Work – Are you commutable? Luckily, I work from home so my office can be (and often is) on the beach, in the park, in the pub (although granted, it's not the most productive environment - hic). But for those of you who have proper jobs, you might be surprised at the difference in salary if you want to fully relocate to the coast. One way to get over this is to do the daily commute into the big smoke. Thousands do it everyday and because of this the train services are getting better and better with many making the schlep in under an hour. Of course, you have to think of the added price of a season ticket too. But despite all this, coming home on a Friday evening knowing you can kick back on a sunny beach for two days is well worth the daily slog.
You might want to consider your proximity to Brighton station if you plan to do the daily commute, although unlike London, the majority of residential areas of Brighton & Hove proper (as in not your Patcham/Portslade/Hangleton etc. outskirts) are within a 20 minute walk. Either that or get a bike.
We have moved to the Elm Grove area. A brisk 20 minute walk into to town and to the beach. There's Queen's Park nearby and a whole host of good primary schools available.
St Luke's Primary School – With its no school uniform (unless you count Boden) policy and an outstanding OFSTED.
Elm Grove Primary School - equally good
Queen's Park School - again, very good
St Martin's C of E Primary School - above average
One of the main reasons we moved to Brighton was because we have kids. While I love living in London, I wasn't quite so happy to have my ten year old son roaming the streets in search of entertainment. Luckily for us, I had a man on the ground (and an ex-school teacher at that) to check out the schools down here. With a strict catchment area in mind, we were able to narrow down the best roads to buy in. Brighton has a lottery system for secondary schools, however, this does still fall within the catchment areas. For instance: we live in the catchment for Dorothy Stringer and Varndean schools, both are very good and the lottery will mean we will 'probably' (I say that as I don't want to tempt fate) will get one of these. I'll touch on these again later as we go through the application process and eternal nail-biting that comes with the territory.