An eye-catching mix of Asian motifs and royal grandeur, this palace is one of the most magnificent buildings in the United Kingdom.
Tour the former pleasure palace of a British king, the Royal Pavillion at Brighton. It started life as a seaside villa before being converted into a palatial complex with domes, towers and minarets inspired by Chinese and Indian art and architecture. Wander through opulent rooms where King George IV used to party and lead a decadent lifestyle with his mistress and courtiers.
The highlight of the pavilion’s interior is the vast and sumptuous Banqueting Room. It’s impossible to miss its 1-ton (907-kilogram) chandelier, which hangs from the claws of an enormous silvered dragon. Study the gorgeous wall canvases depicting scenes from everyday Chinese domestic life.
Nearby is the Great Kitchen, considered state-of-the-art when it was designed. See the large food preparation tables, revolving spits and cast-iron columns decorated with painted copper palm leaves.
Check out the Music Room, designed to resemble a Chinese pavilion. Look up at the ceiling, which is decorated with 26,000 individually gilded scales and ornate glass lamps. The king listened to Italian opera in this room. Go to the gorgeous South Gallery, where the carpet appears to be covered in flowers.
Other rooms open to visitors include the royal bedrooms and apartments. See George IV's bed which had a tipping mechanism to help the overweight ruler get up in the morning.
Save time for a snack in the pavilion’s tea room, which features a balcony overlooking the Royal Pavilion Gardens. Then take a stroll in these lovely gardens which have been restored to recreate the original 19th-century design.
Located in Brighton’s cultural quarter, the palatial building can be reached on foot from Brighton Rail Station and also by local bus. There are no on-site parking facilities and car parking is limited in the surrounding streets.
Brighton Royal Pavilion is open every day, except a few days around Christmas, and times vary according to the season. There is an admission fee with reduced prices for children, seniors, students, the unemployed and the disabled.