UK Area Guides: South East England

West Sussex Area Guide

West Sussex
South East England, UAE
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Nestled in the heart of the South East, West Sussex offers a picturesque blend of coastal beauty, charming market towns, and the rolling hills of the South Downs. Its rich tapestry of history, culture, and nature has made it a coveted destination for many.

Living in West Sussex: An Overview

West Sussex, bordered by the English Channel to the south, boasts a variety of landscapes, from bustling seaside towns to tranquil countryside. Its towns, like Chichester and Horsham, bear testament to both its historical heritage and its modern vibrancy.

Pros of Living in West Sussex:

Natural Beauty: From the South Downs National Park to scenic beaches like West Wittering.

Historical Significance: Sites like Arundel Castle and Chichester Cathedral grace its landscape.

Proximity: It's well-connected to major cities, including London (see below).

Leisure and Recreation: Numerous options, from Goodwood's races to watersports.

Educational Institutions: Several renowned independent schools are located here.

Local Economy: Boasts a mix of agriculture, tourism, and growing sectors like tech.

Cons of Living in West Sussex:

Cost of Living: Given its appeal, some parts can be pricier than other UK regions.

Tourist Traffic: Especially in summer, certain areas can be busy.

Public Transport: Rural parts might not be as well-connected as urban centres.

Weather: While generally mild, coastal areas can be cooler and windier.

Top 10 Independent Schools in West Sussex:

Lancing College: A co-ed boarding and day school with a majestic chapel that dominates the local landscape.

Christ's Hospital: Known for its bluecoat uniform and strong emphasis on bursaries, it blends tradition with modern values.

Hurstpierpoint College: Offering a holistic education, it’s popular among both boarders and day pupils.

Seaford College: Nestled in the South Downs, it’s known for its inclusive approach and vast range of extra-curricular activities.

Cottesmore School: A small prep school that offers a forward-looking education anchored in traditional values, where children are given an excellent start to their education thanks to impressive facilities, a ‘have-a-go’ ethos, and plenty of fun.

Windlesham House School: One of the leading prep schools in the country, it boasts vast grounds and impressive facilities.

Farlington School: A girls' day and boarding school that promotes an all-round education.

Ardingly College: A forward-thinking school with impressive academic results and a strong community feel.

Great Ballard School: A thriving prep school set in the beautiful South Downs.

Handcross Park School: Housed in a Victorian mansion with modern facilities, it offers a nurturing environment for young learners.

Westbourne House: A prep school emphasizing individual development in academics, arts, and sports.

Note: These fees are approximations and might vary based on specific criteria.

Best Areas to Live in West Sussex (with average monthly rents):

Chichester: A historic gem, average rent for a 3-bedroom house stands at £1,400.

Horsham: Combining modernity and heritage, a 3-bedroom house rents for around £1,350.

Crawley: A major hub, average rent for a 3-bedroom house is £1,200.

Worthing: Coastal living, rents for a 3-bedroom house hover at £1,250.

Arundel: Historical charm, renting a 3-bedroom house costs about £1,300.

Midhurst: Picturesque and serene, a 3-bedroom house rent averages at £1,350.

Weather Insights:

Given its southern location, West Sussex boasts a relatively mild maritime climate.

  • Winter (Dec-Feb): Average temperatures are between 3°C-8°C. West Sussex is generally on par or slightly milder than the UK average.
  • Spring (Mar-May): Temperatures lie between 8°C-15°C.
  • Summer (Jun-Aug): Generally, temperatures range from 13°C-21°C.
  • Autumn (Sep-Nov): Averages range between 10°C-16°C.

Sunshine Hours: West Sussex, especially areas around Chichester, can claim over 1,900 hours of sunshine annually, making it one of the sunnier regions in the UK, surpassing the national average.

Nearest Cities (from Chichester, considered as West Sussex's centre):

  1. Worthing, West Sussex: Approximately 28km to the east.
  2. Brighton, East Sussex: Roughly 48km east.
  3. Portsmouth, Hampshire: Around 24km to the west.
  4. Guildford, Surrey: Approximately 50km north.
  5. London: About 120km to the north.

West Sussex, Our View:

West Sussex, with its serene landscapes, rich history, educational prowess, and recreational amenities, is undeniably a preferred destination within the UK for both families and individuals. Whether you're drawn to the vibrancy of towns like Chichester or the calm of the South Downs, West Sussex offers an unparalleled living experience. As always, prospective residents are advised to delve deeper and explore the county personally to truly appreciate its myriad offerings.

West Sussex Ratings





Family Friendly


Transport Links


West Sussex Pros & Cons


Good transport links to London, Brighton, and Portsmouth
Culture: Arundel Castle, Chichester Cathedral, and the Fishbourne Roman Palace!
A diverse landscape: From beaches to the countryside


Can be pricey

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