1 Seaside attraction Brighton Pier (formerly the Palace Pier) opened in May 1899, replacing the Chain Pier that was used as a landing stage for cross-channel passenger ships. The 520-metre long, heritage-listed building still has some of the original kiosks and filigree ironwork arches, and a signal cannon from the original pier. But the peep-show machines, fire-eaters and jugglers have been replaced by dodgem cars, an amusement arcade and a roller-coaster. Open 364 days a year, the pier has a host of outlets that sell food you wouldn't dream of eating anywhere else ( www.brightonpier.co.uk ). 2 Marine life Along the promenade to the east stands Brighton Marina ( www.brightonmarina.co.uk ), with 1,400 yacht berths, 863 residential properties and a host of other attractions. Opened in July 1978, at a cost of GBP50 million ($680 million), it took a while to establish itself but has enjoyed a revival in recent years, thanks to the completion of a boardwalk of restaurants overlooking the moorings. The marina features a superstore, cinema, bowling complex, casino and fitness centre. Those seeking a little more adventure can take one of the fishing or marine tours that head to the English Channel. 3 The Lanes Set back from the seafront, The Lanes are the site of the original fishing village of Bright-helmstone. The area is now a maze of mainly pedestrian alleys with antiques shops, restaurants and pubs. Before Brighton became a royal retreat The Lanes used to contain a market, monastic farm, poor house and fishermen's cottages, and many of the original buildings remain. In more recent times the area hosted Sir Laurence Olivier's stage debut and a Beatles performance. 4 Dirty Weekend When the Prince of Wales (later King George IV) rented a farmhouse for a tryst with his mistress in the late 18th century, the British institution of the dirty weekend was born - and Brighton landed firmly on the map. Its reputation became so racy that men seeking a quick end to their marriages would be 'spotted' there in the company of other women. Brighton's appeal has widened, but the city's Bohemian hotels are still popular with anonymous couples and are often fully booked months in advance. The Pelirocco (tel: [44 1273] 327055), with themed rooms such as Absolut Love, which features a heart-shaped king-size bed, and the Oriental Hotel are popular. 5 On track If you've had enough of walking, try the Volks Marine Railway. Magnus Volk unveiled the electric-powered route along the seafront in 1883, and although not the first in the world it was the first proper electric line in Britain. It's the world's oldest operating electric railway and survives thanks to the support of Volk's Electric Railway Association. The narrow-gauge line runs along the beach for more than 2km from Brighton Pier to Paston Place, near the marina. It operates daily; an adult return ticket costs GBP2.50 ( www.volkselectricrailway.co.uk ). 6 Art houses It all started in 1982, when artists living in the Five Ways area of the city opened their houses during the Brighton Festival to show their works. It's held every May and this year's event featured 750 local artists exhibiting at 175 venues. One regular is former Hong Kong resident John Whiting ( www.johnwhiting.co.uk ). Most open houses are dotted along a trail, grouped within easy walking distance of each other. Expect to see a wide selection of works, all of which can be bought directly from the artists ( www.brighton festivalfringe.org.uk). 7 Brighton races With commanding views of the South Downs and the English Channel, and within easy reach of the city centre, the racecourse is a great escape from seafront activities. The first evidence of racing at Brighton dates from 1783. It became firmly established two years later when the Prince of Wales took an interest in a meeting. It hosts 23 meets a year, including three evenings, Ladies' Day and a three-day festival in August. Entrance to the grandstand and paddock costs GBP12; the premier enclosure is GBP17 ( www.brighton-racecourse.co.uk ). 8 Brighton Rock Not Graham Greene's novel about the Brighton teenaged gangster, or the 1947 film of the same name, starring Richard Attenborough, but the multi-coloured sugar and glucose sticks of hard candy. Brighton rock is available at tourist outlets along the promenade and is frequently attached to the sticky hands of children. It's no longer produced in Brighton - it now comes from that archetypal British seaside resort, Blackpool. 9 The Downs Running parallel to the coast and bordering the northern and eastern parts of the city, the South Downs is a range of low, undulating chalk hills ideal for hiking. Those with plenty of time might try the South Downs Way, which runs for 161km from Eastbourne to Winchester along ancient routes and droveways. Shorter walks closer to Brighton follow grassy tracks and cross open downs with postcard Sussex vistas. A bus service connects Brighton Pier and Devil's Dyke, a dry valley legend says was built by Satan when pagan Sussex converted to Christianity. The nearby National Trust-managed Fulking escarpment, popular with hangliders and paragliders, is also recommended. 10 Spooky stuff If you're looking for a different perspective on a city that claims to be one of the most haunted places in England, try the guided Ghost Walk. It starts at Brighton Town Hall and meanders through some of the oldest parts of the city, with guides explaining what was seen and by whom. The walk follows alleys to where the Grey Lady is said to have been bricked up alive, proceeds to the spot at which a murdered smuggler's spirit will not rest, and goes on to two ancient former graveyards with secrets to reveal. The tour also takes in the Theatre Royal and the Royal Pavilion and finishes outside a haunted inn for those in need of spirits of a different kind ( www.brightonwalks.com ).