Last Sunday the Royal Pavilion opened its doors on their annual free day. As a former royal residence, this seaside palace has been an all year round focal point in the city for local residents and visitors for more than 200 years, and to celebrate the purchase of the Royal Pavilion by the town of Brighton in 1850, admission charges are waived for one day each year.

Originally a hedonistic pleasure palace by the sea built for King George IV and linked to The Dome by a secret underground passage, it not only helped put Brighton and the surrounding area on the map as a destination of choice but during its colourful history it has also had many other interesting uses.

The iconic structure, which features various design and architectural themes from around the world, served time as a hospital in the First World War and later as a civic building serving the wider needs of the community. Today the Pavilion is one of the most recognisable images for the city, with special lighting displays and various events during the winter making it even more appealing.

During the winter months visitors are able to see the spectacular Banqueting Room laid out as if ready for a royal feast. However, perhaps the most seasonal of all is the outdoor ice rink which our director Chris Sawyer and his family visited at the weekend.

Described by The Independent newspaper is a "must win hands down for atmosphere", and open to the public each year all through December and up to mid-January, the stunning spectacle has something for all the family and makes for a perfect romantic rendezvous too.

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