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What's the best place to live in East Sussex?

(132 Posts)
lowrib Tue 12-Jan-10 00:06:18

We're moving to the South Coast. While Brighton is very cool of course, it's pretty pricey too! So we're open to ideas and have been exploring the south coast between Brighton and Hastings.

We'll be renting, and wherever we are, I'll need to get to Brighton by public transport in the mornings, and DP will be driving to Hastings.

I'd really appreciate any inside info on where might be good to look?

We liked the look of Seaford - but have only spent about an hour there.

Hastings is really cheap - but Brighton friends have warned us off - it can't be that bad surely?!

DS is really young. I have a nursery sorted in Brighton for him (we'll be commuting together smile) but we'll probably move again in a few years so schools aren't a great consideration right now.

While I'd love to just go for Brighton, money is a consideration, and it would seem we can get much more for our money down the coast - or inland - a bit.

So, oh wise mnetters, what do you think?

TIA grin

lowrib Wed 13-Jan-10 10:46:40

Some good food for thought here, thanks everyone. smile

Good to see the Hastings lot come out in defense of the place! But I'm still a bit cautious. DP is more keen though so I expect it's not totally off the agenda just yet.

TeamEdward and iheartdusty useful info about the roads. I think you're right, we'll have to try the commute to get an idea of what's doable.

GrendelsMum that's a nice image smile

The AA route finder says Seaford to Hastings is 45 minutes. Is this realistic or do you think it's be much longer at rush hour?

iheartdusty Wed 13-Jan-10 10:51:04


midnightexpress Wed 13-Jan-10 10:51:07

Just marking my place, because we too are thinking about a move to the same area.

FWIW, I love Hastings. I know lots of really creative lovely people who live there.

mrsruffallo Wed 13-Jan-10 10:52:43

have a friend in Hastings, he says it's a bit chavtastic but there are like minded people there too

hahaimawitch Wed 13-Jan-10 10:59:09

Seaford to Hastings in 45 minutes... that is an interesting concept! The Hastings to Bexhill road is vile and can take half an hour, then you have to factor in the single lane road all the way to Seaford with and elderly population, some of whom can bearly see over the steering wheel! (I really am talking from experience, I know this journey very very well)
Yes Hastings does have pockets of nice bits but on the whole, move there... not on your life!
Seriously you would be barking to try to communte Hastings to Brighton, it would be a really horrid journey. There are heaps of better options along the route and closer.
Try Eastbourne and then look along the coast towards Brighton.

lowrib Wed 13-Jan-10 11:32:33

hahaimawitch "Seriously you would be barking to try to communte Hastings to Brighton, it would be a really horrid journey."

Brilliant that's exactly the kind of thing we need to know.

See, one of us will be commuting to Brighton (by train), and the other to Hastings (by car) so wherever we live, it needs to be realistically possible to commute to both places.

Hoping such a place actually exists grin

Molesworth Wed 13-Jan-10 11:35:11

Sounds like it might be quicker to commute to both from London grin

LillianGish Wed 13-Jan-10 11:41:44

I would second those who say you'd be barking to commmute from Hastings to Brighton. I used to live in Hastings - before kids - it was supposed to be up and coming then so slightly suspicious if it hasn't upped and come already. I always thought one of the things holding in back was that it was so inaccessible from anywhere - terrible road access and rubbish train service. At the time I lived five minutes from where I was working - trying to go anywhere else was invariably a pita. Should add I actually loved living there - had a sea view and I'd never afford that anywhere else!

brimfull Wed 13-Jan-10 11:44:27

My friend lives in Robertsbridge which is lovely.
Has a train station.

dustycups Wed 13-Jan-10 12:01:27

used to live in hastings and bexhill and st leonards on sea (all the same place if you ask me!) before my mother up rooted us again. personally i love the place but only cos i have emotional ties. bexhill is full of old people and nothing to do (sorry to my best friend who lives there) and st leonards from what i remember has a bit of a drug problem,i used to be part of that problem blush.

im sure there is nicer places in e sussex

AllarmBells Wed 13-Jan-10 13:00:40

Ooh a Hastings thread!!!

We moved from Lewisham to St Leonards 3 years ago. Lewisham was "up and coming for 15 years" in a pretty similar way to how Hastings/St L is often described. We were in Lewisham for 10 years and when we left it didn't look any less rough but the property prices had certainly increased…

St Leonards is quite sprawling, with a coastal bit and some inland parts.
We live in Central St Leonards, which is meant to be rough, and I can see why it has that tag. There are some scary benefit druggy types around, but we have a pretty high tolerance for dodgy types after the Lewisham days! We have - sorry smug alert - a fab house that the surveyor told us would have cost 3x more in Brighton!

I wouldn't live in Brighton if you paid me sorry, you might as well be in London with all the crowds. Hastings is much more chilled-out.

I quite like Bexhill, but the average age is probably about 75, and there's no M&S (which gives you an indication of the size of the shops!) and it's only 10 mins or so from Hastings on the train so would still be a long commute from Brighton.

Re commuting, have a look at the train timetable at I get the train to London 2x a week or so, and they are pretty good. I think Hastings-Eastbourne is 25m or 45m depending on whether you get a fast train, so look at specific ones that would suit you. Trains along the coast are pretty reliable.

Personally I would go for coastal rather than inland because it's just so life-enhancing. I can't see us ever moving away from the sea.

Where are you moving from? Coming from London, we found everything is sooo much easier to get to, find, park at and afford round here! When people say "traffic problems" it really depends what you are used to. (It used to take me 90 mins to drive 17 miles in London when I used to drive to work, and that was starting at 6am before the rush hour.)

HTH – good luck

iheartdusty Wed 13-Jan-10 13:26:05

does your DP i) have to go by car,
and ii) have to travel at rush hour?

if he could be flexible on one of those, his commute could be a lot easier and you could look closer to Brighton/Patcham/Seaford/Lewes area.

hahaimawitch Wed 13-Jan-10 13:27:05

Out of interest which side of Hastings does your DP need to get to. If it is east I suspect futher inland might work for you, Uckfield and someone else has mentioned Roberstbridge. To drive to Brighton would be fine but I don't know the public transport route.

iheartdusty Wed 13-Jan-10 13:30:59

extract from timetable here

(hope it works - if not, it's easy to make a 'pocket timetable' on national uk)

would be over an hour and a quarter from Hastings each way, usually requiring a change to get to Moulsecoomb as opposed to Brighton.

CrawlDaddy Wed 13-Jan-10 13:55:31

My friend lives in Newhaven and swears by it. I'd be interested to hear other opinions of the place.

We're considering a move to S coast from Streatham (even though we really like Streatham, the cost of one extra bedroom is prohibitive), so am watchng this thread with interest!

ArcticRoll Wed 13-Jan-10 17:01:36

Not that keen on Newhaven -very much a port town and lots of lorries and industrial estates-Seaford , Bexhill or Easbourne much nicer imho.

lowrib Wed 13-Jan-10 17:35:03

This is great, thanks everyone for taking the time to reply. It's brilliant to get some real inside info.

iheartdusty, I asked DP just now - do you have to go be car - he said "No, but I don't like the public!" He is only half joking!

He is a car person (totally hypocritical actually, as he will admit himself as he's also an environmentalist). We definitely could live somewhere where the train was a better option, but the car journey would have to be REALLY bad before he'd ditch his car for the train!

Me, I've never driven and am very happy whiling away time looking out of a train window. smile

He probably won't have to go at rush hour all the time actually - but we don't know for sure yet.

hahaimawitch that's a good question! I don't know the answer, I'll find out.

lowrib Wed 13-Jan-10 17:39:41

DP will need to get to near Hastings train station (I assume that's central Hastings?)

lowrib Wed 13-Jan-10 17:43:01

hee hee dustycups I don't know what you mean I'm sure wink

<but old and boring now emoticon>

TeamEdward Wed 13-Jan-10 21:10:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lowrib Thu 14-Jan-10 15:05:44

Can anyone give me the low-down on Eastbourne?

I've been doing some research and as far as practicalities go, Eastbourne seems right on the mark. It's only half an hour to both Brighton and Hastings by train, and an hour and a half to London, and the property is pretty reasonable.

What's it like as an area? It always used to have a reputation as a retirement town - is that justified? Is there any kind of arty / alternative vibe there at all? Would you live there?

TIA smile

TeamEdward Thu 14-Jan-10 16:22:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArcticRoll Thu 14-Jan-10 16:26:44

New art gallery has just opened and so this may change the vibe of town-
It is a pleasant town but not sure if it has alternative/artsy vibe at all-but I may be wrong!
Large percentage of population is over 65 but this is the case with most towns on south coast(apart from Brighton).

TeamEdward Thu 14-Jan-10 16:38:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Beasknees Fri 15-Jan-10 19:58:52

what i love about this thread is some practicalities and some personal opinion.

i don't know eastbourne well but actually the majority of the population is under 45

if you need to get to moulescombe by bus from patcham don't do it - you would need to go back into at least the london road shopping area and then hoike all the way out again, but if you can go by car it's much easier.

how old is your child? what hours will they be at nursery? do you want to be spending 45mins on the train to eastbourne plus journey time from home to station when they're tired and grumpy. i'd make your home close to your study and the universities perhapsd beveandean or coombe road area of brighton and get your hubby to commute - these areas mean you're close to a27 but it's still at least an hour to hastings.

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