East Sussex property finder focus on Brighton and Hove

Brighton & Hove

Brighton & Hove, sometimes known as London-by-Sea, is located in the south east of England on Sussex’s east coast.

It became popular during the Regency period, when Prince George chose to have the  Royal Pavilion built there. All the Ton (high society) needed houses in order to stay to stay there for the summer. Some of Brighton’s most famous streets and garden squares were constructed then to accommodate them.

Brighton has a reputation for being the louder of the two areas with its lively nightlife and bustling town centre. With its quieter streets and beaches, Hove has a more peaceful lifestyle.

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Regency houses, Lewes Crescent, Brighton

Brighton & Hove property

Fiveways in the north of the city is popular with parents due to its good schools and parks. While the houses are fairly big, they come with a high price tag too. Westdene, also northern, is in a greener part of town and attracts families because of Westdene Primary School’s good reputation. Poets’ Corner, with its streets named after great poets such as Wordsworth, Byron and Coleridge, has mainly three or four bedroom homes with small gardens, again making the area popular with young families. Kemp Town, a 19th century residential estate in the east of Brighton, offers some of the finest examples of seafront architecture in the UK. White stucco Georgian terraces are home to many of Brighton’s boutique hotels. This is a pricier part of the city attracting a mix of people.

Brighton’s centre consists mainly of two or three bedroom cottages in Victorian or Regency terraces.

Areas such as Brunswick Square, Palmeira Square and Regency Square are some of the most desirable places to live in Hove. Each is built around communal gardens. The highest value street is the Western Esplanade, where a property will cost upwards of £2million.

The Royal Sussex County Hospital is also close, which means rental properties gain a lot of interest from hospital staff and sometimes medical students who are keen to rent within the area.

The best and most popular schools.

For its size, Brighton has a huge number of high performing independent and state schools.

The school catchment area boundaries in Brighton are constantly changing so many parents buy homes well within their preferred catchment area, which in turn makes house prices higher around the schools with strong Ofsted results.

In Hove, Goldstone Primary School is popular.  People also regard West Hove Infants and Davigdor Infant School highly.

For primary education in Brighton, Westdene Primary School, Balfour Primary School, Carden Primary School, Hertford Infant and Hertford Junior School all have either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ Ofsted reports and are favoured by parents.

Brighton College, a boarding and day school for boys and girls aged three to 18, is hugely popular. It has a beautiful campus in the middle of Brighton and an impressive academic record. Roedean Independent School, a day and boarding school for girls aged 11 to 18, also achieves outstanding results.

Rodean School, Brighton
Roedean School, Brighton

Lancing College, a co-educational boarding school for children aged 13 to 18, overlooks the South Downs and sea beyond, also it  has the largest chapel in the world.

For higher education, the thriving University of Brighton has campuses based in Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings and is well loved by its students. Alternatively, the University of Sussex has a wonderful location on the South Downs just outside the city centre and ranks highly in league tables.

What types of local transport are available in the City?

London Gatwick is the nearest airport, you can reach it in less than 40 minutes. Driving to London along the M23 will take about an hour and a half without traffic. On the railways, Brighton to London services run direct and depart regularly throughout the day, with a journey time of just over an hour to Victoria station.

Brighton railway station is very centrally located and is a short walk to the centre of town or 15 minutes to the seafront. Once in town, driving is not advisable. As a small place it is difficult to find parking spaces and the one-way system is tricky to master.  The best way to travel around the city is on foot as everywhere is walking or cycling distance and there are plenty of signs around to help you out. Brighton is part of the National Cycle Network and cycle routes along the seafront are particularly scenic.

The best restaurants

Brighton & Hove has over 300 pubs and more restaurants per head than any other city outside of London, so when it comes to eating out there is almost endless choice. For steak, The Coal Shed Restaurant will not disappoint. It has a modern bistro feel to it and serves a hearty Sunday lunch. For beautifully cooked English dishes with an Italian twist, head to Semolina in north Brighton. The emphasis on local and seasonal ingredients is popular with visitors and so are the reasonable prices. Terre à Terre is regarded as one of the UK’s best vegetarian restaurants and is well-loved for its innovative menu and top quality food.

Brighton city has a spectacular array of boutique cafés. In Marine Parade is ThewitchEZ Photo Design Café Bar. It has a lovely courtyard for warmer days – a special place with a delectable range of dishes and super friendly staff. Slice Sussex in Church Road in Hove is a lovely, cosy café that has a unique retro meets urban look and feel to it and it offers some excellent food. Also, the full English breakfast is a firm favourite. The world famous Choccywoccydoodah shop, which features chocolate and cake works of art, is definitely worth a visit. It specialises in one-off sculptures, bespoke wedding cakes and other delicious creations. The café upstairs, which has about eight tables (so expect to queue), is a fascinating place to stop for a chocolate fix.

What is Brighton & Hove’s nightlife like?

The city has plenty of theatres, comedy clubs and art and music venues that attract top acts. Enjoy Krater Comedy Club at Komedia five nights a week – a perfect place for big groups, A night of comedy and a meal costs just over £20 per person.

For cinemas, The Duke of York’s Picturehouse on Brighton Road is one of a kind. It claims to be the oldest continually operating cinema in Europe. It opened in 1910 and still only has one screen, championing art house cinema. The décor, great aesthetics and comfy seating make it a thoroughly enjoyable spot for an evening out.

It’s no surprise that Brighton, more than Hove, has incredible nightlife, which makes it popular with students. Also it has one of the liveliest gay scenes in the world. The LGBT and straight communities integrate seamlessly around the city.  However, there are also many exclusively gay pubs, bars and clubs in Brighton’s ‘gay quarter’ in Kemp Town. Legends, a long-standing favourite, has an all-day bar with a sea facing terrace and is a popular clubbing spot at weekends.  Additionally, Brighton’s own breweries supply delicious local ales and craft beers.

Best places to go shopping

Most cities have a quirky shopping area but Brighton’s shopping area is exceptional. In addition to the usual retail stores you find in most cities, Brighton has shops for anything from vintage clothing to magic supplies. It even has its own bespoke perfumery. The Lanes  hold many unusual shops and rambling around its little streets, even if you don’t go inside any shops, is a great way to spend an afternoon.

The Lanes shopping district, Brighton
The Lanes shopping district, Brighton

Are there any annual events hosted in Brighton & Hove?

The Brighton Festival, which takes place annually in May, is the UK’s second largest arts festival after Edinburgh. Also very popular is the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival, which takes place over the August Bank Holiday, on the seafront at Hove Lawns. Come rain or shine it’s a great day (or three), with lots of free events.

Where are the best places to visit with children?

The centre of Brighton is brimming with things to do and see. The fabulous award winning Jubilee Library is a great place for both adults and kids alike, with its children’s library. Usage of computers is free and extra protection is provided for young users. Being a town popular with young families, there are plenty of child friendly clubs and classes for kids and the range on offer is impressive. Kids can choose between arts, crafts, drama, dance, football, gymnastics, horse riding, language classes, martial arts, music, swimming lessons, watersports and yoga.

Brighton Pier
Brighton Pier

Great things to do in Brighton & Hove.

The Royal Pavilion is a must see for anyone that chooses to visit. The spectacular seaside palace houses furniture and works of art, including original pieces lent by the Queen, and it has a magnificent display of Regency silver-gilt. There’s also the Hove Museum & Art Gallery, which is a wonderful place to admire some beautiful exhibits in peaceful surroundings. It houses some good exhibitions and a tremendous room dedicated to childhood with traditional toys. The tea room is a lovely place to take a break. Joint tickets for these iconic buildings are available. They are ideal for families planning a weekend of history exploring Brighton’s attractions or as a unique gift. In conclusion, there really is something for everyone to enjoy.

Are there many open spaces?

Open spaces mostly come in the form of pebbly beaches and there is usually something happening every weekend. Brighton beach and the seafront offer a beautiful backdrop for all kinds of activities. For example, a stroll out to sea on the Brighton Pier will clear your head and revive your appetite. Popular activities include the annual Burning the Clocks and Paddle Round the Pier events. Finally, if a walk along the promenade doesn’t take your fancy, the South Downs are just a short drive away.

South Downs, Brighton
South Downs, Brighton

Leisure facilities in Brighton & Hove.

Brighton & Hove has its fair share of gyms. For instance, Active4less Gym in Hove is a great value gym with helpful staff and trainers. Free classes and not having to sign a contract make it a very popular choice. The Gym in Madeira Drive has 24 hour opening and a low cost. There are also the more expensive chains including LA Fitness, David Lloyd and Virgin Active.

King Alfred Leisure Centre in Hove has a great swimming pool with friendly staff. The larger pool has a slide. Brighton’s council-owned swimming pool is at the Prince Regent Swimming Complex in the city centre, which has four pools.

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