Should we leave London for Hastings?

(61 Posts)
Usernamenotavailabletryanother Mon 31-Aug-20 21:14:49

Hoping you’ll tell me what to do, as have no idea.

We’re in east London at the moment, have 2 kids aged 8 and 11 (eldest starting secondary next week).

Both worked in London until DH was made redundant at the beginning of lockdown. I work in local government but not sure I want to continue to do so.

We’ve never, ever wanted to leave London before- but have had our heads turned by Hastings/St. Leonards. Is this a terrible idea?

Could be work wise, but with a much smaller mortgage we could be more flexible with the type of work we do.

I’ve heard that the secondaries aren’t great; how bad are they?

Has anyone made the move and loved/hated it?

Any advice or views would be very welcome smile

OP’s posts: |
MinnieMousse Mon 31-Aug-20 21:20:07

I grew up relatively nearby and have family still in the area. Despite it having been painted as "up and coming" for many years, I'm afraid IMO Hastings just isn't very nice. It's still quite run down and deprived in many areas. Bexhill is just down the coast and I think more pleasant, or Eastbourne.

CatAndHisKit Mon 31-Aug-20 21:22:32

It's rough round the edges, but many people have moved and liked it from what I@ve heard (not close friends so don't know details).
It depends what has turned your head?
I remember viewing a few houses there years ago when i was moving from London - amazing value, but for me the nice but of the HIgh st was too small - but this was a while ago and sounds like it's improved. I think not all schoold are bad but no gregat ones, from what I've heard.

CatAndHisKit Mon 31-Aug-20 21:22:43

*great ones

AveEldon Mon 31-Aug-20 21:25:11

Friends left London for Hasting but didn't stay
Too rough, too white majority for them

Inmyownlittlecorner Mon 31-Aug-20 21:31:57

I have 2 DC the same ages & live Islington/Hackney area.
Eastbourne is on our list of places to move too, but the secondary school my DC is starting an outstanding ofsted & we haven’t found an area with schools nearly as good in our price range.

JoJoSM2 Mon 31-Aug-20 21:32:07

You can see how the schools compare to your local ones on there.


Usernamenotavailabletryanother Mon 31-Aug-20 21:50:32


Friends left London for Hasting but didn't stay
Too rough, too white majority for them

This is my concern too- where we live- like much of London- is diverse and I love that.

Wondering if Hastings is rougher than east London though?

OP’s posts: |
Bagelbabies Mon 31-Aug-20 21:57:24

We were there today and whilst it is improving it still seems very rough around the edges. If it’s seaside living you’re after there are plenty of nicer, equally affordable spots along the Sussex / Kent coast to choose from. We too yearned for beachfront dream and after extensive research settled on Folkestone and are extremely happy here, so maybe cast your net a bit wider?

AveEldon Mon 31-Aug-20 22:00:41

Maybe have a look at the deprivation index maps - I think it was a combination of factors for my friends

uglyface Mon 31-Aug-20 22:01:54

I moderate a lot of schools in Hastings but am lucky to live up near the East Sussex/Kent border. Very, very, very rough, and these are only primaries so children are still young. Very white, and lots of racism against those from other cultures.

RoseMartha Mon 31-Aug-20 22:04:12

I think you would be better off moving to Bexhill or Eastbourne

Skingaling Mon 31-Aug-20 22:04:18

Why Hastings of all places? If you want to leave a rough place why not move somewhere nice?

Usernamenotavailabletryanother Mon 31-Aug-20 22:04:40

Have ruled out Kent due to the grammar system- DD1 would be very unlikely to pass an entrance exam.

It’s not seaside living per se that has attracted us, more the arty, ramshackle feel of the town. Felt much less pretentious than Brighton (apologies to Brightonites). DH loves the sea, I am less bothered by it, but loved the mix of people there.

Academically, Hastings secondaries not comparing well to our local ones (thanks JoJoSM2); does anyone have a happy and thriving child attending a secondary school in/near Hastings?

OP’s posts: |
daisypond Mon 31-Aug-20 22:05:56

Deprivation in east London will feel and look different to deprivation in Hastings. I wouldn’t be quick to leave London. The opportunities for children are more here.

BayLeaves Mon 31-Aug-20 22:06:00

I grew up in Hastings and visit regularly, I love it there. The Old Town has so much character and history. There are plenty of lovely leafy parts of the wider town too, it's not all deprived council estates. I also lived in Eastbourne and I actually find Eastbourne pretty naff, and (anecdotally, not statistically) I hear about a lot more crime taking place there. It has less character and just as many deprived areas.

Usernamenotavailabletryanother Mon 31-Aug-20 22:08:55


Why Hastings of all places? If you want to leave a rough place why not move somewhere nice?

Have never thought about leaving London until we visited Hastings, TBH.

OP’s posts: |
GreenPlum Mon 31-Aug-20 22:25:13

No. A good friend of mine has lived there for 20 years and hates it. She's desperate to get away as her children are growing up. She's a secondary school teacher and also works as a therapist for a charity. Her own children have an 90 min commute to go to a school further out. Old Town might have some charm. You can visit. Don't live there.

Usernamenotavailabletryanother Tue 01-Sep-20 16:51:52

Clear advice, GreenPlum!

90 min commute to school is a bit painful...

OP’s posts: |
supercalifragilistic123 Tue 01-Sep-20 17:00:03

Hastings is rough a in a very different way to East London.
I wouldn't, and I know some who have and have regretted it. Its lovely to visit though!

madcatladyforever Tue 01-Sep-20 17:04:04

I lived near Hastings for years. I have no idea why it's described as up and coming and trendy, it's properly rough with homelessness and drugs everywhere you look, I wouldn't want to bring up a child there.
Bexhill is a graveyard - full of nursing homes and retirees.
The whole of the South coast is tainted with the brush of poverty, drug gangs and god knows what. I've just moved to Somerset and couldn't love it more.

madcatladyforever Tue 01-Sep-20 17:04:47

Rye is ok, the only place on the south coast I like. But of course it's more expensive.

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Tue 01-Sep-20 17:13:38

Well there's a funny thing!
That's the exact opposite of what William the Conquer asked his wife Matilda. grin

Mixingitall Tue 01-Sep-20 17:18:47

Have you looked at Worthing?

CatkinToadflax Tue 01-Sep-20 17:46:25

We moved to the Hastings area from a very leafy, pretty village in the Home Counties. We love it down here and will never leave. Yes there are rough areas, but there are also plenty of lovely areas. Some of the villages in particular are very pretty, and parts of the West Hill, and the Old Town.

Re the schools, though, they are not brilliant. One of my boys is at a special school elsewhere in the county and the other is at a private school. We wouldn’t have moved here for the state schools, if I’m honest.

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