Hastings is a beautiful English south coast town with a historic settlement, Victorian resort, and a functioning fishing port. Its location is a mixture of the country and the coast, making it a perfect vacation destination where one can enjoy the feel of the two mingled together. The town has a perfect size with its streets beautifully organized to encourage site-seeing. It has several places that one can visit and learn much simultaneously. Whether you plan to visit the town alone, with your family, or friends, there’s much for everyone to enjoy. The activities one can do range from those that require energy to less passive ones. Let us now explore Hastings and the things one can do in this beautiful place in England.
20. Go to Battle
Finally, if you visit Hastings, you must take a side journey to the neighboring town responsible for the region’s most famous crowning achievement. Battle, the Battle of Hastings site, is only a few railway stations from Hastings and worth a few hours of your time. If you’re traveling to (or from) Hastings through London Charing Cross station, Battle is a stop along the way, so you can get off and walk into the heart of this charming town to see the renowned Abbey where it all happened centuries ago. English Heritage manages the Abbey and battlegrounds; thus, members go free; otherwise, you can purchase tickets in advance on their website. After learning all about what happened in 1066 here, you may explore one of the several trails in the surrounding countryside – one of the largest and best will lead you throughout to the delightful resort of Rye–another jewel in East Sussex. To make the most of your visit to Hastings, you need to have a good plan that will allow you sufficient time to enjoy all the beautiful activities that delight your heart.
19. Take a Stroll Down Robertson Street
Although we’ve already mentioned Hastings’ Old Town, with its charming cobblestone streets and eccentric stores, there’s no doubt the New Town is also undergoing regeneration. Robertson Street has several fantastic restaurants and bars and is ideal for a coffee, drink, dinner, or lunch; it should be on your list of things to sample in Hastings. You will find the Vintage Living Store on this street, and it is worth your time.
18. Explore East Hill
If you’re looking for more raised views of the shore in Hastings, though, East Hill is impossible to overlook. You can take the clifftop train up here, which rises over the Old Town, and then enjoy the panoramic views and excellent walkways. Many people enjoy walking to Ecclesbourne Reservoir from East Hill, a 6-kilometer track perfect for exercising your legs. Everything else is free for anyone who has paid for the tramway.
If you prefer sports that utilize two wheels instead of a pair of clubs, Hastings’ magnificent bike track might be the place for you. You can rent bikes along the 7-kilometer stretch of the seashore. If not, you can use your bike and experience a big ride down England’s southern coast as part of its National Cycle Route 2, which goes via Hastings on its 361-mile trek from Dover, Kent, to St. Austell, Cornwall.
16. Play Mini Golf
But, once you return to dry land, who wouldn’t enjoy a round of mini-golf? For anyone that falls in this category with many others, then this might be your best activity in Hastings. Hastings ‘ seafront’s adventure golf course is three championship mini-golf courses bundled into one. It is thus the largest in the UK and complemented by several other rides in the surrounding area. This location will thrill your family.
15. Taking a Sea Swim
And when you’ve found it, or any other stretch of sea on Hastings’ enormous coastline, you’ve got to jump in. Safety comes first, then bravery. It is advisable to only swim at a place where the lifeguard is on duty. Before getting out your swimming costume ask a lifeguard or local for tips and safety advice.
14. Locate Rock-a-Nore Beach
If the primary Pelham Beach is too crowded or too stony for your liking, travel to Rock-a-Nore Beach, which is just a short walk from Hastings Old Town. This secluded location is a serene refuge where you can enjoy the sun, sand, and water. Finding this gorgeous, chilled spot will be one of your favorite things to venture into in Hastings.
13. Go For Antique Shopping
And while we’re about authentic character, Hastings has so many fantastic, eccentric, vintage shops that visiting several of them is necessary while you’re here. The antique vendors, mainly, are the lords of kitsch in this area, so pay a visit to a few of them if you’re into that sort of thing. Doing some research before going antique shopping may lead to bargains and acquiring an item whose value appreciates over time.
12. Go Fishing
If you enjoy a delicious fish meal, you could try out a fishing trip in this renowned seaside town. You can also roam around The Stade, the traditional fishing trade’s heartland and home to Britain’s most prominent beach-launched fishing vessels. It’s a fantastic place to visit if you enjoy photography and want to be surrounded by genuine character. A fishing trip is a good excuse to bond with your children and it’s also an enjoyable team building exercise.
11. Consume as Much Fish and Chips as You Can
You are not to miss this one, too. Fish is undoubtedly a must-eat delicacy in this seaside town, whether battered or fresh. There are many options for eating it, from typical chippies to more expensive establishments. If you’ve ever desired to cook some fish straight off the net, you can take advantage of the Classrooms on the Coast, where you can book a session with a chef. You can also opt to watch the demonstrations. Sweets are another item that everybody eats whenever they visit Hastings; there are many vintage-style sweet shops with a plethora of bright, colorful, sugary delicacies in containers that many deem irresistible.
10. Engage in a Game of Bingo
When you visit any old English coastal town, bingo is a game you must play as part of your activities. Whenever you come to Hastings, you can’t afford to miss this game, which is between a rite of passage, an initiation procedure, and a chunk of cultural voyeurism. Both professionals and beginners can enjoy the game of bingo at The Deluxe Bingo Hall, which has been around for four decades and counting.
9. Spend Time at The Miniature Railway
The miniature train, directly next to the Shipwreck Museum, is also among Hastings’ most popular novelty attractions. You can genuinely take a 600-yard ride on this small train, which operates on actual tracks across Hastings’ old fishing port. The ride only costs £1.50 per voyage or £2.50 for a round-trip, which is worth it. While here, you can visit the Smugglers Adventure, where smugglers and pirates used to frequent this seaside town. It gives an exciting look at their lifestyle and appropriate times for vacationing families. The experience, which takes place at the pre-glacial St. Clements Caves, offers a chance to explore the maze of caves while learning about the mysteries and perils that smugglers face through over 70 life-size actors and practical learning displays. There are tours available guided by costumed guides and are a lot of fun.
8. Fascinate Yourself with The Shipwreck Museum
Moving away from the beach and toward the water, it’s essential to understand this town’s maritime heritage and some of the sad stories in it. Hastings Shipwreck Museum is an exciting insight into how dangerous sailing was in the early days, with many artifacts from vessels that suffered their destiny in this English Channel. Note that, to some extent, the danger still exists today. Adult admission tickets are £6.50, which you can purchase at the door. While still exploring the museums, you should not overlook the Hastings Museum and Art Gallery, especially if you are into art. The place has approximately 100,000 artifacts connected to the region’s culture, history, and art, so there’s plenty to see. Miniatures of native flora and animals, a dinosaur gallery, and an intriguing exhibition of Grey Owl, an Englishman born in Hastings who was famous for exploring and adopting Indigenous American cultures, are among the highlights.
7. Go for Pelham Beach’s Lovely Pebbles
Pelham Beach is right next to the pier. That extends to the beach near Hastings New Town. It’s a pebbly mess, but it’s simple to get to and has lovely beached cottages, so it’s still a popular choice. Pelham Beach undoubtedly is among the top things to engage in Hastings; it is a must-see.
6. Stroll Along the Iconic Pier
There’s no way you can visit Hastings without taking a stroll along the lovely renowned pier, going from one historically significant landmark to the next, down on the beachfront now. It was previously a concert venue that was regrettably in disrepair because of harsh storms and fire. Though erected in 1872, the recent years saw its regeneration. However, it has regained its former beauty, and a stroll along it is worthwhile.
5. Visit Hastings Castle for a Few Hours
Visit Hastings Castle, another cultural item on the list of things to do in Hastings. Surprisingly close to the town center, this was formerly a tower made of wood built on the top of an artificial mound. After William the Conqueror’s crowning, the ruins were later transformed into a stone fortification, a place you can visit today and makes up a crucial component of this historical event. Entrance tickets are roughly £5, which you can conveniently purchase at the door.
4. Visit the Hastings Contemporary
After reviewing some of the best activities to engage in that require a bit of physical energy, we move to those beautiful things that are more sedative. One such thing is visiting Hastings Contemporary at no charge at all. Opened in 2012, Hastings Contemporary, formerly named the Jerwood Gallery, houses a sizeable national gallery of British artworks by artists like L.S. Lowry and frequent rotating exhibits. The facility’s striking tile-clad appearance, which the town’s famous old net stores inspired, renders it worth the visit, and it overlooks the Stade beach area. There’s a focus on artwork by regional artists and exhibitions and information on the area’s cultural history. You can enjoy self-guided tours and a range of interactive displays for children. On-site, there’s an excellent café with amazing views of the beach from its terraces and a fully stocked shop.
3. Take Advantage of the Funicular
It’s a Hastings landmark, and it’s unquestionably one of the most incredible things to take part in here. Taking the funicular high above the city is a Hastings classic, and it perfectly encapsulates the seaside town’s cheesy charm. The cliff railway is the sharpest in the UK and dates back to the Victorian era, with carriages that have changed little over the years. Several funiculars can take you to West or East Hill or the Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.
2. Hike the Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve
From clifftop grassland and heathland and sheer sandstone cliffs to historic woodlands and certified sustainable farming, Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve offers a diverse range of exciting settings to explore. It’s one of England’s largest nature reserves, with 852 acres and numerous good trails facing some beautiful views on the southern coast. You will need to spare substantial time to view wildlife, such as the many migratory birds that traverse the English Channel and the fulmars’ nests on the cliffs. It’s also home to one of the UK’s most significant breeding populations of black redstarts. Kestrels, buzzards, and peregrine falcons are among the other prominent birds, including ravens and barn owls, becoming more attracted to this reserve. A sizable herd of loose Exmoor ponies is also of appeal. The visitor center is a fantastic starting point for your adventure. You’ll discover various information here on the area’s animals and geology. Another beautiful area related to the country’s nature reserve is Alexandra Park. Alexandra Park is a beautiful public space with enormous gardens and a pond. It is undoubtedly one of the most excellent green places in the city. As a family, you get a complete package treat as you can access different facilities and activities suited for every member of your family. For individuals who love nature walks, you will enjoy the nature trail.
1. Wander Through the Old Town
Hastings, especially its Old Town section, is a beautiful place to wander on foot. It has independent shops, cobblestone streets, eccentric antiquities, classic chip and fish shops, vintage stores, and the occasional contemporary restaurant or café. The exquisite arching buildings lining Pelham Crescent, built around 1824 and 1828 and beneath Hastings Castle, are in the center of this historic neighborhood. Further architectural highlights are the numerous half-timbered homes on Hastings’ All Saints Street and short High Street, including its lovely church with a similar name. The Conqueror’s Stone is near Hastings Pier, a spectacular structure built in 1872 and reconstructed in 2016 following a horrific fire. It is supposed that this is where William the Conqueror ate his maiden meal after landing in England in the eleventh century. It’s in this same place that you’ll discover the Stade, Hasting’s main beach, which is a friendly site for a picnic or some sunbathing. It’s a great place to get somehow absorbed for several hours.