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Once an important military and trade port, Hastings is now a pleasant seaside town with a rich seafaring heritage and bohemian outlook. Wander the narrow lanes and passages of the Old Town, build sandcastles on Hastings Beach and take a daytrip to Battle Abbey, the site of the famous Battle of Hastings.
For many people, Hastings is best known for the 11th-century battle between the Normans and French. However, the Battle of Hastings didn’t actually take place here but rather 6 miles (10 kilometers) outside town in Battle Abbey. Visit the battlefield site, learn about the conflict through displays at the Visitor Centre and wander amid the ruins of the abbey itself.
Hastings is actually three separate towns, joined by one connecting promenade. Trek the busy lanes of the lively Old Town and delve into the town’s maritime past at the Shipwreck Museum and the Fishermen’s Museum. Immerse yourself in the contemporary art scene at the Jerwood Gallery, where 20th- and 21st-century British art takes center stage. Nearby is the Stade, a seafront area where people gather to sunbathe, watch fishermen at work and eat freshly caught fish at cafés and restaurants.
Other popular attractions include Hastings Castle, built by William the Conqueror, and Smugglers Adventure, underground tunnels that tell of the lucrative smuggling trade of the 17th and 18th centuries. Descend into dark caverns and learn about the history of smuggling in Sussex through waxwork displays. Take the East Hill Lift to Hastings Country Park, a clifftop expanse of grass, heath and woods.
Move west to the Town Centre for ample shopping opportunities. The neighboring town of St Leonards, farther west, has grand regency architecture, fashionable art galleries, independent shops and friendly cafés.
Hastings, on England’s southern coast, is about a 2.5-hour drive from London. If you aren’t driving, take one of the trains running regularly from London’s Charing Cross. The nearest airport is Gatwick. The compact town center is walkable, although local bus services also operate here.
Accommodation in Hastings
Securing a lovely lodging is a vital element of any travel experience. Expedia's booking website lists many of the best Hastings hotel options.
Two examples of the more upscale Hastings stays are the Number 46 Rooms and Apartments, at 46 Cambridge Gardens, and the Chatsworth Hotel, at 7-11 Carlisle Parade. The Seaspray Bed and Breakfast and the Summerfields House are other more luxurious choices that you may find worth investigating.
Situated by the sea, this guesthouse is within a 5-minute walk of White Rock Theatre and Hastings Pier. Warrior Square Gardens and West Hill Lift are also within 15 minutes.
Situated in Hastings, this caravan park/campground is within 2 mi (3 km) of Hastings Country Park, Old Town Hall Museum, and Smugglers Adventure. Fishermen's Museum and East Hill Lift are also within 2 mi (3 km).
Situated in Hastings, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of White Rock Theatre and Hastings Pier. West Hill Lift and Warrior Square Gardens are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of Hastings, this romantic bed & breakfast is within a 10-minute walk of White Rock Theatre and Hastings Pier. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and West Hill Lift are also within 15 minutes.
Located in the heart of Hastings, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of White Rock Theatre and Hastings Pier. West Hill Lift and Hastings Castle are also within 15 minutes.
Situated in Hastings, this luxury guesthouse is within 1 mi (2 km) of Old Town Hall Museum, Smugglers Adventure, and Fishermen's Museum. East Hill Lift and Shipwreck and Coastal Heritage Centre are also within 1 mi (2 km).
Located in the heart of Hastings, this guesthouse is within a 15-minute walk of Hastings Castle, West Hill Lift, and Smugglers Adventure. Alexandra Park and White Rock Theatre are also within 15 minutes.
Situated in Hastings, this guesthouse is within a 10-minute walk of White Rock Theatre and Hastings Pier. Hastings Museum and Art Gallery and West Hill Lift are also within 15 minutes.