200 good reasons to live by the sea

The choice is yours — the buzz of Brighton or a home beside a peaceful bay. Britain's glorious coastline has something to tempt every Londoner
Apartments and cottages at Gara Rock, overlooking the bay at Salcombe on the south Devon coast
£550,000: apartments and cottages at Gara Rock, overlooking the bay at Salcombe on the south Devon coast. Call Coast Group (0845 602 9311) or visit gararock.com
There are about 200 marinas along Britain's coastline. Fuelled by London money, one of them, at Poole Harbour in Dorset, has become one of the UK's most expensive locations (with homes as costly as Eaton Square).

"Some buyers are searching for a relaxing lock-up-and-leave second home — they like to chill out in their shorts and T-shirt without being bothered, while others arrive with their City bonus, looking for a good investment," explains one Poole estate agent.

Canford Heights is a hillside scheme of five superb apartments built by Octagon, a developer normally found in the Surrey stockbroker belt.

Here Octagon has opted for distinctly modern architecture — glittering glass walls and crisp white render, with luxurious interior finishes and super-size terraces overlooking the Solent. Prices from £2.25 million. Call estate agent Lloyds on 01202 708044.

Nearby Salters Marina has 285 berths, and mooring fees start at £2,910 a year for a five-metre boat.

Octagon's spectacular new Canford Heights scheme overlooking the Solent
£2.25 million: Octagon's spectacular new Canford Heights scheme has five apartments overlooking the Solent. Call 01202 708044

'Thanks to email and the internet, it dawned on me that I was no longer tied to London. I decided to move to the coast'

Kent and Sussex seaside towns are also popular with busy Londoners because of the quick escape and the metropolitan vibe.

Priyanka Saran, a 34-year old mental health doctor, chose Brighton because of its quick rail and road links to the London and Surrey hospitals where she works.

"Living on the coast has a special quality; the air is fresher and you feel healthier. The pace is a little slower than London but Brighton has lots of vitality and is a rewarding place to live."

She bought a one-bedroom flat at Grand Ocean, a listed Art Deco development (once a hotel) that occupies an elevated site in Saltdean, part of the Sussex Downs, and sweeps down to the beachfront.

Apartments at Grand Ocean in Saltdean, Brighton,  overlooking the sea
From £179,995: apartments at Grand Ocean in Saltdean, Brighton, where 279 homes are being built overlooking the sea and incorporating an iconic Art Deco former hotel. Call 0845 873 9054.
There are 279 homes, including terrace penthouses, and many flats have sea views. Prices start at £179,995. Call 0845 873 9054.

For 27 years, Lisa Carr lived in Camden where she ran her own business securing visas and work permits for foreign nationals.

"I needed to live near the embassies then, but email and the internet changed that. It dawned on me that I wasn't tied to London so I decided to move to the coast."

She opted for Southampton, close to her native Isle of Wight, and bought a new waterside apartment at the Ocean Village marina complex. She commutes to London once a week.

"I look out over the marina to the cruise ships and ferry terminal and watch the world go by — I love it," she says.

Apartments are priced from £140,000. Call 02380 630789.

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