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Top places to live in Sussex Brighton

Brighton doesn't need to be voted the no1 place to live outside London any more, it's just enshrined in lore that if you're escaping the big city, the first place you look is the city beneath the rolling hills by the sea. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

Brighton, Sussex

WHY?

It’s become terribly cool of late to omit Brighton from ‘best places to live’ lists, eschewing it in favour of Hove, Lewes, or basically ‘anywhere but Brighton’. You know what’s even cooler than leaving Brighton out? Brighton. It’s woke, it’s hip, it’s urban, it’s coastal, it’s green – it’s got the lot.

EAT

Top seafood restaurant The Salt Room for taster menus and fine dining, as long as you like seafood, of course! Upmarket chains often choose Brighton for their first venture outside London – Polpo is one notable inclusion, and The Ivy in The Lanes has to warrant a mention, as does Artist Residence. Veggie haunt Terre a Terre is a Muddy Awards finalist, and we also love 1847 for meat-free. For pizza, try indy haunt Fatto a Mano on London Road.

SHOP

The Lanes remains an indy hunters paradise and North Laine hosts more than 300 one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques and restaurants. High Street hunters are spoiled too at Churchill Square and Brighton Marina. Many cities are happy if they even manage one indy bookstore. Brighton’s got so many it even has space – and demand – for a feminist book shop. That pretty much sums the city up right there.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Brighton’s one great big attraction in itself, steeped in history and culture from the city’s proud LGBTQ+ heritage to its traditional Royal Pavilion. The seafront, which has hosted everybody from former PM Margaret Thatcher to 90s DJ Fatboy Slim for the notorious Madeira Drive sessions, is a living museum, with attractions and activity right alongside the old West Pier as it slowly and inexorably surrenders to the sea. Theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries, aquariums, activities and adventures abound. But you’re still only a few miles away from the South Downs and there are access points to the rolling green hills from all across the city.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICE

£424,142. So hardly London-comparable despite the hype. John Hilton is a local indie, and Mishon MacKay have properties in the super-trendy Kemptown area.

SCHOOLS

Brighton College and Roedean, for girls, dominate results-wise and in the case of Roedean, imperiously overlooking the sea, physically too. They both have their own preps. Lancing Prep Hove is a nearby choice, and there’s also Windlesham.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Brighton doesn’t really do secrets, it’s out and proud. But the pancakes at Nowhere Man are widely agreed by locals to be the best in the city.

COMMUTE

Famously, you can get to London in less than an hour – the fastest journey takes around 52 minutes. Also famously, delays are, er, common. But such is commuting. Season tickets are £4,200. The A23 will take you straight up to London by car, but it’s a decent trek – 64 miles.

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