Moving to the Area
A family’s tale of moving to live by the sea
In 2010, we packed up our home in Richmond and headed south to begin our new life by the sea. We haven’t looked back. We enjoy fresh air, beautiful views, more sunshine and lots of open space. We love our walks on the downs, endless cycle rides and plenty of fun on the beach – paddling, eating ice cream and chasing seagulls. For our children this is everyday life, not just a special treat.
Moving to the coast from London was not an easy decision. Work was the first consideration. It’s a long commute and my husband did it daily for many years, however he would be the first to tell you that it isn’t as bad as you’d think. With his noise cancelling headphones and laptop, the morning journey provided good preparation time and the journey home was great for finishing off emails and tying up loose ends.
There were other considerations, such as proximity to our families and friends, but having weighed up everything we started house hunting and our adventure began.
Choosing a School
When it came to finding a school the task was easy. Although Eastbourne is home to a number of well-respected schools, our minds were made up within minutes of our first tour around St Andrew’s. It was the children themselves who sold it. Without exception they were friendly, happy, full of enthusiasm and well mannered. As we went from classroom to classroom they couldn’t wait to show Mr Jones, the Headmaster, their latest work, ask him questions and tell him what they had been learning.
The quality of work also made our decision easy – with so much work displayed on the walls it was easy to see that the standards were high. The staff are caring and energetic, firm but fair and the results speak for themselves. The facilities are fabulous with even our two nursery-aged daughters enjoying the benefits of swimming, tennis and dance. The highlight of the week for our 8-year-old son is always beach school.
On a personal level, I can’t begin to explain the friendliness I have felt from other parents at the school and I have witnessed the same, open-armed welcome to other new faces on countless occasions. I very much hope that I am now considered part of the ‘welcoming committee’ of our super school.
Making a Choice about Family Life
Moving out of London is not for everyone and we were not always convinced it was right for us. It’s a lifestyle decision and one that was very difficult to make. There is a balance to find but we genuinely feel that we have found it. We still want our children to understand London life and feel at home in their capital city. We go to London regularly for fun adventures at the weekends and during holidays. The quality, coastal environment is good for every day life, for having fun on the beach after school, exploring the countryside, taking long walks on the Downs, breathing fresh air, listening to the sea, and being happy.
We often talk as a family of how very lucky we are with our seaside location, superb school and lovely group of friends. My husband recently pointed out that we made a large amount of this ‘luck’ ourselves by focusing on what we really wanted as a family and doing something about it. We really feel that we got it right and we can’t recommend life by the sea strongly enough.
(Mrs E, parent of Pre-Prep and Prep children)
Photo credit: VisitEastbourne