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Relocation advice please! Brighton, Patcham, Hollingbury?

(32 Posts)
Cakecrusader Fri 15-Sep-17 20:50:04

Evening Everyone!

I'm looking to pick your brains about our potential move to Brighton. We've started looking at houses and have realised that to get the space we need (DH, DS, DD and dog!) we need to look a bit further out. Areas like Hollingbury, Patcham have been mentioned to us but I'd like to find out more from people who live there or have insider knowledge. What attracts us to Brighton is the overall feel. DH lived in Brighton a few years before we met and loves it. We've visited a few times - people seem friendly, open and interesting. Are the areas I've mentioned a bit too far out to "feel" like what's attracting us to Brighton? Are they diverse or full of people who've moved there to get away from the diversity of central Brighton? We're currently living in Kent and although it's picturesque we've never quite settled here.

We're not wedded to being anywhere in particular - would consider Hove way as well. Are there any other areas that we should look into that would have fairly decent schools? I'm pretty terrified about the whole school situation - I've read countless posts about the lottery system already! We're mainly focused on primary schools for now but as I'm hoping this will be our last move for a while I know I'll have to keep secondary schools in my sights as well.

Any advice gratefully received x

Flitter123 Sat 16-Sep-17 11:33:29

Hi. The areas surrounding Patcham actually have some of the best primary schools in Brighton - Patcham, westdene, Balfour, Carden st Bernadettes ( Have a look at OFSTED, results etc.) Its generally very family orientated. The secondary situation is a bit unsure for the future - but no different from the rest of Brighton. It tends to be a bit less bohemian owing to more old people and families but I'm not sure I'd say it was less diverse. I think people tend to move out here for the space/ schools rather than any thing else. If you wanted somewhere cheap but more urban maybe look at Hollingdean? Otherwise there's hangleton and Portslade on the other side of hove but I wouldn't say there much different from Patcham/ Hollingbury. Good luck with your search!

Cakecrusader Sat 16-Sep-17 11:54:17

Thanks @Flitter123 this is reassuring and helpful. I'm looking forward to another recce next weekend.

Flitter123 Sat 16-Sep-17 12:03:07

Good luck, post if you have any more specific questions.

nineinchnails Sat 16-Sep-17 12:04:57

Patcham is nicer than Hollingbury. You would get patcham infants school instead of Carden.

tinypop4 Sat 16-Sep-17 12:09:29

I live in Patcham- I love it! Welcome to inbox me

Cakecrusader Sat 16-Sep-17 13:05:51

Thanks nineinchnails and tinypop4 much appreciated.

CountTessa Sat 16-Sep-17 20:59:15

Patcham is a bit more car bound than Hollingbury /fiveways/Hollingdean. It's just that bit further out.

Wormulonian Wed 20-Sep-17 18:09:10

Fiveways is fantastic for families. You have 3 parks in walking distance: Blakers park (small, between Cleveland Road and Southdown Road - young kids playground/2 tennis courts/ fenced area for picnics, football, dog walking area) large Preston Park and small Hollingbury park with Hollingbury woods adjacent and 39 acre to let the dog roam free.Lots of nurseries and playgroups for pre schoolers.

30 minutes walk to the seafront or a bit less into North Laine if you want hustle and bustle, noise and "brighton's raffish charm". 10 minute drive to Ditchling Beacon and the South Downs for amazing countryside or 20 minutes drive to Saltdean or Hove Lagoon for free parking and less crowded beaches.

Solid Victorian housing - smallish gardens but lots of parks filled with kids playing and the schools are good. You'd be in the catchment for Downs or Balfour primaries(depending on what street you live in) and Stringer/Varndean secondaries and that would be unlikely to change (unlike the outlier area). Nice local shops at fiveways (where Ditchling road meets Preston Drove) greengrocer's, posh used clothes shops, coffee shops, co-op, bakery, craft shop, post office etc. Lots of families - quiet and safe area, so kids can have freedom, many London escapees.

Look at the council website for schools and catchment distances and check out the school websites to get a feel for their philosophy. The fiveways directory has a website and magazine you can pick up free. You could rent first while you get a feel for the area that fits your family best. If you are looking at Hove there is a similar family feel around Stoneham park ( and it's cheaper).

Cakecrusader Wed 20-Sep-17 19:15:22

Thank you CountTessa.

Wormulonian, that's really great info. Fiveways sounds ideal really and the woods sound perfect. We have woods close to us now and they're one of the things I'll miss most! We've got a recce coming up this weekend so I'm going to visit all of these areas to get a feel. Really appreciate the time you've all taken to reply. I feel less daunted x

Jenniferturkington Wed 20-Sep-17 21:01:47

I've just moved from patcham to five ways. Patcham has great schools at primary age- the juniors had the best KS2 results in the city last year. Our kids have thrived at the infants and juniors.
We moved out to patcham in order to get a garden and more space for our money. We were happy there, no problems, easy parking etc
However, I much prefer the vibe of five ways/Preston park area. Also the secondary school choices are better.

gnushoes Wed 20-Sep-17 22:23:33

Fiveways is going to be a lot more expensive than Patcham. Carden primary is brilliant - really interesting stuff going on there. Patcham infants has a v small catchment now. Balfour school is great (mine went through there) but parents can be terrifying and it is now very big indeed.
As for secondaries - you're a way off that yet and they do change. Patcham is actually a better size than Stringer or Varndean and on the up - but it's a more blue collar catchment area which is why the sharp-elbowed aren't killing each other to get in. But, as the middle classes get priced out of other bits of Brighton that will change.

tinypop4 Thu 21-Sep-17 07:58:42

Agree that Fiveways is much more expensive.Lovely area but harder to park (permit parking if you don't have a drive and always busy), and the outside space is smaller. You will get more for your money in Patcham if you want space.

My DD is at Patcham infants which I can't praise highly enough although it is very true that the catchment is shrinking and it was very oversubscribed this year. If you are keen on Patcham infants and Juniors you would do well do live as close as you can these days - those that live on the border of Hollingbury or a long way up Mackie Avenue or Ladies Mile Road haven't got in this year, where they have in previous years. That said I have many friends with children at Carden who are also really pleased with it and their DC are thriving.

Patcham High still has a bit of a mixed reputation but it has improved massively over the last few years and is on the up - it actually has a pretty middle class catchment these days as it encompasses Patcham and Westdene, and is soon to include the northern Catchment of kids that would have been allocated Stringer or Varndean in the past. I am watching it with interest...

I am in a 'white collar' profession, and so are many of DDs friends parents - families (such as us) have been priced out of Preston Park and Hove so here we are in Patcham which is in actual fact a great place to live!

happypoobum Fri 22-Sep-17 17:29:37

I have lived in Fiveways and it certainly has a community feel and a Brighton vibe.

I am old now and prefer Hove which is, erm, naicer, for want of a better word. There's nothing wrong with Fiveways at all, I always felt safe there.

Agree with PP that Patcham is preferable to Hollingbury, although there are little pockets of nice and not so nice in each. If you were happy to go a bit further out, Shoreham is bloody lovely. Loads of pubs, restaurants, stuff going on. Good primarys but the secondary is a bit shit.

Jynxed Fri 22-Sep-17 17:39:13

I second Shoreham - definitely go and look. Right on the coast, good beach, easy transport with buses and train and a lovely village atmosphere still within the Brighton vibes.

Cakecrusader Fri 22-Sep-17 17:59:44

You're all brilliant - thanks everyone! Lots of positive stuff being said about Patham which is good. Going on a bit of a recce (the first of many) this weekend so hopefully we'll be able to get a good idea for the areas.

We hadn't considered Shoreham at all so we'll try and get over there too and suss out the vibes.

nineinchnails Sat 23-Sep-17 18:53:27

How is the recce going OP? smile

maxthemartian Sat 23-Sep-17 22:01:00

OP join Brighton People on FB. There was just a similar post on there that had hundreds of replies so you might find that useful too.

Cakecrusader Sun 24-Sep-17 16:15:53

nineinchnails It's going well! I'm live and unplugged in Preston Park as we speak. We've all really enjoyed looking around. Fiveways and Preston Park are strong favourites for vibes at the moment which goes against our initial thoughts (Patcham etc).

Maxthemartian - the FB group Brighton People is pretty illuminating, particularly the talk of diversity in Patcham. Thanks for suggesting it. Makes me worry it could be silimiar to where we're trying to escape from. My gut instinct is it's probably better to stay more central and have a bit less space.

bigleggy Tue 17-Oct-17 17:14:38

Hi. First post here. We're in a (very) similar boat and are moving out of Kemptown which we like, to get a garden for us and out two children (7 and 9). There are some great houses in Patcham but I do worry that it may be too much of a change for us and that we might be better off in somewhere like Preston Park or indeed Hove Park although obviously you get much less for your money. I've search the Brighton People Facebook group for the Patcham/Diversity thread mentioned above but I can't find it. Does anybody have a link?

Many thanks.


Cakecrusader Tue 17-Oct-17 19:05:56

Hi BL, I’ve screen shot the post from the FB group Brighton people. The app is not letting me get the link but hopefully it’s enough to help you find it. I read through most of it and wasn’t convinced that it would work for us as we’re moving away from somewhere that really isn’t very diverse and it could be more of the same.

bigleggy Tue 17-Oct-17 19:26:44

Ah that's great, thanks a lot. We're actually going to see a house in Patcham tomorrow so this is perfect timing! smile I'm all for diversity so it would worry me too if we didn't find it there. Thanks again and good luck with your search.

bigleggy Wed 18-Oct-17 06:51:20

Ok well I've read through the whole thread - phew! I'm sorry to hear about that woman's experiences and some of the replies were very hostile and a bit racist in tone. It would have been good to get a wider set of opinions on the place though as it was very much focused on one person's experience albeit with quite a few people commenting that they didn't feel it was like that at all. My guess is that most people there are fine and friendly and you'll no doubt see more and more people from central Brighton moving there which will change the feel of the place too but unfortunately it's bound to feel less bohemian and liberal than the centre of town which would be something to think about as you sit in your massive garden sipping a cocktail! Anyway as I said we're off to see a house today but my gut feeling is that we're moving to Preston Park......

Cakecrusader Wed 18-Oct-17 07:31:29

It was a shame about her experiences BigLeggy and it’s the replies that put me off. If you’re in a situation where the lack of diversity isn’t going to affect you directly and the worst that will happen is that you’ll occasionally think “this is less diverse than I’m used to” then I imagine Patcham would be fine. I would be directly affected as I already stick out like a sore thumb where we live so I’m desperate to be somewhere where there’s a greater mix of cultures and ethnicities are living side by side and just getting on with their lives.

We’re thinking Fiveways or Preston Park - let me know how you get on smile

bigleggy Wed 18-Oct-17 08:43:32

I'll be honest, when we first moved to Brighton from Brixton 3 years ago I thought it was a bit bizarrely white! I suppose I was used to living in a more mixed place and I'm still surprised that it's so like that. My partner is French and our kids are bilingual French/English and often walk around speaking French on the street so while we don't stick out visually here I wouldn't want any comments or problems living anywhere remotely pro Brexit! For you I do think Fiveways is a great spot, lots of nice shops/cafes and easy to get into town quickly. We were in Preston Park yesterday and it seemed very quiet and friendly but with a definite 'vibe' in certain streets and some stylish houses. I reckon I'm going to get super fit cycling back up those hills if we move there which is probably a good thing! smile

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