MUCH NEEDED ADVICE!!! Family move to Brighton & Hove from London

(15 Posts)
Wefster Mon 25-Apr-16 17:01:38


Please forgive me for the many questions I'm about to ask as our move involves Me, Mum, Sister and her DH and DS's (11 & 8) relocating from London to (hopefully) Brighton or Hove.

My Mum adores Hove, but is considering Seven Dials and Fiveways. Me, I love the houses around Blakers Park, but my Sis isn't feeling Brighton and Hove at all sad Her concerns are the tourist peak of summer and that parts of Brighton appear to be a wee bit run down and unloved. She's also concerned at the size of the secondary school offer as her DS has SEN and would find the size of the schools overwhelming. However, the free school, King's School sounds the perfect fit - I would really appreciate your views on secondary schools in both Hove and Brighton.

We're planning a trip next week and would readily welcome your thoughts on areas to visit. We're going to fit in a couple of house viewings; Poets Corner and Blakers Park - we will be on foot.

Sis's budget is £400,000 - 2/3 bed house - is this doable in Fiveways?

Mum's £650/700,000 - where are the houses that have decent sized gardens? (I know gardens aren't big)

From my own research B&H appears to be a haven for children/teens - so much to do - your thoughts would be most welcome on growing up in B&H and is it safe?

And finally, as none of us drive blush is a walk into Hove from Fiveways/The Lanes and visa versa doable on a regular basis?

Thanking you ooooodles in advance smile

OnlyinBrighton Thu 28-Apr-16 14:38:31

How long it will takes does depend on what end of Fiveways and which bit of Hove. From Blaker's Park it's about a 45 minute walk to Hove Cricket Ground, for example.

The council has a journey planner which will tell you how long it will take to get from A to B.

There's a direct bus from near Blaker's Park to Hov
e - the 5B.

In Fiveways, you won't really notice the tourists unless you go into town. And you'll soon discover which bits to avoid!

Ilovetiffanys Mon 02-May-16 00:02:52

Don't worry about the tourists - it's only really noticeable for few weeks in high Summer, and as OnlyinBrighton says, you soon learn which areas to avoid (and they are places you probably won't spend a lot of time in, anyway).

I've heard brilliant things about Kings School, and it is very small for a secondary, but I think it has a fairly tight catchment around West Hove/Poets Corner??? It might also have religious criteria for a proportion of its intake, but check it out, as I'm not really sure.

You totally don't need a car here, unless you need to go out of town lots. There are gazillions of buses. You can walk a lot of it too, although be warned that some bits are quite hilly!

You should get something with those budgets, but none of the areas you mention have much in the way of gardens. The biggest gardens I've seen tend to be a bit further out of the centre. If you're not worried about being in the most fashionable area, there are lots of perfectly nice, safe areas, with great bus routes, where you will get much more for your money - we've got friends who swapped a tiny flat in chi-chi Seven Dials for a nice three-bed with massive (for Brighton....) garden in Hangleton - and have a great primary for their kids to boot.

Wefster Mon 09-May-16 12:39:52

Thank you both for taking the time to reply - sorry for my late acknowledgement blush

OnlyinBrighton, thanks for the link - really helpful.

ilovetiffanys, thanks so much!

PestoSwimissimos Mon 09-May-16 12:46:48

Hi Wefster!

I would strongly suggest you pick up a copy of Latest Homes each time you're down visiting. It is a free weekly magazine available at the Estate Agents advertising property for sale in Brighton & Hove. It also has articles which are quite good smile

Wefster Mon 09-May-16 14:04:18

Thanks PestoSwimissimos smile

saveoursouls Wed 25-May-16 14:51:40

How did your rekkie with family go in the end, Wefser?
I'm very curious, as we have recently discovered Fiveways and are considering this as a move out of London, possibly in the next couple of years.
Which primaries would you be going for? I've heard the really great ones around Fiveways are all oversubscribed...

Wefster Thu 26-May-16 11:41:21

Hello Saveoursouls, Fiveways is lovely and seems to have a really nice family vibe, but in parts it's really hilly so can be troublesome if you have a buggy. Have yet to research primary schools but there appears to be a good selection. Properties west of Ditchling Road are much nicer - the area surrounding Blakers Park is gorg. I would also check out Poets Corner as I've been told the primary schools there are excellent. Hope that helps (still a newbie to B&H).

saveoursouls Wed 01-Jun-16 23:21:41

Thanks Wefster very helpful.
have heard Poets Corner is a blackspot for secondary though, de t the catchment only having one very good school in it - Blatchington Mill - and apparently, as the places are given via random allocation, you could get the one you want, or in the case of PC, any of the other 3 which aren't so good.
Visited Fiveways and loved it, though am worried about the secondaries...Varndean didn't impress me as much as D. Stringer, but yet again, it's all random allocation, not distance, so even if we buy very close to DS, we may get Varndean.
Also heard rumours that any good to outstanding primaries are chokka, so very little chance of getting an in year transfer for Y5/6 for us.

On the plus side, have been searching the private sector - something I've never done before because a) it doesn't sit well with me to send my DC private, as I'm a big supporter of the state system and b) we livei n London, so private is out of the question, even if we liked the idea, as it's prohibitively expensive.
There seem to be some outstanding private schools in brighton, which "only" charge around 2.5 - 3k per year. It's still a lot of money, but when compared to the 12-15k typically found as an annual London private school fee, it is a massive difference and possibly even affordable for us, at a push.
Maybe we'd consider applying to DS secondary, but have the back up of a private place if we don't get DS.
Would massively gall me to move our lives out there, starting from scratch, but then have to pay to go private because I don't get a place at DS and we live very close by, by then.
Buggy days are over for me now grin and live in a very hilly area of north London, so am reasonably hill fit!
How's life in Fiveways Wefster? I hope you're happy there flowers

AHobbyaweek Wed 01-Jun-16 23:26:35

I miss Brighton so much as now live in Bucks. I love visiting all the time and loved growing up there and always felt safe.
You quickly learn where and when to avoid town.

coffeecups Thu 02-Jun-16 12:51:19

The allocation for secondary schools is due to change for Sept 2018 and the consultation document for it is due autumn this year so I wouldn't base decisions on secondary until then. It's likely to remain random allocation and with huge catchment areas.

Primaries are all pretty over subscribed apart from in Bevendean and outer Hove /Portslade. places do come up in them in every year group but obviously at odd times.

Fiveways is very hilly whereas Poets corner is very flat. Have you considered parts of seven dials around Bhasvic, the hillfort roads have some lovely houses as does the Stanford area.

Wefster Thu 02-Jun-16 16:50:40

Thanks all for your posts - what a lovely community star

Saveoursouls thanks for the heads up on schools - private, although I share your views, it's worth a consideration.

We've yet to move, but have made a few visits to check out individual places. We've narrowed it down to areas within Fiveways, Seven Dials & Hove Park, although central Hove is lovely, but expensive. Being a central London gal our borough is the size of B&H so the distance between B&H is pretty minimal so happy to have a wide search radius.

We're just waiting for the 'perfect' house to pop up - available properties have been a wee bit slow sad Does B&H have a peak?

Can't wait to move... Our recent visits have been really positive - Brightonians & Hovies are genuinely lovely, the shopping is utterly gorgeous and there is so much on offer for all.

Good Luck with your search Saveoursouls - would love to hear how you get on.

Thanks again for taking the time to post!

Wefster x

saveoursouls Fri 03-Jun-16 22:25:43

Good luck with your move wefster whenever it happens!

I've been trawling Rightmove tbh, and finding some seriously lovely properties in Fiveways which are just what we could never afford here in London.
In fact, there are SO many properties coming up, I'm starting to get suspicious - is it because families are moving away, because of the secondary school nightmare?
Thanks for the post coffee - I've been hearing some real horror stories form other folk already in the area, re how nightmarish getting a secondary school place is. Partial random allocation, some kids not even getting a place in their own catchment and having to go miles out of the way, etc sounds like a big PITA.
If the only thing we can have any effect on - which is how close we can move to a good school - is taken away or doesn't even exist as an option, then I'm wondering what the point of Brighton is. It would be a huge move for us, primary school beforehand as well, changing jobs and everything really. The least I would want is to be able to choose the bloody school my DC goes to!
September 2018 is sadly going to be too late for us - DC will be starting Y7 in 2019, so we wouldn't have enough time to move for Y6 primary even.
Shame - I loved the idea of living out there however briefly sad
Hope you have a brilliant new life out there wefster! x

ummlilia Sat 04-Jun-16 11:43:56

just an addendum to this- there are consulatations going on regarding a massive shake up of catchment areas in Brighton- so as to what the arrangements will be in 2018 , nobody knows. See

Scootagal Tue 07-Jun-16 11:22:14

Hello everyone!

We too are Londoners (SE) thinking of moving to Brighton...and in all the areas you mentioned so following with interest.

My little one is only 2.5 so I'm thinking that we shouldn't worry about the secondary issue for now...although that might not be wise - who knows!

Have any of you got any definite plans for moving yet? We are still (after 2 or 3 years of umming and ahhing!) looking at all the options. I'm finding it very difficult to make the decision!!

Do you work in London? If so - would you be commuting? It's another consideration for us...

Anyway - not really adding much to the conversation - just interested in following how other people are getting on smile

Good luck!

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