Hove is a town on the south coast of England, immediately to the west of its larger neighbour Brighton, with which it forms the unitary authority Brighton and Hove. It forms a single conurbation together with Brighton and some smaller towns and villages running along the coast.
As part of local government reform Brighton and Hove were merged to form the borough of Brighton and Hove in 1997. In 2000 the conjoined towns officially attained city status.
Hove is between Brighton on the east and Portslade-by-Sea on the west. The pre-1997 borough of Hove, formed in 1974, included Portslade-by-Sea.
The Brunswick estate on and near the seafront in the east of Hove is made up of large Regency houses. This area was developed far from the original settlement, deliberately on the edge of Brighton, as a fashionable resort in the early 19th Century, during the period of influence of George IV who famously commissioned Brighton's Royal Pavilion. The Brunswick estate originally boasted its own police, riding schools, and a theatre, which it retains. Further west, the seafront forms the end of a series of avenues, named in numerical order beginning with First Avenue, which are mostly composed of fine Victorian villas built as yet another well-integrated housing scheme, featuring mews for artisans and service buildings. Grand Avenue, The Drive, and the surrounding avenues were developed through the 1870s and 1880s, with many of the buildings in this area constructed by William Willett.
Hove's wide boulevards are in contrast to the bustle of Brighton, although many of the grand Regency and Victorian mansions have been converted into flats. Marlborough Court was once the residence of the Duchess of Marlborough, aunt of Winston Churchill. The Irish nationalist leader and Home Rule MP Charles Stewart Parnell once lived with his partner Kitty O'Shea at Medina Villas in Hove.
Hove's seafront and beach, particularly the area starting on the west side of Brighton's West Pier (actually the first 300 metres are in Brighton) have recently become fashionable after some years of decline during the 20th Century. The same is certainly true of the houses of the developments mentioned above, most of which now command relatively high prices, having been in some cases very run down during the 1950s and 1960s.
The town centre received substantial renovation in the late 1990s when the popular George Street was pedestrianised. These small shops have recently been joined by the centre's first large supermarket (a Tesco), built on the site of a former gasometer in what has traditionally been an area populated by small locally-owned businesses and smaller branches of national chains. Some concern about the development and its impact was expressed by residents, the local newspaper The Argus, and small locally-owned shops.