Depending of where you went to school, you had to learn that there was the battle of Hastings which took place on October 14th 1066. That is OK, but the problem is that the battle of Hastings did NOT take place in Hastings, but on Senlac Hill, which is some miles to the northwest of Hastings. Senlac Hill is part of a small town called Battle (no prizes for guesses where that name comes from) which grew around an abbey which William I. ordered to be built after his victory. Hastings was "only" the place where William built his first castle and gathered his troops before the famous battle.
For more information about the battle, check out: http://battle1066.com/
Fondest memory: A museum of the English Heritage can be found next to Battle Abbey and the battlefield. There, you will find far more extensive information about the battle than in Hastings. So if you like to do all the 1066 stuff like I did, go to the train station and buy a ticket to Battle. A return ticket costs 2,80 pounds (July 2006), but going by train is a more comfortable way to go than the one William chose in 1066.
what i deeply loved in hastings was the old town. situated between the east and the west hill the old town seems to be a world of it's own.
Fondest memory: there's the "stade", the largest beach-launched fishing-fleet of europe. there are the very special net-shops. the romantic houses, the hills, and of course the castle with it's 1066-history.
Favorite thing: The modern city centre is not much of an interest, beside maybe this nice square where on a sunny day you can take a break, have ice-cream or something.