Monday, September 5, 2011


Hastings is a city in the South of England known for its historic fishing beach. Built on 1000 years of fishing and seafaring history, Hastings Old Town has a character all of its own. Becoming a Cinque Port in the 11th century awarded the townsfolk special rights of independence in return for supplying the Crown with ships and crew to defend the English Channel. This character and close working relationship with the sea lives on today. 

If visiting this lovely city take a little time to stroll through the town's narrow streets and also watch the fishermen at work on The Strade beach. In order to see the city from above and admire the spectacular views climb up the East Hill or the West Hill and see the first Norman castle in the country. 

The Net Shops depicted here are unique to Hastings. They were used as stores for nets, rope and other fishing gear that had to be kept dry to prevent them from rotting. They are believed to date from the early Victorian period. The reason they were built high and in orderly rows is because there was a lack of space on the Stade at this time as the beach was much narrower. This is because the large groynes and harbour arm which prevent the natural easterly flow of the shingle were not present.

The Old Town is known for its narrow streets and passages, also called 'twittens', and are home to all sorts of traditional traders, speciality shops and eateries. It is probably the best place to find an unusual gift, antiques (especially books and furniture) and local delicacy. 

There is an attractive mix of medieval, Regency and Victorian buildings, three landmark churches and numerous historic pubs have retained the atmosphere of a traditional town centre. Daytime or evening,the Old Town offers a warm and friendly welcome and countless fish and chips restaurants!
The Strade, or 'landing place', is home to Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet. Boats are pushed across the shingle by tractors to be launched at high tide. On their return they are pulled back up the beach by winches and their catches, including herring, mackerel, Dover sole, cod, bass and plaice, are unloaded and sent to the fish market. 

Hasting's mackerel and herring drift-net fishery, and Dover sole trammel-net fishery, have been awarded the Marine Stewardship Council certificate for their eco-friendly fishing methods and the sustainability of the fish stocks. 
Like many places in the U.K. we even visited the Greek Orthodox Church in Hastings, dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene. 

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