Living in East Grinstead
What is life like in East Grinstead
East Grinstead stands roughly halfway between London and the south coast, set on top of a sandstone hill about 400 feet above sea level.
The town's skyline is dominated by St Swithun's church and its tower can be seen from miles around. The church also reflects the links between East Grinstead and the iron making industry, which was once key in the surrounding countryside.
Wonderful architecture is a consistent theme through the town, and it is not only in central East Grinstead that there are things to see and do. A number of attractions are located within the stunning rural areas nearby.
East Grinstead is where the River Medway starts and huge areas of Ashdown Forest begin, while the National Trust's Standen is a wonderful place for a stroll. The quadrangle of Sackville College is well worth seeking out, as it is the scene of the famous Christmas carol of Good King Wenceslas.
Visitors have been heading to East Grinstead for almost 1,000 years, with the town always being renowned for offering a pleasant experience and sites of historical and cultural interest.
In the 20th century, it became a town with important military links as Archibald McIndoe developed techniques that helped to repair the disfigured faces of airmen injured during World War II. He studied the men and realised they were damaged both psychologically and physically, before urging local residents to welcome them into their homes to recuperate.
Work is now underway to mark the achievements of Sir Archibald, with a statue due to be erected close to Sackville College.
In the 14th century, a long run of timber-framed buildings were constructed in the high street and these still stand today, making them one of the best examples of this type of architecture in the UK.
A number of celebrities reside in and around East Grinstead, including Peter Andre, who also owns a coffee shop in the town
Tom Cruise is said to have a house in the area and will relax there while in the UK, and comedian Ross Noble and rock star Jimmy Page also live nearby.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Chequer Mead Theatre is one of the cultural hubs of East Grinstead and offers a range of shows and productions that will entertain and amuse people with all tastes. It puts on around 250 performances each year and acts as a base for meetings and classes.
There is also a cinema in the town, where people can catch up with the latest Hollywood blockbuster.
The number of sports facilities in East Grinstead has increased in recent years, with the Kings Leisure Centre just one example of this. The complex has been modernised and extended and is adjacent to the King George Playing Fields, where locals can play football, rugby or cricket.
From East Grinstead, there are plenty of great days out to be had. For instance, Ashdown Forest – the home of Winnie the Pooh – is the perfect place for outdoor pursuits, while for a quaint and historic setting, a trip along the A264 to Royal Tunbridge Wells is a good plan.
Eating, drinking & shopping
There are social venues for people of all ages and interests in East Grinstead, with a good range of pubs, wine bars and restaurants, as well as two nightclubs.
East Grinstead's shopping scene is growing all the time, with a number of new stores arriving in the town in recent years. There are several historic family businesses that still operate in the area, while the fortnightly farmers' market is an undoubted highlight.
Schools & healthcare
There are nurseries and schools to cater for children of all ages in East Grinstead, making it the ideal family location. St Marys C of E Primary School is a great option for youngsters, while Imberhorne School and Sackville School are other popular institutions in the area.
Queen Victoria Hospital is positioned in the town centre and is ready to deal with any medical needs that arise among residents. There are also other surgeries and clinics in and around the town, while Crawley Hospital is not too far away.
East Grinstead is located just a few miles from the M23, providing easy access to London and the south coast. It is also only around 15 miles from the M25, making it easy for drivers to reach all parts of the south-east.
It is just 15 minutes or so from Gatwick Airport, making it an ideal spot for people who frequently travel abroad, as well as businesses that rely on overseas trade links. This makes East Grinstead and the surrounding area a great place for employment opportunities, with many large firms based there.
There is also a direct train service to London, taking less than an hour to arrive in the capital, and a local bus service helps to keep local people connected with the rest of Sussex and nearby Surrey.