If you’re looking to relocate to a whole new county, then you could do far worse than consider the delights of Sussex. It’s often said that Sussex is such a typically “English” county that a walk through its various landscapes encapsulates a glimpse of the whole country! Additionally, with its delightful coastlines, cliff-tops and beaches as well as stunning inland countryside and places of natural interest, the county of Sussex can offer the best of both worlds if you’re undecided whether you’d like coastal or country living… as well as a lot more besides:
Country side and green spaces
With both woodland and undulating open spaces, the South Downs is one of the principally recognised country parks, in West Sussex, with picturesque villages such as Ditchling and Cuckfield nestling in the area. However, green spaces are found right across the county, with the Sussex stretch of the High Weald’s 1461 square kilometres of medieval landscape lying to the east of the county, and many pockets of delightful countryside in between.
Towns and cities
Although Chichester and Lews are regarded administratively as Sussex’s main county towns, the vibrant hub of Brighton, along with its more refined neighbour of Hove, form the undisputed fun “capital” of Sussex. With far-reaching city amenities for business, retail, culture and education, historic buildings such as the Royal Pavillion and the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange and a very lively community which is greatly assisted by its own freeview television channel, Latest TV, the Brighton area is a vibrant Sussex hub. Other large towns in the area include Worthing, Crawley, Eastbourne, Hastings, Newhaven, Bognor Regis and Horsham, all of which offer their own exciting histories and busy communities.
And speaking of busy communities, many Sussex towns have their own events calendars. Many of the coastal towns such as Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne offer costume events such as carnivals, whilst Hastings has famously taken on Penzance in its annual record-breaking challenge for most pirates in one place! With its stunning coastline, many coastal towns of Sussex have a full range of waterside events, including boating, rowing, surfing, kite surfing and wind surfing.
Access to London
Another benefit of a home in Sussex is proximity to London, as some parts of Sussex are within a 30 minute train journey of the capital’s centre. In recent years other areas, particularly coastal towns, have seen significant improvements in rail services, including ‘fast rail’ services which have cut commuting time from a couple of hours to just over an hour to some London stations.
Whatever your preferred type of community, Sussex offers every possible choice from tiny hamlets and village life to busy towns and cities. What the majority of these have in common is a full community spirit which encompasses group activities and caters for many individual interests which reflect the area, such as local walking and history clubs.
Low crime rates
According to figures released by the local Sussex newspaper, The Argus, crime in Sussex dropped by 7% in 2013.
A hub for history
With its history of invasion and smuggling, Sussex is an absolute hub for local history. Historical places of interest include Hastings, one of the famous Cinque Port towns as well as the medieval towns of Rye and Winchelsea, both of which were associated with the Cinque Ports confederation and offer plenty of historic properties and their own place in the intriguing story of smuggling in ancient Sussex. Chichester offers a magnificent cathedral and there are famous local castles to be found at Lewes, Arundel, Herstmonceux and Bodiam, which is a National Trust venue. Certainly National Trust and English Heritage members will get their money’s worth out of a residence in Sussex, with historic properties such as Rudyard Kipling’s home Bateman’s at Burwash and Virginia Woolf’s Monk’s House near Lewes. The famous Battle Abbey and Battlefield, Camber Castle and Pevensey Castle are among several exciting English Heritage sites in the county.
Coastline, beaches and piers
Although towns such as Brighton, Hastings and Eastbourne have struggled with burned out piers in recent years, the result is that new piers are up and coming as part of restoration projects, whilst Brighton has a second exciting pier to visit. Also dotted along the coastline are Littlehampton pier and Worthing pier, as well as a succession of Blue-Flag quality beaches along the county coastline.
Of course as well as the beaches, the rugged coastline also offers plenty of cliff-top interest, including the fascinating Ecclesbourne Glen and Firehills of Hastings, the famous Beachy Head near Eastbourne, which is just east of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs at Birling Gap, a beautiful cliff-face comparable to the white cliffs of Dover, over in Kent.
Since the Care Quality Commission came into power, it’s never been easier to check the health care quality of an area when considering a move across country. In September 2014 the CQC announced that the local Surrey and Sussex Healthcare Trust has received a rating of ‘good’, one of only 9 trusts to do so.
Weather conditions in parts of West Sussex are so mild that it’s known as ‘The English Riviera’. This is largely because it’s generally tucked away from the Atlantic depressions which bring the worst of the UK’s wet and windy weather. Average temperatures in summer months are often higher than the UK average, making the area a suitable choice if you’re looking to grow-your-own fruits and vegetables. If climate is a specific consideration, then the UK’s Met Office offers a comprehensive explanation on the general climate of the county.
Of course, buying a home is an investment with a value which can go down as well as up, but generally, homes in Sussex tend to offer reasonably good prospects, particularly in terms of commutability to London, especially as the highways and railways of the area continue to be developed to provide improved links to these areas.
Finally, for those looking to settle in Sussex with a more international commute in mind, Gatwick airport, the second largest airport in the UK is in West Sussex and is generally an easy drive from most of the county’s major towns (and even those smaller villages). Alternatively, the high speed train link across the channel to Europe is easily accessed via Sussex mainline train links to Ashford in neighbouring Kent.
For more information on a move to Sussex feel free to take a look at Alliance Removals.