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
The town grew from its medieval origins into a Victorian seaside resort, and the majority of the town's 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, cafes and Europe's largest beach-side fishing fleet. The town also boasts a hill-top castle, two funicular railways, the Georgian church of St. Mary's in the Castle, 18th-century fishing net shops, and access to Hastings Country Park--a 660-acre area of 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 recent investment in regenerating the area, parts of the seafront certainly have seen better days.
Hastings 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 2hours and 7 , compared with 1 hour 45 minutes for the fastest Charing Cross services There are also services to Ashford and Brighton.
The nearest airport is Gatwick Airport. 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 1:30-1:37.
Hastings Castle - The first castle to be built in England after the Norman conquest. Only ruins of the castle still exist, the most significant of which are the dungeons, the walls of the chapel and a high archway and spiral staircase.
Jerwood Gallery- contains the Jerwood Collection of 20th and 21st century art and changing contemporary exhibition programme.
The Pier - Currently being rebuilt and due to reopen in 2015.
The Hastings Country Park - 660 acres of woodland glens, and cliffs falling within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty .
The Stade - in the old town, the home of Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet, as well as the historic net huts.
Smugglers Adventure - a set of caves (St Clements Caves) in the hills above the town
Blue Reef Aquarium
Burton St Leonards - Elegant regency town and park designed in 1828 by James Burton
Alexandra Park - 109 Acre Grade II listed victorian park including lakes and landscaped gardens
St Mary in the Castle - Grade II listed georgian church located beneath the castle in the regency square - pelham crescent. The space is now used as a gallery, theatre and performance venue
Hastings from the cliffs - a view of Hastings up on the cliffs, travelled to on the cliff railways.
Hastings is economically depressed compared to much of Southeast England, and there are a lot of bored youths willing to start fights with strangers without provocation. They are unlikely to bother anyone in the tourist areas, but exercise caution if walking alone through the area.
Pearl & Queenie, 16 George St. Beautiful jewellery. A Victorian styled boutique which showcases over 30 top british designer work, handmade in all manor 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 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 40's dress, to little treasures – £15 for a vintage Laura Ashley maxi-dress.
Little Treasures, 73 High Street Hastings Old Town, ☎ 01424 200511, . Vintage clothes and funky furniture boutique. A little bit of Brick Lane in Hastings (without the price tags)! Rails packed with little gems waiting just for you to take home to love and have fun with. Kitsch cool and funky, a must see whilst in Hastings. edit
Fishermen's museum and net huts on the stade, Hastings
Fish and chips - there are hundreds of fish and chip shops. The Blue Dolphin used to be very popular, and was considered to be one of the best in Britain. It was taken over a few years ago, and went down hill fast.
One Life Escapes Holiday Cottages, . Two beautifully finished luxury holiday cottages on the South coast of England, each stylishly presented with modern and contemporary finishes. Ideal for families or friends who want to get together on holiday in a five star finished property.edit
The Place at the Beach, ☎ +44 1797 225 057, . Located on the outskirts of Hastings, this small luxury hotel is located on the coast with unique views over the Camber Sands.£70. edit
Flackley Ash Hotel, Flackley Ash Hotel & Restaurant. Peasmarsh, Nr. Rye, East Sussex. TN31 6YH, ☎ +44 1797 230651, . In nearby Rye, Flackley Ash Hotel and Restaurant offers luxury and comfort.£120. edit