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What's it like Living in SOUTHEND ON SEA?

Hi All,

This Aussie Expat is Interested in learning more about what it's like Living in SOUTHEND ON SEA? 

We spent 15 years living in USA; 12 months living in Cardiff, Wales and these last 6 months living in ReadIng!   5 months ago we spent a 3 night Getaway in a Suite with a water view within the Park Inn by Radisson Palace Southend-on-Sea!   It might have been a short visit; but it's left a lasting impression on my heart.  So much so; I'd like to plan towards calling SOUTHEND my permanent home!   However, prior to this occurring, I'd welcome earning from others here; everything and anything worth knowing about Southend and al, it has to offer as a permanent resident?  It's more than likely the hubs will commute into London via Train for his Work; whilst I'd likely find work as a (M-F / 9-5) Receptionist somewhere within the Southend local area.

I'm Looking towards relocating mid 2017 there? 
So It'd be nice to link up online socially with any local Expats living in this area - ensuring I don't move / arrive into this area as an Unknown Stranger, knowing not a sole!   This worked nicely B4 we relocated from USA to Cardiff, Wales; it was a nice arriving with a few friends awaiting my arrival; however, I didn't do this B4 I relocated to Reading and 6 months in; I still don't know anyone here in Reading yet!  Cardiff folks are Warm, Welcoming and very friendly to strangers; not finding the same here in Reading, although they ain't rude either!  They simply ain't as open to others like they were towards us in Cardiff. 
I wonder what I can expect in Southend??  As I'm a very social person with an outgoing personality. 
Thanks in Advance for any Posts to this!   Sandy.

The Welsh are better than the English  ;)

Hi Sandy - I no longer live in the south-east of the UK, so can't talk of current specifics.  Of all the places in the world that I've ever considered living, I must confess that Southend was never (and not likely ever to be) one of them.  We used to go there as kids for summer holidays and a recent trip back made me think not much has changed; in the summer months, it tends to attract the wrong kind of people, for all the wrong reasons.

I'm not trying to encourage you to go, but what's wrong with Australia?

It seems that way SimCityAt; but i'm hoping there are also some areas with friendly English?  M
Maybe friends won't become a major part of my future whilst living here in UK?

Cynic; Nothing wrong with Australia, it's a gorgeous place to live; however, we spent 40 years living in OZ before being relocated to USA by hubs former employee; so been there, (and 15 years in USA) done that....... Currently we are enjoying living in UK. 

Despite having a high minimum wage of: $16.97 per hour, Australia has a high cost of living; OZ is a very expensive place to live with even higher Taxes ¬ Hubs was paying .49 cents in the Dollar in Taxes; with nothing we could claim against it.  So USA & UK are better places to live on the budget.   In addition to financial gains; we also enjoy frequent travelling, OZ is very isolated compared to UK for travel.   We currently don't have any plans to return to OZ to live; either in the near or distance future!  However, feel blessed to have been born a Aussie and even if we do opt to become a UK Citizenship, we will choose to hold a Dual Citizenship Visa......  Once a Aussie, Always a Aussie.   However, we are enjoying the lifestyle option to travel and live in different parts of the world like we have!   UK wins on both Cost of Living as well, it's convenient Location to venturing away.

With warmer weather comes a lot of annoying fly's, mosquito's and numerous other bugs.  At least the cooler weather is too cold for them to germinate here in UK like there!

Everywhere has it's pros and cons; no where is perfect.   

We are however, searching to settle in a area within close enough access into London plus enjoys a large body of water that attracts passing boating activity for us to watch.  However, it also needs to be affordable to buy property and Cost of living for our Medium Income budget plus be a friendly, Community orientated place to live.  Brighton didn't pass the muster on our budget plus we found the local residents very snooty/snobs.

Not on any time crunch; however, we'd prefer to find in 2016 with plans to move mid 2017?

You could always live on a Canal boat  :D

:dumbom:
Hubby already suggested that we do exactly that; allowing us to move onto different locations whenever it Floats our Boat.  However, it didn't Sail with me; I wasn't as on Board..!

Aussie Dreamer :

.....
Cynic; Nothing wrong with Australia, it's a gorgeous place to live; however, we spent 40 years living in OZ before being relocated to USA by hubs former employee; so been there, (and 15 years in USA) done that....... Currently we are enjoying living in UK. 

Despite having a high minimum wage of: $16.97 per hour, Australia has a high cost of living; OZ is a very expensive place to live with even higher Taxes ¬ Hubs was paying .49 cents in the Dollar in Taxes; with nothing we could claim against it.  So USA & UK are better places to live on the budget.   In addition to financial gains; we also enjoy frequent travelling, OZ is very isolated compared to UK for travel.   We currently don't have any plans to return to OZ to live; either in the near or distance future!  However, feel blessed to have been born a Aussie and even if we do opt to become a UK Citizenship, we will choose to hold a Dual Citizenship Visa......  Once a Aussie, Always a Aussie.   However, we are enjoying the lifestyle option to travel and live in different parts of the world like we have!   UK wins on both Cost of Living as well, it's convenient Location to venturing away.

With warmer weather comes a lot of annoying fly's, mosquito's and numerous other bugs.  At least the cooler weather is too cold for them to germinate here in UK like there!

Everywhere has it's pros and cons; no where is perfect.   

We are however, searching to settle in a area within close enough access into London plus enjoys a large body of water that attracts passing boating activity for us to watch.  However, it also needs to be affordable to buy property and Cost of living for our Medium Income budget plus be a friendly, Community orientated place to live.  Brighton didn't pass the muster on our budget plus we found the local residents very snooty/snobs.

Not on any time crunch; however, we'd prefer to find in 2016 with plans to move mid 2017?

Fair enough; we are about 5-years away from retirement and are planning our next move (we've lived all over the world); looks like it's Holland for us.

We are not set on Southend; however, it must be a busy Boating area for us as we enjoy watching Ships, Boats and yachts Cruising past us.  Always open to recommendations and suggested places?   We enjoy walking plus like to live where there's a vibrant lifestyle with plenty of year-round entertainment and dining opportunities on offer! 

Torque was another possibility; however, we'd prefer to live closer in near London for we enjoy regular weekend getaway visits into catch a Show or so...! 

We haven't ruled out a return to OZ for our retirement years; however, that's dome 20 years away for us yet.

I wish you fun in your planning of your own retirement planning.

Hey Sandy, do you need to live close to London?

I once lived in a place called Lymington in Hampshire. Its a town on a river estuary on the Solent and really beautiful, full of old houses and the river has lots of sailing boats, a marina and a ferry that crosses to the Isle of Wight. I lived there as a child and belonged to the Keyhaven Sea Scouts further down the coast. If you haven't already been there you should google it and see the photos.

The negatives are that property around there is expensive as it is in most of the New Forest area. And perhaps it's too far from London? But man, you will see a lot of boats, seagulls and regattas.

Hansson

Hi Hansson,

Funny I only just got wind of Lynington the other day; so already done my research.  Yes agree, would be a lovely place to live.   However, hubs jobs are in London; he's currently working in Reading because that's all he could get after 20 months of trying to find work here in UK;  but he plans to move on into a higher paying position in 2017 which will increase his wage back up the £40,K plus he's had to settle for just to get in the door with a job here!   London will pay the Senior Managers wage he enjoyed B4 relocating to UK.  Plus we enjoy frequent visits into London to play! 
We've always liked living close to a major city!   Plus we ain't into living in quiet, tranquil areas.  A Vivrant city with a large population (200,K plus) yet a community spirit and friendly residents plus enjoy great assortment of shopping options, restaurants and things to entertain adults plus be also located near walking areas and water that's filled with boating activity is what we are seeking.   Yet affordable living too!  Which rules Brighton out unfortunately!

Thanks all for your Input....! 

We've decided to look closer at living in Brighton if send when we do move from here in Reading?   It's still close enough to London and it enjoys a Coastal Location along with the year-round Vibrant Lifestyle we wanted.   

So open to any info from those who have or do reside in Brighton please!

Great news Sandy. It's one of my past homes (Hove) and I still love to visit there whenever I am in the UK. I am planning to take my family to visit the UK sometime within the next 12 months when we have time, none of them have ever been to the UK, and I want to show them The Lanes, fish 'n' chips, and Brighton beach.

If you're heading that way, also consider Littlehampton; I'm down there quite a lot and it's always looked good to me.

That's fantastic Hansson!!

Brighton addresses our every needs.   Plus I can sit on the beach and watch the Ships sailing past.  Not sure if we will be living there yet by the time you arrive?  However, it's great to know if we do relocate I'll have a brain with you to pick for information :).  It's expensive living in Brighton and I fear Snobby residents?

littlehampton looks sweet; but unfortunately too far out from London for hubs work and for us to frequently visit as it's Ives 2 hours away!

We haven't ruled out Southampton either. 
What we've decided to do is take some weekend getaways to view a few places closer; looking at it as a place to live rather than vacation; 2 feel each out individually!

Aussie Dreamer :

That's fantastic Hansson!!

Brighton addresses our every needs.   Plus I can sit on the beach and watch the Ships sailing past.  Not sure if we will be living there yet by the time you arrive?  However, it's great to know if we do relocate I'll have a brain with you to pick for information :).  It's expensive living in Brighton and I fear Snobby residents?

littlehampton looks sweet; but unfortunately too far out from London for hubs work and for us to frequently visit as it's Ives 2 hours away!

Littlehampton is only 20 miles along the coast from  Brighton; there's a direct train service from London (Victoria) to Littlehampton - it's approx 12 minutes longer than the trip from Brighton.  According to Right Move, houses in Littlehampton are on average £100k cheaper than Brighton.

That said, Southern Trains have got a dreadful reputation, no matter where you travel from; the good thing about travelling from both, as they are the end of the line, you get a better chance of a seat (assuming the train is running at all). :)

Forgot to add - Littlehampton also has ships/boats sailing past it.

Thanks I'll go check it out.  Not been there B4.

Wow you are getting a lot of suggestions and good advice, an interesting thread.

I agree with Cynic about other places too because all along the coast in both directions are towns that are quite nice and a short drive to Brighton & Hove. However, not bad if you can find a place in Brighton in one of the suburbs.  Hove might be less expensive, not sure but there are lots of other suburbs. And just outside Brighton to the north are nice places. And actually after Hove we moved to Burgess Hill. My dad worked in London and took the train in to work everyday when I was little.

I am also quite familiar with Eastbourne, Bexhill and Hastings. Bexhill is nice, especially the part called Little Common, but Bexhill has been labeled "Heavens Waiting Room" by the tabloids and a bit too quiet for my liking, but Eastbourne and Hastings are more active and both are easy commutes to London and just a half hours drive to get to Brighton.

Oh...and since Southampton also nice, Winchester too is amazing but expensive. All around the New Forest is beautiful but not sure about the commuting time to London.

Actually whenever my mind drifts to retiring in the UK, which I probably never will, my first thoughts are of buying a place in Cornwall (I'm an ex-surfer), followed by somewhere along the Dorset or Hampshire coast because they are both beautiful counties.

Different Strokes for Different Folks!

We prefer Coastal or Waterfront Towns with a quick and easy access to a Major City.  In Australia we lived in Green Point, Gosford - house overlooking Brisbane Waters which is a inlet that connects into the Pacific Ocean and North of / flows into Sydney Harbor. 

In America we first purchased in Ashburn, VA - close in towards Washington DC; then sold and repurchased in Winchester, VA. 72 miles West of Washibgton DC and no Rail line for easy access.  Winchester, UK  is the Sister City to and is like Winchester,VA
Very pretty place but too quiet and countrified for us plus too far out of Lobdon.   We prefer to live where we can enjoy watching boats and water birds.  Living where we can sit and watch Passenger Cruises sail past is my dream location; so long as it's a vibrant town that's also socially Friendly and Community orientated,  plus within easy access of London for hubs work and our entertainment!   We both love everything a big City has to offer and frequent them often as a day trip as well, for a night or 2 Getaway trip when it's not a matinee!   

Littlehampton does look very interesting.  So much so; we've added it to our list of places to go spend a weekend at.  Thx. 

When you move around Countries and with the buying and selling of houses with each of these moves; we don't have any plans towards Returement - however, it's still 20 years out for us and hubby's just enjoyed the luxury of a 20 month Hyatis between his last job in America and his current job in Reading, UK to which he just began this past July. 
So looking forward to relocating where it doesn't rain as often as it did in Cardiff, Wales; the sun shines more than it does here and where people are more sociable than they are in Reading, be a Vibrant Town on a large body of Water and close to a major City with access by Train  Yet still be in UK.  That's my Goal. 

Until we find our desired location we will continue to rent to enable us to leave without being tied down to a House Sale 1st.   We got stuck living in USA 7 years longer than had planned; thanks to being caught up in their 2007 Real Estate Crash!  We just have to give 2 months notice to vacate our rental here!
But I'd prefer to live in a place I can call my own!

Yes, nothing beats living in your own place. The feeling is totally different to renting.

Cynic,
A lot of Britz do relocate to live in Australia; However, they tend not to stay beyond 2-5 years B4 relocating themselves back to live in UK.   

Actually, Britz in OZ are nicknamed; Winging Pom's. 
As they don't do anything but Wing; about everything send anything OZ..!
So much so; there's a saying; If you don't like it here, the planes go both ways; so your welcome to board a plane and head back to Britain anytime! 

I could never understand why they went to so much effort to relocate to OZ; only to constantly complain all the time whilst living there?  Especially when it's extremely difficult to get a Visa to live and work in OZ.

Australia offers a fabulous outdoor lifestyle given it's mostly Glorious Blue Sky's and Sunshine.  But tolerating those wretched Flys and Mosquitos can be annoying as all SH...T.   I don't miss them at all.  The cooler weather of UK does have some benefits!  Less likely to get Skin Cancer here too.  Everyone in OZ needs to wear a hat to stay safe!  Schools have a: No Hat - No Play Policy and they enforce this strictly too!

Hansson;

Eastbourne looks AWSOME.  But 2 hours 33 minutes / 73.2 miles
Is too far out from London for us!  Same to for Bexhill-on-Sea.

We've decided to delay our move out to 2018; giving us a chance to go spend time within some of these places mentioned above!    Thanks everyone for sharing of these places - some look very interesting and without you; we'd probably not have ever known they existed!

Haha..no problem. I'm a London and Southern England type of person.

I'm sure that's not right about Eastbourne to London taking 2 hrs 33 mins. I used to take the train from Bexhill on Sea to London and it stopped at Eastbourne, then went straight on to London with just a few stops. I think it takes slightly over an hour, but, if you take the slow train that stops off at every little station it may take that long. I just emailed my buddy down there to double check with him.

That was Driving time on Google. 
Like Reading; there's a Faster Direct Line into London; 25 minutes into Paddington; but priced sky high each way: too high for Daily Commuters.
Then there's the cheaper fare which takes longer and priced £16.00 - £25.00 each way pending on time of day you choose to travel.  Plus parking us way expensive when parking in Ready Town Center.  However,
We drive to Hounslow; park there for £5.00 for the day and only pay £6.00 each way into London instead of paying the higher price.  The 2018 Cross Link a Train Service will be affordable and offer a direct Service into London.  However, housing will increase in value to buy as this opening date draws closer.  As Rail travel will prove Much more affordable and quicker but probably not any more reliable?   So yes I went on driving time based on Google.  I'd have added a screen shot picture of both areas had Expat not changed how we can add pictures onto this group.  I'm not technical to add this way.  Google Distance between London and ?  Area in question and a map will appear with driving distance and expected time taken on it.


distance between London and Eastbourne - Google Search
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=dista … ent=safari

Train time between London and Eastbourne - Google Search
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Train … ent=safari

That's a long drive for commuting. Is that £16.00 - £25.00 each way for a season ticket? Also very expensive.

Gonna have to choose your next place to live carefully....

Each Way.  £35.00 each Way for the Great Western. 
Cardiff to London on the Great Western was £75.00 each way
£110.00 Return.

Similar prices to Eastbourne;
London Victoria to Eastbourne - Accessible UK Train Timetables
http://traintimes.org.uk/london%20victoria/eastbourne

I lived in Kent, place called West Malling near Maidstone.  There was a large lake and country park within walking distance, offering watersports, country walks and so on.  People were friendly, the countryside beautiful.  London (Victoria) was 50 minutes away on a very regular and mostly reliable train service.  Places like Chatham, an old naval port, are accessible by train and around 20 minutes by car. Dover, Margate, Herne Bay, Canterbury etc are all accessible by train.

West Malling itself is a historic large village (locals call it a town) with some boutique shops, a Tesco and some classy restaurants.  Its surrounded by leafy lanes and apple orchards.  House prices are not as much as you might expect.

I haven't lived in Southend, but did live in Grays, Essex for a while and found it fairly depressing.  Visited Southend, but found it a bit commercial and the countryside round the area isn't much to write home about.  On the whole I found the locals in Kent to be more friendly!

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