The Daily Telegraph - Saturday
A COASTAL ESCAPE
SANDWICH, KENT Av. £323,254 +46pc searches
Artist, marketeer and blues guitarist Andy Lester moved from Reading to the golf-mad town of Sandwich in 2012 with his wife Nikki and two children. They moved for her job at Pfizer, based on the outskirts, but Lester was worried he would feel “geographically abandoned and separated from family and friends”. He was wrong.
The family moved into a 16th-century townhouse with a large garden and became an integral part of the neighbourhood. The couple were instrumental in starting the Sandwich Folk & Ale Festival which is planned for the 2-4 July (restrictions allowing).
Nikki died of cancer in 2019 but the community, which he describes as “tight and not curtain-twitchy”, have supported the family and dedicated one of the live music stages at the festival to her memory. Lester has opened various pop-up art galleries down its winding streets, which are lined with independent shops and eateries. Lester and his partner Sarah, below, love the George & Dragon pub, the Spanish-English eatery Tan Bueno and Drill Hall pizzeria.
Sandwich Beach Bay is a 1.5 mile walk out of town. Follow @andylesterart on Instagram and @sandwichfolkandalefestival.
SHOREHAM-BY-SEA, WEST SUSSEX Av. £349,330 +54pc searches
Contemporary beach villas and new developments push up the average house price in Shoreham but it’s still 20 per cent cheaper than neighbouring Brighton and Hove.
The housing stock is varied, as are the residents. One local describes them as either “old fisherman, houseboat hippies, Brighton-esque hipsters or retiring couples from London”.
The centre of Shoreham is an ancient fishing village of narrow streets flanked with flint-clad cottages and there’s a Norman church.
A fleet of vibrant houseboats line the River Adur. Those built by local celebrity Hamish McKenzie include a repurposed bus, a fire engine and a Reliant Robin. Due to their views across the water, well-finished houseboats can sell for between £300,000 and £500,000.
The town’s most prized properties face the shingled Shoreham beach and include an award-winning glass-and-pebble home and Spanish-style villas.
PORTHCAWL, SOUTH GLAMORGAN Av. £232,374 +53pc searches
South Wales has benefitted from houseprice rises in the Cotswolds and Bristol and the scrapping of the M4 Severn Crossing toll. This, in combination with the expectation that people will commute less often, means more buyers are going over the bridge for better value into Monmouth, Newport, Cowbridge and Porthcawl.
Just half an hour from Cardiff, Porthcawl has the surfing beach of Rest Bay and the Royal Porthcawl golf course. The Links is the conversion of a Grade II building into 71 apartments. According to the developer Acorn, they have so far sold to those wanting holiday homes, or to downsizers who want to be in a coastal town. Prices start at £230,000.