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The local area guide to living in Ditchling

Ditchling is a small village with a rich history located in the south of England, in the Lewes district of East Sussex. Its first settlement took place during King Alfred the Great’s rule in the Saxon era and was noted in the Domesday book. Ditchling is situated next to the South Downs National Park, a stunning collection of chalk hills, greenland and valleys, and holds National Character Area of England status. 

Nature enthusiasts will love Ditchling, with much of the village steeped in natural green beauty. Ditchling Common, the local park, used to be within the historic Saxon Manor and is a gorgeous setting, popular amongst joggers, dog walkers and fishermen, who catch a variety of different fish in the adjoining lake. There are few finer examples of the English countryside than the Clayton to Offham Escarpment, which has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in East Sussex, and spans around 837 acres. 

Information about the local residents 

Ditchling is home to roughly 2,081 people, with 2,424 in the wider area of Ditchling and Westmeston. The average age of people in the area is 50, while the median age is 53. 88.1% were born in England, followed by 2.2% in Scotland, 1.3% in Wales and 1.2% in Ireland. 98.5% of the village’s population are English speakers, with French and Gaelic the next most spoken languages at 0.2%.

60.8% of people in the area are married, with 16% being single and having never been married while 6.1% live with a member of the opposite sex. The top occupations listed are professionals at 27.9%, managers, directors and senior officials at 19.6% and associate professional and technical at 15.5%. 

Local schools 

There is one school located in the village, Ditchling (St Margaret’s) CE Primary School, with around 140 pupils in attendance. The school has strong values and has received favourable reports from its recent Ofsted inspections.

Downlands Community School and Patcham High School are the closest secondary schools to Ditchling, both having received ‘good’ ratings from their most recent Ofsted reports.  

Getting around 

Hassocks Railway Station is the closest train station to Ditchling, and has regular trains heading towards London Victoria, London Bridge and St Pancras in just under an hour. Buses also pass through Ditchling and connect to nearby destinations such as Brighton Old Steine on the 79 and Burgess Hill on the 167.

For residents seeking to travel further afield, Gatwick Airport is only a half hour drive away from Ditchling on the A23.  

Local shops 

Ditchling has a healthy amount of shops and amenities for everyday life, including the Ditchling Pharmacy, the Parkers Newsagent and Confectionary and the Court Garden Vineyard & Winery. For those desiring larger scale shopping, Market Place Shopping Centre in Burgess Hill has a wide range of options in terms of shops and retail outlets, while Churchill Square Shopping Centre in central Brighton is also located nearby, and is the obvious choice for shopping and eating out. 

Ditchling has a collection of excellent spots for dining and relaxing. Ditchling Tea Rooms is a lovely traditional location, nestled in a beautiful spot on the South Downs. With a charming courtyard and locally sourced food, pastries and cakes, not to mention a fantastic breakfast, it’s popular with both tourists and residents alike. If that isn’t to your taste, The White Horse Inn is a historic pub dating back to the 12th century, and is the perfect place to sample some fine ales and lagers, as well as a traditional Sunday carvery.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.

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