East Sussex

Move to East Sussex

East Sussex is a particularly attractive county: the Ashdown forest covering a large area around Forest Row, the ‘High Weald’ AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) encompassing another large area and the South Downs National Park protecting the chalk uplands in the southern part of the county. Rolling hills, woodland areas, a patchwork of farmland, winding lanes and little villages all typify this county. There are many truly ‘picture postcard’ vistas here.

As one would expect, the part of the county closest to London and near the favoured town of Tunbridge Wells is very popular. Also sought after is anywhere in or near either Lewes, Battle or Rye which are all stunning small towns with lots to offer. The area in the centre of the county and to the coast at Eastbourne is less well connected by rail or road, making it particularly good value and a little quieter in nature. The coastline stretching from cosmopolitan Brighton over to Camber has many different flavours, from seaside towns to cliff top walks to vast sand beaches offering something for everyone.

There are some excellent friendly primary schools, particularly in the villages. Unlike neighbouring Kent, all secondary schools are non-selective and each has its own catchment or ‘Community’ area, so well worth a bit of research if this is going to be important to your family. The county is well served by independent schools for the various age ranges and price ranges.

East Sussex is well peppered with rail stations, many of which will have you in London in around an hour, although the Eastbourne line is less useful, being a coastal service.

The best East Sussex villages and small towns

Wonderful villages include: Alciston, Alfriston, Buxted, Barcombe, Beckley, Blackboys, Bodiam, Brightling, Burwash, Ditchling, Ewhurst Green, Fairlight, Forest Row, Frant, Hartfield, Hurst Green, Lower and Upper Dicker, Mayfield, Newick, Plumpton, Robertsbridge, Ticehurst, Wadhurst, Winchelsea and the towns of Battle, Rye, Lewes and their surrounding areas.

East Sussex Homes. There are many types of beautiful character homes in East Sussex.  As in West Sussex homes can be found with steep pitched peg tiled roof and brick and flint walls.  The flints are inserted either as cobble or are ‘knapped’ meaning split open, and arranged in either regular rows or fish-scale patterns.  This abundant building material has been used since Saxon times and gives every building and village a unique look. Also to be found are homes in converted oast houses.  Oasts, very characteristic of the East Sussex and Kent landscape, were originally kilns for drying the hops to make beer.  With a pointed roof topped with white rotating cowl, they make attractive homes. Often found are groups of farmhouse, timber barn and oast house, all now converted to very pleasant separate domestic residences. Period country homes will be found in all sizes from cottage upwards and more recently built homes can be found too, especially in coastal areas. Expect to pay a premium for a sea view.

Commute from East Sussex to London Victoria and London Bridge/Cannon Street

Lewes 1hr 7
Cooksbridge 1hr 1
Plumpton 56 mins
Wivelsfield 46 mins
Haywards Heath 40 mins

Commute From East Sussex to London Bridge/Cannon Street or Charing Cross

Uckfield 1hr 15
Buxted 1hr 10
Crowborough 1hr 3
Eridge 57 mins
Ashurst 52 mins
Cowden 47 mins
Battle 1hr 25
Robertsbridge 1hr 23
Etchingham 1hr 16
Stonegate 1hr 2
Wadhurst 59 mins
Frant 55 mins

Journey times shown are for the fastest services available at useful times. Additional services may have longer journey times so check National Rail Enquiries Journey Planner.


Something for the weekend ...

There is always plenty to do in East Sussex.

  • For the adventurous, try hang gliding or para gliding over the Downs. Several centres offer this experience and the views will take your breath away. 
  • Try rock climbing at Harrison’s Rocks, an unexpected sheer faced sandstone outcrop just south of Tunbridge Wells.
  • Visit the site of the Battle of Hastings where an audio tour will take you through the events of 1066.
  • A steam train ride on the Bluebell Railway in Spring is a delightful way to see the scenery or even more peaceful and serene is a Lama trek through the Ashdown Forest.
  • Take your canoe through the meanders of the Cuckmere or walk down to the viewing point for the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs.
  • Explore East Sussex’s dark skies with your own telescope or at the Herstmonceux Observatory and Science centre.
  • For a bit of culture take in an opera. Perhaps a Summer event in the open air at Bayham Abbey ruins or one of the world class productions at Glyndebourne Opera House.
  • For art lovers the recent Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, Towner Gallery in Eastbourne and the revived De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill host major exhibitions.
  • A trip to the sea, to the beach or to bustling Brighton for a bit of shopping are other alternatives.


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