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England: Brighton, East Sussex

99 Coastal Destinations Rated: In the Balance

Score: 55

Located on the English Channel, bohemian Brighton has long served as a favorite weekend getaway for Londoners. Growing pains came with its 20th-century transformation from quaint health resort town into "bustling, cosmopolitan city," including "ugly sprawl" and patience-trying traffic jams. Promotional campaigns today advertise Brighton as green destination, suggesting that the city may be working to minimize the impact of its growth on the environment.

Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:

"Sussex boasts a surprisingly attractive coastline with many quiet and relatively unspoiled areas. Brighton itself is a bustling, cosmopolitan city with an attractive bohemian atmosphere and smaller towns like Chichester retain many traditional features and feel like vibrant communities. However, the local road and public transport infrastructure is woefully inadequate for the numbers of people visiting the area, and visitors can expect to spend much of their time in traffic jams or hunting for parking spaces."

"The landscape has been partially altered and unsympathetic intrusions are visible. However, it is managing to project itself as a sustainable destination and working towards it."

"From an environmental perspective, the area feels overused and under pressure. There are some specific issues relating to the piers that need to be addressed. This area is in serious need of some TLC if it wants to continue to attract tourists in significant numbers."

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