Hastings (England)

Hastings is a seaside town in East Sussex, in the South East of England.

View of Hastings from the East Hill


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 (these were imaginative times...).

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 beach-launched fishing fleet. The town also boasts a hill-top castle, two funicular railways, the Georgian church of St Mary in the Castle, 18th century net shops, and access to Hastings Country Park - a 660 acre Nature Reserve with 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.

Narrow passageways in old Hastings

Get in

By car

Hastings is at the end of the A21, which links the town to the M25 and London. The A27 runs west along the coast to Eastbourne and Brighton, and the A259 runs east to Ashford and Folkestone.

By train

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.

By Plane

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.


Hastings Country Park - Ecclesbourne Glen


Hill Street in Hastings Old Town



Fishermen's museum and net huts on the stade, Hastings

Fish and chips - there are hundreds of fish and chip shops. The Blue Dolphin used to be very popular, and was considered to be one of the best in Britain. It was taken over a few years ago and has gone downhill fast.


Some very nice traditional pubs down in the Old town. Try the Jenny Lind when it's got local strong cider :-)

North Lodge, Burton St Leonards
Highlands Gardens, St Leonards on Sea, Hastings


In the central town




Go next

View of the East Hill and Hastings old town from the West Hill
Hastings pier
Houses under Hastings castle in the snow
Hastings Country Park, East Hill cliffs
Hastings Country Park, looking East to Ecclescombe Glen
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