Living in Brighton: Everything you should know

Find out all there is to know about living in Brighton.

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With its enviable seaside location, quirky shopping scene, famous nightlife and close proximity to London, Brighton has quickly become one of Britain’s most sought-after places to live.

But what can you expect if you choose to move to the city and how much money will you need for living costs? We answer all your questions below:

Commuting

If you want to live in Brighton but have work commitments elsewhere, you’ll want to know how quickly you can get to work and whether you’ll be able to put up with the commute.

London

The most popular commuter journey from Brighton is into London, with rush-hour trains to Victoria or London Bridge taking just under an hour. However, this troubled route has a bit of a bad rep because it has been so unreliable in the past.

Southampton

While Southampton shouldn’t be overlooked as a place to work, commuting from Brighton is a bit more of a stretch, with the fastest train journey taking just under two hours.

Portsmouth

Working in Portsmouth and living in Brighton is slightly more manageable in terms of the commute, but it’s still quicker to get into London. It will take you nearly 90 minutes to get to Portsmouth on the fastest peak-time train.

Which areas are the best to live in?

Brighton is made up of multiple neighbourhoods, each with its own character that will appeal to different buyers.

Kemp Town

This is the place to be for young professionals and students, especially as it’s constituted primarily of converted flats and rentals. With a vibrant cafe culture, its own shopping strip, close proximity to the beach and some of the city’s best nightlife, Kemp Town is an area that offers big city benefits.

Hanover

Made up of terraced houses and in a much more affordable area than other neighbourhoods is up-and-coming Hanover, similarly popular with students looking for value for money. It’s quite hilly and in close proximity to Queen’s Park, which also makes it a great spot for young families and professionals.

Hove Park

The affluent Hove Park has always been a popular area for families, with the Dorothy Stringer private comprehensive school nearby, an upmarket feel and spacious semi-detached Victorian properties.

Preston Park

North of the city centre, Preston Park has its own train station for those who commute and is surrounded by excellent state schools and neighbouring family-friendly Queen’s Park North. But those making their decision based on closeness to schools should bear in mind that Brighton schools operate on a lottery-based system, rather than catchment areas.

What’s it like to work in Brighton?

Brighton is a hub for digital startups and the city is said to be a great place for perfecting that all-important work-life balance. It’s very unusual for companies to expect employees to work overtime without compensation and most things are within walking distance, without the stress of commuting.

What about living costs?

The cost of living in Brighton and Hove is above average by overall UK standards and even higher than places assumed to be expensive like Inner London – West and Surrey.

Household utilities

At the time of writing, you would expect the average rent costs to be around £500 per month, with electricity, gas, Internet and water bringing you up to somewhere near the £600 mark.

Transport

Transport costs in the city depend on where you live, but one of the huge benefits to living in Brighton is the short distance to anything you need, which means you don’t need to pay for buses, taxis and trains very often. When it comes to Uber and taxi fares, you can expect to pay above average, if not more.

Entertainment

If you’re keen to go out and see what Brighton really has to offer, you’ll be interested to know that the average pint will set you back around £5, with drinks in bars and clubs roughly costing £8 and club entry fees around £10.

For meals, the average main will set you back about £13, although just like anywhere, you can save money if you know when to go out. If you get to the club early, you can expect to pay a smaller entry fee, or nothing at all. Bars often put on buy one get one free deals or happy hours too, and eating out at lunchtime during the week is significantly cheaper than at weekends.

What is the lifestyle like?

Brighton is exciting, multicultural and vibrant. It’s a city that’s both large enough to contain everything that you could want, such as shopping, restaurants and a nightlife scene that draws in tourists from across the UK, yet compact enough to still feel like a tight-knit community.

Yes, it’s a British summer escape destination, but also a metropolitan city in its own right, all year round. Alongside the popular tourist attractions like the Royal Pavilion, Brighton Pier, the beach and the Lanes shopping area, culture pervades Brighton.

Known as London-by-the-sea, the city is home to an independent artistic spirit, embodied in its theatres, cinemas, contemporary galleries and the biggest arts festival in the UK.

Upsides

  • Great lifestyle, near to the beach, hundreds of restaurants, pubs, bars and galleries
  • Some areas are more affordable than others
  • Commute to London in under an hour
  • Manageable living costs
  • Good place to work, especially if you want to work for a digital startup
  • Much of the city is walkable

Downsides

  • Can get very busy, especially in tourist areas
  • Unreliable train services into London
  • Transport services can be expensive

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