Easy to access from London, Southampton and Gatwick Airport as well as various destinations across the UK, Brighton is well connected both nationally and internationally and expats moving to Brighton should find arriving in the city very easy. Thanks to its small size, the city is simple to navigate and easy to get to grips with. Expats should be able to settle into life in Brighton quickly and easily.
Located on the Sussex Coast, around 50 miles due south of London, Brighton has been a popular destination for day trippers from the capital as well as visitors from further afield for generations. Though the site has been occupied for hundreds of years and was mentioned in the Doomsday Book, Brighton only gained its fame and popularity as a resort after the Prince Regent built a holiday home in the town and began hosting lavish parties for the great and good of Europe.
After the Prince Regent became King George the IV in 1920, Brighton continued to thrive, with its hotels, attractions, and therapeutic waters drawing visitors from far and wide. Its grand regency buildings, wide, pebbly beach and vibrant nightlife attract a variety of visitors, with two universities and a host of language schools adding to the youthful and dynamic feel of the city.
Sandwiched between the South Downs in the north and the English Channel in the south, the approximately 273,000 residents of Brighton have easy access to both stunning countryside and lively beaches.
An important center of alternative culture and independent retailers, Brighton was the first constituency in the UK to elect a Green MP when Caroline Lucas entered The Commons in 2010. During the 1960s, the city was the site of fierce scuffles between the Mods and the Rockers, rival youth subcultures that dominated music and nightlife during the decade. Today, Brighton is known for its eclectic music scene with a huge variety of clubs and bars serving a wide range of tastes and interests.
As Brighton attracts people from all over the world, several languages are spoken in the city and many expats living in Brighton will find existing communities of their nationality already well-established. As a result, it’s easy to find products, food and drink from a choice of cultures in the shops, cafes, and restaurants of Brighton.
With a similar climate to other parts of the South East, expats living in Brighton can expect relatively mild weather, bracing winds, and high levels of sunshine. During the summer months the average high is around 20˚C and the average low around 14˚C, though regular spells of 25˚C+ are not uncommon. During these heat waves the beach is often very busy with many residents of Brighton preferring to travel to the less crowded beaches as Hove, Rottingdean, and Saltdean.
In the winter, the weather can be wet and windy with the average precipitation around 100mm a month between October and January. The average low temperature for these months is around 4˚C with the high reaching 8˚C. As it lies next to the sea and is sheltered by the South Downs, Brighton rarely seas snowfall, though blizzards do sometimes occur during the winter months.
Accommodation in Brighton is plentiful and easy to find and expats moving to Brighton shouldn’t find it too difficult to find somewhere to live. Though there is a choice of housing stock available, many of the city’s homes were built in the late Georgian and Victorian eras with rows of Victorian cottages especially common in Hanover, Kemptown, Seven Dials, and the North Laine area.
These houses are popular with students and young families alike and offer a good community feel and characterful accommodation. However some expats may find the accommodation itself less than spacious and parking in these areas can be difficult.
Larger period properties can be found in the Preston Park, Ditchling Road, and Devil’s Dyke areas of Brighton and in parts of the city closer to Hove. These may be more suitable to larger families and those looking for a bit more indoor and outdoor living space. Modern apartments can be found in the city center, with a wealth of properties in the New England Quarter next to Brighton Station. There is a scattering of other modern developments in the city, though these mostly comprise of apartments and studios rather than houses.
On average, rent in Brighton is cheaper than rent in London, though it is higher than in other nearby towns and cities due to increased demand. Property prices are also lower than those in London and expats thinking of purchasing a home may find the city a good alternative to the capital.
When searching for a home, the internet is the best place to start with sites like Zoopla, Rightmove, and Primelocation all featuring a wealth of properties to both rent and buy. Brighton is also home to a selection of estate agencies and housing agencies, making it fairly easy and straightforward to secure housing.