Postcards from Hastings
With a history dating back to the 10th century, Hastings is one of the oldest towns in Sussex. The city’s location makes it a perfect seaside resort and its Victorian-era structures make it a popular tourist destination. The city’s beach and seaside promenades still give it a attractive Victorian feel. Despite these advantages, the city is also plagued by problems. Its location makes it a long commute for workers who need to commute to other cities, relatively to other cities along the southern coast. The city has a high housing cost due to wealthy residents, some moved out from London. The city also has a high crime rate. These problems make the city less attractive than other Sussex coastal cities.
Hastings is located on the southeastern English coastline, making it a perfect stop for tourists who want to enjoy the seaside, even if it is just for a day break. The city’s beach, promenades, and proximity to dramatic sea cliffs and historical sites make it a popular tourist destination. The strategically positioned cliff at the back of the current city made it the perfect location for a military defensive structure. In Norman times it was one of the three main fortified keeps dotted on the East Sussex coast to defend it from sea bound attacks. The structure lies now in ruin, also damaged by sea erosion and several military attacks. The proximity to the grounds of the Hastings battle and its significance for the Norman invasion of England make it a popular tourist attraction.
Despite the lack of a natural harbour, the city has always been a thriving fishing centre, with fishing boats shored and launched from the pebbled beach. A seaside city is also obviously popular with seafood restaurants and Hastings offers a wide range of them. I have my favourites, like the Webbe’s and the Crown Inn, both of them nestled in the middle of the old town but there are plenty of smaller and traditional fish and chips shops that offer good quality fish and value for money, driven by healthy tourist trade competition.
Like all other coastal resorts also Hastings enjoyed a Victorian leisure pier that was built originally in 1872. Since its construction the pier has seen many ups and downs, the latest being a devastating fire in 2010, after which it has been reconstructed both in its substructure and the over deck buildings, winning the Stirling Prize for architecture in 2017. During the summer months many activities are running on the seafront, including some market stalls and musical events centred around the redeveloped pier. A calendar of events is available on the local visitor center website and offers a good variety of information about things to do and the hospitality sector in town.
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