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Hastings (England)

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East Sussex : Hastings
Revision as of 12:37, 27 February 2009 by 212.42.168.65 (Talk)

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Hastings [1] is a seaside town in East Sussex, in the South East of England.

View of Hastings from the East Hill

Understand

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 (of all places).

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 beachside 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 net shops, and access to Hastings Country Park - a 660 acre area 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 remain faded and run down.

Get in

By car

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

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 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

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.

Get around

See

Hastings Country Park - Ecclesbourne Glen
  • Hastings Castle - also Pevensey Castle, the first castle to be built in England after the Norman conquest. More at the website: [2].
  • The Pier.
  • 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
  • Underwater World - an 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.

Do

Hill Street in Hastings Old Town
  • Take a walk in Alexandra Park.
  • Play crazy golf on the seafront.
  • Take the East and West Hill Lifts - two funiculars - up to the cliffs above the town.

Buy

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.

Eat

Fish and chips - there are hundreds of fish and chip shops. The Blue Dolphin is very popular, and is considered to be one of the best in Britain.

Drink

Some very nice traditional pubs down in the Old town. Try the Jenny Lind when it's got local strong cider :-)

Sleep

In the central city

  • Best Western Royal Victoria Hotel (***)
  • Chatsworth Hotel (**)
  • Hastings-House (***)
  • Highland Inn (**)
  • Le Chateau Japonais This is a 5 room Bed and Breakfast. (http://www.le-chateau-japonais.com)
  • The White Rock Hotel (***)

North

  • Sedlescombe Golf Hotel (***) (6.1 km)
  • The Brickwall Hotel (***) (8.9 km)

West

  • The York Hotel (7.0 km)

North-West

  • Abbey Hotel (***) (8.9 km)
  • Powdermills Hotel (***) (8.6 km)
  • The George Hotel (***) (9.0 km

Get out

  • Visit the historical area surrounding Hastings, known as 1066 Country.
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