Brighton Area Guide

UK Area Guides

Brighton, East Sussex

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Living in Brighton

Brighton and Hove is a seaside resort as well as a year-round city, with a unique cultural identity. It is unofficially known as the gay capital of Britain, and there’s a lively arts scene. Two major universities keep a large population of students around, too. 

 

Brighton may be the first place many people think of for a weekend of partying, but that’s just one side of the city. It’s also a great place for families, as many ex-Londoners find when they venture outside the M25 looking for a family house within budget, and find those as well as a wealth of good schools, family activities, and parks. 

 

Still, the arts and culture scene in Brighton has earned it the nickname of London-on-Sea, and there is indeed much entertainment to choose from within the area. Enough that, unless you’re a commuter, you may not need to rely on the beleaguered Southern service to Victoria all that frequently. If you’re not too troubled by being late every day, however, Brighton’s transport links are good – just account for the traffic delays if you’re driving, or Southern’s delays if you’re travelling by rail. 

Ratings

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Community

There is a strong artists’ culture in this area, as well as a significant population of students from the two local universities. Brighton is also unofficially known as the gay capital of Britain – particularly Kemp Town – and local Pride celebrations are very lively. 

 

There are many independent shops, restaurants, and bars in the area, many of which in the historic area of The Lanes. It is possible to find exceptionally unique places, like the UK’s first zero-waste restaurant (Silo), as well.

 

Once people come to Brighton, they tend to stay, though they may move away from the seafront in favour of inland houses with gardens.

 

In 2013, 75% of residents reported feeling that they belong to their immediate neighbourhood. Residents are also generally very satisfied with their local neighbourhood, at 92%. 

Safety

The 2014 crime rate in Brighton and Hove was higher than the average for England and Wales, but slightly down from previous years. A high 96% of residents reported feeling safe in the city centre during the day, dropping to 63% after dark. People tend to feel safer in their neighbourhoods than they do in the city centre, where there are more violent crimes and incidences of criminal damage. Most crime in Brighton consists of theft, followed by violence against the person – however, the latter has been steadily declining since 2006/2007.

Parking

Brighton is known for gridlock and high parking expenses. Parking can be very troublesome within the city centre, but options include a Park & Ride car park on the outskirts as well as some smaller car parks within the city. Many Brighton residents drive to work, and much of this traffic uses the East-West A27. 

Nightlife

Brighton has a very active culture and nightlife scene, serving a wide range of tastes. There are many restaurants and pubs, both independent and chain, to choose from. There are also scores of pubs ranging from traditional Victorian pubs to themed pubs offering games and other entertainment, and there are many nightclubs offering a range of types of music. Brighton also has art galleries, theatres, cinemas, and museums to visit. 

Family Friendly

Brighton is certainly a good place to look for a family home, particularly for the significant number of ex-Londoners looking for a place they can afford to bus. The range of property available here is fairly wide, and includes spacious flats in grand Regency buildings, standard Victorian terraces, and large detached Twenties houses as well as new builds. Any of these could make a great family home. 

 

Brighton also has abundant open space, being between the sea and the South Downs. The seafront offers miles of walks, but there are also many parks to choose from. Preston Park is the largest, with many facilities, but there are several others. 

 

Schools in Brighton, both primaries and comprehensives, are generally ‘good’ or better. There are also several top private schools, for day students and boarders in the Brighton and Hove area.

 

Of Brighton’s residents, 16% are children under age 16, and the highest percentages of children live in Hangleton & Knoll and South Portslade.

Pet Friendly

Brighton’s property is diverse, and includes spacious flats in grand Regency buildings, standard Victorian terraces, and large detached Twenties houses as well as new builds – many of which would make suitable homes for pets. 

 

Brighton also has abundant open space, being between the sea and the South Downs. The seafront offers miles of walks, but there are also many parks to choose from. Preston Park is the largest, with many facilities, but there are several others. 

 

The area is generally dog-friendly, with many bars and restaurants open to dogs as well as their owners. 

Transport

Brighton’s rail station has Southern service to London Victoria – however, it’s one of the most troubled services in the country. In 2014, the 7:29 train to Victoria was late every single time, though an annual ticket costs commuters over £4,000. Trains also go to London Bridge, and there’s Thameslink service to St Pancras with a stop at Blackfriars. Hove station has trains to Victoria, and Preston Park’s Thameslink service to St Pancras is a little shorter than the service from Brighton station.

 

Brighton has a bus station with several routes running buses through the central area every few minutes. Many Brighton residents drive to work, and much of this traffic uses the East-West A27, or the A23 to South London. Gatwick Airport can be reached by train in about half an hour.