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Hastings Offers 1066 And More

Updated on October 6, 2018
ethel smith profile image

Eileen loves to travel as much as possible, both at home in the U.K. and abroad, with local places of interest high on her to-visit list.

Old Town Hastings

George Street, Old town, Hastings Deutsch: Historische Altstadt/Hastings
George Street, Old town, Hastings Deutsch: Historische Altstadt/Hastings | Source

Where is Hastings?

Hastings is a fishing based seaside resort situated in the County of East Sussex on the South Coast of England. It is over to the east alongside places such as Bexhill-on-Sea, Brighton, Eastbourne, and Rye.

Situated on the coast Hastings has a shingle beach that is also a working one; the fishermen still bring their boats onto to the beach.

Near what is called the old town there are distinctive tall fishing net huts that are very much part of Hastings.

Family Connection

My brother, having lived in London for a fair few years, moved to Hastings some time ago. Here he is able to combine the rat race with some peace and a more relaxing quality of life.

He works mainly from home due to the wonders of the Internet and when necessary will travel by train into London. Overall he has found a happy compromise without damaging his wallet too much. In fact, as it is cheaper to live in Hastings, than in London, he is quids in, as we say.

The best bonus, however is he and his wife adore quirky Hastings.

The Annual Jack In The Green Celebration


As children in the U.K., we were all taught about the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Whether British schoolchildren still study such distant times I am not sure but for my generation, the study worked as I, along with most people of my age group, know exactly when this battle took place - it was in 1066.

There is a place just outside of Hastings called Battle where the famous fight took place.

However, one thing I did not realize until I visited Hastings was that it took place a little outside of Hastings at a place which, these days, is called Battle.

Perhaps one of the reasons 1066 and all that sticks in my mind is that Harold, the King at the time, received what was to be a fatal injury, an arrow into his eye. Yuk. As a child, this made as much an impression on me as anything else.

However, with such a past Hastings has plenty to explore and of course, locals are rightly very proud of its heritage. Visitors will find that 1066 and Harold are mentioned here, there and everywhere.

Enjoy A Virtual Walk Through Hastings

Modern Times Hastings

These days the local council has tried to update Hastings in order to keep its tourist trade. Much of its visitors tend to be day-trippers from nearby Brighton or Londoners wanting a day by the sea.

There are some modern children's rides near to the seafront, a front which has two halves. One incorporates these rides, shops and a traditional sea-side beach, although it is not sand. This part of Hastings leads along to nearby St Leonard's which is within easy walking distance. The seafront area of Hastings is nice and flat and so makes for easy walking or even cycling.

The other side of Hastings seafront takes in the old town. Here you will discover some fine examples of period architecture. The shops here tend to be more quaint and quirky. There is a fishing museum near to those distinctive fishing net huts.

Hastings itself is quite hilly.

My relatives live in a hilly area and there are many paths with steps to aid access around and about. The town has some poorer areas, especially on its outskirts, and Hastings does suffer some unemployment.

Hastings popularity as a two-week vacation destination waned when Brits fell in love with foreign travel but with economic uncertainty, due to Brexit, many Brits are looking at taking a vacation in the U.K. again and Hastings will fit the bill for many.

For me, the area is not as pretty or lush as Cornwall, but it does have a lot to offer.

Hastings has quite a community of local artists and this is evident everywhere you go in the old town. Trendy cafes and bars have opened up which serve great food in lovely surroundings.

One a hill looking down over Hastings there are the ruins of a castle which was built by William the Conqueror, once he had put paid to Harold.

Apart from the Fishing Museum, there is another museum come gallery.

There are quirky antique shops all over the place.

There is a funicular lift which takes passengers up the cliff, to the beginning of the South Downs where you can explore some lovely countryside at your leisure.

Hastings has good train links and it is easy to get around. The trains are a better and cheaper option overall than local buses. Train services are regular and still visit small resorts and towns along the coast. Our local trains in Yorkshire had their services cut many years ago, which sounded the death knell for our small resorts. However, on the South Coast of England small resorts not only survive but many thrive.

We visited Brighton, Bexhill-on-sea, and Rye by train.

Our journey to Hastings was not quite so simple as it involved changing trains at Doncaster, then again in London meaning we had to get from Kings Cross to Victoria station. Thankfully the first time my brother met us at Kings Cross, where we took a tube on the London underground. On the way back we took a London taxi cab and found this much easier although a little more expensive.

Part of the problem is that since deregulation of our trains different companies own different lines and train services. Our journey used high-speed modern trains, slower older ones and one that looked as if it had just arrived out of the ark.


Hastings is a nice place to visit. It probably would be perfect for a family holiday but for adults may be better as a base. Exploring Brighton and the area here will be good value and Hastings is less busy than such towns.

Hastings does have events throughout the year such as The Green Man each May Bank Holiday and a Town Parade in August. Check out the local tourist board for details.

So many times when I speak with my brother on the phone Hastings is having lovely weather, and no he is not lying to me. The forecasts highlight that Hastings is in a sheltered spot where it so often seems to have better weather than the rest of the U.K.

I like Hastings but I have to admit that if my brother did not live there I would probably never have visited. However, I have to say I am glad that I did.

Tourist Information

© 2018 Ethel Smith


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