Discover the Twittens, Funiculars and Rock-a-Nore
The Fisherman’s Museum
Nonetheless, Hastings has so much more to offer for a day out, there’s something for everyone in this East Sussex seaside town. Historic streets, an active fishing quarter, adventure golf and the nostalgic aroma of fish and chips by the sea.
Not only is it perfect for a day out with the family but, it is also ideal for weekend break from London.
A little bit of history
Pelham Crescent with Hastings Castle ruins above
Hastings beach and seafront
Fishing Quarter and The Stade
Wooden black weather-boarded net sheds
All the while, squawking seagulls soaring overhead, looking for their next innocent victim who doesn’t have a firm grip on their fish and chips.
Ahh, you definitely know you’re beside the English seaside and all within a day trip for London. Grab the kids and let's visit the coast.
RX Fisheries and Net Shops
Dotted all around are fisheries tempting you with their catch of the day, or you can just grab yourself a pot of jellied eels or cockles and sit and watch the tide lapping across The Stade.
The Stade is the landing area for the colourful working fishing boats. When the fishermen have finished their haul for the day head in amongst the vessels, it’s like a pebble graveyard for huge rusting chains, buoys and weather-worn fishing nets.
RX142 Fishing Boat
Interested in the coast around England?
We have a new little book on our shelves that we delve into when we're heading to the coast.
Packed full of historical facts, and broken down into the different counties of England. It tells tales of the history of the shoreline that surrounds our country.
Available in Kindle & Hardback editions, it's an excellent addition to anyone's collection who loves the English seaside.
There’s plenty to keep you amused all along Rock-a-Nore. From the East Hill Funicular railway and the Hastings Contemporary to the aquarium, Fisherman’s Museum and the Miniature Railway.
That’s before you have a rummage around the antique shops or a quick refresher in one of the socially distancing seafaring pubs.
Antiques, ice-cream and nautical gifts
East Hill funicular railway and Net sheds
The net shops have been an integral part of Hastings fishing fleet for centuries, in 2010 the 39 remaining net sheds were granted Grade II* listed building status.
Another unique element of Hasting’s seafront is East Hill Lift, one of two funicular railways in Hastings. East Hill opened in 1902 and transports you effortlessly 81 metres to the country park above. The funicular railway originally operated on the water balance principle; however, this was upgraded in 1976 to electricity.
The East Hill lift
Hastings Miniature Railway
The Rock-a-Nore and Stade is such a fascinating part of Hastings and full of so much history. With the Shipwreck Museum and the Fisherman’s Museum, you’ll be kept amused for hours with all the salty-sea-dog tales.
For a little bit of nostalgia hop onto the Miniature Railway which winds its way from Rock-a-Nore by the pebbly beach to the bustling amusement park.
Yes, you're right Hastings is a fun day out for the family.
Hastings Old Town
When you manage to drag yourself away from The Stade, head up through the lanes of the Old Town.
Oh, and keep an eye out for the Winkle Club sculpture, yes, it is a giant mollusc.
Timber-framed homes at the bottom of All Saints’ Street
Strolling the raised footpath along All Saints’ Street
The Cyril and Lilian Bishop lifeboat
More seaside adventures
The High Street in Hastings is not quite how you would envisage a typical town High Street. Perhaps it’s because this one dates from centuries ago.
Predominately lined with quaint higgledy-piggledy homes, with tiny doorways and diamond leaded windows. Interspersed with antique yards, A G Hendry’s home store and shops where you can have a good old rummage.
The top of Hastings High St
Passing through these two ancient streets, keep a lookout for the ‘twittens’. The name twitten is quite unique to Sussex. These little alleyways and passages lead off of the High Street and All Saints’ Street to lanes and streets beyond.
Strolling down the picturesque Church Passage
St Clements Church from Hill Street
Take a stroll down some of the hidden alleys, as not only are they used as cut-throughs, they are so often hiding little cottages or pretty floral courtyards.
Keep an eye out for Church Passage along the High Street, this scenic lane leads up to Croft Road. For any Foyle’s War fans, you may recognise ‘St Just’ house from the detective TV drama.
St Just House
This is a delightful area of Hastings to get lost in, there are so many quaint homes and intriguing little lanes to roam around.
Weave you way down past St Clements Church and onto Swan Terrace to rejoin the High Street.
Family day out from London
What could be better than a fun day out with the family by the seaside? Jump on a train from London and the English coast awaits. Candy floss, crazy golf, amusements and spinning teacups.
With Raileasy catch a highspeed train from St Pancras Intl, London and change at Ashford Intl. Or alternatively, catch a direct Southeastern train from London Bridge Station.
Charming architecture along George Street
Hastings is not short of a pub or two
Few of the shops along here are uniform, centuries of time have left its imprint along this pleasant pedestrian lane. Lined with charming boutiques, antiques, curios, bookshops and independent stores. And so many tempting pubs and eateries.
A street musician was keeping us entertained, all the while a couple of locals were playing a game of giant chess.
Playing chess along George Street
Smuggling town of Rye
America Ground and Trinity Triangle
This small region of Hastings has a fascinating past. Centuries ago the triangular area around Robertson Street, Carlisle Parade, Harold Place and Claremont was once part of the sea.
The great storms of the 13th-century lead to Hastings harbour being destroyed and gradually the area silted over. It wasn’t until the early 1800s that merchants and ne’re-do-wells, occupied the land. Paying no rent on their ramshackle dwellings and creating the area to become almost self-sufficient, primarily ‘No Man’s Land’.
The America Ground mural, along Robertson Passage
The Trinity Triangle
A form of independence was declared against the Corporation of Hastings, by raising America’s ‘Stars and Stripes’ becoming known as America Ground.
By 1850, the land was transferred to the Crown.
Hastings Old Library in Claremont
The Venetian gothic Printworks
Things have changed a little bit around here now. In and around the ancient Trinity Church and Hastings old library are craft beers bars popping up, tattoo parlours, street-side cafés and organic stores.
Map, guides and more
When you’re nurturing the seed of a road trip, plotting your destinations across a paper map just brings the adventure to life. Whether it’s the touchy-feely aspect of the map or the rustling sound of mastering the art of origami while trying to fold it away, I’m not too sure. Nonetheless, the good old Ordnance Survey guys and gals always come up trumps.
Take a look at the vast array of maps you can choose from.
Off to the seafront
Hastings seafront just cries out for you to promenade along. With the sun shining a refreshing breeze blowing from the sea head onwards to Hastings Pier.
Hastings adventure golf
Drop us a line
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A guide to Great Britain
There are so many beautiful regions to discover around the UK. From the delightful Kent coast in the southeast to the stunning Highlands of Scotland in the north. The UK is bursting with historical landmarks, castles and palaces.
Grab a copy of the latest DK Eyewitness guide to ensure you don't miss all those incredible sights.
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