Hastings, one of the cinque ports, is a coastal town in East Sussex and home to 93,000 souls. It has a number of local attractions, including a modern, innovative pier, two funicular railways carrying foot-passengers up the cliff faces and several country parks, but it is probably chiefly known for the battle at nearby Seniac Hill, in which the Norman invaders led by Guillaume le Batard (William the Conqueror, defeated Harold Godwinson, Kind of the Saxon English.
Overlooked by a ruined castle, and with three miles of seafront, Hastings is a tourist destination and fishing town, which features Europe’s largest beach-launched fleet. For the tourists, there’s much to see and do, with a traditional arcade, other seaside favourites such as crazy golf, jolly seaside pubs, fish n chips and a well-regarded theatre, but there are also many modern features such as the world’s largest underground BMX/Skate park at White Rock and an Escape Rooms. The crime museum is well worth a look, and for the more adventurously minded, the Battle zone outdoor laser combat arena. Overall, though, Hastings is viewed as one of the more peaceful seaside resorts.
Hastings’ history goes back to prehistoric times, with many bronze arrowheads and stone tools discovered there, and there are suggestions that the people who settled the area, the Haestingas, were ethnically different from the South Saxons who inhabited much of the rest of Southern England at the time.
The Cinque Ports, Hastings, New Romney, Hythe, Dover and Sandwich, are historically significant since Anglo Saxon times, when they were afforded special status and certain privileges for supplying ships for the crown. Today, the designation is purely ceremonial.
Hastings is on the A259 coastal road and the A21 trunk road to London and has National Rail services to London, Brighton and Ashford.