What's the best place to live in East Sussex?

(131 Posts)
lowrib Tue 12-Jan-10 00:06:18

We're moving to the South Coast. While Brighton is very cool of course, it's pretty pricey too! So we're open to ideas and have been exploring the south coast between Brighton and Hastings.

We'll be renting, and wherever we are, I'll need to get to Brighton by public transport in the mornings, and DP will be driving to Hastings.

I'd really appreciate any inside info on where might be good to look?

We liked the look of Seaford - but have only spent about an hour there.

Hastings is really cheap - but Brighton friends have warned us off - it can't be that bad surely?!

DS is really young. I have a nursery sorted in Brighton for him (we'll be commuting together smile) but we'll probably move again in a few years so schools aren't a great consideration right now.

While I'd love to just go for Brighton, money is a consideration, and it would seem we can get much more for our money down the coast - or inland - a bit.

So, oh wise mnetters, what do you think?

TIA grin

Molesworth Tue 12-Jan-10 00:17:02

Hastings: up and coming. Get in while it's cheap grin

lowrib Tue 12-Jan-10 09:20:09

Hiya Molesworth. Fantastic! someone who knows Hastings!

See I currently live in London in an area which is often described as "up and coming".

In my area you can translate that to mean, it has a nice arty feel in places, some good pubs and interesting nightlife and events. I have loved living here for many reasons

But scratch the surface and there's a pretty ugly underbelly.

My road may look just like a nice Victorian terrace at first glance, but get to know it and you'll learn that the people hanging around outside the pub till all hours are indeed crack dealers; after a while only a saint wouldn't get fed up with their customers' aggressive or pathetic demands for money for crack.

There is a level of social deprivation around that means that - despite ongoing and obvious gentrification- many people are living in terrible poverty.

There are high levels of crime including muggings and an aggressive feeling on the streets.

Although I've grown up street-smart and used to it, I'd really quite like somewhere nice to live now!

So, when people say an area is "up and coming" you can see why I am a little cautious! What is it up and coming from I wonder?!

Am I unfairly tainting Hastings (and other 'up and coming areas') with experiences from my own area, do you think? Or is there anything in my concerns?

Sorry for the long post!

TIA smile

mankymummymoo Tue 12-Jan-10 09:22:12

What about Rottingdean or Peacehaven, or Hollingbury or Patcham - bit cheaper than central Brighton.

BonjourIvressedeNoel Tue 12-Jan-10 09:24:03

Patcham is lovely - we nearly moved there....

AngryFromManchester Tue 12-Jan-10 09:25:46

Oh I like the look of Hastings. The seem to have loads of arty stuff going on. St Leonards on Sea looks nice aswell <flicks through coast magazine> I think what you have to remember though is that coastal places are very mixed anyway and what is necessarily a nice place for the day might be too busy to live etc. I live on the coast and we are not ina trendy town at all but it is a LOVELY place to live and has a wonderful sense of community and that is what you need to get the feel for, not how many cupcake shops are in the main street wink

hahaimawitch Tue 12-Jan-10 09:26:25

I am local.
Try Eastbourne for a happy medium. I know lots of people there and they love it.
Lewes really lovely, surrounding villages are nice.
Hastings, they have been saying it is up and coming for years, the old town is nice however it is a very large town with alot of social deprivation. It has changed massively over the years but still wouldn't live there if you paid me.
Otherside of Brighton, Worthing is nice or further afield Chichester.

noddyholder Tue 12-Jan-10 09:28:21

People have been saying hastings up and coming for teh last 12 years but it never has really.I nearly bought a house there to renovate and am glad I didn't as they have fallen hugely in value.There is a lovely bit but its as expensive as Brighton.My parents live in seaford which is nice and 20 mins to brighton.Lewes is lovely too

AngryFromManchester Tue 12-Jan-10 09:30:33

There is social deprivation in most coastal towns though.

lowrib Tue 12-Jan-10 09:36:50

Ooh replies, brilliant thanks everyone! grin

"It is a very large town with alot of social deprivation. It has changed massively over the years but still wouldn't live there if you paid me." hahaimawitch it's exactly this which worries me. It would be a shame to uproot my family and end up living in another area with serious problems! I've kind of had enough of that, so I'm cautious about Hastings. (Great name BTW!)

What's Eastbourne like for a commute? Would you consider doing a regular commute on public transport to Brighton (with DS in tow?)

I'd ruled Worthing out, as DP needs to get into Hastings in the morning, so anything West of Brighton is the wrong side for us.

noddyholder Tue 12-Jan-10 09:40:38

Rottingdean is lovely but there are cheaper areas in Brighton like Patcham which are nice and close to good schools.Renting isn't hugely expensive either not compared to further out.It really doesn't vary too much

ArcticRoll Tue 12-Jan-10 09:45:53

Lewes is lovely but a bit twee, prices are similar to Brighton though.
However it would be perfect location for your commutes as near to brighton and on main route to Hastings for trains and roads.

iheartdusty Tue 12-Jan-10 09:45:58

The trains are pretty reliable, and it's a nice journey - you can see rabbits, sheep, pheasants etc. How much of a journey would you and DS have once in Brighton? Is the nursery right by the station?

lowrib Tue 12-Jan-10 10:05:22

noddyholder and arcticroll that's good to hear - Seaford and Lewes are my favourites so far, but I'm basis that purely on visiting just once.

mmm cupcakes ... I mean good point AngryFromManchester!

iheartdusty, I'm actually going to be a student next September! DS is going to go to the (excellent) nursery at the Mouselcombe campus of Brighton uni. "rabbits, sheep, pheasants etc" sounds lovely!

lowrib Tue 12-Jan-10 10:08:08

Patcham keeps coming up, thanks mankymummymom and BonjourIvressedeNoel, I'll have a look at the other places too.

MABS Tue 12-Jan-10 11:25:06

love lewes- fairly pricey tho, don't know seaford well but my friend lives there and loves it, also have friend in newhaven, bit 'docky' tho iyswim. I also wouldn't live in Hastings if you main me. Which train stop will you get off in the mornings? moulescombe i assume?

don't think worting to hastings is doable really, just too far.

pollyanna Tue 12-Jan-10 11:47:19

I really like Lewes too - but not sure it is any cheaper than Brighton. The train is very good from Lewes to the university/moulescombe too.

I dont' think the commute from Eastbourne is any good -the trains take ages iirc (my ds1 goes to school there).

Molesworth Tue 12-Jan-10 11:52:19

lowrib, we're in the process of buying a house in Hastings (we also live in London). Some friends of ours moved there a couple of years ago and love it there.

luckyblackcat Tue 12-Jan-10 11:55:55

My friends (no DConly dogs) moved from London to Rottingdean a few yrs ago, they love it.

I like it too, really lovely beach for rockpooling, a proper community feel, all shopkeepers know her and folk say hello as we wander round - they generally involve themselves helping with the village pond clear out etc.

Don't know Patcham at all, I used to live just outside Lewes (Earwig Corner) Lewes is quite pricey.

I also used to commute from further up the line from Hastings, I couldn't do the full commute from Hastings. Also Hastings has been 'up and coming' for at least a decade, hasn't arrived yet - my concern would be it might never get there! Have seen some quite eyebrow raising incidents there when I have been with the DC - but I am from a tiny rural hamlet, so the milkman being late is exciting round here.

GrendelsMum Tue 12-Jan-10 11:56:33

My aunt and uncle used to live in Ringmer and work at the Unviersity, and they commuted into Brighton by bus. (And there was some story about how the double decker bus went right past my uncle's office window, so my aunt could check whether he was working as they went by!) But that was a while ago, so I don't know how practical that is now.

wingedangel Tue 12-Jan-10 12:02:27

I know people in Bexhill who love it. I get the impression its Hastings sort of pricing but nicer grin

A fair amount of older people, like Eastbourne I guess, but it depends what you want from a town. If you wanted somewhere very lively then you would have your heart set on Brighton I think!

TeamEdward Tue 12-Jan-10 12:02:27

Hastings does have an "up and coming" label, but I can assure you that the crack dealers are very few and far between. There has been a massive crack down (excuse the pun) on street drinkers too.
The Old Town is lovely, a bit pricey though. I'd avoid St Leonards personally, but areas around the Alexandra PArk and the West Hill (above the Old Town) are great. Hastings is a wonderful place to live.

Having said that, to get to Brighton on the train, you need to change at Eastbourne anyway. So if you bought in Eastbourne, you and DH would both have a "commute" but a shorter one.
Don't try to drive between Eastbourne and Hastings at rush hour - the Bexhill Road is a terrible hold up. A 20 mile journey can easily take an hour. The go-ahead for a new link road has been given, but they haven't started building yet.

TeamEdward Tue 12-Jan-10 12:06:31

What I mean to say is, I've never seen blatent drug dealing, or begging (drug) money in Hastings, and I'd be perfectly happy to walk through the town centre at night (or any time of the day!!)
(I was born in Hastings, moved away for several years, but the beach always pulls you back!)

iheartdusty Wed 13-Jan-10 10:00:07

point of detail - you don't usually need to change trains at Hastings - the train pulls into Eastbourne, stops for a while, then goes to Brighton or Lewes. It has to be said the train journey all the way from Hasting to Brighton is looong and slow, and not very frequent. You do get the consolation that the track runs right beside the beach in parts.

Also very good point that TeamEdward makes about the roads - there is only one main road all the way from Brighton to Hastings, and the section beyond Lewes is mostly single lane and very, very busy. Would recommend that you/DP try to drive it one day at rush hour and factor that into your decision.

policygarry Wed 13-Jan-10 10:07:46

Lewes is beautiful and very charismatic - a proper town, not a satellite of Brighton IYKWIM. Also surrounding villages (Glynde, Alfriston) are gorgeous.

I'm moving to Lewes when I retire grin

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