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Moving from London to East Sussex - advice on good areas to live

(21 Posts)
Jugger Thu 02-Feb-17 09:29:18


My family and I will be moving out of London to East Sussex in the summer. We'd always said that once we have kids (which we now do), we'd make the move out of London to seek a better environment to raise our family. East Sussex seems like a good fit for what we want.

We're looking for an area with a good sense of community, access to good primary schools and plenty of kids activities. The areas that we think fit the bill (based on work commitments) are Eastbourne (we're looking at the East side), Heathfield and Rye.

Would anyone be able to share what life is like living in each or all of these?



choosingchoices Thu 02-Feb-17 13:18:48

I know a little about Eastbourne and Heathfield but less about Rye. Heathfield is a lovely little town with some great schools and good community. It's growing in terms of activities in the evening with more restaurants and pubs gradually opening. Transport is poor though - do you have to commute for work?

Eastbourne is obviously a much bigger town and parts - old town, meads are really lovely and seafront / access to the downs are great. I know less about the east side I'm afraid. It still has a reputation for being for old people and the centre of town although it has a lot of shops is quite dated (there is some work being done though).

Jugger Thu 02-Feb-17 13:42:40

Thanks for your input choosingchoices. My wife has a new job as a teacher in Hastings and will have to drive there, hence more of an interest in the east side of Eastbourne, while I travel into London, but don't have to do it every day.

Do you know anything about the area around Stone Cross, Pevensey? Our aim is to rent for 1/2 years, to ensure we like the area and it provides what we want before buying a house in our chosen area.

choosingchoices Thu 02-Feb-17 14:14:47

Sorry - don't know a lot about that area apart from having driven through a few times. In terms of commuting to London, the Hastings to London line via Tunbridge wells is a lot more reliable than the Eastbourne Pevensey line. So places like Robertsbridge and Battle might be worth considering?

Jugger Thu 02-Feb-17 14:45:37

Thanks choosingchoices. Battle is on our list of potential areas, but slightly further down the list. Once it's half term, we'll start visiting and exploring potential areas on our list.

CMamaof4 Thu 02-Feb-17 22:02:40

I would choose battle myself out of any of the areas although i dont know heathfield very much, Rye is pretty but theres not an awful lot there.

Jugger Fri 03-Feb-17 09:16:28

Hi CMamaof4. Thanks for your input. May I ask why you rank Battle above any of the others?

CMamaof4 Fri 03-Feb-17 10:01:25

Because its a nice/pretty place Its also not too far from things for the kids to do in the surrounding areas (knock hatch, drusillas, blackberry farm, hastings seafront where you can take the kids on the rides and to the park along there and crazy golf and an icecream, Also eastbourne has the playstation (play place) the sovereign centre which is good, bexhill has a nice beach with generally better parking than hastings and a nice park and a swimming pool and two leisure centres with various activities , Hastings also has summerfields leisure centre, or you can venture out to hailsham leisure centre which is good, Your kind of in between it all as theres nice places to visit and things to do with the kids not too far from the area. (there are more things to do just cant think of them all)
It would work out well for you being reasonably close to hastings for your wifes work.
I really like battle, Its the sort of area I would pick to bring up my kids if I wasnt moving out of the area.
I've never heard a bad word about the place. Its lovely.

Jugger Fri 03-Feb-17 10:31:57

Cool - that's very helpful CMamaof4. Thank you. A couple of other questions if I may. How big is Battle in terms of access to local amenities for day to day issues e.g. a supermarket, butcher, doctor, hospital, kids clothes shop, swimming pool etc?

Also, do you know anything about The Learning Lodge for Little Explorers? It's one of 2 nurseries we're considering. It's on a farm (coming from London this seems exotic) and the thought of our son going to a nursery on a farm, my wife almost wet herself!

CMamaof4 Fri 03-Feb-17 11:05:39

Haha, Im sorry I dont know anything about the nursery, My son goes to a nursery in hastings, So i only vetted the nurserys in hastings before I chose his current one.
Battle isnt very big on the grand scheme of things Its really quite small, theres not any superstores there but its really not that far out at all, its not too far from the hastings tesco extra and there are little shops in the village, and a convenience tesco store in the petrol station. Theres also an asda and sainsburys in hastings and There are also tesco morrisons and asda in eastbourne.
As far as drs go im not sure, there is a hospital in hastings and eastbourne, Eastbourne out of all the close places would be the best place for kids clothes (i personally am not keen on hastings town only shops i really like there is the h and m and debenhams.) there is a next in bexhill ravenside as well as another tesco and various shops.
Lots of shops around really.
Swimming pools in bexhill and hastings theres also another one but im sorry i cant think of the name right now, also one in the sovereign centre in eastbourne and one in hailsham leisure centre.

Jugger Fri 03-Feb-17 11:30:53

You've been most helpful CMamaof4 . One last question that I forgot. We've looked at the Ofsted reports for local schools and have an idea of where the good schools look like they might be. But, there is no substitute for local knowledge. Of the areas described in which we have an interest, would you be able to comment on where is best for primary schools? From early indications, our son seems gifted (as much as you can tell from a young child) and keen for that talent to be nurtured to its full potential.

All the best on your move!

CMamaof4 Fri 03-Feb-17 11:46:11

Thanks! Thats fine I know what its like trying to find out as much as you can on areas, As I have been doing the same trying to get as much knowledge as I can before our big move.
I'm sorry I dont know an awful lot about the schools in those areas, Only know of battle and langton in battle ( havent heard anything bad on them) and claverham was always suppose to be the best secondary school there.

Bridg84 Thu 09-Mar-17 16:27:33

Hi everybody, does anybody have any information on what it is like to live in Peacehave?My inlaws live there and we would be moving from London with an 11 and 8 year old. We've heard it's really up and coming but I am worried about the OFSTED for the secondary schools. Any help would be appreciated. We have been many times and in the last couple of years more has been built for children which is a bonus 😀

oliphanticus Sun 12-Mar-17 14:02:47

Hi Jugger,
If your wife is working in Hastings, you could look at Hastings and St Leonards. They aren't what they used to be - they are really up and coming and my family who live in London love being right next to the sea when they visit - I'm sure your LO would too - there's lots to do and they are cheaper than surrounding villages. Train lines are good too. My LO's go to Claremont, which we think is fab and has a great nursery too and 100 acres of land/fields/woodland, including a forest school. When we moved here from London, it was the best choice ever! Good luck with your search!

nannybeach Wed 21-Jun-17 16:38:20

Have friends who moved from Peacehaven, we nearly moved there,they had problems with lots of noisy neighbourhs (private renting) A lot of the properties we viewd had subsidence, because of the hills, my friend was there 12 years and couldnt wait to get out.From what I see of Hastings, from TV and visiting, it is benefits city, Bexhill is nice, and near enough for both of us. Eastburne isnt full of "old" people, you have several unis. lots of foreign students. We youngest DD 25 is itching to move here.

Oneinchtoburn Fri 14-Jul-17 12:55:14

OP I hope your research in to the area is going well. A couple of tips if you're still reading this thread that is...

You will get a lot more for your money in St Leonard's or Bexhill than you will in Eastbourne. ST Leonard's is fine however Bexhill is lovely. This applies when renting or buying.

I live in willingdon which is the right side of Eastbourne for what you're wanting. It's truly beautiful, South Downs on your doorstep and the seaside 10 minutes away in the car. A very nice area with lovely people, polegate the same. Like anywhere, it pays to come out the centres a bit as your money will go further.

Within a good distance we have Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons and Asda for groceries. There are also numerous farm shops with lovely local produce if that's your thing too. Eastbourne town centre has a good shopping centre which is currently undergoing a multi million pound refurbishment to make it amazing. Also Hastings is good for shopping and Brighton particularly.

multiple schools in the area but almost all are oversubscribed at primary age anyway.

Hope you find some help from this

TheWeeWitch Tue 18-Jul-17 01:17:44


Have you looked at Seaford? It is nearby to all of the areas mentioned on this thread. We know a few people who live there and they love it.

Yogagirl123 Tue 18-Jul-17 17:44:02

Battle, Bexhill & Heathfield all lovely, with reasonable amenities. Eastbourne is a nice town with much more going on. Seaford is a lovely little town but until the bridge at Exceat is extended, the commute to Hastings would be a complete pain in the bum. Hastings isn't my favourite town to be honest, but have a look around and see what suits you. Good luck OP

Yogagirl123 Tue 18-Jul-17 17:53:41

Bridg84 Peacehaven has had some bad press locally recently, upsurge in crime since the local police station closed. Peacehaven is an unusual little town, as it was built in American style blocks, it's doesn't really have a town centre as such, mainly shops on the coast road and a large Co-op at the Meridian Centre, however it is close to Brighton or Seaford for shopping, near to Newhaven for ferries to Dieppe etc. Peacehaven/Newhaven fairly reasonable for property prices, a lot cheaper than Brighton or Seaford. Have a visit and see what you think.

Yogagirl123 Tue 18-Jul-17 17:58:42

Sorry Bridg84, for the important bit! Schools, Peacehaven secondary school has a good rep, especially if a child has SN, as they have a separate unit for SN. Newhaven look for yourself, but no heard great stuff about it. Seaford Head school very popular, many children travel to attend, I think they have a bus for kids in term term, again good rep, they also have a 6th form.

Outdoorsy5644 Wed 19-Jul-17 13:37:08

If you are teaching in Hastings then the commute from Eastbourne is a bit of a PITA. Rye is very lovely but you will get fed up of tourists and it is quite expensive.
Hastings and St Leonard's are still on the up, and prices are reasonable. Secondary schools a bit hit and miss, but a good choice of excellent primaries both in the town and in local villages.

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