Local Talk

Moving to Hastings...

(104 Posts)
surreymumwithone Wed 19-Sep-12 09:28:31

Hello - I hope some of you Hastings Mum's out there can help me. We (me, DH and DD) are planning a move to Hastings from Surrey/West London and while I know that most people look on here for info on schools, my request is more for areas we can register an interest in with the estate agents as we've just come back from 10 days in Hastings and are a bit lost about where to avoid. A bit of background, DH will be commuting to London and has all of that sorted and I am a SAHM. Our Daughter is 4 and will be home educated due to disability and ongoing health issues. So we aren't looking at Hastings for work or schools, just for a lifestyle change and a better way of life for my Daughter who needs fresh air and all of the sensory wonders that come along with being so near to the sea. We love Hastings Old Town and had found a wonderful house, however as with most properties in the Old Town, it was next door but one to a pub and I'm just not sure we are ready for that with a little one. I don't know if it helps but we love the feel of the Old Town and Fishing Quarter, along with all of the roads at the top of West Hill. Obviously, sea views would be wonderful but more importantly is a nice area and parking as my Daughter is physically disabled and it would be great to not have to use a chair to get from home to the car. We are open to any area as we have no real restrictions and have a good budget for each month but we've found some conflicting information online about Hastings in general (from DO NOT MOVE THERE to best decision we ever made) so finding info on which areas to look at or better yet, which areas to avoid, has been impossible. I know that each town has good and bad and we aren't stuck up at all, its just worrying being blind and moving there with a child. If it was just the two of us, we would have loved the house next a pub and all that went along with that. I might be barking up the wrong tree by posting this here so if I am, I apologise. I'm just stumped. Thanks in advance smile

OhDearNigel Sat 22-Sep-12 11:46:28

Hastings and St Leonards is a lovely area to live. My DH is from Hastings, all his family and friends are there and we will be moving back in the next 3 years (we're in Eastbourne at the moment but both work in Hastings/Bexhill).

How much are you looking to spend, are you buying or renting ? The area near Alexandra Park is really nice as is St Leonards around the Silverhill area where you get a lot of property for your money. As with any large town there are pockets of dodgy areas, definitely avoid the Warrior Square area and the town centre of Hastings. Ore village is nice, as is the area directly behind the Old Town. We have looked at several properties in that area.

OhDearNigel Sat 22-Sep-12 11:50:05

this house is in a nice area of Silverhill, within an easy walk of a new ASDA and a really good Chinese takeaway, buses and some small shops.

OhDearNigel Sat 22-Sep-12 11:50:54

And John Bray estate agency specialises in property in the Old Town.

OhDearNigel Sat 22-Sep-12 11:52:36

mmm this also ticks your boxes www.johnbrayea.co.uk/property-detail.php?id=1546

JaquelineHyde Sat 22-Sep-12 12:00:03

Hello I've lived in Hastings most of my life and know the area very well.

PersonallyI would tell you to avoid the Silverhill area and all of central St Leonards.

The Westhill is ok but not somewhere I would ever choose to live.

I have lived in the Old Town and in the winter it is very quite but in the summer it is always noisy and busy and parking at all times of year is a nightmare.

The area behind the old town (going up the hill towards the Westhill) is Clive Vale and is a very nice area with easy access to the Old Town, beach and the East Hill and country park - I have also lived here.

I would avoid Ore village it is an awful place to live.

The area near Alexander Park in known as the Blacklands area and is again a very nice area (I have lived here as well) but it is very popular and so prices and availability reflect this.

If you were able to look slightly further along the coast I would suggest you do as I feel Bexhill and Eastbourne (and places inbetween) are far superior places to live but obviously this is a personal choice.

Having spent nearly 30 years in the area I can confidently say I know it very, very well. I have lived in the worst places in Hastings and the best places. I will be happy to offer you advice on any areas or specific roads etc etc just give me a shout.

JaquelineHyde Sat 22-Sep-12 12:06:37

Just to highlight if parking is a major point for you I would never, ever pick the Old Town.

Also when I said area behind the Old Town I meant heading towards the EastHill not the WestHill. smile

marykat2004 Sat 29-Sep-12 15:36:32

@JaquelineHyde, what exactly do you mean by "central St Leonards"? And why is it so bad? I don't know if you know London at all, but is that part of St Leonards "bad" like Hackney or like Peckham or Clapton?

We are also looking to move, but have different requirements than OP. Maybe I should start a new thread? Is it ok to start threads like this asking about areas of a town?

Also, from what I have heard from others: avoid Hollington.

And West St Leonards looked good if you have a car and want a nice quiet time. I'm hesitant because we don't drive but the gardens out that way are lovely.

JaquelineHyde Sat 29-Sep-12 19:44:43

Central St Leonards is in my mind is anywhere from Warrior Square up to Silverhill. Hollington then leads off that.

Yes it is as bad as the places you mentioned (obviously all areas have some good streets but they are massively outweighed by the bad areas)

West St Leonrads has some lovely areas, feel free to run them by me so I can give you a better idea as it is all very hit and miss smile Transport shouldn't be an issue as there are plenty of regular buses that wizz through and west st leonards has its own train station. Again this could all change depending on where exactly you choose so just run it by me.

marykat2004 Sun 30-Sep-12 11:05:25

Southwater Road. Woodland vale road - just up the from Southwater road but suddenly looks very leafy and suburban on street view.

The thing about street view is that a lot places look nice. Unless there is a housing estate. There is only one house we cancelled the viewing because I looked at street view and saw it was too near a massive block. I've lived on 3 estates in London but especially with the way they've been sold off, the one where I live now is actually very nice. A good mixture of private leaseholders and tenants, people who have been here for decades, and families with young children. I am sure in Hastings estates are not going to be nice like that. So I will avoid those areas near estates for sure.

susiegrapevine Sun 30-Sep-12 11:22:59

Ok people say warrior square is bad but I lived there admitttedly 5yrs ago and never had any problems I think once somewhere has a bad rep it cannot shake it so peoples opinions would always differ. Old town next to a pub with a child I would say no way as it can get very roudy with drunks around old town at night especially around certain times of year such as may day. I live a 10 min walk from twon centre in the braybrooke area which is far enough away from town for the drunks not be a problem but close enough that I can walk to town. Tho dunno about a wheelchair because as with most places in hastings it is up a big hill. And its permit parking but visitors can park for 2hrs so you would want somewhere with off road parking. Just avoid the big housing association estates and you will be ok I reckon and right in the town/old town centre as night life big events and parking could be a problem with a yòung child but as I said its all opinion and unless someone lives there now I don't think they can comment.

marykat2004 Sun 30-Sep-12 11:33:18

To OP - I liked the look of West St Leonards a lot. The hills seem to be more gentle than the steep hills that are in Hastings/Warrior square. And there is plenty of parking in West St Leonards.

I personally don't want to be near a pub so that is a factor for us when looking. Too near the sea front and there is bound to be rowdiness at night.

JaquelineHyde Sun 30-Sep-12 13:44:10

Southwater Road and Woodland Vale Road I would say no to.

I have lived in most of the worst places in Hastings and have friends that still live in these areas. They hate it and if they could move they would.

If I was a young, single person again then I would possibly chance the area again as there is so much more you can cope with and ignore as not important. However, with a family to consider, schools to pick and remembering my children will be socialising within the area it all gets a lot more tricky. If I had to live in Hastngs again the areas I would pick would be hugely limited and very selective.

Oh and street view lies grin

marykat2004 Sun 30-Sep-12 13:57:28

So what areas would you choose? West Hill? Alexander Park? That park area is nice but above our budget. Same with Marina. My friend told me to look West of London Road and on Marina sea front, but we could only afford flats in that area and the point of moving is to have more space sad

JaquelineHyde Sun 30-Sep-12 17:52:41

Old Town, Clive Vale and Blacklands (Alexander Park) There are other pockets of areas in parts of west st leonards and between The Ridge and William Parker School.

If I had the choice I would pick Bexhill (again being careful with area) or even better Eastbourne.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Sun 30-Sep-12 23:56:23

Jaqueline - there are some very dodgy areas in Eastbourne, just as there are in Hastings. There are plenty of areas of Eastbourne that are just as rough, if not rougher as Warrior Square.
Put it this way, we are looking at moving in a couple of years time from a nice area of Eastbourne to St Leonards/Bexhill/Hastings. We both work for the police, DH has policed in Hastings for most of his service, we are looking at WSL and Silverhill being pretty decent areas to live where you get a lot of property for your money.

I've lived in Eastbourne for 36 years. It's alright but it's not exactly some sort of wonderful mecca.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 00:00:31

I would agree with Jaqueline to avoid those streets you have listed. The area around de Cham is not really very nice.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 00:05:16

MaryKat, would this place float your boat ? It's in Blacklands and near a good primary school (Blacklands) - which is where DH and his sister went to primary

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 00:07:09

or this ?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 00:08:18

OhDearSpareHeadTwo, which would you say are the dodgy bits of Eastbourne?

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 00:08:32

Or you could also buy this one.

I know that's a nice area cos it's right opposite PIL's house wink

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 00:12:46

aufaniae variously:

Anything off Central Avenue, Royal Sussex Crescent
Milfoil drive and surrounding streets
Area around Langney shopping centre esp Faversham Road, Sevenoaks and Pembury
Poets Estate in Langney (in fact much of Langney) especially including Pensford Drive
Pockets of the town centre
Most of Hampden Park

I would not live in those areas if they paid me to live in them in a beautiful, original Art Deco house fully furnished with period pieces...

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 00:14:23

In fact, there is a lot of Eastbourne I wouldn't touch with a bargepole

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 08:20:04

Oh bum. We're considering moving to a house which is just off Central Avenue! Sad to see it first on your list!

Why would you avoid the area? (Please be honest, I can take it!)

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 09:02:45

How lovely to wake to all the house suggestions this morning. thank you OhDearSpareHeadTwo. One was on our list already but Blacklands is full in DD's year (still, it seems like a big school so that could change..?). One I have no idea how I missed because I'm on RightMove every day. And the one near the hospital, I know that's far from stations and we don't drive. Thank you for suggestions.

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 09:03:36

(though we might have to consider driving in the future if we want to live in a decent area with a good size garden...)

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:04:34

It is an area of deprivation and quite a lot of antisocial behaviour, there are some dodgy families living there. Which road are you looking at ? Some bits are OK but if you're near one of the "pockets" you'd be better not to go there.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 09:06:04

MaryKat, there is a bus that is 2 minute walk from that house in Hazelwood which runs down to Hastings station/town centre. It is a nice area and a very quiet cul-de-sac where your children can play in the road smile

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 09:26:08

Thanks for the reply OhDearSpareHeadTwo, I appreciate it (and sorry for the hijack, everyone else!)

We're considering North Avenue. It seemed nice to me. Not the poshest area, sure, but lots of families, near a great school and also easy access to the Downs. Have I got my rose-tinted glasses on perhaps?! It is one of the "pockets"?

Please be honest!

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 10:10:30

I wouldn't buy anything in North Avenue, sorry. Cavalry Crescent, Royal Sussex and Command Road are all "well known" streets for ASB and synonymous with trouble and they all lead off that road. Sorry but hopefully that might save you some problems in the future. It might be fine but I wouldn't take the risk

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 10:36:22

I come from an area in London which is very deprived, in places. (Fairly open crack dealing in the street, on my old road fro many years, for example, and people wandering around begging for money for more crack - until the dealers were all busted about 2 years ago).

Comparing the crime stats of that area of EB and my old area makes interesting reading! Eastbourne BN20 vs Clapton, Hackney

100 crimes recorded for August in BN20 compared to 1755 in E5!

Obviously, Hackney's much more densely populated, that site doesn't compare crime to population. However I wonder if coming from such a rough area does give me rose tinted glasses, a bit, when it comes to what I see as a much safer place in comparison?

We did consider Hastings / St Leonards, but decided against as it seemed silly to move out of one deprived area and go find another one!

Am we doing this here though?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 10:38:44

Sorry again for the hijack, people. May I offer you a link to this site as way of an apology!

It might be useful in choosing areas - it has info on crime stats by postcode.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 10:54:55

In that case North Avenue will probably seem like Primrose Hill grin.

You get much more property for your money in SLOS/Hastings - £200,000 will buy you a nice, big house in a nice area over there whereas in Eastbourne it will buy you a cupboard in a nice area...

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 10:58:18

And if you know the areas to avoid I would say that the Hastings area is no more deprived than Eastbourne. There's a lot more going on for families as well; a lot of money has been pumped into Hastings' regeneration in the last decade and it is now starting to show. I really love Hastings, despite being a born and bred Eastbournian - and am looking forward to moving over there in a few years.
There is a better selection of senior schools in Hastings/Bexhill/SLOS as well - including two single sex ex-grammars with very good reputations.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 11:16:04

If we had £200k, we'd have our pick of areas - more like £150K sadly!

FWIW I really like Hastings / St Leonards too. If I didn't have DCs to think about, we'd have moved there in a flash, it's got an arty/boho feel in places which I like and which is lacking a bit in EB I feel. However our other main reason against is I need to get to Brighton, and the areas we liked to live as a family (e.g. Blacklands) weren't near a station so my commute would have been horrendous. We saw a lovely place on the Bexhill Road, fantastic garden. But again it was the commute that put me off, even before we got into looking at what the area was like.

We've been renting in EB two years now, and really like it. However we're currently in Upperton, which is lovely I think. Need to decide this week if we're going for the place in Old Town. I'm having a major wobble here!

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:34:38

how many beds do you need and how near mainline station ?

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:43:04

have you considered Polegate ? Property is cheaper there than in EB and you're on the Brighton line. You'll always get a garden although most of the houses are post war so if you like period property you would be unlucky

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 11:43:28

3 beds, but not box rooms! We looked at lots of lovely houses around the Whitley Road area, but the ones in our budget all had teeny-tiny bedrooms, and titchy gardens - we'd have to get rid of loads of stuff! We need two double bedrooms really.

The most important consideration for us is schools. We need to put DS's name down for a primary in January. In Eastbourne we want to be in catchment for Pashley Down, Motcoombe or Bourne (yes I know historically Bourne has a bad reputation, but the people I know who have actually had anything to do with it recently say they're very impressed. Ofsted rate it good also).

In Hastings we liked the look of Blacklands school, and there was one other (I forget which one now) but there were both too far from the train station and that ruled them out really.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 11:44:25

We did consider Polegate, but didn't see anything we liked - well not anything we could afford anyway!

BedHog Mon 01-Oct-12 11:49:51

I would say to all those thinking of moving to Hastings and wanting a nice area - please don't automatically discount flats. Many of the nicest areas - Blacklands, Alexandra Park, Upper St Leonards (Combermere Rd etc), The Green, Lower Clive Vale etc. are made up of enormous Victorian properties. A building which was originally a 7 bedroom townhouse with servants quarters, and has now been divided into 2 or 3 flats, will give you far more space and character than a small 3 bed terrace for the same money or less.

BedHog Mon 01-Oct-12 11:53:51

aufaniae - Have you looked at Lower Park Road in Hastings? Not sure if anything is available atm, but it's a 10 min walk to Blacklands, and about the same to Hastings Station, lovely houses too.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 11:56:12

Whereabouts in upperton are you living now aufaniae ?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:06:33

BedHog, not specifically - off to look at Rightmove now smile

OhDeadSpareHeadTwo we're not far from the station, our place is lovely - but it's rented and we're looking to buy. I'd love to buy this place - but that's not even a remote possibility!

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:07:48

One of the things we liked about the North Avenue place is that it's in catchment for Pashley Down, which is an outstanding infants school by all accounts.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:09:35

yes, Pashley is excellent. We live in South Street so not too far from you.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:16:38

There is a similar house to the one you're looking at, Aufanie, just up the road in Beechy Avenue here. Pashley is at the end of Beechy and it's not as dodgy an area as North Av.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:20:55

this is also a nicer area than North Avenue but in the catchment for Pashley/Motcombe etc

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:32:03

Thanks OhDearSpareHeadTwo, really nice of you to have a look for us!

The Beechy Avenue one is lovely - but only a 2 bed, we need 3 really.

I've seen the Filtching Road one before, but assumed that they probably wouldn't accept the offer we'd want to make. We've got £150K to spend, but that includes any renovations, and that place needs at least a little work to make it ours. So, it's out of our price range really I think.

It's only round the corner from the roads you've been talking about though, do a couple of streets really make so much difference?

South Street is really nice smile

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:35:21

BedHog there's nothing on near Blacklands at the moment sad - apart from this which is nicely presented but tiny bedrooms and bath.

The other school which gets a good OFSTED in Hastings is Little Ridge I think, but it's too far from the station for us.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:36:33

yes, they really do. The problem families all seem to be concentrated in one small area and it would be the areas around there that I would avoid.
It's really odd - we were talking about this very area on Friday in the office and saying that some of it is OK but that none of us that know the area would touch Central Av, RSC or the one I mentioned up thread.

No harm in making an offer - we made an offer once for £75k less than the asking price and it was accepted ! You don't know what the circs are, it could be a probate sale (from the decor it could be) and the sellers just want to get some money. What's the worst that could happen ? they can only laugh at you :D And they might say yes - particularly if it's been on the market a while. Sellers like FTBs at the moment as you have no chain

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:39:00

Little Ridge is a really good school, my manager's daughter goes there and they have a very good academic record. We will be looking to send DD there as it is near to MILs and SILs (DD and DN would be in the same class if they both got in to LR)

There is a good bus route that serves northern St Leonards up by William Parker School which stops at Hastings station, takes about 10 minutes. It is an awfully long commute by train to Brighton though.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:41:09

Ah, we do have a chain sadly! We own a flat back in London. The sale seems to be all going through OK (fingers crossed).

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 12:42:50

So if the sale had gone through you'd be in a really strong bargaining position. I say make an offer of 140 on the Filching Road one smile

BedHog Mon 01-Oct-12 12:49:27

Little ridge has a tiny catchment area as it's in a modern estate with loads of families.

Other good schools in Hastings are Silverdale, Dudley Infants, St Pauls, Robsack. Probably others I don't know much about. Hollington and Red Lake seem to be the ones to avoid, just going on reputation.

BedHog Mon 01-Oct-12 12:57:24

aufaniae - slightly over budget but about 15 mins from Blacklands and 10-15 mins walk from station.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 13:04:03

BedHog - lovely, you have great taste!

But it's a 2 bed, and the two nearest schools are Elphinstone and Castledown. In Eastbourne I was told you'll get into your nearest school, basically - anything else is a risk.

Is that true in Hastings, do you think?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 13:04:26

OhDearSpareHeadTwo I sent you a PM.

JaquelineHyde Mon 01-Oct-12 17:54:37

Aufaniae yes Hastings does have a closest school policy and Elphinstone is not a school you want to get stuck with.

I suppose it all boils down to personal taste and for me personally Eastbourne is handsdown the better town regardless of the usual deprived areas you get in every town.

My brother also in the police and has been for nearly 20 years lives in Eastbourne and has policed every area of Sussex and has stated he would never, ever buy or rent in the Hastings and St Leonards area.

Polegate is also very lovely (lived there too) and has a nice school and good transport links.

Hastings can be wonderful but you must, must be selective. One of my other brothers lives quite happily in a nice house not far from the hospital, never has any trouble and has lovely neighbours.

I'm not saying it is all bad, of course it's not but you are much more likely to end up in what I would consider a bad area in Hastings than you are in Eastbourne. Schools in Eastbourne are also considered far superior to Hastings schools and current policy is making a real mess of the secondary school provision. However, that all depends on how much value you place in Ofsted reports etc.

As far as Bourne in Eastbourne goes I would advise against it as a choice if you can find an alternative.

From the point of social services I know that Hastings is the area with much higher deprivation and social problems...Remember there is always a reason you get more for your money housing wise.

Hullygully Mon 01-Oct-12 17:58:45

I live in Hastings.

It is wonderful.

People go to EB to die.

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 18:01:31

aufaniae - I love the postcode comparison. I have just typed in where we live now compared to Warrior Square. We had 1586 crimes compared to 552 in Warrior Square. I know that's not the answer to everything but it is certainly food for thought. Thanks.

JaquelineHyde Mon 01-Oct-12 18:02:29

No people go to Bexhill to die grin (where I am now waiting for my house in eb to complete)

Hullygully Mon 01-Oct-12 18:03:28

They go to Bexhill to wait to go to EB to die.

It's a natural progression.

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 18:37:42

JaquelineHyde, are you sure "Hastings does have a closest school policy"? When I phoned St Paul's I asked if there was a catchment area, they said "no", "because there were places in that year". But still we don't want to be too far from a chosen school so will be looking at schools before making a final decision.

A friend had her heart set on Old Town but the only school she liked was Robsack Wood. So she didn't move in the end because those 2 places are too far from each other. We're still open to all of it, just researching as much as possible before making decisions.

JaquelineHyde Mon 01-Oct-12 18:48:24

Sorry I was talking about during usual addmissions time not in year addmissions which is all about what places are available regardless of location.

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 19:08:39

oh I see. Thanks for clarifying. My DD's school was way oversubscribed in reception but places come up in later years more often. I was surprised how far away some of the new pupils (in year 3) live. So it must be like that everywhere. Thanks.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 20:56:04

The thing is that all of this is relative. If you've come from Moss Side or here probably even the roughest part of Warrior Square is going to be nice. If you've come from Jersey probably the whole of East Sussex is pretty rough in comparison. Jaqueline's dodgy area could be very nice for someone else.

Someone I know is a horrible neighbour. She has made threats to report them to social services, bangs on their ceiling in the middle of the night and writes them nasty notes. This is all in an extremely expensive area of Eastbourne, behind the closed doors of a beautiful converted Edwardian house. You can live in the roughest area of the world and have no issues at all because you have wonderful neighbours, you can live in luxury and be miserable because your neighbours are vile.

Unfortunately you just don't know until you move into a house

Hullygully Mon 01-Oct-12 20:59:53

I love lovely Hastings.

So there.

We have hundreds of artists and musicians, endless festivals: Jack in the Green, Bonfire, Seafood and Wine, Walking the Fish, Coastal Currents...the Old Town, the sea, and most stuff is free because no one has any money. People are inclusive, friendly and welcoming, more than any place I've lived (inc 30 yrs in London, rough and posh).

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 01-Oct-12 21:02:13

Are you going to Hastings Week Hully ? I thought I might come over for the day next tuesday with DD and maybe do one of the guided walks round the old town followed by lunch in Harris tapas - it's doing a "tapas feast" menu for £10.99 for two grin

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 21:05:08

My friend's mum just moved to Hollington. She's from Burnley. She'll be ok there. So, yes, it's relative.

TeamEdward Mon 01-Oct-12 21:10:08

Heartily agree with Hully. Hastings is fab. Fab fab fab fab fab.

Discolite Mon 01-Oct-12 21:44:45

Hastings is great. I've lived in two big cities too but I love it here. It has real character and there is always something going on.

Downsides are the transport links (takes an hour to get to the M25 and the train to Charing Cross I have just worked out has an average speed of 36mph which is laughable) and the lack of some big chain shops like H&M BUT it is worth it for the sea, surrounding gorgeous countryside and cheap house prices.

I'd avoid the area around Warrior Sq, Hollington and some roads in central St Leonards but you can trust your instincts - if the area looks dodgy and there are shady characters wandering around then there you go. Silverhill is ok in my opinion. Having said that most of both towns is fine compared to big cities!

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 22:29:29

Totally agree it's relative.

The inner city areas DP and I grew up in are very rough indeed in parts. The deprivation is severe (crack / heroin / street prostitution / guns / gangs / street crime). It was relatively easy to avoid as an adult, but one of the main reasons we left was that we didn't want DS going to school with children who were living such awfully chaotic lives at home, he would have been exposed to terrible situations through them I think, and the teenage gangs would have been a real worry as he got older.

We had a drive round Royal Sussex Crescent and surrounding roads this afternoon, because of this thread - as we're due to sign the contract this week so we wanted to be sure! We were looking for obvious signs of deprivation.

What we saw were mostly very well-kept gardens and houses. Young children out on their bikes in full safety gear. Plenty of expensive cars in driveways. No graffiti anywhere at all (graffiti can be a sign of gangs). Absolutely no abandoned cars, derelict buildings or dodgy-looking people hanging about. We did see a "yoof" on a moped - but he politely pulled aside to let our car past!

I'm very grateful to OhDearSpareHeadTwo for filling us in on the reputation of the nearby streets. We will move in with our eyes open!

However it's so much less threatening than what we're used to. I'm still looking forward to moving in, having a house with a bit of space, DS going to the local outstanding school and having the Downs right on our doorstep smile

marykat2004 Mon 01-Oct-12 23:10:06

Oh I totally agree, too. I don't want my DD going to school with children whose parents are on drugs, or in prison, huge problems at home, etc, either. There are very few single parents in the school where she is now. She might complain about people being snobby but I'd rather snobby people than crackheads any day! Obviously. So, yes, it's relative, and there must be a happy medium somewhere between crackheads and snobs, surely plenty of people are neither of those. Maybe I will even have a chat with the local police in St Leonards. I'm pretty friendly with the police around where I live now. Just to get a feel for a place, surely police would know better than anyone where the real bad problems are? Or is that ridiculous?

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 23:26:51

Actually, saying "less threatening" is not giving the area due credit.

We reckon it looks nice smile Lots of families doing normal family stuff.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 23:33:19

marykat I think good schools matter loads.

I notice people often recommend a long list of schools in Hastings / St Leonards, but the only non religious schools in Hastings which have decent OFSTED reports are Blacklands and Little Ridge IIRC. (Or is Little Ridge St Leonards?)

And then in St Leonards, West St Leonards gets a good report - and also another one right out on the edge of town. But I heard someone say they really didn't think West St Leonards was a nice place.

I'm not local so I have absolutely no inside knowledge on these schools! This is just as far as our research got when we were looking at Hastings as a possibility.
There may well be some goof religious schools too - I don't know as we didn't look at them.

I don't know how much you should go by OFSTED rather than local recommendations? I suspect that's a debate in itself!

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Tue 02-Oct-12 00:06:13

Little Ridge is up near the Conquest hospital (in Little Ridge Avenue). Blacklands primary is up by Alexandra park in the middle of a 70s housing estate (where PILs lived when they had a young family).

There are a couple of CofE primary schools and of course you have St Richards Catholic High School in Bexhill as short train ride away.

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Tue 02-Oct-12 00:06:18

Little Ridge is up near the Conquest hospital (in Little Ridge Avenue). Blacklands primary is up by Alexandra park in the middle of a 70s housing estate (where PILs lived when they had a young family).

There are a couple of CofE primary schools and of course you have St Richards Catholic High School in Bexhill as short train ride away.

BedHog Tue 02-Oct-12 09:55:31

Hully what is 'Walking The Fish'? I've been in Hastings for 30 years and have never heard of that!

Discolite I heard a rumour that H&M are moving into the old Next shop in Priory Meadow. So then Hastings will be perfect!! grin

Hullygully Tue 02-Oct-12 11:51:58

Might be away for Hastings Week sadly.

Walking the Fish is where all the school kids make fish on sticks (the Radiator stuff) and then they do a procession along the sea front. So sweet.

susiegrapevine Tue 02-Oct-12 11:54:27

I love living in hastings too. Good local transport links lots of quirky independant shops in old town and enough chain shops to do for most trips. Lots of stuff to do. I hated being in bexhill as a teenager, no where to go, nothing to do! Loved it when my mum 1st gave me permisson to go on the train to hastings. However rose tinted specs aside I think its still true that hastings is the most deprived area in the south east (excluding london) and the 34th most deprived area in the country. But because of this we get lots of extra services for kids and the like. Still I love living here and when I hear dh talking about his childhood in london around 15yrs ago I feel glad I grew up in this area even if it was mostly bexhill its still a reletively good area only down sides are the transport links out of the town as previously stated and lack of jobs in the local area that pay well.

TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:13:21

Nowhere else in the world has 2 funicular railways. Most places don't even have one.

Hullygully Tue 02-Oct-12 12:36:15

AND the largest beach based fishing fleet in Europe

And the last place in England to be Christianised

TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:37:32

AND that old Mr Baird discovered the television there didn't he.

Hullygully Tue 02-Oct-12 12:40:42

I hate that sign Birthplace of Television

makes me shudder

TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:44:33

Write them a letter. Tell them. I always want to turn the cafe next to it around a bit. They'll put it in the wrong place. It really irks me.

AND I want to knock all the walls down and start again. The stupid bit at the back where you order drives me insane. Everytime I go in there I swear quietly, constantly. I just stand there saying 'forfuckssake, forfuckssake' over and over, louder and louder.

Phew, glad I got that off my chest. It was weighing heavier than I thought.

Hullygully Tue 02-Oct-12 12:48:00

the cafe?

what cafe?

TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 12:50:55

At the top. Where the railway goes. Isn't that where he dicovered telly? By the telescope?

silverfrog Tue 02-Oct-12 12:57:39

There always used to be a sign up in the arcade - Queen's Walk? where the 1066 bakery used o be, before the fire; at the back of where Ward's was (again, before the fire) which said JLB first trnsmitted televised pictures as a result of experiments carried out in that workshop.

Hullygully Tue 02-Oct-12 13:04:32

the sign is on the way in tho, if you come from Rye direction


TuftyFinch Tue 02-Oct-12 13:13:27

No, never ever seen that sign. Ever. There's some plaque sort of thing at the top. I thought you meant that. But it appears there are multiple signs. All over.

susiegrapevine Tue 02-Oct-12 13:41:39

There is a whole wewbsite dedicated to blue plaques in hastings we have sooooo many! Look on there just google search for it.

silverfrog Tue 02-Oct-12 15:07:41

There is a sign on ebdens hill too, just before the flyover at Junction Road - the mosaic-y tourism one, along with the twinning one, which says "birthplace of television". JLB's workshop was in Queens arcade, iirc, but the first pictures were transmitted from elsewhere.

BedHog Tue 02-Oct-12 18:06:25

He did some of the television experimentation in a house at the bottom of Ghyllside Avenue too.

TeamEdward Tue 02-Oct-12 22:21:03

Ghyllside Avenue?! Really?! I could spit on there from where I am!

BedHog Wed 03-Oct-12 07:36:14

Yes, the big house that's straight in front of you as you turn in from St Helens Road.

<dodges TeamEdward spit>

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 08-Oct-12 01:58:11

Really ? I must have driven past it a million times - pils live in Hazelwood Gardens off old roar road

BedHog Mon 08-Oct-12 07:57:29

I spent much of my childhood in Hazelwood Gardens!! Several of my friends lived there!!

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 08-Oct-12 08:29:28

Pils only moved there about 6 years ago, they lived in playden gardens and other places before. If you grew up in hastings you probably know someone in our family - Tritton

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 08-Oct-12 08:32:22

Sorry, posted too quickly - everyone seems to know one of DH, SIL or BIL ! Sil is a midwife at the conquest and Bil works for Hams, dh is a policeman (moving back to hastings uniform patrol next week)

BedHog Mon 08-Oct-12 09:46:04

Ooh, I wonder if your SIL delivered either of my children?! Can't think of any Trittons I know, but I know lots of people without knowing their surnames iykwim.

...and I've never been arrested so prob don't know your DH!!! wink

OhDearSpareHeadTwo Mon 08-Oct-12 12:19:24

If they were born in the conquest in the last 7/8 years there's a possibility you'd have seen her although she was on maternity leave in 2010 and is on mat leave at the moment.

TeamEdward Mon 08-Oct-12 13:04:45

I laboured so long with DS1 I think that every midwife and the cleaner in the Conquest had a good look at my cervix.

AGeeksWife Fri 12-Oct-12 07:15:27

Ooh I know your SIL OhDear I reckon and in that case went to school with your BIL but I haven't seen him since school and he'd likely not remember me!

BumFunHun Mon 22-Oct-12 15:22:48

Someone posted a link to a property on Downs Road-that house is pretty much opposite ours smile it's a lovely road. Near a very good school, and we've never had any trouble at all. We've also lived in st leonards, but I'd agree that I'd be selective on roads. OP I do t know how healthy your budget is, but there are some really nice buildings on Dane Road, Brittany Road - most of these are large mansion type buildings that have been converted-but if you're minted and could afford a whole building, then these are nice roads! My son still goes to st leonards c of e school, as I didn't want him to have the upheaval of changing when we moved-it's a lovely little school smile

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