East Sussex TM34 3
The closest seaside resorts to London lie on the south-east coast of England. They are easily accessible with good road and rail connections.
Many of the resorts came to prominence in the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras. They have cast-iron piers providing entertainment, funfairs, seafront promenades, and large, elegant hotels. Hastings has most of these attractions as well as being a very old fishing port.
The delightful Hastings Old Town and East Cliff form a backdrop to the beach-launched fishing fleet. It is very interesting to watch these trawlers being launched. The western boundary of Hastings is St Leonards-on-Sea and in between can be found Hasting's main tourist attractions.
Popular seaside resort
The tall sandstone cliffs to the east of the town and West Hill on which the castle was built formed a sheltered valley site for the town. Hastings was an enormously popular seaside resort in Queen Victoria’s reign and the town expanded west to St Leonards.
The beautiful Victorian seaside resorts are a wonderful experience and a unique take on living history.
Coastal erosion has always been a problem for the south-east coast so sea defences and a promenade were built along the shingle beach providing a pleasant place to stroll. At low tide there is plenty of clean sand for children to play on.
A lovely cast-iron pier was built around 1872 but unfortunately it was damaged in a severe storm and was closed in 2006.
As of the 5th October 2010, it appears that the pier may have to be demolished as an arson attack overnight left the sea end of the pier heavilly damaged, with the entire ballroom burnt out with pieces dropping off into the water. Only time will tell if any of the pier can be saved.
Attractions include a pedestrianised town centre, funfairs, amusements, Crazy Golf and a miniature railway at The Stade. A little further along Rock-a-Nore Road is the Blue Reef Aquarium.
St Clement’s Caves in West Hill were used for smuggling and are now home to The Smugglers Adventure
visitor attraction. The West Hill Lift
funicular railway is the easiest way to reach the top of West Hill.
The town has three museums, art galleries, parks and gardens, sporting facilities, and the White Rock Theatre on the seafront hosts many live theatrical and musical events.
The Old Town with its distinctive old ‘Net Shops’, East Hill Lift
funicular railway, steep old streets and medieval churches is a great place to explore. The importance of fishing to this historic town is beautifully displayed in the fascinating Fishermen's Museum
The town is an administrative hub for the surrounding area but it is also an important centre for all types of arts and cultural festivals. It conducts an amazing variety of events ranging from the Hastings International Chess Congress to the May Day Run when tens of thousands of motorcyclists ride to Hastings. An increasingly popular event is the Hastings Half Marathon run.
Accommodation - Search & Book through Hotels.com here: External Link
Shops and Restaurants
There are many varied shops for the visitor to browse, restaurants, cafes and pubs serving local seafood and hundreds of notable buildings marked with blue plaques. It is amazing how many famous artists, writers and inventors have chosen to either live in Hastings or visit it for extended periods.
John Logie Baird conducted his first experiments with television in Hastings and a blue plaque marks the house where he did this. The Town Museum has an excellent display on his work and he is honoured with a large street sculpture.
1066 Battle Re-enactment
Bodiam & Herstmonceux Castles
The area has a variety of accommodation available. The Hastings
Tourist Information Centre (Hastings TIC
) can help with bookings and are a great source of information on attractions and events. They are a good source for information on locations used for filming the immensely popular television series 'Foyle’s War'
Contact & Further Information
- By Car
There are two major roads to Hastings
, the A21 inland from London
and the A259 east-west coastal route. The A2100 links Battle with Hastings
and the A28 links Hastings
with Ashford and Canterbury
- By Rail Hastings
has two rail links from London
: The shorter route from Charing Cross is operated by Southeastern Rail along the Hastings
Line. It travels via Battle
and Royal Tunbridge Wells
The longer route from Victoria is operated by the Southern Rail along the East Coastway Line. It travels via Bexhill-on-Sea, Eastbourne and Lewes.
The Marshlink Line runs via Rye
to Ashford where a connection can be made to Eurostar services.
- By Coach
National Express Coaches leave Victoria Coach Station, connecting London
. For timetables, cost and ticketing, go to Web: National Express Website External Link
- By Local Bus
Stagecoach bus routes connect Hastings
with Bexhill-on-Sea, Eastbourne and Dover
. For timetables, cost and ticketing, go to Web: Stagecoach Bus website External Link
Google Maps - Hastings