Here is Brand Vaughan’s general guide to Brighton & Hove. Like any guide, it’s exactly that – a generalisation of an area and much of it is opinion of course.
Please note, particularly with reference to school catchments, that us listing a school in a particular area does not offer any guarantee of a place in it!
If you have anything to add to our guide, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Kemp Town is the area to the east of Brighton Pier, with the Old Steyne to the west and Sussex Square to the east, and north to Eastern Road.
Kemp Town has a 20ish minute walk into the city centre, a 5-10 minute walk to the sea and a 5 minute drive to the Marina and the South Downs. The no7 bus goes directly to Brighton station every 5-10 minutes and takes 15-20 minutes, and the no 1 goes all the way west to Hove.
Kemp Town includes some magnificent architecture, with street after street of white stucco Georgian terraces, including the magnificent Sussex Square, Lewes Crescent, Royal Crescent and, stretching along the seafront, Marine Parade – considered one of the finest examples of seafront architecture in the UK.
Many of these have of course been converted to flats, often with large and high-ceilinged rooms, but the odd house still can be found, especially in streets like College Gardens and Great College Street.
The area around St George’s Road has a distinctly village feel. Some might bemoan its gentrification – all architectural reclamation, vintage clothing, delis and things-for-the-home type shops. But there are also still local mainstay butcher, greengrocer, bookshop, post office, chemist and a few good local pubs and places to eat. with a great selection of little shops, selling most of what you’d want: an award-winning butcher, a greengrocers, a bank, co-op, a few pubs including the rather nice Ginger Dog, lots of cafes, a couple of restaurants, a bookshop… Oh, and an award-winning estate agent called Brand Vaughan!
To the west lies St James’s Street, which has a more vibrant feel and is popular with the gay community. It is lined with many cafes, delis, pubs and some good restaurants and a small Tesco, Sainsbury’s and larger Morrisons. A couple of large blocks of council flats are to be found here too.
Kemp Town remains enduring popular because of its buzzy feel, but also because it is so close to the sea. The Royal Sussex County Hospital is located in Kemp Town too.
Queen’s Park can be considered to be the area between the Royal Sussex County Hospital in the east, to Queen’s Park Road in the west, south to Eastern Road, and north to the top of Freshfield Road. West of this, down to Lewes Road is what’s generally known as Hanover.
Housing here is mainly Victorian or Edwardian houses and flats. Around Queen’s Park itself, on East Drive and West Drive are large 5+ bedroom Edwardian Villas in the high hundreds and more, and some of the finest properties in Brighton. Elsewhere it is mainly 3 or 4 bed houses, and a few flats.
Hanover, affectionately known as ‘Muesli Mountain’! because of its popularity with Brighton’s leading thinkers on environmental and ethical matters, is a grid of narrower streets of 2 and 3 bed cottages. As everywhere in Brighton, gardens are on the small side, but then you have got the beach and the Downs…
The Park itself is a wonderful area, a bowl-shaped park with a pond, tennis courts, playground and dog-walking area, and it has the odd fete or show in the summer.
The area feels like a nice family area, with plenty of children making their way to the good primaries in the area.
Elm Grove Primary
Roedean is the area just north of Brighton Marina, east of Wilson Avenue.
Almost without exception you’ll find large detached houses, sometimes complete with a swimming pool and gated entrance. Some properties have been heavily modernised into ‘Grand Designs’ style properties. Slightly west of here, along Wilson Avenue and the road off it, you’ll find 3 and 4 bed housing from the 1920s and 30s.
This feels like an upmarket residential area, perhaps one with slight pretensions of Beverley Hills! It’s a small area though, and a good selection of local shops on Whitehawk Road and at the Marina, and plenty of sea air and views of the Downs stretching behind. Take to the Marina for the Seattle Hotel, bar and restaurant, and a pizza overlooking the boats. The excellent Brighton College and Roedean girls school are nearby, and popular with residents here.
Rumoured to be the location for Brand Vaughan’s second office, opening in 2013, Preston Park lies immediately to the north of the city centre, as you head out of town towards London on the A23, with Fiveways just up the hill to the east, at the junction of Ditchling Road, Preston Drove, and locally known as the Golden Triangle because of its good housing, nice park and access to good schools.
This area is well served for public transport, with Preston Park station offering trains north to Gatwick and London, and also west along the coast. The city centre is a 5 minute drive away, the seafront a shade more, and buses there are frequent. Access to the A23 and A27 are good from here also.
Housing around here is mainly Victorian 3- and 4-bed terraced houses, with small but usable gardens. Towards Preston Park itself you’ll find larger Victorian and Edwardian houses, some double fronted and many with good- sized gardens. West of Surrenden Road are detached houses built from the 1930s onwards, with semi-detached and chalet-style bungalows too.
There are a few shops near the station, and a useful selection up the hill at Fiveways – a bank, a couple of delis, a co-op and so on.
Preston Park is an area popular with families because of the park itself which is large, with a playground (albeit slightly tired now), café, tennis courts, bowls and a cricket pitch, but mainly because of the good family housing and good primaries and secondaries nearby.
It’s also popular with commuters because it’s close to Preston Park station.
The area therefore feels like a nice, happy family area.
East of Preston Road, and south of Peacock Lane / Surrenden Road
West of London Road, and north of Peacock Lane / Surrenden Road
The ‘Seven Dials area’ and Clifton conservation area lies immediately west of Brighton Station – roads such as Compton Avenue, West Hill, Vernon Terrace.
The area is well served for transport, being so close to Brighton station, plus plenty of buses to all parts of the city. About 20 minutes’ walk to the sea, and 10-15 minutes to city centre.
Lots of white stucco Georgian houses make up the Clifton Conservation Area, with plenty of Victorian cottages and three beds there too. Nice stuff.
Seven Dials and Clifton have a village feel to them with a sense of community but with a city buzz. Independently run ‘lifestyle’ shops, delis, cafes, bars and some good restaurants, including the excellent Sam’s restaurant (great brunch). Like Kemp Town, this is a desirable area, fast becoming the Chelsea of Brighton.
This is the city centre proper – general speaking from Old Steine in the east to Montpelier Rd in the west, and as far north as the station.
The station is very close to hand, with trains north to the London and Gatwick, and west along the coast. Buses go to all parts of the city. Parking is hell, but as you have so much close by, is a car really necessary…?! Laines is perfectly positioned centrally, for walking everywhere. Ten minutes’ walk from the seafront.
Not a vast amount of housing here, being the city centre, but what there is, tends to be 2 or 3 bed cottages in Victorian or Regency terraces. New development, City Point, up by the station, offers modern apartments,
Well, living in the centre of Brighton needs no introduction. Everything you know and love about Brighton is right here, on your doorstep including the fabulous award winning Jubilee Library, the swimming pool, the Brighton Dome and Theatre Royal, Pavilion and everything the city centre has to offer.
Secondary catchment (Sep 08 intake)
Officially Hove has Boundary Road in the west, Montpelier Road in the east, the A27 to the north and the sea to the south.
Trains run frequently from Hove station to Gatwick, to London Victoria and London Bridge and along the coast to Worthing, Chichester and Southampton. Buses run along the main routes to the station, and into the city centre.
Aldrington and Portslade also serve these, but less frequently.
On the seafront are large Regency stucco mansion blocks, and some magnificent squares, like Brunswick Square and Adelaide Crescent, most of which have been converted into flats with large rooms, high ceilings and use of the shared garden squares.
Further north, between Western Road and Old Shoreham Road are good sized handsome Edwardian houses, with 3 to 5 beds in the main, and gardens slightly larger than in Brighton.
Above Old Shoreham Road is Hove Park – the area between here and Dyke Road Avenue. It is an affluent area of mainly 1930s large family homes, (often mock Tudor), and some built more recently. Many houses here have their own drive and good sized gardens.
Further west now to Portland Road. South of here you’ll find larger 4+ bed family homes – splendid Edwardian and 30s semis and some detached houses, with good sized gardens.
North of Portland Road, in roads such as Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and Shakespeare streets – hence its common nickname of ‘Poets’ Corner’, are smaller Victorian houses, popular with young families.
Hove is a very popular area with families, because of its closeness to the sea, good houses, and its slightly more gentle feel than Brighton. The seafront has a great playground, lido, cafes and restaurants, and the beach of course. The busy Western Road and Church Road run through the area, abounding with restaurants, cafes, pubs and bars, and the pedestrianised George Street at the far end of Church Street is popular.
The parks are well maintained, especially the lovely St Ann’s Well Garden and Hove Park, both of which have tennis courts and a good café.