The coastal town of Hastings, Sussex is cushioned between the rolling hills that stretch down to the sea. Perhaps more commonly associated with the infamous battle of 1066 between the English and the Normans, the siege actually took place in the surrounding countryside where the town of Battle now stands. The colourful town today is a far cry from the battlefield of old, frequented by visitors seeking all the fun of the fair from the traditional British seaside resort, which established its new namesake during the Victorian era.
Look up from the endless promenade to view the ruins of an ancient castle on high, where it has stood for some 1000 years watching over the popular seaside town, while down below the Old Town retains its character of bygone days in the grand architecture, seafront gardens and pier. Old meets new in an interesting fashion between the cobbled streets and passageways of vintage shops, boutiques and eclectic cafés. Elsewhere you will find the historic fishing quarter, with its striking black huts and the salty air of fresh seafood adjacent to the high-adrenaline funfair and rides.
Hastings truly does have attractions for all ages to enjoy, from high-brow museums and galleries like the Hastings Contemporary and Shipwreck Museum. Visit Blue Reef Aquarium with the kids or experience a Smugglers Adventure, with creativity and culture hidden in unexpected places. Ride on Britain’s steepest funicular or wile away an afternoon in the amusement arcades. You could easily spend a few hours exploring the plethora of independent galleries, tea rooms and pubs that line the narrow streets, where ancient churches and antique shops mix with the modern fayre.
Escape the bustling centre with a scenic stroll along the shoreline or its unique double-decker promenade fondly known as Bottle Alley. You can also ascend to Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve, offering a quieter green space and perfect for a picnic with panoramic views, or take a seat in Grosvenor Gardens just off the promenade.
Located in South East England, Hastings is a two hour train journey from central London, or a 20 minute drive from Rye, arguably the best preserved medieval town in Britain and makes for a great place to explore this pocket of England, where the striking chalk coast meets rural country living. Ideal for a short break with family or friends, you’ll be spoilt for choice with regards to places to see and activities to try.