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The local area guide to living in Etchingham

Etchingham is a small rural village and community in East Sussex, South East England. It's nestled in a pretty, peaceful valley at the meeting point of the rivers Dudwell, Rother and Limden. The A65 conveniently runs through the village, allowing easy access to other nearby towns and villages, including Hastings which is just 12 miles away.

The village has roots in Anglo-Saxon times, and had already been long established as a significant manor before the Norman invasion in 1066. While the manor house is now long gone, the historic feel is apparent throughout the village.

There is a 14th century church in the village, originally constructed within the grounds of the manor, and features what is arguably the oldest brass weathervane in England. Legend has it that a great bell meant for the church was dropped into the old moat, too heavy to save. It was said that as soon as six white oxen were brought to the task, the bell would re-emerge. While it's uncertain whether the white oxen have ever attempted the task, the moat is centuries gone and the bell has not been found.

Etchingham is a classic English country village - full of life, character and warm community spirit. It holds plenty of annual social events and activities, and is always welcoming to newcomers.

Information about the local residents

Etchingham is very small, with a population of just over 800 as of the 2011 census. On the whole, the population is a fair bit older than the national average. The average age is 47.2, which compares to 39.3 for the rest of England and 43.6 for the rest of East Sussex. Nearly 60% of the locals are over 45, while just 18% are under 18. However, the locals generally report their health as good - around 94% would say it as at least 'fair', with the highest proportion rating it as 'very good'.

Economically, Etchingham sits pretty close to average for England, if not slightly more affluent. Unemployment is low, at 2.3%, and nearly 75% of residents own their own home. In terms of social grade, the residents are pretty representative of the English norm. Roughly 55% of residents belong to the ABC1 social grades - that is to say, they work in a job role classified as Higher or Intermediate administrative, managerial or professional.

The village has plenty of groups and communities, including a village cricket team. A standout example of the village spirit is the effort they put into preserving the village shop, which has stood for over 150 years and was all but destroyed by flooding in the year 2000. Locals put a lot of effort into fundraising and, eventually, the shop was purchased as part of a village cooperative, with shares owned by village residents.

Nearby schools

Etchingham Church of England Primary School is the local school. It is a voluntary controlled school, combining traditional values with a modern curriculum and plenty of outdoor enrichment activities in order to provide the children with a rounded education.

After children leave the primary school, parents have the choice of sending them to a whole host of local secondary schools of an excellent standard. One of the more popular is the Hastings Academy, open since 2011, which is just a short drive away.

Getting around

Etchingham, unusually for its size, has a railway station which is served by Southeastern Trains. It is on the Hastings Line, and has one train per hour at off-peak times travelling to London Charing Cross via Tunbridge Wells, and one per hour going in the other direction to Hastings.

There are also local buses running regularly through the village. Drivers will find the village's location on the A265, just half a mile from the A21, extremely convenient for local travel.

Local shops

Besides the aforementioned cooperative convenience store, Etchingham has a good selection of village essentials including pubs.

For more expansive shopping trips, Hastings is the best option and is only a few minutes’ drive away. It has all the modern high street brands expected, as well as some good independent stores.


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.