Sprawling east of Brighton, Kemptown is a vibrant suburb that has long been associated with the city’s LGBT+ communities. It was established in the early 19th century by Thomas Read Kemp and is renowned for its Regency-style and Victorian buildings.
Things to do in Kemptown
The heart and soul of Kemptown is St. James’s Street, which is lined with cafes and bars adorned with rainbow flags. Stop to explore the vintage fashions and antiques for sale in the suburb’s independent boutiques or hunt for treasures at the Brighton Flea Market. Theatrical dramas and cabaret shows are presented at the iconic Marlborough Pub & Theatre.
One of Kemptown’s most important architectural landmarks is St. George’s Church, which was built at the request of Thomas Read Kemp in the 1820s. Designed in a Neoclassical style, it features Ionic columns on its facade and a whitewashed tower topped by a cupola and a gilded cross. Coincide your visit with a Sunday service or attend one of the folk music concerts regularly held here.
Kemptown is a convenient base for exploring the sights of Brighton, such as the magnificent Royal Pavilion. Built from the late 18th century as a seaside pleasure palace for King George IV, it was designed in an exotic Indo-Saracenic style with whitewashed domes and minarets. Step inside to explore its lavishly decorated rooms and admire the costumes of the Regency Wardrobe, then stroll through the property’s Grade II-listed garden.
Getting around Kemptown
Kemptown is just five minutes’ drive from the Brighton railway station, which has regular services to London. Heathrow Airport is just over an hour’s drive from the suburb and has flights to destinations across the globe. On foot, Kemptown can be reached in around 10 minutes from central Brighton.