No petrol, no problem. I hopped on the train from Brighton and took a day trip to Hastings. In just over an hour I was exploring Hastings Old Town and wandering along the very hip Norman Road, St Leonards On Sea. I’ve lived in Brighton for nearly 20 years and as much as I love the city it’s so refreshing to leave once in a while and explore some of the UK’s other seaside resorts.
Next door neighbours Hastings and St Leonards have experienced something of a renaissance in recent years. Funding has been pumped into the local economy to attract more visitors to the area and the result is cool independent shops, a modern art gallery, thriving food scene and influx of creative types escaping London and setting up businesses.
Best shops in Hastings
I wanted to move into the Clockwork Crow in Hastings Old Town. What a beautiful shop. If I could have carried more home on the train I would have bought everything. A G Hendy & Co is a beautifully curated homestore and still looks as fabulous as it ever did. I loved browsing the Courthouse Cooperative with its quirky range of homewares, clothes, accessories and vintage bits.
Where to eat in Hastings
I refuelled with delicious coffee and cake from Penbuckles Deli in the Old Town. Had it not been 11am I could have been tempted by a pint at The Crown Hastings, a lovely community pub serving great food and local ales. The Rock A Nore Kitchen is right by the beach in Hastings fishing quarter. Formerly known as the Tan House, the building dates back 200 years and was where fishing nets were once waterproofed using tanning. It serves deliciously fresh seafood that’s been landed on Hastings beach.
I was interested to learn that Hastings Beach is home to the biggest fleet of beach-launched fishing boats in the UK. Take a walk along the beach and have a look at all the boats while you’re there. Save some time for the Fishermans Museum too, a charming slice of Hastings history. Art lovers can also browse contemporary art at Hastings Contemporary.
There’s so much to discover in Sussex and you don’t need a car to do it. I travelled by train with Southern – the journey there took just over an hour.
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