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Hastings

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Hastings is a seaside town in East Sussex, in the South East of England.

View of Hastings from the East Hill

Understand[edit]

Hastings is most famous for the battle that took place there in 1066 between King Harold's English and William the Conqueror's Normans. The town lent its name to the battle, although the battle actually took place in nearby Battle (these were imaginative times...).

The town grew from its medieval origins into a Victorian seaside resort, and the majority of the towns architecture dates from this period. Today, along with St Leonards on Sea, Hastings forms a fairly large urban area on the south coast of around 100,000 inhabitants.

Nestled between the rugged beauty of the East and West Hills, the town's main attraction is the medieval Old Town, with its narrow passageways, antique shops, boutiques, cafe's and Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet. The town also boasts a hill-top castle, two funicular railways, the Georgian church of St Mary in the Castle, 18th century net shops, and access to Hastings Country Park - a 660 acres (270 hectares) Nature Reserve with woodland glens, beaches and cliff top views.

Away from the Old Town, Hastings largely retains the character of a Victorian seaside resort, with seafront squares, grand Victorian facades, elegant parks and a pier. However, the town suffered from the post war decline in the seaside tourist industry in England and while there has been significant investment in regenerating the area, parts of the seafront have seen better days.

Narrow passageways in old Hastings

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

Hastings is at the end of the A21, which links the town to the M25 and London. The A27 runs west along the coast to Eastbourne and Brighton, and the A259 runs east to Ashford and Folkestone.

By train[edit]

1 Hastings station is at one end of the Hastings Line, which runs through Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks on the way to London Charing Cross. There is also a direct service via Eastbourne to London Victoria, but this takes 2 hours and 7 minutes, compared with 1 hour 30 minutes for the fastest Charing Cross services. There are also services to Ashford and Brighton.

By plane[edit]

The nearest airport is 2 London Gatwick (LGW IATA). After arriving, take Southern Train at Gatwick Airport Rail Station to the direction of Ore Rail Station directly to Hastings Rail Station. It will take between 1hr 30min and 1hr 37min.

Get around[edit]

Map of Hastings (England)

See[edit]

Hastings Country Park - Ecclesbourne Glen
  • 1 Hastings Castle, Castle Hill Road, West Hill, TN34 3AR, +44 844 549 9088. Hastings Castle on Wikipedia Hastings Castle (Q5680295) on Wikidata
  • Pier.
  • 2 Hastings Country Park, 148 Martineau Ln, TN35 5DR, +44 1424 451050. 660 acres of woodland glens, and cliffs falling within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hastings Country Park on Wikipedia
  • 3 The Stade (in the old town). The home of Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet, and the historic net huts. The Stade on Wikipedia
  • 4 Smugglers Adventure, St Clement’s Caves, TN34 3JJ, +44 1424 422964. 10:00am-5:30pm. A set of caves (St Clements Caves) in the hills above the town.
  • 5 Blue Reef Aquarium (previously Underwater World), Rock-A-Nore Rd, TN34 3DW, +44 1424 718776. 10:00am-5:00pm. An aquarium.
  • 6 St Mary in the Castle, 7 Pelham Crescent, TN34 3AF, +44 1424 715880. A grade II listed former Georgian church located beneath the castle in the Regency Square - Pelham Crescent. The space is now used as a gallery, theatre and performance venue.
  • 7 Jerwood Gallery, Rock-A-Nore Rd, TN34 3DW, +44 1424 728377. Mon: Closed, Tue-Sat: 11:00am-5:00pm. A contemporary (but controversial) art gallery on The Stade. Jerwood Gallery on Wikipedia
  • Hastings from the cliffs - a view of Hastings up on the cliffs, travelled to on the cliff railways.

Do[edit]

Hill Street in Hastings Old Town
  • 1 Alexandra Park. A 109 acres (44 hectares) Grade II listed Victorian park including lakes and landscaped gardens, perfect place for a walk. Alexandra Park, Hastings on Wikipedia
  • 2 Hastings Adventure Golf, Hastings Old Town Seafront, TN34 3AJ, +44 1424 437227, e-mail: . Play crazy golf on the seafront.
  • Take the East and West Hill Lifts - two funiculars - up to the cliffs above the town.
  • Walk around the Old Town, exploring its alleys and junk shops.

Buy[edit]

  • Pearl & Queenie, 16 George St. Beautiful jewellery. A Victorian styled boutique which showcases the work of more than 30 top British designers, handmade in all manner of materials from gold, silver, leather, glass, acrylic and even wood. A treasure trove of jewels with many featured in the UK's top fashion magazines. A must-see shop if not only for the designs on show but for the interior which boasts bow-fronted cabinets and saucy antiquities.
  • Vintage clothes. This place is a bit of a hidden treasure. Lots of vintage clothes shops and brick-a-brack – some are run by people who also have stalls in Portobello Road (London) later on in the week. One of them has the flatmate of Peaches Geldof as an assistant at the weekends! Prices range from what you'd expect – £60 for a decent 1940s dress, to little treasures – £15 for a vintage Laura Ashley maxi-dress.

Eat[edit]

Fishermen's museum and net huts on the stade, Hastings

Fish and chips[edit]

There are hundreds of fish and chip shops, such as the Blue Dolphin.

  • 3 Blue Dolphin Fish Bar, 61B High St, Hastings TN34 3EJ, +44 1424 547150. 11:30am-10:00pm.

Drink[edit]

Some very nice traditional pubs down in the Old town.

North Lodge, Burton St Leonards
Highlands Gardens, St Leonards on Sea, Hastings

Sleep[edit]

In the central town[edit]

Many of the hotels are on the seafront.

North[edit]

North-West[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Visit the historical area surrounding Hastings, known as 1066 Country.
  • Burton St Leonards - Elegant Regency town and park designed in 1828 by James Burton.



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