If you are looking for a good day trip over the weekend, away from all the chaos in London, you don’t have to look far. Follow me on this compact guide to a lovely, peaceful seaside town called Hastings.
What to expect
If you have been to Brighton, another famous coastal town, you will have a rough idea of what Hastings might look like. However, they are not the same, by no means. In Hastings, you will encounter a pleasant hilltop overlooking the town, miles of pebble beach, castle ruins, a lovely old town centre and market street, and good fish and chips. Basically, most corners of the town are instantly instagrammable.
How to get there and how to navigate the town?
Hastings is a tranquil seaside town located in the southeast of London with just a 1h30m train ride from Charing Cross or London Bridge Station. If you buy the tickets well in advance, they should cost you no more than £15. Every sightseeing spot I’m about to mention is entirely explorable by foot. You can cover most of them within a day. But I recommend arriving early, so you can enjoy them longer, not having to rush around during the day.
Start your day at West Hill
From Hastings train station, walk towards West Hill, a hill that overlooks the whole town. From here you can take some nice panorama photos. Don’t forget to keep walking to see the Hastings Castle ruins nearby the hill.
Afterwards, head down to the beach and head eastwards to the fisherman’s huts with their colourful boats. Next to these, you will spot the Hastings Miniature Railway. This mini-train actually carries passengers back and forth along the beach. Also nearby are Hastings Fishermen’s Museum and Shipwreck Museum. Both of them are free entry, with donations welcome.
Have lunch, preferably fish and chips, at one of the town restaurants
You should notice by now that fishing is what makes the history of this town. As a place that prides itself on the fishermen’s story, it comes as no surprise that the dish you should try is the much-beloved fish and chips. Of course, you can randomly step into any of the restaurants you encounter. As for myself, I had one at the Cod Father, a clever pun of the cod and one of the best movies ever made. Take my word!
Explore the magnificent Hastings old town
After enjoying a good meal, it’s time to head on, exploring the three magnificent streets within Hastings old town, which make Hastings really stand out. Starting from the most east side of the town centre, not far from the fisherman’s huts is All Saints Street. You can spot the colourful houses on both sides of the street, giving you a serene and peaceful vibe. Ready your camera and aim it precisely; you’ll get that shot that makes everyone who sees it want to come here. After that, head to High Street, which runs parallel with All Saints Street. And finally, head to West along George Street, a market street featuring many lovely shops.
Walk along the Hastings beach
Walk along the Hastings beach towards the pier to end your day. Nearby, you will notice a line of cosy and photogenic blue huts. There are more colourful huts on the pier that extend into the sea. After that, head back to the train station to travel back to London. If you have time to spare, you can pop into the shops in the town centre near the train station.
This one-day trip is highly recommended on a sunny day. If you check the weather forecast and expect excellent weather on the weekend, this town will not disappoint!