By Maaya Takata
There is more to this town on England’s Southeast coast than the 1066 Battle of Hastings. Set between hills that reach to the sea, and complemented by its rich history, you will find a brilliant seaside vista with the Hastings Pier, the brightly coloured fishing boats and nets, the ruins of Hastings castle and the distinctive double-decker promenade of Bottle Alley.
It is likely that, when first Romans arrived in the UK, their main interest in this area was the iron industry. Iron was transported by ship from Beauport as much as possible. Although there is no archaeological evidence, a Roman settlement grew around this iron trade by employing up to 1000 men and it is thought that the mine was the third largest in the Roman Empire.
The Battle of Hastings in 1066 was in fact fought place a few miles to the North. . The Battle ended Norman victory and William was crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey on December 25.
You can talk to Norman and Saxon soldiers or try out archery. You can even enjoy the spirit of Norman and Saxon ancestors by trying a horn of mead. This extraordinary festival of re-enactment displays, and activities will leave you in awe.
If you want to know more about the history, visit the Battle Museum of Local History, where you can find a collection covering 125 million years of history in Battle and surrounding area. Exhibits include dinosaur footprints, artefacts from the Roman Bathhouse at Beauport Park, the World Wars and much more.
The town offers a variety of activities- from wandering the preserved Old Town, where you will encounter iconic tea rooms, antique shops, pubs and museums with ancient churches, narrow streets and buildings, to taking the East Hill lift to Hastings Country Park.
‘St Just’ in Croft Road, the house that the British detective drama series ‘Foyle’s War’ was filmed, is a short walk from the Flower Maker’s Museum where you can find the samples of the globally acknowledged Shirley Leaf & Petal company, which is a leading supplier of artificial flower and plant props for film, theatre and television productions.
Also, Hastings has long had a close connection with the sea. Despite the decline of its fishing industry, Hastings still has the Europe’s largest beach-launched fishing fleet.
From a live music to art exhibitions, there are plenty of events going on in Hastings throughout a year. It is a great place to check out if you are stuck for something to do, with it being only a short train ride from campus.