Welcome to the area

Your editor for Westdene is David Lockie. If you’ve got any queries about this area, or can add any information, photos or memories, please send My Brighton and Hove a message via the Comments form at the bottom of this page.

One of the best junior schools in Brighton
Westdene is a very pleasant village situated just off the London Road (A23) about two miles north of Brighton city centre. The village boasts a Post Office, convenience store, butchers, health & beauty salon, pharmacy, Chinese takeaway and one of the best junior schools in Brighton.

Near neighbours
The nearest villages are Patcham, over the London Road, and Withdean, which surrounds the smaller village. The Withdean Stadium, home to the Brighton & Hove Albion is nearby and on a match day the crowd’s roar fills the centre of the village.  The village Post Office is named after Eldred Avenue, the main road through the center of the village.

Surrounded by the downs
Westdene is surrounded by the beautiful Sussex downs, the peaks of which can be seen surrounding the village, especially in Winter when the heavy tree growth clears out to give clear views across the hills.

Away from the pace of the city
This lush vegetation makes Westdene a beautiful and sought-after location in which to live and especially in which to raise a family or just to slow down from the pace of the city. There is a small but well-maintained park in the village’s central valley, right next to the local school, Westdene School.

Nature reserves with rare species
The village is the proud home to a number of small but important nature reserves, which harbour rare butterfly and moth species as well as providing an important safehaven for native plants and wildlife. There is a strong community of bats in the area and the local conservation group run activities throughout the summer months to help educate local residents to the nature on their doorstep.

To find out more about the village, its history, present and future, please browse the rest of this site.

Comments about this page

  • Thank you for the article on Westdene. I especially appreciated the photo of the village shops. My neice had a greengrocers store next to the chemist at the north end, Liz was the pharmacist. Mr. and Mrs. Davis lived above the stores. There was a character, a Mrs ? who was about eighty years of age (this was 20 years ago) who would walk right up Eldred Ave, to work on her allotment. Thank you for the article.

    By Eric Feast (14/10/2004)
  • Hi – Not sure about Westdene being a village. I always thought of it as a post-war housing estate. Preston and Patcham certainly qualify as villages but not surely not Westdene!

    By Geoff (27/11/2004)
  • What a superb account of this famous location! Mr Lockie, I salute you! Westdene is, quite possibly, the greatest place to live on earth, and let it be known that us Westdene’ites are fully aware of this. Long live Eldred News!

    By Tom Witham (16/01/2005)
  • Don’t be daft. Westdene is not and never has been a village!

    By D Sandifore (27/10/2005)
  • Westdene a village! Dream on – it’s a housing estate. I remember my (best forgotten) school days at Patcham Fawcett (bulldozed – about the best thing that could happen to it). The teacher asked of the class ‘who lives in a rural location?’. All the Westdene residents put their hands up whilst I, as a Bevendean resident, (from across the tracks?) did not. It was only years later when living in rural Suffolk, ten miles from the nearest town, I thought this IS rural! Funny how these things from your school days stick in your mind. Nice site, by the way. It brings back memories, I left Brighton when I was 19 and, after a few visits back, I am afraid I have no desire to go back.

    By Iain (06/07/2006)
  • Anybody remember Withdean Stadium being a Zoo?!  Yes I am 65 and just remember it. Any pictures would be great.  Later, myself and husband both ran at Withdean Stadium – me with Patcham School and my husband, Colin, for Brighton & Hove Atheltics – this would have been in the 1950s.

    By Christine Martin (24/05/2007)
  • I was born in Redhill Drive over 50 years ago, my grandparents were very upset when all the new houses were built, that are now westdene. I do not remember the zoo at withdean but I do remember famous show jumpers entering competitions there before Douggie Bunn opened Hickstead.

    By Margaret Thompson (20/11/2007)
  • I think the area is greater then most areas of Brighton. I know this to be a fact.

    By T (15/03/2008)
  • I agree, Westdene is certainly NOT a village. I do remember Withdean Stadium being a zoo. I lived in Valley Drive all my childhood and visited the zoo, particularly liking George the llama. The clubhouse (in the carpark still) will always be the monkey house to me. I remember horse shows taking place at the stadium too and collecting famous riders autographs. Between the wars, I believe, although I am much too young to remember it was a tennis centre. I have never seen any photographs relating to any of Withdean Stadiums uses before B and H Albion days.

    By Pat Smith nee Questier (16/05/2008)
  • Can anyone tell me about the Westdene bowls green (club) which was situated near the current children’s playgroup in the late 60s, and why it was discontinued?

    By Doug Reed (16/07/2008)
  • My neighbour was a member of Westdene Bowls Club. He said that the bowling green became infected with a fungus and Brighton Council wouldn’t pay for the green to be replaced so the club had to close.

    By David Whatman (27/08/2011)
  • Westdene was certainly not a village, but the school was a delightful place to work. I taught there from 1969-74 and have some very happy memories of pupils and staff.

    By Peter Holloway (21/04/2012)
  • Mr Holloway! If my memory serves me right you taught me how to play the guitar at Westdene. I left in July ’70 to go to Varndean Grammar. Good memories!

    By Symon Johnston (06/10/2013)
  • I also grew up in Westdene in the late 50s and lived there until I married. I remember many happy times at the local school when the headmaster was Mr Avis and Mrs Brockway took the new children. The teacher who put fear and dread into us when she lost her temper was Mrs Gregory but she certainly made sure we learnt well.

    Does anyone remember when Mr Maxey had the newsagents at the bottom of Mill Rise?

    By Sue Smith (25/03/2014)
  • Had the great fortune to live on Barn Rise for ten years in a lovely house with a fantastic raised garden offering fabulous views to Brighton Station and the sea. It is a great area to live; a BN1 postcode with unrestricted parking, neighbours who you know by name and chat with, surrounded by greenery, peace and quiet and enough facilities to keep anybody happy. Excellently placed for access to the A23/A27 and easy access into the centre of Brighton either by bus or foot. The only thing that would benefit would be a decent pub! Especially enchanting in snow (as long as you don’t have to drive anywhere!) and even though Barn Rise is situated in a ‘bowl’, the area is remarkably quiet considering the density of houses. I’d move back in a shot  - but alas, house prices there are now well out of my league!

    By Anon (23/02/2016)

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