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Moving to Brighton/Hove

(12 Posts)
crazyhead Thu 12-May-16 14:50:38

Me and DH and kids (DS4 and DS2) are weighing up a move to Hove or Brighton - not necessarily immediately, but he could work there in the future and family are fairly close. We were going to spend a weekend down there in June and look around.

What are the nicest areas in terms of near the sea, local amenities, schools? And what do you need in terms of budget? (for say a 4 bed house with garden)

Thank you!

Equimum Thu 12-May-16 20:25:29

Okay, I'm not an expert on this, but we do live in the area. I won't comment too much on schools, as this is a very touchy subject locally, which I am not well informed about. All I do know, is that you basically need to buy on top of the best schools (primary) to get in. Now the lottery systems for secondary allocations has been altered, the Blakers Park/ Five-Ways area is probably very desirable, and an area I love - wide avenues, green spaces, beautiful houses and near to a very good primary (Downs) and some of the more popular secondaries.
It is inland, and away from the town centre, but not ridiculously so, and the bus service is good (this applies across the city, but buses are pricey). We've looked at this area a few times and it's not cheap. My friend's childhood home, a nice 4 bed with smallish garden is currently for sale at around £700k. There are cheaper options, but realistically, £550+.

I also really like the Queen's Park area, which is a small bit between Hanover, Elm Gove & Kemp Town. I used to live there and it's <10 minute walk to the sea, 15 minute walk to town etc, and there are some nice primaries. This is more 'town' though, and gardens tend to be smaller etc. It's pretty arty area, and Hanover has a nice family scene. Some 4 beds start from £450k+, but the nicer streets tend to be more/ rarely available.

Friends tend to rave about Poet's Corner/ St. Anne's Wells Gardens/ Lagoon areas, but I really don't know Hove too well. It probably is the quieter, more family-orientated area, though.

Somebody more knowledgable will hopefully be along soon. Good luck.

crazyhead Thu 12-May-16 22:17:27

Thank you so much! yeah, I'd heard that about schools.....

If we moved we'd be lucky enough to have a good budget because of London prices. I think the attraction would be to be near amenities but get to the outdoors/sea really easily

SandunesAndRainclouds Thu 12-May-16 22:20:35

Also consider traffic.

Last weekend, with the fringe festival and good weather, queues into central Brighton were 3+ hours. It's one thing to be close to the sea etc, but another fighting through the visitors to the area in peak times.

spookyelectric Thu 12-May-16 22:43:50

I live in Brighton and it's great for families. We wanted to buy in Queen's Park originally but bought in Fiveways/Blakers in the end so that our secondary age children could walk easily to and from school (as well as the primary age ones).
It's a really solid family area with great amenities .
We can walk to 2 different parks in a couple of minutes - Preston Park, Blakers (great for little kids) and Hollingbury Park in about 10/15 minutes. The schools are good too. On one big site dispersed around a load of green playing fields you have Balfour infants and Junior school, Dorothy Stringer and Varndean secondaries and Varndean Coillege (sixth form). BHASVIC (sixth form) is also within walking distance. There are preschool playgroups, lots of Nurseries round and about and also Downs primary off Ditchling Road.

There are a few rows of shops at Fiveways - a little Co-op, a kids toy shop, secondhand bookshop and clothes shops, bakers, butchers, greengrocer and trendy coffee shops, hairdressers, estate agents. It is very safe and nice .

It takes about 20-30 minutes to walk to the seafront - too far for little ones but there are lots of frequent buses. I tend to drive further along the coast to Saltdean or the other way to Hove Lagoon - these beaches are less crowded and have some free parking, Another fantastic benefit of Brighton (or Hove) is how near you also are to beautiful countryside (South Downs National Park). Everything feels close and quick to get to .

My aunt used to live just off the seafront in lower Kemptown/St James' and it was so nice just strolling across the road to the sea, but it became increasingly noisy at night (sometimes all night at weekends) over the years - so not so great for regular family life.

crazyhead Thu 12-May-16 23:16:25

Thank you, lots to think about. I'm very public transport focused in London so you forget about traffic.... It's true that the South Downs are amazing!

Mia894 Thu 12-May-16 23:23:57

I used to live in Brighton - and lived in Kemp Town - I loved living there, it was close to town and close to the sea, however that was in my 20s. If like you I was buying a house with my family I would definitely live in Hove - still close to the centre , but just has restaurants , a great vibe and still right by the sea. Good schools nearby too.

Hobbes8 Thu 12-May-16 23:38:57

I live in Saltdean and really like it, but it's very sleepy suburb of you want to be in the thick of it. As a Londoner who had lived all over, included zones 5&6, I think a 20 minute bus ride to the town centre is pretty good, but proper Brighton folk think we're very parochial!

Good points: you get a lot for your money, the primary school is very good and has a wide catchment, we're wedged between the sea and the downs and 5 minutes to both, we're on a hill so there's good views from virtually every house, there's a really friendly community feel and I've made friends very easily, the lido should reopen next year

Bad points: the aforementioned quietness, the local secondary schools aren't great, the nearest station is Brighton so it's not good if you need to commute back to London, the housing stock tends to be 60s bungalows rather than nice period housing - they're very practical to live in and have good development opportunity but they're not pretty, the downs cut us off slightly and the few roads that go over the downs can be clogged, there's no decent pub (although the cafe on the beach is fabulous and serves beer and wine).

Rotting dean is closer to Brighton, prettier, had some nice pubs and period houses, but is more expensive.

If I'd has the budget at the time I probably would have gone to Hove, but if won the lottery tomorrow I'd stay here - I'm really settled and happy.

Lighteningirll Fri 13-May-16 07:15:40

I bought my dc up in Hove it's fabulous the schools are really good, don't bother with Kemptown unless you're going private. Houses are pricey for the same money in Worthing or Saltdean you get far more house, easier parking. Have a serious think about parking it's really tough all across B&H and in Hove there's just been a 30% increase in the area I work in. Visitors will really struggle as parking is all day every day til eight o clock in many areas.

cestlavielife Fri 13-May-16 14:21:28

i keeping an eye on Saltdean, for move to the sea from more space/drive way/parking etc..and I like a lido! . Hobbes8 do buses run all the time? can you turn up and expect one in 10 minutes? is it much more than 20 minutes on bus to central Brighton if traffic bad?
do you always go to Brighton for cinema etc ?

Hobbes8 Fri 13-May-16 22:36:52

Buses run every 10-15 minutes or so. I just turn up rather than check a tinetable. If you miss one you can walk to the main coast road which is on 3 or 4 routes (and its downhill on the way out of saltdean - it's v hilly here!). They stop around midnight I think, but there's night buses along the coast road (but then you have to walk back up the hill) or about £17-18 in a cab.

I have a very ordinary house but can fit 3 cars on the drive, plus we have a garage, plus you can park on the street and there's always space. That's unheard of in B&H where it's mostly permit on street parking. We also have a sea view and overlook the downs.

There's a cineworld in Brighton Marina which is about a 10 minute drive.. The marina isn't as nice as it sounds - it's very similar in feel to those out of town leisure parks where you get a frankie and bennys and a bowling alley - do you know the sort of thing I mean? We go for the cinema and there's lots of family friendly restaurants there - pizza express, zizzis, nandos kind of thing. There's free parking and a big Asda. Obviously there's boats, and they're building a fancy hotel so it might be spruced up a bit, but it does feel a bit concrete at the moment. It also has the biggest wether spoons I've ever seen - I'll leave it to your judgement whether it's a pro or a con. Then Brighton has an odeon and a couple of arthouse cinemas. In the summer they have a screen on the beach that shows kids films for free and ticketed films in the evening.

concertplayer Sat 14-May-16 09:06:16

If you want good secondaries move to Tunbridge Wells -they still have grammars.
Loads of young families there Easy commute to London but pricey
Not near the sea, of course

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