Focus on… Shoreham-by-Sea
Clare Stewart | Last updated at 12:01AM February 22 2013
Basking in the buzz of Brighton but without the city prices, Shoreham is set between the South Downs and the sea
How it rates
This picturesque West Sussex town has an historic centre overlooking the River Adur and despite its small size is well connected, with an airport, port and good road and rail links. It also has a large shingle beach where houses with panoramic views to France are being snapped up by developers.
The Church of St Nicolas has Saxon roots, while the Church of St Mary de Haura was founded by the Normans in about 1105. Other landmarks include Shoreham Redoubt, a coastal fort built in the 1850s to defend against Napoleon, and the striking Victorian Gothic of Lancing College Chapel, just outside the town, is difficult to miss. The airport’s Art Deco terminal building is a popular film location.
Shoreham is popular with rail commuters as it is a 75-minute journey to London Victoria and 45 minutes to Gatwick airport. Brighton is 20 minutes by car or train. The A27 is just outside the town. From March, there will be a new daily service to Paris from the airport.
Quality of life
Shoreham draws buyers who want to be near the buzz of Brighton without paying city prices. Set between the South Downs and the sea, Shoreham offers plenty for walkers and water-sports fans.
Beachfront houses on Old Fort Road fetch the most money; a five-bedroom house sold for £2.13 million in 2011. Most properties there were built between the 1950s and the 1970s so architecturally it is a bit of a mixed bag. Mill Hill, Buckingham Road and Windlesham Gardens are sought-after because of the large family homes in easy walking distance of the station.
Shoreham has been smartening up its riverfront; schemes include the Ropetackle development of flats and an arts centre. A new footbridge opens this year and a 1960s office block fronting the river is being converted into townhouses. Prices are from £775,000 for a three-bedroom property.
Local employers include Shoreham Port, the airport and Ricardo, the engineering group founded in the town.
A good range of pubs and an improved restaurant choice. Popular spots include Chambers Bistro, Into the Blue and Beach House. Head to Brighton for a bigger choice of nightlife. The Shoreham Airshow in August draws big crowds each year.
Shoreham Beach Primary and St Nicolas and St Mary Primary are rated outstanding by Ofsted, as is Shoreham Academy. Independent schools include Shoreham College, Lancing College and The Towers School.
Good location and plenty of sea air.
Quite a lot of bungalows. In the early 20th-century the beach was even known as Bungalow Town as it was full of chalet-style homes made from old railway carriages. These are long gone but there are still plenty of single-storey homes in the town.
A six-bedroom house by the beach with sauna, cinema room and en suites is on sale for £1.99 million. Contact: Warwick Baker (01273 461144)