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Holidays in Hastings

Once home to William the Conqueror, this historical fishing town is now gaining ground with its up-and-coming arts scene

UK | South Coast | Sussex | Hastings
Hastings

Hastings is possibly one of the most famous towns in the South-East of England, and well-known for its military history. The famous battle of 1066 actually took place 7 miles away in Battle where the majestic Battle Abbey now stands, built on the spot where King Harold was defeated by William the Conqueror. Once the home of this Norman King, the ruins of Hastings Castle stand on the edge of the cliffs, commanding spectacular views across the English Channel towards France.

The long pebbly beach stretching from Hastings Old Town towards St. Leonards and Bexhill beyond, plays host to typical seaside attractions such as amusements and crazy golf. Start out at Rock-a-Nore Beach where you will find traditional old fisherman’s huts and lots of interesting places to explore. Be sure to visit the award-winning Jerwood Gallery, a museum of contemporary British art which is part of a vibrant arts scene in the town.

Grab a bite to eat at Webbe’s, well-known for its fresh fish and seafood, then work off the pounds after by walking up to the East Hill where fabulous views over The Stade await you. If the hike up is too much, you can take the funicular railway at Cliff Railways and then stroll back down at a more leisurely pace. If you prefer a spot of shopping first, head for its sister railway which goes up to the West Hill. The original Victorian coaches leave from George Street in the Old Town so make sure that you have left enough time to wander around the continental-style cafes, bookshops and antiques shops that this quirky little street has to offer.

Fisherman's huts at Rock-a-Nore

For a taste of maritime culture, The Shipwreck Museum and The Hastings Fishermen’s Museum are both worth a visit and are very popular with children of all ages. Don’t miss out on Smuggler’s Adventure on the West Hill which recreates the Battle of Hastings - channel your inner smuggler and follow ‘Hairy Jack’ through the tunnels and caves used by the real smugglers and discover their secrets!

"Hastings is back from the brink, reinventing itself as a modern centre of arts, culture and seaside tradition..."

Further along in St. Leonards-on-Sea, the Kino-Teatr offers a quirky art style cinema – snuggle up in the big leather chairs while watching an afternoon movie on a rainy day. It is home to The Baker-Mamonova Gallery which promotes the best of 20th Century Russian art as well as hosting numerous music and live events. Kino-Kitchen’s lovely staff will tempt you in to a lovely lunch or for a scrumptious home-made afternoon tea, Michala’s Cute Cakes will not disappoint. In the evening, the modern St. Clement’s restaurant offers a great selection of meals bursting with fresh produce and has numerous accolades to its name. For something a little more unusual, The Boulevard Bookshop and Thai Café is a real treat – it doubles up as a bookshop in the day (by appointment) and a restaurant at night. Browse around while waiting for dinner and pick some preloved books to take home!

Hastings has so much to offer but don’t forget to visit the nearby towns of Battle and Rye. With lots of history and gorgeous little shops to browse in, they offer a perfect complement to your stay in Hastings.

We have some lovely holiday cottages in and around Hastings. Why not visit our collection to feel inspired?

While you’re there

Jerwood Gallery

Visit this interesting contemporary art gallery near the sea shore

Hastings Pier

Hastings restored and redesigned pier is a handsome example indeed

Kino Teatr

Whether off-mainstream films and peculiar music is your thing or not, a trip to Kino Teatr

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