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Hastings, East Sussex

Updated on May 28, 2019

A typical British seaside town on the Southeast Coast

If you're looking for a British Seaside experience, one that mixes both traditional and modern attractions, then Hastings in East Sussex is certainly worth a visit. Rich in history, with fascinating sites, and plenty of amusement arcades and fish & chips shops, it's a pleasant place to spend those sunny English summer days.

(Picture source:

Historical Locations in Hastings

Hastings was, of course, the famous site for the Battle Of Hastings in 1066, where Britain was invaded by the Norman-French army, led by Duke William of Normandy. Legend has it that the English King Harold was killed by an arrow to the eye. The battle was the last time an invading army was to win on British soil. Those visiting Hastings, wishing to know more, should check out more information about the battle site, and of course Battle Abbey on the English Heritage website.

Hastings also has an 'old town' area, found around All Saints Street and the High Street. Some of the oldest surviving houses here date back from around 1450. All Saints Church was built in 1436, and is found at the top of All Saints Street. Nowadays, the area near to Hastings Old Town is home to little gift shops, book stores, and the odd pub too!

Hastings was, and still is, a fishing town. Many of the early net huts are still around today, and often considered as one of Hastings most internationally known landmarks. Fish markets are still popular along the seafront, and fans of fresh fish are recommended to visit the selection of markets available.

(Picture credit: Hastings Castle, which you'll find on Castle Hill Road.

All Saints Church

All Saints Church, Hastings. The church is a Grade B listed building. Visit Images Of England for more information.

(Picture source:

The Battle of Hastings on BBC Two

A documentary video discussing the Battle Of Hastings

Hastings: Britain's Oldest Fishing Port

The history of Hastings can't be discussed without a mention of its deep fishing history. For around the last 1000 years, Hastings has used fishing as its basic source of income, and now, one of its primary tourist attractions. Rock-A-Nore Road, along the seafront, is dock to over 25 boats still used for fishing, as well as a Fisherman's Museum, and a Fishmarket (run by a local charity set up by Hastings Fisherman's Protection Society, making sure that not only the fisherman get a good deal, but that the heritage of the fishing industry is protected, and that the fishing community keeps their right to use the beach free of charge.

A list of interesting websites describing the fishing history in more detail:

  • 1066 Online: Hastings Fishermens Museum and Fishmarket (and access to many other tourist attractions in Hastings
  • Fishermen's Institute: Information on the charity set up for local fishermen
  • The Stade: The area of beach used by fishermen as their port

(Picture Credit: Net Houses on The Stade, Hastings Beach.

Hastings Beach

Like many seafronts on the South East Coast of England, Hastings is a pebble and shingle beach. No sandcastles, unfortunately. Although at the same time, no sand stuck between toes, all over towels, or in your ice cream! If you've never walked on pebbled beaches before, its quite a skill, I'd recommend wearing sandals or flip-flops. Deck chairs are available for hire, for those wishing to catch some rays, or to sit down comfortably while eating your fish & chips. By the way, I really can't recommend fish and chips enough. Being British, I think it must be part of my heritage and my culture, much like cups of tea and patriotism for the Royal Family. There's something about fish and chips, (or a battered sausage, my personal preference) they really do taste so much better when sat on a warm beach!

The beach is also home to amusement parks, a small theme park (featuring dodgems, a haunted train, a historical boating lake and a few other rides), and plenty of sweet shops and gift shops. There's also a miniature railway, originally installed in 1948 but recently renovated and re-opened, which travels from the Marine Parade to Rock-A-Nore.

(Picture credit: A photograph taken by my mother, reproduced with permission. Thanks, mum!)

Hastings Boating Lake and Amusement Arcade

A view of the boating lake, with the amusement arcade in the background

(Picture credit: Another photograph taken by my mother, reproduced with permission.)

Hastings Tourism Video on Youtube

A short video of some of the sights found in Hastings

Cliff Railways

Hastings is home to the UK's steepest funicular railway system, the Cliff Railways. The 2 routes, East Cliff and West Cliff, will take you up to the tops of the cliffs, giving you an incredible view of the seafront, and local shops and amenities. At the top of the West Cliff, you'll find incredible views of Beachy Head and the English Channel. There is also access to Smuggler's Adventure, Hastings Castle, and the 1066 Story attraction. East Cliff is home to Hastings County Park, and spectacular views of The Stade and Hastings Old Town.

(Picture source:

Hastings Cliff Railway Picture

The top of one of the Cliff Railway routes. Both cliffs can be accessed by walking, but I recommend the railway systems. Not only do they take away the leg work of all the stairs, but you can also enjoy the spectacular view on the ascent up the cliffs.

(Picture source:

Would You Like To Visit Hastings?

(Picture credit: Another photograph taken by my mother, reproduced with permission.)

Does Hastings look like the ideal place for you to spend a summer day at an interesting and history-soaked British Seaside town?

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More Information About Hastings

If you'd like to read more about Hastings, its tourist attractions, and history, then take a look at the websites below.

Have you ever visited the town? If not, is it somewhere that you'd like to spend a day? Or maybe there's something that I've forgotten to mention? Why not leave a comment and let me know what you think!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 alexis84


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