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Best seaside retreat?

(19 Posts)
downtothesea Sat 11-Jun-11 15:31:22

After many years of London living we're selling up to escape the anxieties of urban living. We're in our forties both of us have fairly small self-employed incomes. We're hoping this will be a 'forever' move and are looking to change our lifestyles for something less stressful ie less chavs hanging about, less road rage and hopefully less general aggression overall. We're selling our flat in London and will have about £180-200 (absolute max) to put into a house hopefully by the sea - and mortgage free. We value privacy (a lot) have thought about isolated cottages down by Dungeness or Lydd but we're also worried that those places might be too reclusive and have also considered big old Victorian terraces in Ramsgate or Margate. We've also thought about little 'retirement' bungalows in Whitstable/Herne Bay/tankerton but they might be a step too far on the slippery slope to pipe and slippers land. We don't have any children and fancy getting a dog and just living a self-contained happy existence with the odd trip back to London. The only one of these places we know well is Whitstable but really it's too expensive for us as we need probably 3 beds (2 offices/studio) and the only places we can afford are 2 bed terraces or tiny bungalows. We don't know any of the other areas at all and would love your thoughts on them or the 'project' itself, especially if you've done anything like this yourself.

MaggieW Sat 11-Jun-11 19:37:43

Sounds a fab idea - I would love to live by the sea.

How about Broadstairs - sandy beach and smallish town, but close enough to London to come back. I prefer it to Whitstable and you'll get 3 beds for less than £200k - but that's probably in town. Further out, if you're after privacy, you may get more for your money. Good luck.

PhyllisDiller Sat 11-Jun-11 21:43:12

Devon has some lovely places. Friends have just moved to Devon and love it because it is so chilled out, they quite often pop up to London or wherever on the train. They were looking for privacy too and found the further south they went the more private the houses were for the budget iyswim.

Chichester harbour, Bosham, Witterings is beautiful too. Little more pricey though I should think.

fivegomadindorset Sat 11-Jun-11 21:46:28

Do you need to be that close to London, any particular reason you were thinking of Kent?

Islandlady Sat 11-Jun-11 23:58:46

have you thought about the Isle of Wight.

We moved here from London last year and love it we dont drive but can get a ferry to Portsmouth and a train in to Waterloo.

Your budget however will prove a problem even on the Island if you want to live right next to the sea.

We live in Ryde which is the largest town on the island

We had a budget of 250k and for that would have been able to buy an ex coastguard cottage with a sea view between the Hovercraft station and the ice rink, however we bought a house on the outskirts of Ryde for half that, Ryde is on a hill and we can see the sea if we walk down the road for 5 minutes - 20 minutes takes us right down to the Esplanade.

There will also be properties in your budget at between Ryde and Shanklin or Cowes and East Cowes but again not right on the sea front.

Its certainly a lot less stressful here and quieter (although we DO have the festival here at the moment but apart from loads of youngster walking around in wellies we dont actually notice it where we are)

And the people - what can I say I know more people here after just over a year then I ever did in London - we do have our rougher areas (well rough by Island standards not London standards) but generally people are very friendly

downtothesea Sun 12-Jun-11 09:01:44

Broadstairs is interesting! Think we'll probably have to have a run down there and get a better feel of it. Seems to be lots of bungalows about so it's a bit of a trade-off between character and what's available and practicality versus dreams. IoW and Devon are both probably a bit too far for us as we both have to be able to get up to London sporadically - it can be as often as once a week or maybe a minimum of once a fortnight/3 weeks.
We wouldn't want big train fairs or a car journey of more than say 2 hours tops. We want privacy but both are aware that after London it might be extreme to go too remote so are keeping the larger towns in mind. Bit worried about margate and Ramsgate, Herne Bay and Hastings as they might just be too big and have lots of the urban issues we're trying to get away from. We'd probably be happy enough being about 10mins, half an hours drive from any of those places.
Anyone ever been to Dymchurch or Greatstone? They look v isolated but great sea views.

jeanjeannie Sun 12-Jun-11 09:30:39

My Nan relocated from SE London to Lydd (and got a 'shack' in Dungerness) - it was bonkers! Amazing place but I think she really missed London life. I think Dymchurch and Greatstone would be just as extreme. How about Camber? Although I suppose that's only along the coast a little. You could try Folkestone...a bit more life there but still the same lovely stretch of coast.

Have you thought of Essex? A friend moved to Mersea Island...while still getting to London twice a week. I thought it was utterly beautiful...blew me away as I never knew it even existed. Plus, you've got London nearby and bigger towns when you want them.

downtothesea Mon 13-Jun-11 08:24:31

Thanks jeanjeannie - Colchester way is a bit far for us and we have a fondness for south of London - (no pleasing some people!) - did a trip down to New Romney/Dungeness/Littlestone/Dymchurch - pretty sure it's not for us. Seems to be mainly a retirement region so will keep on looking. Seem to be working ourr way back up to London now!!! confused

downtothesea Mon 13-Jun-11 08:27:25

We might end up looking at 'remote' inland/rural locations (if there are any in Kent/Sussex) so if anyone has any tips on this front up to £200k - help!

Paschaelina Mon 13-Jun-11 08:36:25

Dymchurch not great really, ok to visit for a couple of hours nut o wouldn't live there, too touristy. Lydd very isolated town, not a place to settle down IMO.

Have you looked more towards Rye, Winchelsea, Pett Level, East Sussex area? Coastal, pretty, relaxed way of life, reasonably good access to bigger towns and link roads without being directly linked to London.

Paschaelina Mon 13-Jun-11 08:37:28

nut o should be but I

Cattleprod Mon 13-Jun-11 08:37:45

Have a look at Pett Level near Rye - houses right next to the beach, but it has a nice pub and is less than 10 mins drive from Hastings. Loads of really cool houses and a beautiful, atmospheric beach that is perfect for dog walking.

Rye Harbour has a nice, artistic community, and a big nature reserve - great for birdwatching.

Or Pevensey Bay if you want a bit more life - it's a bit seasonal and has it's own quirky character, but is close to Eastbourne.

Sovereign Harbour at the East end of Eastbourne is lovely if you like boats and sailing, nice restaurants, good shops and modern, stylish housing, much of which overlooks the sea. A much younger population here.

Cattleprod Mon 13-Jun-11 08:39:16

x-post Paschaelina - great minds think alike!!

Paschaelina Mon 13-Jun-11 08:39:55

Or Tenterden?

Paschaelina Mon 13-Jun-11 08:41:49

Hehe. I lI've the Fire Hills above Pett for a picnic.

Paschaelina Mon 13-Jun-11 08:43:01

Oh bum! Should be I love!

Note to self: must preview

MrsMagnolia Mon 13-Jun-11 17:34:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Putthatbookdown Mon 13-Jun-11 19:27:54

We left London to move to the coast and regret it . We have several friends who left London, Surrey etc and moved back or elsewhere. The landscape is lovely but that is it. Oh and the sports can be good Seaside towns attract daytrippers/tourists in the summer and groups of young foreign students block up the pavements and buses then the place just dies.Little culture and the restaurants etc have no atmosphere. The medical services are poor and so we have had to travel to London to get any decent medicine.With little gainful employment and no intellectual stimulus these places have quite alot of umemployed /depressed people. It seems to suit families, mind you and young people under 25. Friends of mine moved to a place called Hassocks and love it -quiet but not depressing

emsies Mon 13-Jun-11 20:42:25

We moved from London back to Poole (near Bournemouth) and haven't regretted it one bit. Lots and lots of people move down here from London for the quality of life. Its not a cheap part of the world but still very much cheaper than London.

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