Leaving London: we left Lewisham for a village with a ‘Londony feel’ two train stops from Brighton

Katie and Karl Bartholomew realized that they didn’t really need London after the pandemic. Katie, 37, worked for the British Council, while Karl, 36, worked for NHS Property Services. Kate explained that it had been a thought in our heads that we might leave, perhaps when the children were more advanced in secondary school. “Lockdown made it clear that we were already living a village life – going to local shops and seeing friends – even though our home was in London. So why not just move? The family bought their three-bedroom terraced home for just over GBP450,000 in 2013. They added two additional bedrooms and a loft extension to the house. Katie said that although the upstairs had a lot of bedroom space, the downstairs was not balanced. “The kitchen was small but we didn’t want to do a side extension as it would have cost us around GBP100,000. For a very small amount of space, it was not worth the expense. “The family moved from a three-bedroom home to a four-bedroom home in Hassocks in south-east London to begin house hunting in January 2021. They considered and rejected the idea of moving closer their families in the Midlands and north. Brighton was another option, but it was ruled out due to its high prices. Katie said that they felt they would not get more for their money in London so they looked for a cheaper option along the train track. They arrived in Hassocks, a village in West Sussex, just two stops from Brighton and the South Downs. Katie said, “We did some research and found Hassocks had brilliant, amazing schools.” It is only ten minutes to Brighton by train and less than an hour to London. Although it is not a charming, quaint Sussex village, like Ditchling and Hurstpierpoint it has a London-like feel. “READ MORELeaving London: This family sold their Crofton Park home for GBP806,000 to buy a four-bedroom house in Hassocks. It cost GBP840,000. Katie has made friends at her children’s school and has connected with other Hassocks residents via the popular Facebook group Life After London. Karl has joined a local football club.