Brighton and the south coast of England

Only minutes away from campus, the city of Brighton & Hove has everything: sun, sea, brilliant clubs, great places to eat, fabulous shops, a truly cosmopolitan atmosphere and it's only an hour from London. And, since students form 10 per cent of the city's population, you can be confident that you'll find plenty to satisfy your needs.

In fact, so accommodating is Brighton & Hove that many students fall in love with the place and are reluctant to leave. So what is it about this city of culture, candyfloss and clubs that makes it so appealing?

Culture

Highly creative, Brighton has a truly diverse cultural scene with a wealth of theatres, cinemas and galleries. From pre-West End premieres at the Theatre Royal to the variety of experimental fringe productions staged throughout the city, you'll find something to entertain you.

Catch stand-up comedy, cabaret and open-mike nights at the Komedia, Brighton Dome, and Hove Town Hall.

Cinema-goers will find plenty to keep them happy. Brighton hosts two multiplex cinemas offering 17 screens for mainstream movies. If art-house cinema is more your thing, head straight to the Duke of York's, a Brighton treasure and the oldest purpose-built cinema in Britain.

Nightlife

When the sun sets, Brighton's legendary nightlife kicks in. The city boasts over 200 pubs and bars, ranging from traditional and bustling, to the distinctly chilled out. Popular venues include the beach-front Fortune of War, great for winter warmers but even better on balmy summer evenings, and the George, in the distinctive North Laine, serving up great vegetarian food in a lively atmosphere.

When the pubs close, plenty of life can be found until the early hours in Brighton's clubs. Clubbing in Brighton is a way of life: any night of the week and throughout the weekend you'll find a club for you. Whether you're up for a big night out at the Oceana or prefer the intimacy of the Funky Buddha Lounge, Brighton has plenty to keep you interested. As well as established classics, new nights pop up all the time with big name DJs and London clubs bringing their specialist nights to the coast.

Events

The highlight of the cultural year is the annual Brighton Festival. Held in May, it's England's biggest arts festival, attracting hundreds of performers to its three-week run. This is your chance to catch internationally renowned musicians, dancers, poets and writers. Complementing the mainstream festival is the Brighton Fringe, a heady mix of comedians, artists, speakers and street performers who spill out into the parks and onto the streets, entertaining the city night and day.

And when the Festival finishes there's always the London to Brighton Bike Ride, Party in the Park, the Veteran Car Run, the Brighton Marathon and the biggest free Pride festival in the UK - a week-long celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender culture. In October, the Paramount Brighton Comedy Festival comes to town. You'll struggle to find a weekend when there isn't something going on.

Live music

Live music is a way of life in Brighton. You'll find gigs in pubs, small clubs, on street corners and even on the beach. Home to Nick Cave and Bat for Lashes, the city vibrates to its own soundtrack. Classical music lovers are well catered for at the Dome, Brighton's restored art deco concert venue. Home to the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra and a state-of-the-art acoustic system, the 1,800-capacity Dome also plays host to blues, pop and rock. Opera fans can take advantage of the world-famous Glyndebourne opera house just a few miles down the road.

Shopping

With the best shopping south of London, Brighton's wares range from the conventional to the truly bizarre, all within walking distance. Big-name stores can be found in Churchill Square shopping centre, but if you're looking for something slightly off-beat, head for the North Laine, a laid-back area of independent clothes shops, cafés and record shops, selling everything from vegetarian shoes to designer labels. For more up-market merchandise, the Lanes offer antiques, exclusive fashions and jewellery among cobbled alleyways and converted fishermen's cottages.

Eating out

Whether you're a gourmet or a fastfood addict you'll find plenty to suit your palate in Brighton: Thai, Indian, Chinese, Mexican, vegetarian and, arguably, the best fish and chips in the world. There are plenty of pizza and pasta joints, and a number of excellent diner-style cafés such as the Market Diner, which supplies the city with food throughout the night. The streets of the North Laine area are dotted with interesting cafés, juice bars and bistros, ranging from the organic to the seriously unhealthy. Whatever your tastes, or your budget, you won't go hungry.

Space to unwind

Step outside of the city and you'll find yourself in some of the most beautiful countryside England has to offer. Cradling the city, and surrounding the Sussex campus, the South Downs National Park provides breathtaking views, tranquil walks and plenty of opportunities for paragliding, mountain biking, hiking or picnics. Stanmer Park, situated next to campus, has acres of open space, woodland, two farms, and a traditional village street complete with a shop and a tearoom. Along the Downs, you'll find the historic towns of Lewes, Arundel, Chichester and any number of picturesque villages.

Close to London

If you fancy a change, the bright lights of London are just one hour away by train. Close enough to visit for the day or the evening, London is a fascinating cosmopolitan capital city with historic sites such as the Tower of London and modern attractions such as the London Eye. If you want to travel further afield, London Gatwick Airport is half an hour away by train from Brighton - allowing you to explore Europe and beyond.