The World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 The World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007
Tours, Excursions and Sightseeing
The Handlebar Club
You may want to take advantage of the excellent range of sights and places of interest whilst you are in Brighton for the World Beard and Moustache Championships.

We have nominated Patrick Hinchy, an experienced Tour Operator and Organiser, based in the Brighton area to give help and guidance on your needs.

E-mail if you or your group have any questions or special requests. He speaks German, French and some Italian. He recommends the official website www.visitbrighton.com for general information about Brighton.

Sightseeing Map of Central Brighton

Move your mouse pointer onto the map. Hover over the red areas for a brief description.
Click on the red map text for more information.

Brighton City Centre Map
Regency Square
The Brighton Centre
Brighton Pier
The Lanes and The Royal Pavilion
The Cultural Quarter
St Nicholas Church, The Clock Tower and Churchill Square
North Laine
Brighton Train Station

Map © www.visitbrighton.com and used here with kind permission.
The visitbrighton City Map is available from the Brighton Visitor Information Office by the Royal Pavilion.

  • Brighton's smallest pub "Queensbury Arms" nicknamed 'The Hole in The Wall' is in Queensbury Mews off Regency Square. Named after the Marquis of Queensbury/Queensberry who established the rules for boxing and was the father of Lord Alfred Douglas, Oscar Wilde's paramour, a long time Sussex and Brighton resident. Sir Laurence Olivier drank champagne incognito here.

  • Opposite Regency Square are the sad remains of Brighton's old and very popular West Pier, built in 1867 and destroyed by fire in 2003. Walk east along the beach towards the other pier and you will find many lively shops, cafes and pubs.

  • Catch the 77 bus on King's Road from the stop in front of the West Pier ruins for a half-hour drive to Devil's Dyke and a taste of Sussex countryside, a fabulous view and perhaps a drink/meal in the pub there. (But get off the bus at the Clock Tower on your return journey.)

  • Walk west from Regency Square to the Meeting Place Cafe by the beach for good basic food and drinks from about 6.30AM to 8PM. Great for breakfast too. It's by the Angel statue marking the start of elegant Hove.

  • The Regency and Melrose restaurants on the seafront corner of Regency Square both have a good reputation for local fish dishes.

  • Built in 1977, the Brighton Centre turned Brighton into a leading conference city. All the main British political parties have come here for their annual conferences. In 1984 the IRA came too and tried to blow up Mrs Thatcher and her cabinet ministers who were staying in the Grand Hotel next door.

  • Take afternoon tea in the Grand Hotel next to the Brighton Centre. It is a nicely typical English thing to do (but not cheap).

  • The Metropole Hotel next to the Grand Hotel serves a reasonable Sunday Brunch if you happen to get up late.

  • 100 metres east of the Brighton Centre is West Street which goes up to the central shopping area (See The Clock Tower and Churchill Square).

  • Wetherspoons in West Street serves an excellent selection of beer and wine at amazingly cheap prices, and cheap food too.

  • Churchill Square Shopping Centre is a big shopping mall with a food court. Opposite on Western Road is Marks and Spencer, a good quality and good value department store with a cafe. Boots by the Clock Tower is a big, comprehensive chemist.

  • Walk up the hill (Dyke Road) from the Clock Tower to St Nicholas Church, Brighton's original and pretty 14th century church. It also acted as a medieval watch-tower and beacon for the ships at sea. On the way, you pass 7 Wykeham Terrace where 1930s Hollywood character actress Flora Robson lived in retirement. In the graveyard is the grave of Phoebe Hessel, the famous woman soldier who fought in the War of the Austrian Succession 1745 and died aged 107 in 1821. Also the grave of Martha Gunn (died 1815), the most famous 'dipper', namely, she helped society ladies bathe in the sea when sea-bathing became fashionable. Much better work than being a fishwife.

  • From Churchill Square or Western Road, you can walk through to Russell Square and then through a little alley with a pub, the Regency Tavern (famous for its outrageous seaside baroque decor and clientele until the recent change of ownership) back to Regency Square.

  • For traditional fish and chips, walk west from the Clock Tower about 700 metres along the north side of Western Road to Bankers.

  • The railway line was opened in 1841 and Brighton soon became the most fashionable and popular seaside resort. Much of the original station still exists. A curiosity: look at the station wall in Terminus Road on the left side of station. The metal plates with "HCS" stand for "Horse Carriage Stop" from the days when you took a horse-drawn carriage from the station before taxis existed.

  • Go uphill up Guildford Road from the station to the Sussex Yeoman, a pub renowned for its good, fresh food. Go straight ahead against the traffic down Surrey Street to the Evening Star pub, a holy shrine for all good beer drinkers.

  • Go under the forecourt down Trafalgar Street to the North Laine area full of interesting shops, restaurants and pubs (See North Laine). At the bottom of Trafalgar Street is St Peter's Church, one of Britain's first (1824-8) and also most beautiful neo-Gothic churches, built by Houses of Parliament architect Charles Barry for the fashionable classes flocking to Brighton for sea-bathing.

  • Walk through the station to its northeastern end for Brighton's biggest flea market and car-boot sale on Sunday mornings.

  • Originally (and still for all true Brightonians) called the Palace Pier, it was treacherously renamed Brighton Pier after the 2002 fire which wrecked its older sister, the West Pier. It is in fact the sole survivor of three piers, since Brighton's original pier, the Chain Pier built in 1823 was destroyed by a storm in 1896.

  • Graham Greene's classic novel 'Brighton Rock' (and later a classic film) about Brighton's rampant criminal underworld of the 1930s features the psychopathic Pinkie abducting and murdering Fred Hale on the Palace Pier. But you are quite safe on the pier today.

  • Inland from Brighton Pier is the pleasant green park of the Old Steine and the Royal Pavilion (see The Cultural Quarter)

  • East of Brighton Pier you see the elegant buildings of Kemp Town, an audacious speculative development built by Thomas Kemp from 1823 in the open country east of the ancient smelly fishing town of Brighthelmstone (see The Lanes). Kemp was aiming at 'high society' lured to Brighton after the Prince Regent had made it fashionable. Today it is Brighton's gay area with many pubs showing rainbow flags.

  • On the beach east of Brighton Pier is Volks Electric Railway, launched in 1883 and Britain's first public electric railway. An inexpensive fun ride almost to Brighton Marina. From the last stop walk through the building site to Brighton Marina and sip a Sundowner (or perhaps a beer since they may not know what a Sundowner is) on Brighton's own genuine boardwalk. There are also regular buses back to central Brighton.

  • Brighthelmstone was mentioned in Domesday Book, William the Conqueror's 11th century detailed record of his English conquests.

  • The medieval fishing town was within West Street (just east of the Brighton Centre), North Street (running east from the Clock Tower) and East Street (going north from the beach near Brighton Pier). Explore the traffic-free picturesque little twisting lanes and pleasant squares and remember how old this area is.

  • There are plenty of good restaurants and pubs in the Lanes. For vegetarians there is the top-rated Terre-a-Terre in East Street and Food for Friends in Prince Albert Street. For curry-lovers, the 'Indian Summer' in East Street, and for pub-lovers, The Sussex, The Pump House, The Bath Arms and more.

  • Continue north from East Street to Pavilion Buildings with its incongruously genuine Indian Arch (commemorating World War I Indian soldiers) and you will find the excellent Brighton Tourist Information Office and shop next to the Royal Pavilion.

  • George, Prince of Wales was the eldest son of King George III who disliked him and had him repressively educated. Brighton is where the Prince of Wales could go wild and then purge his excesses with a sea-water cure (he hoped). From 1786 onwards, he rebuilt a large farmhouse on the edge of Brighthelmstone and turned it into a fantastic mixed Chinese and Indian palace, his Royal Pavilion. Of course where the Prince went, 'high society' wanted to go too. When George III went mad from 1811 till his death in 1820, George Prince of Wales became the Prince Regent. By the early 19th century, Brighton's name and its fashionable, rakish Regency style and reputation had become well and permanently established. The Royal Pavilion is worth a visit.

  • It is worth visiting the fascinating and varied collections in the Museum and Art Gallery. Entrance is free and there is a good cafe. (On Sundays it is only open in the afternoon.)

  • In New Road to the west of the Royal Pavilion Gardens is Brighton's main theatre, the Theatre Royal which celebrates its 200th Anniversary this year. George, Prince of Wales (later Prince Regent and then King George IV) was a keen theatregoer and granted its royal charter in 1807. Next door is the Colonnade Bar, a pleasant pub with strong theatrical connections with the Theatre Royal.

  • The northern continuation of New Road is Jubilee Street with Brighton's new architectural award-winning public library with internet access. Jubilee Street has many new trendy restaurants such as the well-rated Italian Carluccio's and the best pizza chain, Pizza Express.

  • North Laine has a special meaning and has nothing to do with The Lanes. Hundreds of years ago outside the old fishing town of Brighthelmstone there were big cultivated fields called 'Laines' divided up into smaller furlong fields by parallel pathways which have turned into today's roads.

  • Stroll along Gardner Street, the pedestrianized Kensington Gardens and Sydney Street to experience the North Laine atmosphere, shops and cafes. Eat something in Bill's, a brilliantly informal upscale grocer/greengrocer/cafe at the bottom of North Road.

  • For good pubs, try The Basketmakers Arms at the bottom of Gloucester Road and the Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Street.

Text ©2007 Libertyroad.com