Brighton, England

One of the great undiscovered gems of England, Brighton isn't a city most tourists would think to visit. Tucked away on the south coast of the country, overshadowed by its big, busy neighbors, Brighton, England lacks the hustle and bustle of nearby cities and the giant clocks that make them famous.

What most people don't realize, however, is that Brighton's isolation has meant independent development. Untouched by the problems of other developing nations, the city emerged as a growing leader of both business and leisure, of tourism and trade. Instead of wasting away, it became a rock of Britain's local economy. Brighton didn't wilt from inattention: It rose up as a small but distinct part of Europe's landscape.Seafront and beach viewed from the Palace Pier. Brighton. East Sussex. England

The Royal Pavilion, for example, is commonly seen on postcards and travel brochures for Britain. Originally built for the Prince of Wales in 1787, it boasts Indo-Saracenic architecture that you won't see anywhere else in the country. This landmark is only one of many that defines Brighton's coastline.

Volk's Electric Railway is another important first for the city. Built in 1883, it's the oldest operating electric railway in not only Britain, but the entire world. You can trace its roots to Brighton's earliest days as a "day tripper" destination. Young people from London and Littlehampton would hop over for an afternoon of fishing, swimming and relaxation, returning to their big-city homes at the end of the night but also spreading the idea of Brighton as an oasis to a harried modern world.

This is the way Brighton expanded, eventually reaching a population of 150,000 as of the 21st century.

These days you can find almost anything in Brighton that you can also find in its sister cities. Tourism is a major part of the economy, drawing thousands of visitors in an average year. One of the most popular destinations in Brighton Pier, also known as the Palace Pier, home to Brighton's 170-foot ferris wheel and a boardwalk of shops, restaurants and local entertainment. The beaches are another draw, especially in the days of the Brighton Festival, an annual celebration of art and music.

If you're looking for a quality vacation without the crowds, consider Brighton, England. Unlike its noisy neighbors, it offers a more low-key getaway without sacrificing the fun and excitement of a big trip. Like the day trippers of decades past, you'll find plenty to do in the city… and you won't have to suffer air pollution while doing it!


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