Hastings itself has a brand new pier and is re-establishing itself as a resort to reckon with. The town is split into three by the cliffs in the centre of town. To the east you have Old Town which is overlooked by Hastings Castle, reached by a funicular railway, and the UK’s largest on shore fishing fleet. It's characterised by the tall black wooden smokehouses and fisherman’s huts along the undercliff. The centre of town is where all the major town amenities are, and beyond, to the west is St. Leonards with its elaborate Victorian sea fronted town houses and antique shops.
Hastings Castle is a wonder in itself. Only half of the castle remains as a cliff gave way making the south wall and its keep fell into the sea below. Today many of the original walls exist, although the castle is a ruin. The location of the castle affords it fantastic views.
The museums and galleries are comprehensive – visit the aquarium, or the Smuggler’s Adventure, the Shipwreck Museum, and more. One of the chief draws along the promenade is the Jerwood Gallery, a modern art exhibition space. It has a busy on going calendar of events and focuses on 20th and 21st century art. The Jerwood Collection contains some pieces by Sir Stanley Turner, and LS Lowry, to name a few. The gallery also hosts temporary exhibitions. In the past it has showcased a selection of Lucian Freud portraits and Quentin Blake. Be sure to check who the lead touring artist on show is, when planning a visit to Hastings.
With the recovery of the pier that was almost completely destroyed by fire, The Electric Palace cinema and a few new boutique bars, Hastings could finally be stepping out of Brighton’s long shadow.