At the end of the 18th century Brighton, in East Sussex on the south coast of England, was just a small fishing town. Under the patronage of the Prince Regent, later George IV, it started to flourish as a pleasure resort and soon became fashionable with royalty, the aristocracy and the beau monde. It was at this time that many of the city’s famous squares and crescents were built and the Royal Pavilion was transformed by architect John Nash into an exotic, extravagant and quite remarkable palace.
It was once a simple farmhouse with little land attached to it but over 35 years the Prince Regent had it transformed first into a modest villa and then into the anything but modest Royal Pavilion. Land surrounding the palace was purchased and transformed into glorious Regency gardens with winding paths, irregular flower beds and neatly kept lawns. After many years it was finally finished in 1823.
I have visited the Pavilion a number of times over the years and it never fails to impress and excite me when I see the grandeur and extravagance of the rooms, the fixtures and fittings. The audio guide that is included in the entrance price gives a fascinating account of the building and its inhabitants and it is well worth pausing in each room and listening to the commentary.
Sadly you are not allowed to take photographs and all those here are courtesy of Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton & Hove.
While it may not be to everyone’s taste, as you can see, it is truly magnificent and I love it! It reflects the extravagant and flamboyant character of its creator, King George IV. Queen Victoria on-the-other-hand was not so keen and sold it to the city of Brighton in 1850 for £50,000.
For me it is a ‘must see’ if you are ever in the area and it is within easy reach of London by train or coach.
Brighton Pavilion Opening Times
October to March 10am–5.15pm (last tickets at 4.30pm)
April to September 9.30am–5.45pm (last tickets at 5pm)
Closed 24 December (from 2.30pm) and all day on 25 and 26 December
Brighton Pavilion Admission Charges
Child (5 to 15) £5.90
Family tickets, concessions and reduced group prices are also available. Please see the Pavilion’s website for more details.
Getting to The Royal Pavilion
The Royal Pavilion is in the heart of the city close to the North Laine and The Lanes. There is no onsite parking and as parking is limited and expensive in Brighton I would recommend using the Park and Ride service from Withdean Stadium in the north of the city. It is signposted from the A23. If you are coming by train the Pavilion is just a 15 minute walk and it is just an hour or so from Paddington Station from London so makes an easy day trip. National Express also offer a coach service from London and it is a mere 5 minute walk from the coach station.
Things to do in Brighton
Brighton is a fabulous, colourful town with lots going on. For more ideas for things to do in Brighton visit Brighton Highlights: 6 things you must do. If you are interested in street art you can find out where to find it here, Brighton Street Art or perhaps you are seeking a bit of pampering, then read Things to do on a girl’s getaway in Brighton.
Where to stay in Brighton
There are some very lovely hotels and B&Bs both in Brighton and nearby Hove to suit all budgets and tastes which you can book online. The four star Hotel Una, overlooking one of Brighton’s famous Regency squares, comes highly recommended and is just a 5 minute walk from the city centre and about 10 minutes from the Royal Pavilion.
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