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Hastings!    
(31st August 2017)

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  London | Salisbury | Whitstable | Oxford | Hereford 
  Stratford-upon-Avon | Winchester | Hastings | Broadstairs | Deal / Sandwich | The Wedding 

Hastings was my eleventh rail pass segment and it was a day trip where I would tour around until lunchtime, meet my family for lunch, visit the Jerwood Gallery and go and spend the night at my sister's in Kent.  A very rushed day as it took me about two hours from London Victoria to Hastings and I got there around 10.15am.  It didn't leave me much time to sightsee before meeting my family at around 1pm for lunch.  I walked from the station down through town and made my way to the Old Town.  I spotted the West Hill Lift on the west end of George Street and took the short cable car ride to the top of the hill where I could see across the ocean and towards the Hastings Castle.  (£2.70 or $3.60 for an adult return and £1.70 or $2.30 for a senior return on the cable car.)  Not having much time to see everything, I opted to just look at the castle from a distance (it's in ruins and there's not much to see but you can do the 1066 Story and learn that it was initially built with wood by William the Conqueror pre-Battle of Hastings) and go and see the Smugglers Adventure instead.
   

The Smugglers Adventure is absolutely wonderful and you'll need about 45 minutes to an hour to fully enjoy all there is to see.  Considering I'm claustrophobic, and the "adventure" is underground, I coped pretty well.  All these little alleys were dug out of the limestone about 200 years ago and you can learn about how the smuggling operated, the punishments, and what life was like in those days.  These caves also served as shelters during World War II.
   
 

I wandered down some steep steps down into the Old Town and came across Croft Street, made famous in the TV series Foyle's War.  Not having watched the show I didn't recognize which house was Foyle's.  But, I loved this old bit of Hastings and loved the narrow roads and gorgeous shops.  I particularly liked walking the pedestrianized George Street with pubs, eclectic shops, art, food and so much more.  Don't miss ambling down this lovely street!
   
     
     
 

Like most seaside towns there is the distinct possibility that you'll find any number of fish restaurants, anything from a hole in the wall to a proper restaurant, and Hastings is no different.  By this time my family had arrived and we went in search of somewhere to have lunch.  A fish and chips lunch, naturally.  We found a little place called Rock-A-Nore Kitchen and settled in to feed our faces.  However, there were only about six tables (all full) and only one server.  Consequently we waited about 45 minutes for our cod and chips which looked amazing but was way too over-battered with very little fish inside.  The chips were hunking great blocks of potatoes and not that easy to eat, but were tasty.  I thought our dish was overpriced at £11.95 ($16) but it was my sister's treat and that was kind of her to treat us all!  Thank you, Fiona!

After lunch my mother, sister and I went to visit the Jerwood Gallery and my father and brother went for a walk.  Artist and illustrator Sir Quentin Blake's work was on exhibit and it was entitled The Only Way to Travel.  His work is associated with Roald Dahl's books but this exhibit was about him discovering themes like depression, energy, loneliness, people dislocated from their homes, and enthusiasm.  I remember commenting to my sister about one piece that I thought reflected struggle and the hill in one's life and the absolute tough time some people have.  This was before I had read what themes he'd tackled for this show!  Also on exhibit that day were Jean Cooke and Kath Thompson.  There were a few other artists' work on display, one being Lucien Freud, whose art I quite like.  The Jerwood is a small gallery and rather pricey I thought at £9 ($12) per person.
 

Before long the folks were tired and still had to drive back home.  I opted to train it back to my sister's so that I didn't have to test my claustrophobia for the hour's journey in a cramped car.  I walked back along George Street and headed to the train station.  I didn't walk the pebbly beach and that's okay.  I did see the pier in the distance, and when I saw the brightly colored typical seaside things for sale, I was glad I didn't have too much time there.  That part of the British seaside is lost on me.


Contacts

Visit 1066 Country (Hastings Castle)
Web: visit1066country.com
To see the castle is £4.75 ($6.40) and Smugglers Adventure is £8.20 ($11.00) but you can get a combination ticket online to see them all.  Visit the website as you will find so many other tours they have to offer.  There is so much more to Hastings than I was able to see!


Smugglers Adventure
Web: www.smugglersadventure.co.uk
£8.20 ($11.00) or £7.20 ($9.17) online!  Visit the website for up-to-date goings on and prices and to purchase tickets online.



Rock-A-Nore Kitchen - 23 Rock-A-Nore Road, Hastings TN34 3DW
Tel: 01424 433764


The Jerwood Gallery - Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings Old Town TN34 3DW
Tel: 01424 728377
Web: www.jerwoodgallery.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/JerwoodGallery
Twitter: twitter.com/jerwoodgallery


E-mail:  travel2@live.com
or pettprojects@yahoo.com

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