Chichester and the surrounding areas are home to some of the prettiest towns and villages in West Sussex. The region is not only renowned for its history, outdoor pursuits, art, culture and laid-back lifestyle, but also for its excellent educational options, transport links to other major cities and an up-and-coming social scene.
Whether you’re part of a growing family looking for great schools, a first-time buyer, a city professional seeking a better work-life balance or a retiree wanting to settle for the final time, West Sussex towns and villages offer variety for a range of interests and budgets. From bustling coastal locations to quieter countryside jewels, we take a look at five of the best towns and villages in West Sussex. If any location is of interest, do give us a call - whether you’re looking to buy or sell.
As the name suggests, Middleton-on-Sea is a charming village on the coast, with pretty residential streets leading down to the beach. It has everything you could want from a small self-contained village, including a local pub, independent retailers, and a sports and social club.
While this quiet community tends to attract buyers investing in holiday homes, being just down the road from the busier town of Bognor Regis does mean families often choose Middleton-on-Sea as a relocation spot.
Terraced properties are priced around £295,000 while large detached homes with stunning sea views can fetch upwards of £1million. There are plenty of affordable flats and apartments with sea views too, as well as bungalows and smaller houses inland.
If you’re looking to find a home in the setting of a national park, with pubs, restaurants and cafes, then Midhurst is the place for you. South Downs National Park is a great place to enjoy the outdoors all year round, with the landscape often turning into a wintery wonderland during colder months.
Despite its small size and rural location, the place oozes community spirit with lots of annual festivals and events, including lively carnivals and Christmas street parties. Midhurst is also consistently voted one of the best places to live in West Sussex by the Sunday Times.
It’s just a 20-minute drive into Chichester and you can access London via train in under an hour from nearby Haslemere. As a result, those still working in the city find this market town particularly appealing - especially if they have children - as the local schools are excellent.
The average house price in Midhurst over the past year was £437,000, with a mix of coach houses, detached period homes, modern flats and duplexes that can achieve up to an eye-watering £1.3million.
Boxgrove is certainly among the prettiest villages in West Sussex and known mostly as the location of the 12th century Boxgrove Priory. With only 1,000 or so residents, a local shop, village hall and school, the peaceful village is perhaps a location of choice for those seeking a quieter life.
Having said that, being close to Chichester, Boxgrove equally attracts people wanting the best of both worlds. There have also been new property developments in recent years, meaning the locale offers a range of both modern and character properties - many of which would make perfect family homes. Flats fetch around £240,000 while semi-detached homes sold for an average of £414,000 during the past year.
Arundel is a popular market town in West Sussex known for its Castle and Cathedral, attractions that welcome thousands of tourists every year. Due to its mix of period properties, highly-regarded schools and well-reviewed restaurants, Arundel has also been voted one of the top towns in England to live in and is described as ‘urban chic’.
Steeped in nature, the River Arun flows through the town and it rests at the foot of the South Downs National Park. These features are among some of the reasons why Arundel is also dubbed the most relaxing place in Britain. Residents, however, get to enjoy peaceful living whilst also being in close proximity to Littlehampton, Bognor Regis and Chichester – all within a 30 minute drive.
Properties, although priced at the top-end averaging £472,000, offer period character and can make homeowners feel like they are living on the set of a costume drama.
The picturesque seaside location of Selsey is part of the southernmost tip of Chichester and hosts a number of attractions for families, particularly watersport lovers. Whilst officially a town, the area has a village feel and friendly neighbourhood vibe, with over 100 community and arts groups that residents can get involved in.
There are schools for all ages, shops and restaurants if you want to stay local but Selsey is far from isolated and is close to other major towns and cities - it’s the perfect choice for people wanting a blend of seaside, county and village life.
Property prices are affordable too, with three-bedroom semi-detached houses going for around £380,000 and plenty of other home types available, including bungalows, cottages and terraced houses.
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Interested in exploring the best towns and villages to live in West Sussex in more detail? Talk to our local property experts at White & Brooks.