With its rolling downland countryside, beautiful coastline and distinctive architectural styles, a West Sussex home search is always a popular option for those looking for their primary residence or second home.
Many select a West Sussex home search because of its excellent schooling. The choice is huge:- whether you are after a top rate prep school like Brambletye or a coastal senior school such as Lancing or the more rural Hurstpierpoint there will be a selection of great schooling for you to choose from.
A West Sussex home search offers contrast, with the more rural area to the west surrounded by the beautiful South Downs National Park and typified by the Sussex vernacular of beamed period farmhouses and the warm coloured Petworth stone cottages which are prolific in the area. To the east, the towns of Horsham, Crawley and East Grinstead are much busier and the close proximity of Gatwick means a denser population surrounding the towns driven by the employment and business opportunities in the area. Road and rail links across the region are excellent with the A3 and M23 providing fast access to the M25, London and southeast England.
Many choose to focus their West Sussex home search on the area between Haslemere, Petworth and Midhurst, which is often referred to locally as “The Golden Triangle”. Probably holding the biggest premium with regards to property prices in the area, the market town of Petworth with the National Trust owned Petworth House and its abundance of antique shops in the town, make it a haven for those wishing to escape to a weekend cottage. Villages such as Tillington, Graffham, Lurgashall and Lickfold all boast beautiful architecture, village greens and depict picture postcard village life, surrounded by wonderful countryside. Many involved in a West Sussex home search are immediately drawn to this area, for the promise of the rural idyll it creates. Midhurst is probably best known throughout the summer months for polo. With many international players and patrons basing themselves around the area from Spring to Autumn, it all culminates in the Veuve Cliquot Gold Cup against the dramatic backdrop of the Cowdray Castle ruins on The Cowdray Estate. There are very good rental opportunities throughout the summer months, with some property owners choosing to rent out their primary properties for handsome sums. Those looking for a second home with a rental income as part of their West Sussex home search should certainly consider this area wisely.
Further down towards the picturesque coastal town of Chichester, are dotted the downland villages of Upwaltham, East Dean, and the Goodwood Estate. Known primarily for its excellent motoring and racing calendar, the area around The Goodwood Estate again is popular with those searching for a rural escape as a driver for their West Sussex home search.
The market town of Arundel is a tourist destination best known for the elevated fortress of Arundel Castle and surrounded Wetlands. It is a haven for both country pursuits and more cosmopolitan tastes with a thriving antique market. The surrounding villages of Slindon and Walburton display typical architecture of the area with red brick and timber framed period properties being the norm.
To the north west of the area is the large market town of Horsham. With a traditional town centre focal point called the Carfax and extensive shopping and leisure facilities, fast direct train links to London Bridge and Victoria and fast access to the M23 via the A264, and to the coast at Worthing via the A24, Horsham has become a very popular place to be based that avoids the extensive premiums of Surrey property and yet still provides the amenities. The charming local villages of Itchingfield, Warnham and Barns Green, all enjoy a more rural setting and yet still enjoy the fast train connections back to London, making them popular for commuting families wanting a bit of space and a village atmosphere. Independent and state schools are also numerous in the area, which also appeals to families.
Billingshurst is situated on the A272 which runs across the county giving access to the A24 at Horsham to the east and the A3 to the west. Billingshurst, although a small market town, has undergone extensive housing development over recent years and also an improved ring road system which make other towns and villages in the area very accessible. Again, it offers a good commute back to London and is popular for those making their first move to the area. The nearby village of Wisborough Green is typical of a village you may come across during a West Sussex home search, with traditional old public houses and numerous Grade II listed period properties clustered around the village cricket green, along with a church, pond and tea room. Haywards Heath also sits further west on the A272, and is a thriving town, popular both for small businesses and also for larger national businesses seeking premises in an accessible town but without the premiums of main county towns. Again, it offers a good direct commute to London, namely London Victoria and London Bridge. The adjacent small town of Ardingly is known not only for its popular Ardingly College but also for the South of England Showground. One of the largest showgrounds in the country, it hosts a number of agricultural shows and fairs culminating the 4 day South of England Show each summer. It is also particularly renowned for its monthly antique fairs, which draw supporters from across the south of England.
Crawley is probably best known for its proximity to Gatwick Airport. More industrial and utilitarian in architecture and feel, Crawley is popular for those businesses needing to be based near an international airport and the associated transport links that this offers those choosing a West Sussex home search. There is excellent road access to all the motorway networks of the southeast via the M23 and a very fast and direct link to London Victoria via the Gatwick Express. Many commuters drive in some distance from the neighbouring villages and towns to use this service as it is so quick. The A23 provides an excellent link road straight down across the county down to Brighton in East Sussex. Villages along the route such as Henfield, Bolney, Hurstpierpoint, Handcross, Sayers Common all display very traditional centres as all would have been on this trading route for centuries. However, a mix of architecture can be found in these villages as they have grown over the years. They are popular for their accessibility to both coast and town but retain their own identity and afford residents a good quality of semi-rural village life.