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Brighton People - where to live, Preston Park or Seven Dials?

(81 Posts)
Pollyanna Tue 09-May-06 14:26:13

I wondered whether I could get an insider view of those 2 areas? We live in London and after nearly a year of looking have found not one, but two houses we like. Schools aren't an issue (we equally like Downs/Davigdor, and are equally unlikely to get into either), so wondered what the Brighton view of the two areas is.

I always thought I would prefer Hove - closer to the sea etc, but the house (and garden)we have found in Preston Park is bigger. What are the reputations of Preston Park/seven Dials, which would have the most toddler groups, erm, anything else?? (I have children ranging in age from 1 to 7)

Typical, we were despairing of ever finding a house, and now we find two!


2shoes Tue 09-May-06 14:29:41

hi used to live on the seven dials years ago. not a place I would want to live with a family. might have changed though, Presto park is a better area with good schools and I used to go to a mother and toddler group there(years ago) think it is still going it was very good. have to say if you can afford a house in that area i would go there.

DumbledoresGirl Tue 09-May-06 14:32:36

Having just left a village 14 miles from Brighton, I am not really qualified to answer but I have one perspective I can put to you based on my own children's needs: Seven Dials is very convenient for the childrens hospital! (Until it moves).

Yeah well, not very useful information at all really but at least this is a bump for you!

2shoes Tue 09-May-06 15:19:04

have been thinking about this whilst on the school run. if you are planning to stay in the same house and have kids. make sure you also consider secondry schools. they are not evenly placed in brighton so in seven dials not sure if you would be in the catchment area for a "good " school. same with preston park area. avoid east brighton as very pook pickings for secondrys

puddle Tue 09-May-06 15:21:39

I'm in Fiveways so I know the fiveways side of the park. Which road?

bundle Tue 09-May-06 15:22:28

Preston Park, on my ltd knowledge (sil lives there)

puddle Tue 09-May-06 15:30:09

Sorry - was interrupted! I would say P Park just because it is greener, the park's lovely and lots going on in it for kids eg summer holiday days, footie etc. Usual m and t groups about - there's an NCT one in Knowle Road, two music classes (baby- preschool) on stanford avenue.
Blakers park (off cleveland road) also great. There's a good pre-school (Fiveways) on Florence road, a montessauri nursery and school on Stanford Ave and loads of private nurseries.

Preston Park area definitely better for secondary if you're looking at state. Which primaries are you interested in?

I do have friends at the Dials though who love it!

ladyjess Tue 09-May-06 16:02:28

The Dials is lovely but it is nearer to the centre of Brighton and the parking is not good. I do like the buzz round there though, used to live on Clifton Road (pre children) and it was so close to everything.

Recently worked on a contract in Roberston Road, v near Preston Park and was surprised how much I liked it there, I have friends in Hythe Road (just off Ditchling Rd) and there are so many families and kids groups, etc in that area - I am sure you know this but do make sure you are on the correct side of Ditchling Road!

So, in short - go for Preston Park. We decided to stay in Hove cos we wanted to be nearer the sea (having lived in London for years we wanted the beach nearby!) but when I see the views around Preston Park and the sense of community over there I wonder if we made a mistake.

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:11:05

I live very near the dials and would like to live even nearer. Its buzzing, trendy, convenient for town and for the station. It has great shops and a good community of parents. I'm down there every day and I bump into so many people I know.

Preston park is quieter, less convenient for town but some lovely houses and bigger gardens. I don't think it has so much of a community, but then I haven't spent so much time there. I also prefer to be on the hill because (the dials) rather than down at the bottom (Preston Park) because I think the air is cleaner, you're a bit further from the A23 and the views are great.

I have to say Pollyanna, they're both pretty brilliant so you can't go wrong.

Someone made a good point about secondary schools. There isn't one close to the Dials but our kids will probably go to Dorothy Stringer (which is excellent). Preston Park is nearer to that and to Varndean.

Good luck with the research. Brighton's fab as I'm sure you have noticed.

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:13:11

Wow! Look at this thread. I never knew there were so many Brightonians around.

noddyholder Tue 09-May-06 16:16:31

I live at Preston Park and ds went to Downs and I can highly recommend both.I think they are fairly similar Seven dials is a bit more young funky and I think PP is slightly more affluent (not everyone!)

noddyholder Tue 09-May-06 16:20:25

I have just moved from fiveways closer to the park and have a lovely garden here.My ds is at Dorothy Stringer and it is excellent but difficult to get into if you live too far from it.Parking is a nightmare everywhere in Brighton although more flats and london commuters in seven dials so marginally worse.It does depend what you want and how important schools are to you.

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:21:39

Both are very happening and arty.

I've had an idea!!

The festival is on at the moment and there are usual plenty of artists Open Houses in both areas.

You could have a day doing the Open Houses (detailed in the festival/fringe programmes which you can pick up free all over Brighton). That way you could meet people as well as having a nose around their houses.

Pollyanna Tue 09-May-06 16:24:59

oh it is so difficult to decide. I personally prefer Seven Dials as I want to be near the sea, and the cafes and the shops (I'm so shallow ) , but the house in Preston Park is much nicer and the garden is bigger. otoh, the house in Preston Park is much more expensive too. From our brief visits there, there always seems to be more families around in Preston Park, but I haven't been on a school day yet.

I like Blakers park, but also like St Ann's Well Gardens.

From a schools pov, all the schools are full, and there is a waiting list for September. We have to apply for a place by 15th June (so have to have exchanged by then). I always liked the sound of Davigdor, but haven't looked around it. Schools are a bit of a lottery - we could end up anywhere!

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:27:46

Oh I'd forgotton about St Anns Wells. That beats Blakers Park hands down. Blakers Park is just a hill of grass with a tiny playground and a portacabin cafe which never seems to be open.

Have you been to the cafe in St Ann's Wells lately? Fantastic!

Whoops! I'm losing my impartiality.

pooey Tue 09-May-06 16:29:05

The company that makes Supernanny is based at Seven Dials, so SN herself is occasionally spotted in the area. I am hoping my kids will have a good old tantrum next time she's around.

I love Seven Dials - Preston Park is nice too but a bit too 'burby for me. The Dials is very villagey with a strong sense of community.

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:29:07

Stanford is a brilliant school but, again, over-subscribed. 22 people who applied didn't get in this year.

puddle Tue 09-May-06 16:29:51

Spider don't diss my park! the cafe is always open now (didn't used to be I'll admit) and is brilliant. And we've just had some new playground stuff too....

Agree St annes well is fabby though (although I don't like the playground there the cafe is superb).

Note my priorities, park wise.

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:30:21

Oooh pooey I never knew that. I must look out for Jojo. There are plenty of other celebs around here mixing with ordinary plebs like me.

noddyholder Tue 09-May-06 16:30:59

Excuse me spider but the blakers cafe is open all the time now and is a lovely little park Agree with you re St anns well gardens though it is lovely.Houses are a bit more expensive here but I do think that is due to the schools the houses are not any nicer.Good idea about the open houses I went round a few last weekend it is a nosey parkers heaven.

puddle Tue 09-May-06 16:31:05

Come on Polly - give us road names.

I can walk into town in 25 minutes from my house, also to the seafront.

spidermama Tue 09-May-06 16:45:46

I have to admit you meet a nice, friendly crowd down at Blakers Park.

Pollyanna Tue 09-May-06 16:46:55

shallow as I am, I can't really decide where to live on the basis of the cafe in the playground, or can I?

Well, (will I regret naming names?) the two houses are on Cissbury Road, and Beaconsfield villas.

Schools aren't really important - we have got the option of going private if necessary.

ladyjess Tue 09-May-06 16:48:35

i forgot about st annes well too - the cafe is brilliant and you can play tennis too in the park(oh yes, i am ALWAYS playing a spot of tennis. not).

davigdor is good, my friend's girl is there and i have only heard good things about it. you can talk to her if you want to know more..

i am such a fickle bitch, go for seven dials, if you can live there in a nice house, do it. we had to move slightly out in order to get a house but i wish we still lived in town. it's more fun and you don't feel such an out-of-date-boring-parent-suburban-has-been. not trying to offend anyone, just missing being young free and single.

noddyholder Tue 09-May-06 16:48:57

OMG!!I live in BV

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