Hastings is a town and district in East Sussex. It is situated at the so called "Street of Dover" near the English Channel. Hastings is a famous town for bathing, 90 minutes away from London. Hastings has 75.000 inhabitants and it can offer very much: picturesque streets, fantastic squares, modern shopping centres and famous caves, which the smugglers have used to hide their things.


After "Eduard der Bekenner" had abdicated, Harold II. followed him as the last Anglo - Saxon king. He could beat the Norwegian back, but he was defeated in the Battle of Hastings on 14.10.1066 by the Normanns under the command of William the Conqueror, who enforced his hereditary title. This battle decided about the power of the Normanns on the British Island.


... as a harbour

After the famous Battle of Hastings one of the five harbours of the king was built. Hastings' harbour belonged to the Clinque Ports and had one of the biggest harbours in Great Britain. The location of Hastings' harbour was favourable and on the other side not favourable. You could go everywhere from Hastings by ship and it was very near to Europe. But on the other side the people were afraid of the robberies of the Vikings, Romans, Saxons and the Frenchmen. Because of that Hastings became famous until the Great Storm in 1287. After the storm everything was destroyed and the harbour silted up until it was useless. No ships could put into port. Because of that Hastings was not so famous any more. It became a little town. Today the centre of the town and a lot of new houses were built on the old harbour.

... as a smuggler town

After the harbour in Hastings had been destroyed, there was another reason for the people to come to Hastings. The reason were the smugglers between 1700 and 1830. The unemployment in England was very high, so many people had no money. The smugglers brought cheap products from France to England. They did not pay duties so they could sell the products very cheap. Many people in the surroundings knew that and they came to Hastings. They wanted to buy something or to smuggle themselves. It was a quite good job for someone who had no other job. 40.000 people were involved and all people in Hastings knew the smugglers but they stuck together.

... as a tourist and student town

Today Hastings is one of the best - visited seaside resorts. Nearly every English person has already been in Hastings or in neighbour towns.

In the summer there are also very many students, who are on a language travel in Hastings. That is the main earning for Hastings. Everything depends on the students. All ice - cream shops, game - halls, discos, taxi - companies. In the summer holidays there are nearly 10.000 students in Hastings. All the students have to be put up at a hostfamily. This family look after you during your stay. They get money for it and they want to earn something with you, because most of these families live on the poverty line.

Most of the working people work for the tourists. In Hastings they have many tourist attractions. The younger people can visit "The Stade", it is a small leisure park. There is also a special area where you can try your hand at the 18 holes of the "Adventure Golf". Also on the seafront is Hastings Sealife Centre which we did not enjoy.

The best known attraction in Hastings is the "Smugglers Adventure" in St. Clement's Caves. You can get there by the East Hill Railway or you can choose the strenuous walk up to the hill as we did it.

If you want to find out everything about Hastings from 1066 until now, take a trip on an open top double - decker guide bus.

In the night you can enjoy a play at "Lasermaze" where you can do battle with a laser gun. If you do not want to play at "Lasermaze", you can spend your time in a pub like "The Havelock" or on the Pier or just lying around on the beach.

If you want to do shopping in Hastings there is a new shopping centre called "Priory Meadow" which was opened by the Queen.

There are also a lot of historic attractions and museums in Hastings like the Hastings Castle, Hastings Embroidery at the White Rock Theatre, Fishermen’s Museum, Flower Makers Museum, Old Town Hall Museum, ...

In Hastings there are also many events. But all these events or attractions are only open from Easter to September. In winter the typical tourist workers have no work. The youth criminality rate is very high. The young people have no work and money.

But Hastings is a wonderful tourist town.

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