Moving to Hastings (UK)
January 14, 2007 3:55 AM   Subscribe

We're seriously thinking of moving from Brighton (UK) just along the coast to Hastings. Anybody think this is a bad idea?

The main attraction is selling our house here and buying a much cheaper one there. Plus, it seems nice. We're in our 50s and the attractions of "party town" Brighton are paling but we're nervous of leaving behind all the "culture" (film, exhibitions) here. We're also aware that Hastings can be a bit rough.

Anybody done this? Anybody living in Hastings with thoughts? Thanks.
posted by peterbl to Travel & Transportation around Hastings, England (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Living in Brighton all my life, and visiting Hastings occasionally I probably know as much as you, but I always thought Hastings was a bit of a dump.
posted by greytape at 4:37 AM on January 14, 2007

I would wonder why you didn't look at one of nice villages around there - Steyning for instance? Nice than Hastings. I always thought Brighton was over-rated by the way.
posted by A189Nut at 4:55 AM on January 14, 2007

I only know some of the statistics - Hastings is the 27th most deprived LA (see this page. You might want to avoid the five wards "identified as having severe problems," though there may of course be ok patches within them. Have you used Up My Street? Crime figures, house prices etc.
posted by paduasoy at 4:59 AM on January 14, 2007

Dare I say, what about only going halfway - to Eastbourne? Not quite so much as a dump as Hastings but probably also affordable for you. It's really not that bad a place, but still a big a step down from Brighton in terms of culture and vibrancy, and the train to London is less frequent and takes twice as long (1.5 hrs, 45 mins to Gatwick).
Although I'd imagine Hastings is quite a bargain at the moment, for seaside property, and the town is surely well nigh for a resurgence - Barcelona was a dump too, back in the 80s.
posted by Flashman at 6:21 AM on January 14, 2007

What about Bexhill-on-Sea?

When I was there last summer I noticed lots of new flats being built, 100m walk from the sea, same to the train station.
posted by chrispy108 at 6:42 AM on January 14, 2007

Not a bad idea overall to sell out now and capture any capital gains, especially considering the Bank of England has raised interest rates again and probably will do so again.

Is there anyplace in Hastings where you can avoid stamp duty? I purchased a flat in Whitechapel close to Stepney in 2001, also a "deprived area" and saved a good chunk of money as stamp duty was waived.

Try to get a property amenable to raising security to an appropriate level and you should be ok. I put in bars on all the ground floor windows and doors for example, and aside from sometimes hearing the hooting and hollering of the unwashed I'm fine.

Flashman's got a point - my 'hood has sharply improved since 2001 so if you pick well you might just get something on the upswing.
posted by Mutant at 7:12 AM on January 14, 2007

Best answer: well since I live there I'd say:-

Don't live anywhere near Hastings centre. There are no real benefits to you personally of its deprived status. Problem is the really nice areas like Battle, Rye and some parts of Bexhill are almost as expensive as Brighton.
Bexhill on Sea is a good option as it is very slowly changing from the "retirement home for seniors" image (average age of the population according to some medical data I was looking at recently is 67yrs! Data was from 2000) We really enjoy the cultural events at the newly restored De la Warr pavillion, and just to walk along the seafront on a sunny day like today and end up having a glass of wine on its first floor terrace bar of this art deco gem as the sun is going down over Eastbourne simply cannot be beaten, but for really good concerts we go to Brighton and London. From Battle station London is just 1 hr 20mins and Bexhill to Brighton is about an hour.
I understand completely what you mean about Brighton, and it seems to me that both Eastbourne and Bexhill are changing in large part due to exactly the move you describe, Brighton folk wanting bigger and better accomodation. I've been here for 6 years now and year on year I notice an improvement, more and better bars and restaurants, more of a cafe culture creeping in.
Happy to answer lots more, e-mail's in the profile and get in touch if you want to be shown around the area warts and all
posted by Wilder at 9:13 AM on January 14, 2007

The thing about Bexhill seafront is that (unlike Brighton and Hastings) it isn't a main road, which I guess is good, but on a cold day it feels like you're the last person alive. The town centre is cold, grim and has a high percentage of shops that do just enough business to stay open but not enough to be nice.

Hastings has some nice bits if you look hard enough but the reputation for being rough is deserved, if exaggerated. I don't remember it having any culture though. The traffic on the road west out of Hastings is appalling, so not much good if you plan to drive to Brighton regularly.
posted by cillit bang at 11:14 AM on January 14, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone for the thoughtful suggestions. I never thought that I'd get so many replies with such a specific (and English) question. Lots to think about...
posted by peterbl at 7:13 AM on January 15, 2007

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