Royal Pavilion, Brighton

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  • The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
    The Royal Pavilion, Brighton
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    Royal Pavilion Brighton
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    Royal Pavilion
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    THE ROYAL PAVILION

    by balhannah Updated Nov 21, 2013

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    A visit to the Royal Pavilion should not be missed if you are at Brighton.

    First, I think we nearly walked the whole way around the Pavilion to find the entry point, some how, we must have missed the sign pointing to the entrance. It was all good though, because we saw all sides of the Pavilion. The outside was impressive, so what would the inside be?

    This Pavilion was built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV, between 1787 and 1823.
    The Royal Pavilion is home to some of the finest collections and examples of the chinoiserie style in Britain.
    Looking forward to seeing all this, we headed inside only to be disappointed to find........
    NO PHOTO'S ALLOWED

    In the book I bought, it says that the entry is "low key," and gradually builds up, this is true, but in my eyes, that haven't seen much like this before, it was incredible right from the very start.

    The entry Hall where I walked is where King George IV and his important guest's would have walked many times before me.

    Room's I went through were the Long Gallery, filled with imitation and real Bamboo decoration's, this would have been a room for entertainment.
    The Banqueting room, fit for a King in all ways! The Chandelier grabbed my attention, one word "huge!"
    I saw the "Great Kitchen," the "Banqueting Room," and the "Saloon," which is one of the oldest areas in the Pavillion.
    The Music room gallery and the Music Room itself were where the King enjoyed his passion for music.
    The Yellow bow room's, were the Bedroom's of George IV's brothers and the Dukes of York and Clarence.
    Lastly, the King's & Queen's Apartment's, and I finished the tour.

    It was an incredible sight for me! I just couldn't believe the opulence/extravagance in this Pavilion, not something I could live with, but very nice to see once in my lifetime!

    Exit, as usual, was through the gift shop which was more than busy.

    ADMISSION CHARGES......until 1st April 2014
    Adult £10.50
    Child (5-15) £5.90
    2 adults with up to 2 children £26.90
    1 adult with up to 2 children £16.40
    Concessions (ID required) Seniors (60 or over)- Students - Unemployed - Disabled £8.50
    We entered with our British Heritage Pass which was Free Entry for us.

    OPEN......Open daily
    October to March 10am–5.15pm (last tickets at 4.30pm)
    April to September 9.30am–5.45pm (last tickets at 5pm)

    Closed 24 December (from 2.30pm) and all day on 25 and 26 December
    Closed 23 January to 3 February 2012 for essential maintenance

    July & August are the busiest months, especially on the weekend's.

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  • cleocat's Profile Photo

    Awesome Architecture

    by cleocat Written Aug 2, 2013
    Royal Pavilion Brighton

    The Royal Pavilion is a former royal residence located in Brighton, England, United Kingdom. It was built in three stages, beginning in 1787, as a seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales, who became the Prince Regent in 1811. Wikipedia

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    Only in Brighton...

    by zadunajska8 Written Jan 8, 2012

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    The Royal Pavilion has always summed up at least one side of the character of the city of Brighton quite well. That would be it's lavish, outlandish, camp and glitzy side, of course. The exterior of the building alone is so extraordinary (particularly for the English sea-side) that you can not but help stop and look. It's hard to belive now that this building started life as a modest 18th century farmhouse, but that's the truth.

    It was the Prince Regent who had architect Henry Holland start to transform the farmhouse into a handsome neo-classical mansion by the sea (which was known as the Marine Pavilion at the time). Brighton had already started to become a fashionable place to be and to be seen (much as it is today) and with this house the Prince Regent had secured pride of place on the most prestigious promenade (The Old Steine) in Brighton. It was only later, with the help of architect John Nash that the Prince, later George IV, unveiled the remodelled house in it's exotic eastern style complete with domes and minarets.

    A tour of the inside of the building is not cheap. As at January 2012 an adult ticket is £9.80, children £5.60 and a family of 2 adults and 2 children can get in for the price of £25.20. Members of English Heritage get a 10% discount off the adult admission price by showing their membership cards. The audioguide is included in the price but no photos are allowed anywhere inside the building.

    The entrance is in Pavilion Gardens on the opposite side of the palace to the Old Steine. Pavilion Gardens can be accessed from either North Street or Church Street.

    The audioguide will take you around the Pavilion on a tour as though you were a guest of Prince George. You see the rooms in the order that guests would probably have done when being entertained for dinner at the Pavilion. The tour starts at the octagonal hallway infront of which coaches and carriages would have pulled up. The fine decor of this room is impressive, but the audioguide describes it as "understated" - what you are going to see in a little while will make it seem so.

    The tour then takes you into the Long Gallery which links all the main state rooms of the palace and is decorated in a slighly Chinese manner, with Eastern objets d'Art dotted around and the walls covered in rich pink wall paper with designs of trees and birds on it. There is also much use of cast iron to imitate bamboo (successfully) which adds the feel of the room.

    The Long Gallery is however barely significant once you enter the Banqueting Room. This is where the Prince held his famously lavish feasts and what a dramatic and theatrical space it is for the occasion! Apparently banquets were somewhat lengthy affairs here and could include up to 70 dishes. The decor is dazzling with the chinese wall canvasses, so much shiny stuff it makes your eyes hurt, and an amazing chandelier hanging in the middle of the room, weighing 1 ton and held in the claws of a silver dragon.

    You are tjhen taken to the Great Kitchen which was a real state of the art affair when it was completed in 1816. I wouldn't mind having a kitchen like this myself today in fact!

    Then it's back through the Banqueting Room to reach three more of the royal reception rooms, the banqueting room gallery, the saloon and the music room gallery. The two galleries being places where the Prince and his guests might retire to after dinner, whilst the saloon was the central room of the earlier Marine Pavilion which has it's own opulent decor and there is muchwork taking place to restore and stabilise the decoration in this room.

    The Music Room stands at the opposite end of the palace to the Banqueting Room and is equally dramatic and theatrical. It is lit by 9 lotus flower shaped chandeliers and I don't know how to describe such rich decoration. You probably just need to see it to understand. There are dragons and intertwined snakes all around the room, which I'm told some people think is bad luck. Maybe this explains the extraordinary bad luck experienced by this room. It has been burned by an arsonist in 1975 and just as restoration work was finishing, the great storm of 1987 that slammed into the Sussex coast sent a stone ball from the roof crashing down through the recently restored ceiling made of individually decorated cockleshells.

    After the music room you are then guided upstairs to the royal bedrooms and downstairs to what became King George IV's bedroom in his later years (although he rarely visited Brighton at the end of his life). You hear about what his successors William IV and Victoria made of the Pavilion and how it ended up in the hands of the city council rather than the royal family.

    Naturally the exit is via the gift shop where they will sell you the pictures of the interior of the Pavilion they would not allow you to take for a price reflecting the grandeur of the decor.

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    Must-see

    by rossiterfamily Written Aug 19, 2011

    The Royal Pavilion is so over the top, especially the dining room and music room, that it is worth seeing for everyone. The audio guide is pretty good and gives you options for more information here and there.

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    The Royal Pavilion

    by spidermiss Updated Sep 5, 2010

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    The Royal Pavilion is an exotic building that was built as a home in for King George IV for when he was in Brighton. Brighton was the place to be during the fashionable Regency society. King William IV and Queen Victoria also used in Pavilion.

    Visitors can visit The Pavilion and it has been restored to how they were when they were first built in 1823 with its Indian exterior and Chinese interior designs. Visitors can take an audio guided tour around The State Rooms including the Banqueting Room and The Music Room; The Royal Bedrooms where King George spent his last days; and other rooms such as the Great Kitchen and the servants' corridors.

    There are a number of events that are held at The Pavilion throughout the year and you can enjoy having refreshments in the Royal Pavilion Tearoom.

    It's also worth exploring the Romantic Regency gardens and the former stable block (now Brighton Museum & Art Gallery).

    It cost me 9.50 GBP (August 2010)

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  • Brighton Royal Pavillion

    by julia79 Written Jan 7, 2009

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    Great architecture!
    It is a royal residence built in 19th century.

    Opening Hours:
    Open Daily
    October to March 10.00am-5.15pm (last tickets at 4.30pm)
    April to September 9.30am-5.45pm (last tickets at 5.00pm)
    Closed from 2.30pm on 24 December and all day on 25 & 26 December
    PLEASE NOTE: THE ROYAL PAVILION WILL CLOSE 19-30 JANUARY 2009 FOR ESSENTIAL MAINTENANCE

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    ORIENTAL SPLENDOUR BY THE BRITISH SEASIDE!

    by themajor Updated Jul 15, 2008

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    Turrets Syndrome

    There aren't many people who can claim to have a royal palace on their doorstep but the residents of Brighton and Hove can do just that. But curiously even something as outrageously splendid and madly misplaced as the Royal Pavilion can be overlooked by those who are most familiar with it. Having walked through it, past it and around it for decades - yes, I am that old a resident! - you tend to take it's beauty and existence for granted. Rather along the lines of..."I know this really great place for coffee. Oh, that? Um, it's only the Royal Pavilion. Let's get some cake!" But then there are days when the sunlight catches it just so, or when it's illuminated at night and you simply beam with pride.

    Built between 1815 and 1822 as a seaside residence for the rakish Prince Regent (who eventually became King George IV) it's Indian and Chinese influences are apparent throughout. if you want interior design sensory overload then some of the rooms here are an excellent place to start. Queen Victoria did actually sleep here but in keeping with her Victorian values she didn't care for the place and was happy to sell it to local councillors who bought it for the town for the princely sum of £53000 in 1850. Needless to say, £53000 will get you considerably less than a palace in today's Brighton!

    I suppose I could get a quick plug in here and tell you that I once filmed a short piece on the Royal Pavilion for BBC Television...but perhaps not. No, suffice to say that you simply can't visit the town without taking a peek at the Pavilion. The internal decorations are quite as dazzling as the exterior - if you want to see a dragon holding a chandelier than I respectfully suggest that you need go no further.

    Adult entry £8.50
    Open Daily
    October to March 10.00am-5.15pm (last tickets at 4.30pm)
    April to September 9.30am-5.45pm (last tickets at 5.00pm)
    Closed from 2.30pm on 24 December and all day on 25 & 26 December

    *** The Royal Pavilion will be closed on Wednesday 16 and Thursday 17 July 2008 due to a national strike ***

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    Regency Excess

    by SallyM Written May 25, 2008

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    The Royal Pavilion was the holiday home of the Prince Regent, later King George IV, and was used during the winter, rather than the summer. The building was originally a relatively modest farmhouse, which was extended for the Prince's use, first in a neo-classical style (similar to that of the White House), and later in a very ostentatious oriental style. The Indian style architecture was first used for the stable block (now housing Brighton Museum), but as it appeared that the horses had more palatial quarters than the Prince, the main house was also altered.

    The exterior, lavish as it may seem, provides little preparation for the decor inside. The interior theme is Chinese, with even the banisters on the staircase made to resemble bamboo. The dining room, in particular, has to be seen to be believed, as pictures do not really do justice to the amazing gilded dragon chandelier.

    Note: Photography is not permitted inside the building.

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    Royal Pavilion

    by Acirfa Updated Mar 10, 2008
    Royal Pavilion
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    George lV
    The Royal Pavilion was an indulgence of George lV, the oldest son of George lll. He did not become king until he was in his 60's when his father was declared insane. In the meantime, he had rebelled against his upbringing and took to a life of wine, women, gambling and also to a love of food. His was a man in terrible debt.

    His true love Maria Fitzherbert he married in secret, later on he married Caroline of Brunswick, a disastrous match but it bore him one child.

    The Pavilion
    An amazing transformation from farmhouse to palace which took place over 35 years. The Marine Pavilion was turned into an Indian style building by John Nash.

    The banquet room is breathtakingly stunning, an air of past times lingers, the dragon clutching the chandelier in it's claws makes an awesome centre piece weighing a ton.

    Amongst other ornately decorated rooms is also the music room, where a hidden organ sits inside one of the walls. It is said the combination of snakes and dragons the room is decorated with has been the reason that bad luck as fallen about the room, according to Indian legend.

    This unusual building really should feature amongst the must do's during a visit to Brighton.

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    Visit the Royal Pavillion and Gardens.

    by amapola66 Updated Feb 2, 2008

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    Royal Pavillion - Spring 2007
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    A must for history lovers, the total splendour of the palace is rather awe inspiring and although I have lived here a few years now, it still gets my attention when it is lit up at night.

    Visit the website to see details of the rooms (link below).

    I like to hang out in the gardens reading a book with a drink and a 'sarnie' in the summer months, very relaxed and surrounded by well kept exotic plants and a cafe that sometimes holds concerts.

    Many people have been holding their weddings there recently, and don't blame them, a great venue. Pictured, the Pavillion and gardens during the Brighton Festival May 2005.

    You have to pay to get into the house, but the gardens and museum (which features one of Salvador Dali's Lips sofas among other things) are free.

    Also listed below, is a link to Brighton & Hove's museums.

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    The Royal Pavilion

    by Gili_S Written Dec 25, 2007

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    The Royal Pavilion built by the prince/king not ‘too long time ago’ is located in the centre of Brighton and you can’t miss it. It is of an Indian style of architecture. This is probably the most famous and popular place to visit in Brighton so expect it to be crowded.

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    A rather grand beach hut

    by sourbugger Written Oct 8, 2007

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    The pavilion (from Freefoto.com)

    In an episode of Blackadder the Third, (see separate tip for relevance), Edmund asks the Prince regents to “Take out the drawings of that beach hut in Brighton”. The Prince regent is, of course, George IV who built this amazing pleasure dome in Brighton.

    More Disneyesque than Pluto’s jockstrap it is Brighton’s No1 tourist draw. Built by John Nash at the beginning of the 19th century is served as the playground for the young prince. Here, all kinds of excesses would have taken place. In the best traditions of Las Vegas, what happened in Brighton – stayed in Brighton.

    Built in an Englishman’s idea of the ‘Indian style’ with domed turrets and colonnades, the form Royal palace (now the property of the local Council) is so over the top in it’s decoration that it defies all sense. Or taste.

    The palm tree designs abound, and of special note in the kitchen. Unusually these were not hidden the subterranean depths, but right next to the dining room and fitted out to the very highest standards of the day. The Prince made sure that visitors were as impressed by them as much as the entertaining rooms.

    Other rooms have a Chinese motif, a style that was then copied in virtually every stately home in the land. The place is covered in dragons, much to the delight of my 2-year old who spend the whole time shouting “Dragon” and “Fire” at the top of his voice. The latter caused a few attendants to panic somewhat.

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  • Elodie_Caroline's Profile Photo

    The Royal Pavilion - From Cabbages to Kings!

    by Elodie_Caroline Updated Sep 16, 2007

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    Brighton Palace Pavilion front
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    Brighton was originally called Brighthelmstone and was a small fishing town until the mid 18th century. The 'society' people of London started using the town after the therapeutic findings of Dr Richard Russell, who was using the sea water externally and internally, sometimes heated with milk, sometimes not, as treatment.

    George IV started coming here with his uncle, The Duke of Cumberland, to play cards, live the high life, and escape his debts. George rented a house from Thomas Kemp, a farmhouse on the Stiene, and eventually retired here, living with the mistress he had secretly and illegally married. He then enlisted the help of Henry Holland to design the first vestiges of The Pavilion. The work commenced in 1815, by then Prince George was the Prince Regent.

    The Pavilion started out with a central domed rotunda,surrounded by Ionic columns. The architect that done the actual work was called John Nash, who had earlier worked for the prince regent on a house in London.

    By the mid 19th century, the people of Brighton has realised the worth of the Pavilion, so they bought the Pavilion off of Queen Victoria in the 1840s.

    You must go and see this magnificent place! and don't believe anyone that says it's not impressive, it's beautiful!

    So, from farmhouse to palace; now you know why I used the title of cabbages and kings.

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    Royal Pavillion

    by jo104 Updated Aug 28, 2007

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    you may be mistaken for thinking this is the palace of a foreign king but you'd be wrong. This was the Indian style seaside home of George iv, mind you none of the bedrooms have a seaside view which must have been rather disappointing.

    The Banqueting hall is exquisite with ornate chandeliars & the painted with chinese themes on large canvasses. In the kitchen you can see many "old fashioned" instruments being the forerunner of todays modern appliances.

    In one of the sitting rooms an item of furniture caught my eye, being a stand of approx 5ft odd with a large padded circle attached to a frame - from listening to the audio guide I learnt that ladies stood in front of this so as to gaurd their wax based make up from the fire and from heating up - this is where the phrase to "Have a long face" comes from.

    I always enjoy visiting historic homes where you can see furniture & fittings from the time so the Brighton Pavillion was a treat.

    An adult ticket was GBP7.70 with a free audio guide, I suggest this is not a place for young children - the children that were unfortunately there on the day we visited were clearly bored & unruly making it unpleasent for all other visitors. Children (under 16) GBP5.10

    There are guides in some of the rooms which will answer any questions you may have.

    There is only disabled access to the ground floor levels as the first floor levels are only by staircase. Opening times 10am - 4.30pm & 9.30am- 5pm (summer) No photography is allowed so best to purchase a guide book

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    Eccentrix mix of everything

    by annase Updated Aug 1, 2007
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    The Pavilion was built in the 19th Century as a seaside retreat for the Royal family. However, it is no longer a royal residence, but is open to visitors as well as banqueting and weddings. During the World War I, it was used as a hospital for wounded Indian and West Indian servicemen. When you look at the building now, you wouldn't think that it was initially just a simple farmhouse which was then and over the years it expanded into the magnificent Indian palace that it is today. Indeed, in 1787, it was converted to a neo-classical building know as the 'Marine Pavilion' by a chap called Henry Holland. In the early 19th century, it was then transformed into the building that it is today by enlarging it and adding domes and minarets.

    Having checked the Pavilion's website after my visit, I reckon I took photos from the wrong side of the building as the other side is much more impressive! ;-) Apparently the interiors are the best bit of the pavilion, which is a shame since I only went to the bookshop!!! The style is described as something of an eccentric mix of Asian/Chinese and English style, and it looks very colourful.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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