24 Hours in Brighton

A trip to Brighton's pebbly beach and famous pier can be whatever you make it. Goggle at the bizarrely Taj Mahalesque Pavilion or have a debauched night out in one of the many bars and clubs. Brighton attracts different tribes: there's a thriving gay scene, it's a hub for stag and hen parties and a strong 'alternative' element makes its presence felt through amazing health food and hippy shops.

Brighton doesn't just have a multi-faced personality: it's also stunningly good looking. Grand white town houses and hotels line thee seafront and the historic pier makes you feel as if you're in a movie.

Headline attraction

One of the town's most iconic attractions, Brighton Pier, is a Victorian architectural marvel that features a range of fairground attractions and a games arcade. Thrill-seekers can feel their heartbeat surge on the Super Boosters, which lifts passengers to 38m with only the sea below, before dropping them through the air at 100km/h.

For a genuine seaside experience, buy fish and chips and scoff them on the pier.

Shopping fever

If you're fed up with high street chains, head to North Laine, which heaves cosmopolitan and wacky shops. The pedestrianised shopping enclaves dates back to the 1830s, and is home to a nexus of watering holes, theatres, and pavement cafes. From retro '50s-style polka-dot frocks to hip interiors, bohemian North Laine is a shopaholic's paradise. Flea markets often spring up in nearby residential streets, selling everything from vintage jewellery to bric-a-brac.

Discover bargains galore at Snooper's Paradise, which houses more than 100 stalls selling second-hand treasures. Nearby, The Lanes teem with antique shops, jewellers, designer clothes boutique, art and modern furnishings.

Brighton for free

Enjoy a free tour of Brighton with a friendly local, as part of the Brighton Greeter scheme. Tours last two to four hours and must be booked in advance.