Maybe now is the time to sing the praises of Saltdean? Admittedly is doesn’t have the historical interest of Rottingdean, or the aura of the famous artists and writers that once lived there, but there are artists, writers and musicians living in Saltdean right now.
Billy Butlin was no fool, no wonder he chose Saltdean for his upmarket Holiday Hotel (now luxury flats). After all it has a long stretch of uninterrupted beach with none of the brashness of Brighton.
Saltdean is lucky in that it still has it’s historic Lido, partly due to the efforts of local residents. The White Cliffs Cafe opposite has steadily built up a good reputation and there is an extensive under cliff walk to Rottingdean. Behind the Lido there is a park, a substantial play area, a library which also hosts two writing groups and a community centre.
Longridge Avenue leads to the sea and has a baker that makes the best cornish pasties in Brighton, a barber, post office, stamp shop and tiny Holistic Meditation Centre. Also a re-vamped pub, bar, coffee shop, and takeaways.
Just a few yards up the hill is the hardware shop and one of those busy crammed full card/ gift shops which sells just about everything including helium balloons!
The Housing Project Charity Shop is a gem, they all used to be like this once, piled high with all sorts of things and at modest cost. Their profits go to local groups who apply for funding for equipment or to run a special event.
A new Corner Coffee shop has just opened, completely re-decorated, well appointed, with easy chairs in the window and flowers on all the tables, serving substantial lunch time snacks, cream teas and cake! Open 8am to 4.30pm approximately.
Olive’s Garden opposite, was established two years ago and is thriving. She sells organic vegetables and wonderful eggs from a local farm. Teas and lovely home made cake are on offer. Smaller than the Corner Coffee but great for a short break.
There is another smaller shopping centre in Lustrells Vale. Here there are two convenience stores, a well established local butcher, a greengrocer, a new portrait photography shop, a school, and a church with its own cinema.
All in all, particularly on a sunny day in the summer, the beach without distractions is one of the South Coast’s best kept secrets.
Ann’s poem associated with Saltdean https://annperrinpoetry.wordpress.com/2015/02/04/the-salt-sea-winds/