A Pocket Guide to Hastings, East Sussex

A Pocket Guide to Hastings, East Sussex

Hastings has stolen our heart. Here’s where to bed down, book a table and shop in this creative corner of East Sussex.

South Coast is renowned for its moody light, forever
immortalised in Turner paintings. In Hastings, that famous light
soaks both crazy golf courses and cutting-edge galleries in equal
measure, with its sometimes honeyed, often stark gaze. That
Hastings is a seaside town of contradictions only contributes to
its allure: gritty yet charming and irrevocably artsy, with a side
of eighties kitsch. It’s fish and chips and fierce independence.
Buckets and spades and curated boutiques. Londoners, leftists,
artists, and locals intermingle just like its blend of regency and
art deco architecture. And unquestionably, this town is East
Sussex’s new centre of gravity when it comes to creativity.

From Grade II-listed lodges to quirky boutique boltholes, this
is where to stay in Hastings


House on the Hill

Maximalist and theatrical types will bow down to this maverick of a holiday home. With sea views and suntraps (the decadent courtyard where greenery is overflowing is made for al-fresco dining), in and out there’s an endless list of things to love about House on the Hill. A lavish abode, the gem-like sitting room is kitted with canary-yellow lampshades and marble-pattern chairs indicative of the flamboyant tastes of the house owner. Design-led, nautical touches like gilded ship lamps and framed seafaring artworks are a nod to nearby fishing huts, from where you can buy the latest catch for your supper. After dinner, it’s a cinema-style experience with six-foot projector screen in the lounge.

bath and window in old rectory hastings


The Old Rectory

Part American Hustle, part Versailles in miniature, this gloriously characterful bed and breakfast near Hastings Old Town is the brainchild of designer Lionel Copley. The walls are covered in paper and hand-painted trompe l’oeil by local designers – nab the expansive, two-bedroom All Saints suite for its faux-marble painted bathroom and roll-top bath. Among millennial-pleasers such as smashed avo and halloumi on toast, the delightfully retro kippers on the breakfast menu remind you you’re by the seaside. Enjoy from the sprawling walled garden before heading to the treatment rooms for a facial.


1 Harold Road, Hastings TN35 5ND