The mid-Sussex area around Forest Row has been a magnet for enlightened educationalists for many years,? Humberts? John Husband observes. He cites prep schools such as Ashdown House in Forest Row, Brambletye in East Grinstead, and Cumnor House in Danehill, as major draws for London buyers relocating to the country, who need swift commuter access to the City and West End.

Pupil numbers have doubled in a decade at progressive Cumnor House School, which sends children to leading public schools such as Tonbridge, Charter house, Cranleigh, Lancing, Millfield and Wycombe Abbey. Brambletye has a similarly impressive record, with pupils progressing to Eton, Harrow, Wellington College and Winchester, and Ashdown House alumni (who include Boris Johnson, Nicholas Coleridge and Viscount Linley) regularly move on to Benenden, Marl-borough, Harrow and Winchester.

On the other hand, Sussex parents who prefer the single school system can sign their children up for full-term education at Ardingly College, Lancing College, Hurstpierpoint and Burgess Hill School for Girls.

Accordingly, family houses within a five-mile radius of East Grinstead, Haywards Heath or Forest Row command premiums, Humberts say, quoting Leams End (above) at West Hoathly a six-bedroom house with 6.5 acres of gardens and grounds, currently for sale at £1.3m, through their Lewes office (01273 478828)as an example of value for money in the current market.

This article first appeared in Country Life magazine on July 20, 2006.