Move to Hastings with young children?

(36 Posts)
genxyz Mon 17-Oct-16 23:47:51

Does anyone out there know Hastings/St Leonards well? Would you move there with young children? Can children brought up there thrive despite the deprivation?

- Is it a safe place to bring up children? Will they encounter problems or be unsafe out and about once they are a bit older and start going out/socialising by themselves?
- Will there be enough like-minded children for them to make friends with?

We're in Brighton at the moment, from London. We love theatre, literature, the arts, London & its energy, being connected, Europe, the sea. Obviously Brighton is great for all those things, but we'd like more space and a change.
We have several young children for whom we have reasonably high academic expectations, who are full of plans and life and ambitions. We really want to know whether we'd find plenty of educated, cultured, connected peeps who could be friends with us and our children, and most importantly whether our children would be safe there.
Thx for any thoughts.

birdladyfromhomealone Tue 18-Oct-16 01:05:19

Seriously?
You sound a like you probably wouldn't fit in with the Hastings crowd sad
God help them if you do move there!

genxyz Tue 18-Oct-16 09:26:38

Really? We got quite an impression of an artsy, bohemian crowd. But don't know if any of them have children, or if it's a younger person & older person place.

FlyHighLittleBee Tue 18-Oct-16 09:32:04

God no. Very deprived, very rough, very very run down. I've heard terrible stories.

genxyz Tue 18-Oct-16 10:14:30

Oh dear. :-(
There are parts of it that seem so lovely. Coffee shops, bakeries, flower shops, independent cinemas & theatre etc.

genxyz Tue 18-Oct-16 10:15:16

It's not on the up as it and Margate are meant to be?

JoJoSM2 Tue 18-Oct-16 13:26:30

I have never lived on the coast and don't know Hastings but have heard a lot of positives about parts of Eastbourne and Hythe + Sandgate just outside Folkestone. As we live in South London, we also drive down to Worthing every so often and it seems like a decent enough area with family things going on.

DaisyBD Tue 18-Oct-16 14:03:07

St Leonards is definitely on the up. So many people would like to live in Brighton and can't afford it - you only need to look at the jump in prices in St Leonards in the last five years to see which way things are going. I nearly bought a gorgeous five storey house in St Leonards in February but bottled it at the last minute - it was a rental property (already divided into five flats) - and it would really have stretched us financially, so that plus the change in tax regulation for rental property made me decide against in the end. But I love it, I think it's got amazing potential, some fantastic bargains to be had there. Plus the seaside, and the high speed rail link coming to Hastings. It'll be the new Brighton I reckon.

I'd advise doing lots of research - I know nothing about schools there, for example - but I would seriously consider it.

yeahyoudid Tue 18-Oct-16 14:13:22

We moved to Hastings this year from East Dulwich. Yes there is deprivation and rough bits just like Brighton and London but as you've seen yourself there is also the gorgeous old town and beautiful St Leonards. Due to rising house prices everywhere in the country there are plenty of like minded (let's be honest we mean middle class) people here and do many great activities for kids. The schools are a mixed bunch but plenty of Ofsted good and we have found our DDs to be great so far. PM me if you want to chat more.

genxyz Tue 18-Oct-16 14:42:00

Thanks for the insights! Will you try and find somewhere else do you think Daisy?

DaisyBD Tue 18-Oct-16 15:38:35

No, we've decided not to buy a rental property at all now. I must admit I'm a little disappointed and I know for absolute sure that we'd have been better off in the longer run, but we're not really rich enough to weather the next few years of uncertainty and fuck all returns - and I know I would worry about terrible tenants (and five lots of them) and things going wrong etc. But I loved loved loved the house we didn't buy, was near the sea front and Warrior Square, just off it in fact, and you could see the sea from some windows. I had fantasies of converting it back into one house in due course and living in it. I love St Leonards, I know it's a bit ropy in places and it has its drug issues, but I love the bohemian feel, and the little boutiques and cafes, and the independent cinema, and did I mention the sea...

genxyz Tue 18-Oct-16 17:05:30

It is very lovely.
Anyone else have recent experience of bringing up children there?

genxyz Tue 18-Oct-16 20:53:24

Thanks very much for that yeah, I've pm'd you. It would be really useful in helping us make up our minds to hear about activities for children. There doesn't seem to be much listed online.

yeahyoudid Tue 18-Oct-16 21:06:39

Have replied to your PM but not sure it went through as can't see in sent items. Our DCs got to ballet, woodcraft folk, gymnastics and drama clubs. There is every type of activity you can think of and more unusual pursuits such as skateboarding and bmxing at the sourcepark. There are lots of toddler groups and rhyme time classes for babies. There are also children's workshops in the holidays at the Jerwood Gallery and play schemes at the local leisure centres.

genxyz Wed 19-Oct-16 11:45:36

Sounds good & encouraging. Yeah, as a resident, why do you think people have such very different views of Hastings?
And do you and your children feel safe there?
The pm didn't come through.

Muddlingalongalone Wed 19-Oct-16 12:21:33

I grew up in Hastings but haven't lived there for a number of years.
DB has been bringing up his children there and there seems to be a lot of pre-school activities. He has just moved to Bexhill though for schools.
Bexhill always used to be "full of old people" when I was growing up but the demographic seems to have changed massively now and it was buzzing when I was out on a Saturday night over the summer, 2 nice parks, the beach of course & the de la warr pavilion for a bit of culture, so that might fit your criteria. It's still no Brighton though

genxyz Wed 19-Oct-16 12:54:47

Thanks, Muddling. I've heard of people moving to Bexhill or Battle for schools too.

yeahyoudid Wed 19-Oct-16 13:47:09

I think that if you have grown up in Hastings especially in the more deprived parts you would certainly have tales to tell and want to get out and that is where the bad reputation comes from. As Londoners who could only afford a shoebox in London and can now buy a huge 5 bedroom Georgian house by the sea I think we have a very different view of the place and surround ourselves with like minded people. It's simple gentrification and hopefully it is doing the area some good. Brighton wasn't always the chi-chi place it has become so it has to start somewhere I guess!

Muddlingalongalone Wed 19-Oct-16 14:06:00

I don't really know about schools - I was in the private sector.
Battle's nice & 2 of my best friends at school lived there but I would prefer to live in Bexhill & would imagine you get more house for your money too, although haven't looked recently

genxyz Wed 19-Oct-16 14:23:44

Thanks, Muddling. Hastings seems s but mthe re lively than Bexhill, but then I've explored Hastings more so perhaps I just don't know Bexhill well enough.

jellyhead Fri 21-Oct-16 17:31:37

I lived in Hastings for 10 years and worked in the NHS and community
I moved when we had children as I didn't want to bring them up there.
Reasons included deprivation in the town..The road we lived in literally had 3 murders within in half a mile and a rape and a stabbing.
Our car was broken into so regularly we left the doors of it unlocked but still they would smash the windows.
We went back this year as despite all the above I was fond of the place and had heard things were looking up for the town
I think it's got worse. Saw drug dealing outside McDonald's and a teenage gang fight in the town.
New Pier is lovely though

CurtainsforRonnie Fri 21-Oct-16 17:40:16

I would stay in Brighton if I were you.
The grass wont be greener. I grew up in Hastings & St.Leonards and I wouldnt go back.

genxyz Fri 21-Oct-16 17:47:08

Thanks Jellybeans and curtains. I guess some people are trying to bring up their children well there, but perhaps the deprivation is too much.

Fairylea Fri 21-Oct-16 17:54:02

Wow these posts make me feel sad. I grew up in Hastings and have wonderful memories of playing over the woods with my friends and also walking all the way from my grans house in Ore to the seaside when I was about 13ish. It was wonderful then. But this was late 80s / early 90s. Quite a long time ago. blush I always have a bit of a nostalgic dream to move back but reading these posts makes me think maybe not. We moved from south London to south Norfolk ten years ago now. Best move ever.

khaleesi71 Fri 21-Oct-16 17:56:49

We love Hastings - it's amazing! Suitably pretentious for those that can't live without their quinoa and a gritty edge. There are areas of deprivation but show me a city where there isn't any. Fab independent shops, amazing festivals and loads going on. I hate Brighton - find it utterly up it's own arse and far too pretentious. The view in Hastings and SL is that it's pretty much over - Hastings is far more interesting. However, the schools are not great - and we are having to provide the stretch and challenge for him. We are worried about secondary options but the quality of life is brilliant and he loves it. Probably best not look like you've wrinkled up your nose when you visit though - even as you walk through the 'deprived' areas to get to the lovely bits smile

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