L

ondon may have a lot to offer – if you’re tired of London, you’re tired of life, after all – but the sea isn’t one of them. It’s no surprise, then, that the pandemic has sparked a wave of departures from London who have swapped the city for the coast in search of more space, fresher air and a better work/life balance. .

Demand for beachfront homes in the UK more than doubled between the summers of 2020 and 2021. The coastal market has since started to cool, but a commutable beachfront location remains a tempting prospect for working Londoners now partly at home.

From bustling Brighton (known as ‘London on Sea’) and pretty Rye in East Sussex to arty Folkestone and family-friendly Broadstairs in Kent, these 10 characterful havens within two hours from London is calling your name – and they all cost less than the £526,000 price tag of an average home in the capital.

Brighton, East Sussex

£495,000

Russell Square, Brighton

/ Move right

New two bedroom duplex in a private gated development located just off the sea front, close to the train station. Open-plan living room, with parking available to be negotiated.

Fox & Son, 01273 839 034

Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

£500,000

Elmsleigh Drive, Leigh-on-Sea

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Semi-detached family home with four bedrooms and potential for expansion. South-facing garden and off-road parking, close to a nature reserve, a golf course and major schools.

Gilbert & Rose, 01702 744 263

Broadstairs, Kent

£399,995

Serene location, Broadstairs

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Grade II listed cottage with two bedrooms, fireplace and courtyard style garden, just yards from the sandy bay.

Terence Painter, 01843 315 055

Rye, East Sussex

£399,950

Winchelsea Road, Rye

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Three bedroom Georgian cottage with conservatory, wood burner and shepherd’s hut with electricity and water in the garden.

Phillips & Stubbs, 01797 720 007

Folkestone, Kent

£500,000

Fairway Avenue, Folkestone

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Four bedroom semi-detached house with large garden, garage and driveway for several cars, within walking distance of the train station.

Burnap & Abel, 01303 473 300

Worthing, West Sussex

£450,000

Heene Terrace, Worthing

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Modern beachfront apartment in a period terrace with two bedrooms and views of the coast. Without chain, close to the city center.

Michael Jones & Company, 01903 443 064

Eastbourne, East Sussex

£495,000

Richmond Square, Eastbourne

/ Move right

Three bedroom townhouse distributed over three floors, 800 meters from the station, with garage, balcony and countryside views.

Rager & Roberts, 01323 380 012

Margate, Kent

£475,000

Cliftonville Mews, Margate

/ Move right

Renovated two bedroom house with Critall windows and exposed brick, minutes from the beach and old town.

The Modern House, 020 3858 9816

Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex

£320,000

High Street, Walton-on-the-Naze

/ Move right

Pretty five bedroom period townhouse, close to seafront and train station. Possibility of renovation, offered without chain.

Sheen’s, 01255 767 066

Hastings, East Sussex

£425,000

Railway, Hastings

/ Move right

Grade II listed end of terrace house with two bedrooms and interior garden. Location in the old town, currently a successful vacation rental.

Righteousness, 01424 578 005