April 25, 2024

Rediscovering home: Saltdean’s timeless charm and coastal living

Words by

Abi Radford

A quintessential childhood

More than just a sleepy suburb, Saltdean offers residents a place to live like no other. Situated on the coast just five miles east of central Brighton it is well-loved by families and professionals alike.

Georgia and I grew up in Saltdean, and both lived in our family home until I went off to University and she moved to Brighton to gain more independence and to be closer to her office. As children, Saltdean was a haven that provided us with a quintessential childhood. We rode bikes around the neighbourhood, spent afternoons playing with friends in the park after school, and summer holidays fighting over whether to go to the Lido or the beach. We went to Saltdean Primary School and lived within walking distance of all our friends. It wasn’t until we tipped over into our teenage years and started exploring beyond our hometown that Saltdean felt too small for us. We wanted to be in Brighton.

Since we launched Number Twenty Four in January we’ve taken on several properties in Saltdean and every time we drive along the coast road to visit them, we feel like we’re heading back home. Our mum, Sue, still lives in Saltdean – and has done for most of her adult life – and it’s also a good excuse to pop in for a cup of tea in between appointments. Saltdean holds very fond memories for us and I have no doubt we will be spending a lot more time there in the future. No longer teenagers, and with the means to transport ourselves wherever we want, Saltdean no longer feels too small and, who knows, maybe we’ll end up living back there at some point.

Where is Saltdean?

Saltdean is located just five miles east of Brighton and is linked to the city by the A259 coast road. It is well connected with a regular bus service that will get you into the city centre in just twenty minutes. If you’re feeling energetic, a five mile walk along the coast will get you there in an hour and forty minutes. The A27, with its links to Lewes in the east and onwards to the A23 and Crawley and London to the North, is easily accessible. Trips to the airports are easy too with Gatwick airport being just a forty-five-minute drive away and Heathrow Airport an hour and a half away.

The pretty village of Rottingdean, with its duck pond and iconic windmill, is located next to Saltdean and can be reached on foot, by car, or by bus. Here you’ll find plenty more boutique shops and cafes, as well as welcoming pubs offering traditional pub grub. In the summer, it’s a great change of scenery for a beach day too!

Furthermore, less than 3 miles to the west lies Brighton Marina, boasting its own array of amenities including a David Lloyd gym, cinema, crazy golf, and harbours. Having undergone significant investment in recent years it has an abundance of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops to enjoy.

View of Saltdean Lido

What is there to do in Saltdean?

Nestled between the sea and the South Downs National Park, Saltdean is a coastal village that has it all and it offers residents more than just a sleepy suburb. Saltdean is well-known for its iconic art deco Lido, which is in the final stages of its multi-million-pound renovation, and where you’ll find a 40m heated pool, a library, a gym, and a workspace. It’s a hub of the community and a space where events such as an outdoor cinema or dog swimming sessions occur from time to time.

The Oval Park is at the heart of the suburb and boasts a children’s play park, a skatepark, tennis courts, and an outdoor bowls green. It’s here that I remember spending most of my childhood – in the summer playing tag and in the winter sledding down the hill. At the end of the park, next to the Lido, there’s a sea themed hand-painted tunnel with direct access to pebbled beaches that are lifeguarded in the summer. Here, Whitecliffs Cafe serves a selection of home baked sweet and savoury goods as well as ice creams for hot summer days.

The clifftop walk boasts incredible views out to sea and can be followed into Brighton or along to Peacehaven and beyond. The South Downs National Park can be accessed through the north of Saltdean where you’ll find plenty of walking trails heading in all directions. Both options provide fun for all the family – pack a picnic and the kids and go exploring!

Local shops and restaurants serve the residents of Saltdean well and there’s two main shopping parades – Lustrells Vale and Longridge Avenue. For the ‘big shop’ there’s an Asda and a Lidl at Brighton Marina which is just 10 minutes away.

Photograph of the tunnel in Saltdean

Saltdean tunnel artwork

What are the houses like in Saltdean?

Homes in Saltdean are notably budget-friendly and primarily consist of low-rise structures. Among them are charming bungalows dating back to the 1920s and 1950s, semi-detached and detached houses, some boasting breathtaking sea vistas, luxurious apartments, and contemporary eco-friendly residences.

In Saltdean you’ll also find a striking array of art deco inspired houses, reflecting the architectural trends of the 1920s and 1930s. These homes often feature bold geometric shapes, flat roofs, curved walls, and decorative elements such as sunburst motifs and streamlined designs. Many of these houses offer stunning sea views, which adds to their allure.

While the art deco houses in Saltdean share some design elements with the nearby Saltdean Lido, their inspiration isn’t directly tied to it. These houses were built independently and may draw inspiration from broader architectural trends of the time rather than specifically from the Lido itself.

You can view all our Saltdean properties here.

Photograph of the back of Chichester Drive East

Chichester Drive East, Saltdean

Why should I consider moving to Saltdean?

If you like being in the centre of town with access to 24/7 fast-food deliveries, and an abundance of shops on your doorstep – Saltdean isn’t for you. However, if you’re looking for a slower pace of life with the option of choosing when you enter the hustle and bustle of Brighton, Saltdean could be your dream destination.

Families love Saltdean and, if you’re a first-time buyer, Saltdean might offer a property that has scope to grow into. With property prices more affordable than those in neighbouring areas, Saltdean provides an accessible entry point into the coastal lifestyle, without compromising on quality or comfort. If anything, it offers you more space to spread out in. So, if the allure of a quieter existence by the sea beckons to you, Saltdean stands ready to welcome you home.

How to get in contact with us

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