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Can anyone tell me about Hastings?

(49 Posts)
Molesworth Thu 14-May-09 00:09:01

We're about to start looking at properties in Hastings or St Leonard's - any top tips on househunting in the area would be much appreciated!

Not bothered about catchment areas (kids almost grown up). Preferably looking for a sea view and fairly central location (or easy access to station and shops/caffs etc).

If you live there, would you recommend it to others?

solidgoldSneezeLikeApig Thu 14-May-09 00:19:47

I don't live there but did consider it when I was PG. I love the Old Town, but at the same time I only generally go there for the Jack In The Green festival, which does rather show it at its best, it's apparently a pretty grim area socially and economically the rest of the year.

wombleprincess Thu 14-May-09 08:04:17

i visited once. never again.

noddyholder Thu 14-May-09 08:09:56

It is quite run down apart from the old town area which is lovely.I am not sure what it is like to live there but a lot of people from Brighton go there in search of cheaper houses but most come back!I think bits of Bexhill are nicer

mackie9117 Thu 14-May-09 08:21:53

1066 smile

racmac Thu 14-May-09 09:21:01

Lived there till i was 14 - the last time i went back it was pretty run down and poor area definately would NOT move back there

LovelyBertha Thu 14-May-09 09:41:42

I live in Hastings and I love it. We moved from Brighton shortly after DC1 was born in order to reduce our monthly outgoings (which it did).

It is true, there are some pretty grotty bits, but there are in any town aren't there?

The Old Town is lovely, although you'd be lucky to get a direct sea view from there. I'd recommend looking out for places on the West Hill, so you'd be on the cliff directly above the Old Town. There is a stretch of seafront between the Marina and Grovesnor Gardens in St Leonards, where there are some beautiful houses, a lot of which have been done up in the last few years.

Warrior Square in St Leonards has some great properties (you're bound to come across some), sea views, all grand and Gerogian, but has a reputation for being a bit rough (which the estate agent wont tell you) as it is near to London Road- which is imo an absolute dump.

If you're at all flexible about the sea view- there are some absolutely gorgeous places overlooking Alexandra Park.

You'll probably be best avoiding most of Ore and Hollington. I reckon get a map asap, as it is a small town, estate agents will often tell you that a property is in a nice area when it is just near it. eg. for 'Near the West Hill', read 'Ore'.

Good luck with your search, and don't be put off by the fact that people love to slag off Hastingssmile

Molesworth Thu 14-May-09 10:52:21

THanks all, esp LovelyBertha for that great advice - that's exactly the sort of local knowledge I was hoping to find here

We wanted to move to Brighton but it's far too pricey for us. I'll definitely check out the areas you've listed LB, thank you!

Molesworth Thu 14-May-09 10:56:28

PS I notice that there is a 'housing renewal area' in central St Leonards, and the local council are offering £10,000 towards a deposit for first time buyers. Warrior Square is in that area - list of properties in renewal area here

LovelyBertha Thu 14-May-09 13:23:37

There are loads of really nice buildings in that area. However, a lot of it is very run-down, and it does have a bit of a reputation as a crime spot. In the last few year though bits of it have become quite trendy in a kind of bohemian way- you know, cafes, art galleries, antique shops and all that... I'd imagine that in a few years it will be really popular.

From the list, I reckon Blomfield Rd, Brittany Rd, Magdalen Rd, Norman Rd, Church Rd and East Ascent are worth looking at. Undercliffe is gorgeous- so definitely. The Marina and Eversfield Place are right on the front, but I've heard you have to be quite careful because a lot of the buildings are in need of major repair (ie. have lots of spare £)

Molesworth Thu 14-May-09 13:37:27

Bohemian sounds good to me, and the properties for sale in that area look fab (I've seen a couple on East Ascent) - thank you so much for the advice LB!

Molesworth Thu 14-May-09 13:43:22

Saw a lovely looking place in Mercatoria too. We'll be going down there for a good nose around in the next few weeks

noddyholder Thu 14-May-09 15:41:53

Brighton is def getting less£ now though might be worth another look.

hullygully Thu 14-May-09 15:47:40

I live in Hastings and I think it's marvellous. Loads of grotty bits, social deprivation, poverty and alcs, but no more than Brighton, but there are loads of arty bits, great cafes and restaurants and most importantly really nice people. Because it's small people make a very big effort to be friendly, introduce newcomers to friends etc. I have more friends here (artists writers etc and families) than I have had anywhere else and I lived in London all my life. Everyone slags off Hastings, but we like it that way, because it keeps most people out...

hullygully Thu 14-May-09 15:49:58

LB's advice re houses is good, but I think Hastings is a better bet than St Leonards personally, and agree with West Hill, Old Town and Alexandra Park.

Molesworth Fri 15-May-09 00:46:38

That's just what I hoped to hear hullygully, thank you We'll also be moving there from London.

kickassangel Fri 15-May-09 01:07:02

ALL my family live or were from there - my parents met at the Young Conservatives many years ago.

'Traditionally' St Leonards is supposed to be the 'better' area, but further to shops. Bexhill is also meant to be nicer. Both my aunts have moved further out - one to Bexhill, in order to 'escape' the down areas, but they were both living just off Warrior Square (back in the 80s), which really does need some signifcant investment.

There have been some 'issues' in recent years with drugs & large no.s of immigrants being housed there. The main issue with immigrants have been some fairly nasty fights along the sea front area on a sat night.

Why have you chosen Hastings? Sea front & cheap? The train connection to London is pretty good (though not as good as the old days, according to my dad), but there is a reason it's cheap, it does not have a great reputation. having said that, i know plenty of people who live there very happily.

there are some really lovely places along the cost outside of hastings, but not much good if you're commuting to london.

CandleQueen Fri 15-May-09 01:12:38

I'm so excited to find Hastings MNers here!!
I live near the park, and it's fab.
As has already been said, people LOVE to slag off Hastings, but I feel much safer here and there's a better community spirit here than Brighton or other large towns.
Arts scene is great, some great restaurants and cafes.
Mecatoria in St Leonards is on the up, Old Town nice but quite crowded for housing. West Hill great views.
This week saw a huge 4 bed Victorian terrace with off road parking, overlooking the park for under £220,000. Would have snapped it up if I could have convinced DH!!

CandleQueen Fri 15-May-09 01:14:41

Bexhill is nice, but very "old". It's like Death's waiting room.

kickassangel Fri 15-May-09 03:55:59

i am now quaking in case any of yo know any of my family.

one of my aunts married a greek, and he comes from a very large family. my aunt & cousins are reasonably respectable, but some of my uncle's greek connections are ... well, let's just say their names appear in the local papers, and not for the best of reasons. perhaps partly why my aunt & uncle moved a few miles away?

lavenderbongo Fri 15-May-09 04:13:00

Yey - Im from Hastings - grew up there and used to live opposite the park and several areas in St Leonards. I have fond memories of the Beer Festival and a pub called "The Pig" on the seafront. Its probably changed a lot now though.

Its a great place to live just becareful of the areas that you choose. I agree with everything LovelyBirtha says.

We considered moving back a few years ago but decided not to because the schools were not that great in the areas we could afford at the time. The people in Hastings are great, down to earth and very friendly. Many of my great friends still live there. Miss it loads.

hullygully Fri 15-May-09 08:25:08

V esciting to see Hastings mnetters - bet we know each other i real life, however tangentially...

Molesworth Fri 15-May-09 10:27:11

We're looking at Hastings for a few reasons: my dp wants to live by the sea (and insists on having a sea view); his best friend and Mrs best friend moved there fairly recently and they love it (we trust their taste in these matters); and it's tons cheaper than Brighton (where we had originally planned to go).

We wouldn't be moving there to live full time for a few more years because of family and work commitments, but we're thinking of buying soon while property there is still affordable, and my mum (who needs somewhere permanent to live in the UK after living abroad for years) would live there. We're hoping to get something with 4-5 bedrooms to accommodate all of us (plus dogs) without feeling too cramped.

Thanks again for all the tips - I can't wait to get down there and start looking grin

LovelyBertha Fri 15-May-09 18:23:08

I'm sure you'll love it Molesworth- I reckon it suits your requirements perfectly (as long as you don't mind the immigrants wink

Do keep us posted about how you get on.

Hullygully- I bet we do know each other in real life, and CandleQueen. Probably see you both in Judges soon enough!

Notalone Fri 15-May-09 18:44:12

We used to live in Hastings (Priory Avenue area) and we loved it. Yes it has its run down bits and St Leonards train station area late at night is definitely not good, but all towns have their good and bad bits. Alexandra Park is stunning - really really beautiful so if you look around this area you won't go wrong. Hastings has a similar look to Brighton (where we also used to live) with its old character houses but it is nowhere near as expensive or as busy. The shopping centre Priory Meadow is small but ok and there are quite a few large supermarkets in the Hastings area for food shopping. Nearby is Winchelsea which is lovely as is the old town of Rye and Camber Sands - a proper sandy beach - is only a short drive away. You will get excellent value for money in Hastings and as long as you do your research properly you will be fine

PS - if you drive avoid the Bexhill Road on a Saturday afternoon - it is traffic jam hell!!!

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