Most trains serve Gatwick Airport and those operated by Thameslink continue to St Albans, Luton, Luton Airport Parkway and Bedford. The fastest service from London Victoria takes 51 minutes.  The West Coastway Line serves stations to Hove, Worthing, Portsmouth and Southampton; the East Coastway Line runs via Lewes to Newhaven, Eastbourne and Hastings, crossing the landmark London Road viaduct en route and providing "a dramatic high-level view" of Brighton.  A wider range of long-distance destinations was served until 2007–08 when rationalisation caused the ending of InterCity services via Kensington (Olympia) and Reading to Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.  Twice-daily long-distance services to Bristol and Great Malvern are operated by Great Western Railway via the West Coastway Line.
 By that time Brighton was Sussex's most populous and important town.  Having lost the Battle of Worcester, King Charles II, after hiding for 42 days in various places, fled on the evening of 15 October 1651 in the "Surprise" from Brighthelmstone to his exile in Fécamp, France. Over the next few decades, though, events severely affected its local and national standing, such that by 1730 "it was a forlorn town decidedly down on its luck". More foreign attacks, storms (especially the devastating Great Storm of 1703), a declining fishing industry, and the emergence of nearby Shoreham as a significant port caused its economy to suffer.  By 1708 other parishes in Sussex were charged rates to alleviate poverty in Brighton, and Daniel Defoe wrote that the expected £8, 000 cost of providing sea defences was "more than the whole town was worth".
Amateur track cycling is held at the Preston Park Velodrome,  the oldest velodrome in the UK, built in 1877. There are three recognised surfing breaks close to Brighton, including East of the Marina, by the West Pier and at Shoreham harbour.  Transport Brighton has several railway stations, many bus routes, coach services and taxis. A Rapid Transport System has been under consideration for some years.  Trolleybuses, trams, ferries and hydrofoil services have operated in the past. Roads Brighton is connected to the trunk road network by the A23 (London Road) northwards, and by two east–west routes: the A259 along the coast and the A27 trunk route inland which joins the M27 motorway near Portsmouth.
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The A23 joins the M23 motorway at Pease Pottage near Gatwick Airport.  The A27 originally ran through the urban area along Old Shoreham Road and Lewes Road, but it now follows the route of the Brighton Bypass (final section opened in 1992) and the old alignment has become the A270. A bypass was first proposed in 1932, six routes were submitted for approval in 1973, and the Department of the Environment published its recommended route in 1980.
 It was built in the 1960s as an open-air, multi-level pedestrianised shopping centre, but was rebuilt and enlarged in 1998 and is no longer open-air. Further retail areas include Western Road and London Road, the latter of which is undergoing extensive regeneration in the form of new housing and commercial properties.  There are two weekly flea market / bootfairs in Brighton on Sunday mornings, one at Brighton Marina on the top open-air level of the carpark, and another at Brighton Racecourse. Landmarks The Royal Pavilion, a Grade I listed building,  is a former royal palace built as a home for the Prince Regent during the early 19th century, under the direction of the architect John Nash.
 The Palace Pier section of the beach has been awarded blue flag status.  Part of the beach adjoining Madeira Drive, to the east of the city centre, has been redeveloped into a sports complex and opened to the public in March 2007, with courts for pursuits such as beach volleyball and ultimate Frisbee among others. The city council owns all the beaches, which are divided into named sections by groynes—the first of which were completed in 1724. Eastwards from the Hove boundary, the names are Boundary, Norfolk, Bedford, Metropole, Grand (referring to the four hotels with those names), Centre, King's, Old Ship, Volk's, Albion, Palace Pier, Aquarium, Athina (where the MS Athina B ran aground), Paston, Banjo, Duke's, Cliff, Crescent and Black Rock.
Public inquiries took place in 1983 and 1987, construction started in 1989 and the first section—between London Road at Patcham and the road to Devil's Dyke—opened in summer 1991.  By 1985, there were about 5, 000 parking spaces in central Brighton. The largest car parks are at London Road, King Street and the Churchill Square/Regency Road/Russell Road complex.  In 1969, a 520-space multi-storey car park was built beneath the central gardens of Regency Square.  Railway Brighton station concourse Frequent trains operate from Brighton railway station. Many Brighton residents commute to work in London and destinations include London Victoria, London Bridge and St Pancras International.
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Yaffles call across the trees. The rare greater horseshoe bat has hibernated in the funerary buildings. Badgers pit the mossy turf in their search for earthworms, and violet and celandine cheer the turf in early spring" Culture Cafes and restaurants Brighton is characterised by small dining establishments and independent coffeehouses. Brighton has about 250 restaurants.
The town was originally split in half by the Wellesbourne, a winterbourne which was culverted and buried in the 18th century.  Brighton has several nicknames. Poet Horace Smith called it "The Queen of Watering Places", which is still widely used,  and "Old Ocean's Bauble".  Novelist William Makepeace Thackeray referred to "Doctor Brighton", calling the town "one of the best of Physicians". "London-by-the-Sea" is well-known, reflecting Brighton's popularity with Londoners as a day-trip resort, a commuter dormitory and a desirable destination for those wanting to move out of the metropolis.
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