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Brighton - England
Brighton and Hove is a unitary authority area and city on the south coast of England, as well as the most populous seaside resort in England. The major part of the city consists of Brighton so people usually refer to the city as just "Brighton". The city is famous for its history as a seaside town, but more recently for its reputation of having a rather extensive gay community. In 1997, the two large towns of Brighton and Hove were joined to form the unitary authority of Brighton and Hove, which was granted city status by Queen Elizabeth II as part of the millennium celebrations of 2000. Brighton and Hove forms part of the Brighton/Worthing/Littlehampton conurbation, the 12th largest conurbation in the United Kingdom. Along this area of the south coast there is little to no gap between these different towns. Directly to the west is Shoreham-by-Sea, and a minor distance towards the east are Peacehaven and Newhaven. The city, district and urban areas of Brighton and Hove possess the largest populations in the South East England region. The ancient settlement of Brighthelmstone dates from before the Domesday Book of 1086, but it grew into a health resort featuring sea bathing during the 18th century and became a destination for day visitors from London after the arrival of the railway in 1841. In the Domesday Book, Brighton was called Bristelmestune. In June of 1514 Brighthelmstone was burnt to the ground by French raiders during a war between England and France. Only part of the St. Nicholas Church and the street pattern of the area now known as The Lanes survived. During the 1740s and 1750s, Dr Richard Russell of Lewes began prescribing seawater at Brighton and the 1780, development of the Georgian terraces had started and the fishing village became the fashionable resort of Brighton. growth of the town was further promoted by the patronage of the Prince Regent after his first visit in 1783. He spent much of his leisure time in the town and constructed the Royal Pavillion during the early part of his Regency. Although contracted forms of the name are attested since the 15th Century, it was not until this period that the modern form of the name came into common use. The arrival of the London and Brighton Railway in 1841 brought Brighton within the reach of day visitors from London and the population grew from around 7,000 residents in 1801 to over 120,000 by 1901.The Victorian era saw the building of many major attractions including the Grand Hotel in 1864, the West Pier in 1866 and the Palace Pier in 1899. Prior to either of these pier structures the famous Chain Pier was built to the specifications of Captain Samuel Brown. It lasted from 1823 to 1896 and was featured in numerous paintings by both Turner and Constable.
The Royal Pavilion is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 19th century under the direction of the architect John Nash. The Royal Pavilion is known for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and Oriental interior. Other Indo-Saracenic buildings in Brighton include the Sassoon Mausoleum, which now is in use as an ultra chic supper club after the bodies were reburied elsewhere. The Brighton Marine Palace and Pier which was long known as the Palace Pier, opened in 1899. It features a funfair, restaurants and arcade halls. The West Pier was built in 1866 and is one of only two Grade I designated piers in the United Kingdom. It has been closed since 1975, but for a period it was under consideration for restoration until two fires in 2003 and other setbacks led to the plans being abandoned. The Brighton Clock Tower, built in 1888 for Queen Victoria's jubilee, stands at the intersection of the busiest thoroughfare in Brighton. The world's oldest operating electric railway created in 1883 is the Volk Electric Railway runs along the inland edge of the beach from Brighton Pier to Black Rock and Brighton Marina. The Grand Hotel was built in 1864 and was the scene of the 1984 Brighton hotel bombing. The Brighton hotel bombing ocurred on 12 October 1984 at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England. The bomb was planted by IRA member Patrick Magee, with the intention of assassinating Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and her cabinet who were staying at the hotel for the Conservative Party conference. The Brighton Wheel opened with some controversy in the Kemptown area in October 2011 after a previous attempt to locate it in a more central location near the Metropole Hotel, at which time it was to have been called the "Brighton O" — a special spokeless design rather than the traditional spoked wheel had been purchased from its previous home in South Africa.
Each May the city hosts the Brighton Festival, the second largest arts festival in the UK (after Edinburgh). This includes processions such as the Children's Parade, outdoor spectaculars often involving pyrotechnics, and theatre, music and visual arts in venues throughout the city, some brought into this use exclusively for the festival. The earliest feature of the festival, the Artists' Open Houses, are homes of artists and craftspeople opened to the public as galleries, and usually selling the work of the occupants. Since 2002, these have been organised independently of the official Festival and Fringe. Brighton Festival Fringe runs alongside Brighton Festival, and has grown to be the second largest fringe festival in the world. Together with the street performers from Brighton Festival's "Streets of Brighton" events, and the Royal Mile-esque outdoor performances that make up "Fringe City", outdoor spectacles and events more than double during May. Other festivals include The Great Escape, featuring three nights of live music in venues across the city; the Soundwaves Festival in June, which shows classical music composed in the 21st Century, and involves both amateur and professional performers; Paddle Round the Pier; Brighton Live which each September stages a week of free gigs in pubs to show local bands; Burning the Clocks, a winter solstice celebration; and Brighton Pride. For a number of years, Andrew Logan's Alternative Miss World extravaganza was held in the city. The Kemptown area has its own small annual street festival, the Kemptown Carnival, and the Hanover area similarly has a Hanover Day. Local resident Fatboy Slim puts on a "Big Beach Boutique" show most years. An inaugural White Nights (Nuit Blanche) all-night arts festival took place in October 2008. 2009 saw the first Brighton Zine Fest celebrating zine and D.I.Y. culture within the city.
Brighton is the terminus of a number of London-to-Brighton rides,and runs, such as the veteran car run and bike ride. Transport rallies are also hosted on the seafront. Groups of mods and Rockers still bring their scooters and motorbikes to the town, but their gatherings are now much more sedate than the violent 1960s confrontations depicted in Quadrophenia.
Food and drink related festivals include the traditional Blessing of the Fisheries, where barbecued mackerel are eaten on the beach and the more recent Fiery Foods Chilli Festival. There is also a twice-yearly general food festival. The main Sussex beer festival is held in nearby Hove, and there is a smaller beer festival in the Hanover area. Brighton is the home of the UK's first Walk of Fame which celebrates the many rich and famous people associated with the city. Brighton is well known for having a substantial LGBT community served by shops, bars and night-clubs in addition to support organisations. It is often referred to as the gay capital of Britain. The Gay Pride carnival every August attracts thousands. It consists of a carnival parade and a party and funfair in Preston Park. Brighton is considered to be one of the UK's premier nightlife hotspots and is also associated with popular music artists such as Fatboy Slim, Kirk Brandon, Tim Booth, Nick Cave, Robert Smith and Jimmy Somerville. There are also live music venues including the Concorde2, Brighton Centre and the Brighton Dome, where ABBA received a substantial boost to their career when they won the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest. There are a large number of events and performance companies operating in the city. Popular indie rock band The Kooks and hip-hop duo Rizzle Kicks are originated in Brighton. There are over 300 pubs in the town. Brigton has about 400 restaurants, more per head than anywhere else outside London. A wide range of cuisines are available with the emphasis on vegetarian. Food for Friends is a particularly long-established and well-known vegetarian restaurant in the Lanes.
There are several railway stations, bus services, taxis, and coach services. A Rapid Transport System has been under consideration for some years and in the past it has had trolleybuses, ferries, trams and hydrofoil services.
Frequent trains operate from Brighton Station. Many Brighton residents commute to work in London and destinations include London Victoria, London Bridge, and Gatwick Airport, with trains continuing to Bedford. The fastest service from London Victoria takes 51 minutes. Lines from Brighton serve stations to Worthing, Portsmouth and Southampton in the west and via Lewes to Newhaven, Eastbourne, Hastings and Ashford, Kent in the east. A wider range of long-distance destinations was served until 2007–08 when rationalization caused the ending of services via Kensington Olympia and Reading and beyond to Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Manchester. Twice-daily services remain, however, on the line west to Bristol. Brighton & Hove Bus and Coach Company operates 300 buses. There is also a limited night service. Brighton buses are often named after famous local figures. Brighton also has buses that run on recycled bio-fuel, obtained from locally obtained used cooking oil; The Big Lemon runs from the University of Sussex into the centre of Brighton regularly. Countryliner operate regular services to the surrounding areas such as Burgess Hill. Brighton seafront is the home of Volk's Electric Railway, the world's oldest electric railway. Brighton possesses two universities and a medical school operated by both universities jointly.
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