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 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 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 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.
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 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: .
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.
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.
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.
Fishermen's museum and net huts on the stade, Hastings
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.
Little Treasures, 73 High Street, ☎ 01424 200511, . Vintage boutique
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.
Some very nice traditional pubs down in the Old town. Try the Jenny Lind when it's got local strong cider :-)
North Lodge, Burton St Leonards
Highlands Gardens, St Leonards on Sea, Hastings
In the central city
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.
The Place at the Beach, ☎ +44(0) 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.
Flackley Ash Hotel, Flackley Ash Hotel & Restaurant. Peasmarsh, Nr. Rye, East Sussex. TN31 6YH, ☎ +44 (0) 1797 230651, . In nearby Rye, Flackley Ash Hotel and Restaurant offers luxury and comfort.£120.
View of the East Hill and Hastings old town from the West Hill
Visit the historical area surrounding Hastings, known as 1066 Country.