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Uckfield vs. Crowborough – where’s better for raising a young family?

(9 Posts)
Jugger Tue 14-Mar-17 17:21:37

Hello there

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're now blessed to have), we'd make the move out of London to seek a better environment to raise our family. Included within the areas we’re considering are Uckfield and Crowborough.

We're looking for an area with a good sense of community, access to good primary schools, other young families and plenty of kids activities. Would anyone be able to share what life is like living in either of these and which of the 2 is better suited for what we’re after?



FlossieFrog Tue 14-Mar-17 17:58:52

We live in a village east of both (in the triangle between Uckfield, Crowborough and Heathfield. I think there are better primary schools in some villages than the towns. We tend to go to Uckfield for library and local shopping eg barbers, WHSmith. Crowborough has a better Waitrose and is closer to Tunbridge Wells. I also think there are nicer houses in walking distance to town in Crowborough than Uckfield. However the train station in Crowborough is more out of the way. The train service is fairly awful if you need to commute to London (slow and unreliable e.g. Trains home terminating at Crowborough if they're running late.

Overall it's a wonderful area - lots of beautiful countryside, decent shopping locally or in TW or Brighton. Lots of outstanding primary schools around and the people are ok! Hope this helps a bit smile.

Jugger Tue 14-Mar-17 18:50:45

Hi FlossieFrog

Thanks so much for your input. Some follow up questions if I may. An area with a sense of community is a big factor in the area we’re looking to move to (my wife grew up in a small village in Gloucester). Do you have any insights into what each are like in this regard?

My wife needs to get to Hastings (by car), while I'll need to go 1/ 2 days into London by train. Any ideas on what the drive into one or both of the 2 areas will be like into Hastings in the mornings (leaving circa 0715) and evenings (returning circa 1630)? Google maps has this between 42-52 minutes, but not sure how it factors in traffic etc.

Also, any recommends on good nurseries in the area?

I’ve read a few things online (not sure how true they are) about an increase in anti-social behaviour amongst the young in both. Is this a genuine issue or the kind of thing you’d get in any town?



choosingchoices Tue 14-Mar-17 18:51:09

We live close to both towns. I know Uckfield a bit better but would probably tend towards uckfield (or nearby village). Uckfield has a highy regarded secondary school, a lovely independent cinema and if you needed to commute you are likely to get a seat (train often full by Crowborough). Warning trains are woefully bad at times though!

FlossieFrog Tue 14-Mar-17 19:10:18

I'm afraid I've got no idea about driving to Hastings. I definitely notice a "rush hour" on the main roads in the evening, but most of the time I'm using the lanes so don't have too much trouble with traffic.

There are plenty of good nurseries and pre-schools around - what age are your children?

In terms of community, we don't venture out much, but there is lots going on locally and the villages certainly seem to have a sense of community - lots of village shows, bonfire societies, people working to improve their local area. There are also a reasonable number of independent shops, which adds to the feel.

I would try to visit on a weekday and weekend if you can, to get a feel for the places. Also think about whether you want to be in town or more isolated.

Jugger Tue 14-Mar-17 19:11:52

Hi choosingchoices

Thanks for your thoughts. May I ask your rationale for rating Uckfield over Crowborough?

In terms of a sense of community, how does Uckfield fare?

Please may I ask for any good nurseries you can recommend.



Jugger Tue 14-Mar-17 19:21:18

Hi FlossieFrog

Thanks for getting back to me.

Our son has just turned one (amazing how quickly the time has gone by - I remember going to the anti-natal classes last year!). Keen for him to go to a good school, as he seems gifted (as much as you can tell by a child his age).

We’re looking to go down and visit one or the other next weekend, then the other a couple of weeks later. So far, we’ve visited Eastbourne and Heathfield. We’re not sure if either fits the bills for what we’re after. Possible Meads and Old Town in Eastbourne, but not sure we could afford to buy a nice house in Meads.

My wife doesn’t like being in the car all the time with our son, so somewhere close to the city (2-2.5 miles max) would be ideal.


choosingchoices Tue 14-Mar-17 20:22:27

Sorry no idea about nurseries, we moved to the area when dc already at school.

I like the secondary school in uckfield better, that is probably swaying me. But sounds like it won't be an issue for a while

Jugger Tue 14-Mar-17 20:54:47

Thanks choosingchoices.

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