Leisure & Travel
by Aspect County

Visit Hastings and St. Leonards

To soak up the history, wander the preserved Old town’s winding streets and tiny twittens crammed with Tudor houses and flower decked cottages, inhale the hard working fishing quarter with its towering net huts on the beach. 

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Avisit to the town’s quirky museums is a must. The Shipwreck Museum is a fascinating reminder of the dangers of the sea, while the nearby Fishermen’s Museum gives an insight into the fishing culture. Nearby why not check out the at Sea life centre Blue Reef Aquarium to meet some exotic sea animals.

Hastings old town lies in a valley between the East and West Hills, each with their own funicular railway. Take the East Hill lift up from the fishing beach where on clear days you can see Beachy Head to Dungeness and as far as Folkestone and the coast of France. 

Take the West Hill from George Street, up through a tunnel of rock to emerge into the tranquil light of another world. Explore the ruins of Hastings Castle and the labyrinth of caverns hidden deep within the West hill, packed with the thrilling history of smugglers, bootleggers and warring bloodthirsty gangs. 

For a cool, modern twist head for the America Ground beyond the boundaries of Hastings Borough. Above the independent shops, restaurants and cafes you’ll see the grand architecture of Hastings Library, the printworks and Holy trinity church. These lead you through to the RIBA Stirling award winning Pier and The Source park, transformed from a Turkish Baths into the biggest underground BMX and skate park in the world. 

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Also situated around the old town and town is Hastings Contemporary, showcasing the best of British art. The flower makers museum invites you into a world of fabrics, cutters and presses, while the True Crime Museum is full of acid baths, execution beds and knuckledusters. 

The more formal Hastings Museum and Art Gallery on Bohemia Road has excellent regularly changing exhibitions of local and international history and art. 

Hastings has so much going on, with a buzzing live music scene and regular theatre performances and art exhibitions. 

Paddle on the beach or get adventurous in the water, where fun can be had by all the family with paddleboarding and kayaking sessions at Epic Life there is equipment hire and sessions with experienced instructors. 

You will be spoilt for choice with Restaurants, pubs, cafes within the Hastings and St Leonards catering for a variety of English / European cuisine. 

While there are a variety of restaurants to enjoy a bite to eat in the area we have listed a few that are well worth a visit. 

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Webbe’s Rock-a-Nore is nestled in the heart of Hastings’ historic Old Town, it is mere metres from Hastings fishing fleet – there are few places you could get fresher fish! With fish and seafood caught daily this restaurant offers a unique experience for all pockets, tastes and ages.

Farmyard is a restaurant and natural wine bar in St Leonards-on-Sea. It has a cosy atmosphere and European feel and specialises in dishes made from the finest local produce – from Hastings Old Town fish (dependent on what the boats bring in) and seafood to salt marsh lamb chops and well-aged steaks from Pevensey. On Sundays look out for their locally famous Sunday Roasts. Also check out their sister restaurant Boatyard, based at the Hastings Contemporary art gallery.

Bella vista

La Bella Vista is an award winning contemporary Italian restaurant located on the St Leonards seafront, overlooking the English Channel. 

The restaurant has been owned by restaurateur, Aldo Esposito since 2015 and during that time it has evolved considerably, both in food and experience.

Their passionate team of chefs use only the freshest, local and quality ingredients to carefully curate the menu which changes with the seasons.

In 2019, La Bella Vista won the Muddy Stilettos Award for the Best Restaurant in Sussex for the second year running. La Bella Vista also won the More Radio Award for Best Restaurant in Sussex in 2019

But if all else fails- good old fashion fish and chips can be enjoyed pretty anywhere along the Hastings seafront and what better way to finish your visit sitting on the beach and enjoying the locally sourced fish.