As a kid, I had heard of the famous battle of Hastings but nothing more, far from me the idea that it could be a beach resort. So it’s only when I set foot in Brighton for the first time in the mid-90s that I got the concept of an English seaside resort and I was in love. Nothing like the over glam and glitzy of the French Riviera resorts they were down to earth focused on having family and friends fun.
Stuck in England for most of 2020, I took this opportunity to discover new places and reexplore old ones. Last September I went back to Hastings after a long interval. It’s one of my favourite beach resorts in England. Like Brighton, this seaside resort was developed during Victorian times with elegant facades and parks. There’s a lot to do in town, but your first port of call should be the Pier and the beach promenade. It’s not as popular as Brighton, but the city offers many hidden treasures and is full of charm.
Start with St Leonards
It’s one of Hastings boroughs; it’s the elegant part of Hastings with homes designed by James Burton, a London property developed that developed Bloomsbury and the houses around Regent’s Park. You will get the London to feel when you see Warrior Square. From there, you can walk along the promenade towards the Pier.
There are some nice hotels around the square, and probably some Airbnb properties to rent this area is a great place to stay in Hastings.
The Pier that you can see today is nowhere close to the old structure. Unfortunately, a storm affected the structure in 1990, and a fire destroyed 95% of it in 2010. It was transformed into an observatory platform, a nice place to sit and enjoy the panorama and a great view to take photographs over the promenade and the seafront.
2007 – The Hastings Pier before it burned down in 2008
Hastings Pier in 2020
Head to the old town
The Stade from the Saxon word meaning landing place. It’s the historic area on Hastings shingle beach. Do not miss it. It’s also home to Europe’s largest fleet of beach landed fishing boats. A place to have the traditional fish and chips or a more fancy lunch and dinner with the day’s catch in one of the local restaurants. A unique part of the old town is the Net Shops. These look like tall wooden sheds built on several floors to provide weather shelter to the fishing gear. There is also now a Hastings contemporary gallery hosting a collection of modern and contemporary British art past the net huts.
Hastings Hight Street, an independent shop haven
I loved walking along the high street, with all the little cafés, Wine bars, restaurants and shops. This street is so inviting and strolling along this street makes you feel on holiday. It’s a great place to have an Aperol Spritz before heading for dinner in one of the Stade restaurants.
Hastings is the perfect three days getaway for a change of scenery from London and living at a slower pace
What are your favourite Seaside resorts in England send me some suggestions in the comments?