Hastings Country Park
Just a short drive (about 5 mins) East of Hastings is the Country Park. There are fabulous views out over the sea up here with various walks through the gorse and over the hills. It's wild and windy and you may see foxes and rabbits and many different species of birds. Bring binoculars if you have them. Do be warned though even on the sunniest days the wind can be strong and the cliffs are dangerous places, with erosion being a serious problem. There are warning signs located near the edges so please take notice! It is also advised not to climb down the cliffs onto the shore unless you are absolutely sure of the tide times as many hapless visitors have become stranded and tragedies do occur from time to time.
Apart from that it is possible to bring picnics and have barbecues and benches are located at various points for this purpose. The walks can be muddy in Winter, so suitable footwear is necessary. Dogs are permitted but unfortunately cycling isn't.
The various areas of the country park are: The Firehills, Warren Glen, Fairlight Glen, Ecclesbourne Glen and East Hill. Many of these areas are archeological sites or have historical importance.
There is a visitor centre here where you can get lots of expert advice or information about the country park and see displays and exhibits relevant to the flora and fauna in the area. The cliffs have revealed some of the oldest rocks and fossils in South East England and some examples of these are also on display. It is also possible to get a free map of the area with highlighted walks and buy books and postcards here.
The Coastguard radar and watchtower is located at Firehills.
There are car park facilities and a very nice licensed cafe/restaurant nearby.
Down in the Dungeons
There's not a lot to see....it's soo dark even though there are a few lights on the walls.... there really isn't much down there... but go if you must and imagine what it must be like to spend a night.... or even a week locked up in there... in the pitch black, freezing cold...chained against a stone wall!
this is one of my most favourite places to visit from london. it's only an hour and a half down the A21 & as i used to live there, filled with memories of a time gone by. sadly the place is rather down at heel these days though the seafront doesn't seem to change and makes the trip all worthwhile.
Although I was never good in history at school and I didn’t cath up a career somewhat related to history, I like to visit historical places. And what was the most important historical event in british history? The battle of Hastings which took place in 1066. That was the reason why I chose Hastings to be my first destination of my 2006 summer trip. I added a few english destinations as well as my onward trip to Rotterdam and off I went:
Hamburg – Lübeck by coach
Lübeck – Stansted by Ryanair
Stansted – London/Victoria – Hastings by coach
As I always like to see as many places in a short time, I only had two days for Hastings and Battle (the village where once the battle fo Hastings took place). These had to be planned quite well:
-Arrival at Hastings in the afternoon
-Exploring Hastings afterwards
-Visit Hastings castle on Sunday morning
-Short trip to Battle (battlefield and walk through the village)
-last impressions of Hastings Sunday afternoon and evening
-Monday morning: Leaving again for London/Victoria
"Two days in Hastings"
Anyway, I arrived at Hastings and found my B&B very quick. It was the “Apollo Guesthouse”, a place quite close to the train station. With 25.00 pounds per night it was one of the cheapest B&Bs in Hastings, so I didn’t expect much. I was welcomed by Jim, who runs this place with his damily. He showed me my room and gave me some uiseful tips for my stay. This included to have my key with me everytime, even if I just wanted to go to the loo (The toilets were outsied of the room and door was shutting very quickly). The guesthouse was really nice and indeed a positive surprise. Later, I found out that the house is recommended by “lonely planet”.
My first impression of Hastings was that of a lively holiday destination. The pubs were full and people were relaxing at the beach. I decided to walk up West Hill and enjoy some peaceful moments before finishing my day walking along the promenade and the old town. I chose a small fish and chips – shop to kill my hunger and get a beer. Sometimes, I regretted to have done the trip on my own. But on the other hand, I just needed these two weeks of being alone. This gave me the chance to enjoy peaceful moments and go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted.
On the next day, I got up quite early in the morning. It seems that even here the jetlag affected me J. I enjoyed Jim’s tasty full english breakfast and went again to West Hill. Just a few minutes before opening time, I arrived there becoming the castle’s first visitor of the day. Walking around in the castle in the chilly morning was very nice. I enjoyed being on a place where an interesting part of english (and european) history started. Unfortunately, there are only ruins remaining. But it was possible to explore all of them and get an idea of how the castle looked like in medieval ages. A short film was shown about the Battle of Hastings and its background. Together with all the facts I knew before, this visit prepared me for my next destination and the highlight of this short trip to 1066 country: At noon, I went to the train station where I took my train to Battle.
After returning from Battle, I spent the rest of the day like the day before. Some relaxing on East Hill, some relaxing on the beach, walking around in the old town and fish and chips again. I knew it was time to say goodbye to Hastings, so I enjoyed some nice views like the illuminated promenade, the “net shops” and of course the view from East Hill.
"Goodbye Hastings - Hello Bath"
On most ocassions, I always regret that I haven’t spent more time at a single place. Hastings is really a place to enjoy, even if it is sometimes too crowded by the masses of tourists. But spending more time in Hastings also means skipping another destination. Again, the most essential fact of travelling proves its truth: The world has so many places to see – but nobody has enough time and money to see them all.