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Kemptown in Brighton has been named one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods – here’s why

The recently regenerated area of Brighton’s eastern seafront came 26th in our annual ranking

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham

There’s much more to a ‘cool’ neighbourhood than just vintage shops and art galleries and craft beer. In the wake of the pandemic, community spirit is key. And in the time of a climate emergency, to be cool increasingly means to prioritise sustainability and green thinking.

Each year, we quiz tens of thousands of city-dwellers across the globe to rank the coolest neighbourhoods in the world. As part of the Time Out Index, this year we surveyed 27,000 people on everything from food and nightlife to green initiatives – all to try and gauge where best places to hang out are right now.  

Anyone that lives in Kemptown won’t be surprised to hear that Brighton’s eastern seafront community made the cut. If Brighton itself is an enclave on England’s south coast – a bohemian, free-spirited escape within easy reach of London – then Kemptown is a boho-enclave-within-a-boho-enclave.

Coming 26th in the overall ranking, Kemptown was included thanks to its laidback vibes, spectacular seafront and incredible nightlife, but also because it continues to change for the better.

‘With a full-scale regeneration of the beach in this eastern part of the city now under way, it’s set to become just as much of a must for outdoorsy types as it is for clubbers,’ wrote Joe Minihane, Time Out’s Brighton and South-East correspondent. 

‘The open shingle beach is being planted with native species aimed at helping wildlife thrive, while a new boardwalk will also make the area more accessible.’

Topped off by the new National Open Water Swim Centre (a heated lido due to open in next summer), Kemptown is currently one of Brighton’s funnest, most fashionable spots – and it’s only going to get cooler. We’re pencilling in our mini-break for 2022 already.

Want to know whether your area made the cut? Here are the 49 coolest neighbourhoods in the world for 2021.

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