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.
For beautiful jewellery, try Pearl & Queenie. A Victoriana styled boutique which showcases over 30 top british designer work, made in all manor of materials from gold, silver, leather, glass, acylic 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. 16 George Street Old Town Hastings TN34 3EG www.pearlandqueenie.com
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.
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.
Some very nice traditional pubs down in the Old town. Try the Jenny Lind when it's got local strong cider :-)
In the central city