With its selection of holiday cottages Hastings on the Sussex coast is a great location for a short break or a longer stay.
The region has witnessed some momentous events, not least the Battle of Hastings, while the five English coastal towns known as the Cinque Ports have played an important role in our defence down the years. Just a few miles north of Hastings is the thriving market town of Battle, home to the very spot where King Harold fell during the fateful conflict. Battle Abbey is one of the most popular attractions in the area, the venue of an annual re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings as well as year-round exhibits.
Hastings has long had a close relationship with the sea. With its proximity to mainland Europe this stretch of coastline has made it a strategically important player in Britain's military history. In the 11th-century five coastal towns, including Hastings, agreed to provide the king with men and ships in return for special privileges. Known as the Cinque Ports (from the French meaning 'Five Ports') they guarded the Channel approaches along the Sussex and Kent coast. Although its fishing industry has declined, Hastings still has Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet, which has for over a thousand years been launched from the shingle strand known as 'The Stade'.
Just a few miles to the west is Bexhill on Sea, an Edwardian seaside resort. It is home to the De La Warr Pavilion, one of the UK's finest examples of Modernist movement architecture and is now a major centre for contemporary arts.
To the east of Hastings is Winchelsea, once a major Channel port. Today the sea has receded and it sits quietly on its hill, gazing at the now-distant waters, but echoes of its colourful history still resonate from the ancient buildings, stone town gates and magnificent church of cathedral proportions.
Next to Winchelsea is Rye, also perched on a hill, but this beautifully preserved historic port still has access to the sea. The medieval town has a rich maze of cobbled streets lined with many ancient and interesting buildings that bear testimony to its eventful past as one of the five Cinque Ports.
Inland from Hastings is Bodiam Castle, one of the most famous and evocative castles in the UK and well worth a visit. It was built in the 14th-century in a grand style, created as a defence as well as statement of wealth and power. Its picture book design is emphasized by its moat, battlements and drawbridges. The exterior of the castle remains mostly intact, and though the same cannot be said for the interior, it is not hard to imagine what it was like in its heyday.
No visit to this corner of Sussex would be complete without visiting some of the area's wonderful gardens. These range from landscaped parks and woodland estates to intimate walled gardens including Great Dixter House, birthplace and home of the late gardening writer Christopher Lloyd and Herstmonceaux, renowned for its magnificent moated castle set in beautiful parkland.
By selecting one of our holiday cottages Hastings and its surrounding area can be discovered. So why not browse our selection on the coast or inland, to find something that catches your eye?