Brighton is bold, vibrant and unapologetically flamboyant. One of Britain's oldest settlements, the seaside city was once known as Brighthelmstone. Among its most famous landmarks, the Regency-era Royal Pavilion built as a summer retreat for King George IV blends 19th-century grandeur with Eastern influences from China and India. In keeping with its historic ties with escapism, the city boasts a diverse range of nightlife to rival some of the best in the world, including a plethora of gay bars and clubs that have earned it the title of 'Gay Capital of Britain.' Bohemian cafes, and vintage shops pepper the beachfront streets and the Brighton Pier and pebbled Brighton Beach teem with activity through the summer months.