Sussex has always been a popular county and continues to attract a growing number of professionals, young families and retirees keen to take advantage of its healthy balance of beach and countryside living...
In addition to its idyllic coastal and countryside location, the county is blessed with historic cities and towns, such as Lewes and Chichester, a vibrant and artsy Brighton (aka ‘London by the sea) and many traditional seaside towns. There are charming villages dotted across the South Downs, plus smaller towns with a strong sense of community. With so much appeal, this article explores why Sussex residents and visitors can enjoy a wealth of outdoor activities in bustling beachfront locations and beautiful countryside settings.
Growth in Popularity
Sussex is the perfect blend of coastal and countryside living and offers people of every age an enviable lifestyle. In recent years, this attractive county has started to to outgrow its primary appeal to retirees seeking coastal living. In one report, the quiet seaside town of Worthing emerged as the top ‘Zoom town’ in Europe, seeing an incredible 650% rise in remote work-from-home opportunities.
For people already living in Sussex, this healthy working week is possible for a variety of reasons as well as the fresh air that seaside and countryside living affords them. The surge in remote working offers greater flexibility and the freedom to choose to live in a thriving and interesting city like Brighton or search for the desirable greener spaces of London. Indeed, the county has welcomed more people who want to work whilst take advantage of remote opportunities, that turn their preference for a healthier working life into a reality.
Best of Both Worlds
Sussex's proximity to the coast and its wealth of beautiful countryside are a few of the many reasons why people love living here. One of the most appealing aspects of life is that it truly provides the best of both worlds when it comes to lifestyle offerings. Sussex is within easy reach of some of the country’s most breathtaking beaches. In West Sussex, Climping and Littlehampton attract lots of visitors each year while the sandy stretch of West Wittering and well-known spots like Camber sands are a real draw for kitesurfers, swimmers and anyone after a natural outdoor swimming spot.
Meanwhile, the picturesque South Downs National Park is amazing for walkers, dog-lovers, runners, cyclists and families looking for a great nature trail. The South Downs spans 100 miles from Winchester in the west to Eastbourne in the east with charming villages, incredible scenery throughout, as well as plenty of country pubs to drop into for a refreshing pint or pub grub. There are also endless outdoor activities, from horse-riding and golf to tennis clubs and the famous horse-racing track of Goodwood.
Whether you’re on foot, cycling or on an exploratory drive, the Sussex countryside is stunning with pretty towns like Rye, Midhurst and Petworth brimming with history, boutique shops, local cafes, spa hotels and eateries. In addition to Brighton and larger towns of Horsham and Hastings, the area is rich with history thanks to its Roman and Medieval past and the impressive cathedral in Chichester. If it’s history you’re after, Arundel Castle and nearby Amberley Castle are beautiful and Sussex has a fascinating heritage to discover wherever you go.
For those who enjoy cosmopolitan conveniences though, Sussex provides easy access to sport, shopping and dining amenities in Lewes, Brighton, Horsham and Chichester to mention some. The larger cities and towns boast museums, street performances and a calendar of exciting cultural events. Being an easy commute from London, residents anywhere in the county who need to travel for work can still enjoy easy access, with a number of rail lines making their commute to other cities across the UK swift and fairly painless.
Strong and Friendly Community
Sussex has become increasingly popular and is a friendly place to live in or relocate to, the demographic has changed with young people moving from London and other busy cities. The pull of to improve work/life harmony, has seen Brighton and the larger coastal towns such as Hastings, Worthing and Shoreham all attract people. The resultant mix of new and local people, who might have grown up and lived in the area all their lives, has resulted in a strong sense of community in people’s day-to-day lives
Brighton, Chichester and Bognor have fostered their university status with a fun atmosphere and nightlife expected from student locations. Meanwhile, for anyone visiting friends and family, Brighton, Eastbourne and Worthing Piers (the latter was named Pier of the Year in 2019) offer great entertainment for young and old. There are also plenty of Sussex towns that have grown in popularity offering a rejuvenated range of local shops, pubs, markets and restaurants.
Great Place to Retire
Sussex still remains well liked by the older generations which doesn't necessarily come as the biggest surprise. Having a good mix of city, town, beach and rural living, the region has so much to offer. With numerous relaxing spots and stunning scenery to savour, the region offers retirees a multitude of advantages. The South Downs lie on its doorstep, there are many beachfront promenades for a leisurely stroll, plus National Trust sights and beautiful gardens to retreat to. The network of trains and buses run along the Sussex coast and inland also make it easy for people who prefer public transport or have limited ability to get around.
In summary, Sussex is a top destination for people of all ages who can enjoy coastal and country living while still having access to busier cities. This attractive county is bursting with great scenery and the appealing small town community feel that everyone craves. There are so many outdoor activities to boost your health, Sussex can't be beaten. Without a doubt, the county offers its residents and visitors the best of all worlds when it comes to the dream work/life balance and a winning lifestyle.