Why I Left London and Moved to Brighton

Why I Left London and Moved to Brighton

Shall I tell you a secret? I wrote this post about six weeks ago and I was SO proud of it. I declared it a ‘brilliant writing day’ as I wrote two posts that day and I was as smug as if I’d penned a best-selling novel.

Squarespace lost them. LOST BOTH POSTS. I cried, then promptly moved back to WordPress before breathing a sigh of relief. But I couldn’t face re-writing such a perfect post so that’s why it’s taken me over a month to put digit to keyboard and tap it out once more.

But here goes……because in all the questions I get asked, this one is VERY high on the list. Why I left London and moved to Brighton despite the fact I know approximately three people who live here.

Lucy Lucraft-why i left londom and moved to brighton beach

In the two months, I’ve been living in Brighton what always surprises me is not how quickly I’ve adjusted, but how little adjustment was necessary. And I’m still waiting for the FOMO to hit every time I’m invited to something in London, something that would have taken me twenty minutes to get to once upon a time but would now (god-willing) take approx 3 million years on a stuffed train packed with cross commuters.

Obviously, that’s a huge exaggeration but Southern rail isn’t known for its efficiency and although I am really close to London and have a direct train in easy reach, it’s still quite the faff to travel up and down to the Big Smoke so I’m rarely in a rush to do so.

Even if I wanted to. Which, realistically, I very rarely do.

girl holding coffee on steps

Tired of London, tired of life

Because the truth is, I don’t. I spent my entire adult life in London, not really knowing how to be an adult outside of the hustle and bustle of a capital city. I know nothing of renting somewhere where you might pay less than 1000 per calendar month to share with 17 Australians and I don’t know how I’d cope if my nearest shop was a twenty-minute drive from my house. In fact, until now, I can’t remember the last time I lived in a house. Before I lived in London I guess!

I’m used to not worrying about travel times and train timetables. I lived in zone two the majority of my time in London so it was twenty minutes from anywhere I wanted to get to anyway. I had a nice little community, cool cafes and Oli and I went to our fave pub regularly. There were nice spots for me and Anaïs to go and everything felt quite…..safe? Convenient? I dunno. Maybe boring?

Yep. Boring. I was SO BORED.

London is lively and exciting and busy and, YES, ‘the Queen lives here!’ But did I enjoy living in a city home to over 8 million people, most of whom I didn’t know, care about or want to cross paths with?

I guess I did once upon a time. But after taking a big break from London life when Oli and I travelled long-term my priorities changed. I no longer craved nights out each week or going to new pop-up restaurants that I had to queue for because booking is passé.

man holding baby in air on sea front

Left my soul there, down by the sea…..

Anyone who knows me knows I love being by the sea. Not on top of the sea so much….because I hate boats. But under the sea for sure. And definitely strolling by the sea too.

I always knew I’d move my family back to the seaside because that’s where I grew up too. But I didn’t want to go back ‘home’ to Kent and longed for more of a city vibe (sorry, ‘vibe’…. really Lucy?)

I spent many a Saturday down in Brighton in my youth, and a few with Oli too. But I wouldn’t say I knew it well at all. So I can totally understand why people thought it was a snap, rash decision to up sticks and move further away from our family to a place we’d never lived before.

But I don’t really care what people think, do I?

Nope 😉

In lieu of a real reason, I can offer you this: It just felt right.

That’s all! I go with my gut on most decisions and this was no different. It just felt really right.

Was I scared of not having a Pret on every corner? Or of being away from a gazillion tube lines? Nope.

Scared of missing out? Yeah, a bit. 

Worried I’d become irrelevant at work and never be invited to another blogging party again? I mean…..after having a baby I was pretty much kicked out of the travel blogging community I was in anyway, so…nope, not really.

If you’re thinking about leaving London and moving somewhere else know this; when the time is right you WILL know. And you’ll never regret it because guess what? Living in my dream house by the sea trumps anything else London could ever offer me.

L x

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Long mage with title text and three smaller images of the seaside
Lucy Lucraft
Lucy Lucraft

Lucy is a freelance journalist, blogger and podcaster based in Brighton, UK.

She started this blog in 2013 and is the host of blogging podcast What She Said.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Instagram


  1. Zoe
    6th August 2018 / 5:15 pm

    Hi Lucy, great post and I know what you mean. I think the old you will know when you know is so true. When we were looking to move a few years ago, we moved slightly closer to the Dales. I know immediately even though the house wasn’t built that I was going to live there.

    Zoe xx

    • Lucy
      17th September 2018 / 11:08 am

      That’s so lovely 🙂 xx

  2. 30th August 2018 / 9:01 am

    Hi Lucy, this is such a lovely post. We moved from London to Folkestone nearly five years ago now and I have never looked back. I always wanted to live near the sea too (like you I grew up near the coast) I don’t miss London things anymore and would much rather go for a walk along the beach. You are so right… you just know when the time is right xx

    • Lucy
      17th September 2018 / 10:59 am

      There really isn’t much dreamier than being able to walk along the beach 🙂 xx

  3. 14th September 2018 / 8:27 am

    Hi Lucy, this is such an amazing post.

  4. Daniel
    7th December 2018 / 1:11 pm

    Great post! Looking to move down from Scotland myself. Bit worried about the job opportunities there (I’d be working as a massage therapist) due to its small size. Glad you enjoy it!!

  5. Ruth Chambers
    12th January 2019 / 12:49 pm

    Thank you for this post – it was just what I was looking for to read. I would love if you did a podcast about this topic. I think it is on a lot of people’s minds…

  6. tim
    11th March 2019 / 3:23 pm

    Id love to hear this topic discussed from someone who actually grew up in London, not another person who moved to London, complained about London, then moved on. Its far easier to move away from London when your entire existence and identity isn’t based around you growing up there. You lot are all the same.

    • Lucy
      21st March 2019 / 11:41 am

      Very good point Tim. I’ll chat to my lot at the weekend 🙂

  7. Caroline
    15th May 2019 / 10:54 am

    Not quite Tim’s view but I would also love to hear this from the point of view of a born and raised Londoner. I so want my child not to grow up in London, like I did. I also love the sea, in exactly the way you have described. The memories you have described, I want my son to have. Brighton is somewhere where I know one family, it is close to Gatwick (important as my Mum lives near Marseille) and as you have described the city ‘vibe’ (😉) is something I think I will need to function.
    I’m not 100% that this would be harder for me because I’ve never lived anywhere but London in my near 40 years but I find it so scary, having never left London to live elsewhere.
    Then there is the timing, my son is starting primary school in September, so I would need to move him to another school; balancing whether this emotional upheaval is worth the overall improvement in quality of life. I think it would be.
    I’m also a single parent, working part time, a full time student – when do I move? When I’ve finished my studies is when I’ve decided but then my son is 6 and is this fair…
    I imagine it’s like having a child; there is never a right time but if it’s what you know you want, deep down in your bones, then you just have to jump.
    Great post and even if you may not have lived in London the decades I have, it rang many bells of truth and recognition for me. Thank you!

    • 3rd June 2019 / 9:59 am

      Thanks for your comment! Finding the ‘right time’ to move is so hard, and so, so personal. I feel your pain!

      I should point out though, that I lived in London almost twenty years. My dad died there, my baby was born there and I met my husband there so, although I wasn’t born there, I lived my entire adult life there. xx

  8. Christian
    28th May 2019 / 8:45 am

    I’m Italian (20 years old) and I was thinking to move to London, do you think it can be a good idea in my position or you just don’t recommend London anyway?

    • 3rd June 2019 / 10:11 am

      I highly recommend it! I lived in London for over twenty years…..deciding to leave was a personal choice, one based on my own lifestyle.

      For the twenty years I lived there though, I LOVED it! Totally recommend it 🙂

  9. 14th July 2019 / 11:56 am

    Hi Lucy. The stars aligned this Sunday morning and I found this beautiful post that has warmed my soul and just what I needed. Me and my hubs have been talking about moving to Brighton for so long now, a few years at least and despite the old faithful questions of “but how would we handle moving jobs and to Brighton and which comes first, job, flat??”, anyway – my heart pines for Brighton and that is all I know. Thank you for writing this. xx

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