As a family, we love to explore the UK and are often looking for new places to visit. I decided to put it to the public vote every week on Instagram where we would visit, using the hashtag #wheretonowthen (I’m Cornish, it makes sense down there ) and for the first vote we decided on Hastings vs Eastbourne. Hastings (unlike in 1066) won!
I am obsessed, obsessed with all things Interiors, design and creativity! I could sit on Pinterest for hours looking at beautifully curated homes and Instagram has given me the opportunity to peak inside equally obsessed interior enthusiasts like me! But, I have another passion. I love travel, adventure and exploring the UK and further afield. Thing is, I am also hugely indecisive and very lastmintue.com which doesn’t bode well for getting the family out of the door on new adventures!
The Travel Bug
I don’t want this to be a travel blog as such, my obsession with Interiors is far too strong! More of an overview of the places we visit with (hopefully) beautiful scenery, architecture and the omnipresent “how to keep the kids happy”. Because I am a Mum foremost! And Hastings did not disappoint.
First stop, Battle
As soon as I told Mr B that Hastings was the favourite, you could see his face light up with glee! Next thing I know, he’s on Amazon, ordering Knight outfits for himself and the kids and it’s a whole different trip to the one I had planned! We were going via Battle so we could re-enact the famous combat of 1066! An Abbey was built on the site of the original battle and the Benedictine Abbey still partially stands today.
We spent a few hours walking around the English Heritage site, getting stuck in the mud (and the kids losing their wellies) and had a picnic in the drizzle, overlooking the hills where the actual battle took place. A truly British day out!
Off to Hastings
We made our exit through (as all parents will know) the dreaded gift shop and when my Son started having a complete meltdown because we wouldn’t let him have a lollipop the size of his head, we knew it was time to head to Hastings. We parked down by the sea front and could already see there was plenty to do for all the family, including an Aquarium, Tate Gallery, Cliff lifts, fun fair and museums.
I left Mr B with the kids at the entrance of the Aquarium and hotfooted it away. I wasn’t here to see fish, I wanted to see the Old Town, complete with ancient architecture, narrow alleyways and most importantly, the amazing vintage, antique and homeware shops. It did not disappoint!
I headed into the heart of the Old Town and stumbled across All Saints Street. Here you can find beautiful timber framed buildings, some dating back to 1450 and some of the oldest surviving homes in the Old Town.
I then carried on through the little alleyways until I came to High Street and what a delightful place it was! Full of bric-a-brac, antique, vintage and (my new favourite kind of shop) rummage shops, with cafes, restaurants, old pubs and clothing stores thrown in.
Some of these shops have probably been in the same families for generations and I had a wonderful conversation with an elderly owner who told me how surprised he was how business had picked up in recent years. This was after he nearly hit me with an antique broom because I was taking photos of his fascinating shop, shouting “I’m fed up with people treating this store like a joke!”, and I had to explain to him, on the contrary Sir, I think your shop is amazing and want to share!
One of my favourite stores had to be A G Hendy & Co Home Store Hastings, a unique hardware shop and kitchen in the Old Town. The building has a shop selling goods that are plastic free, eco-friendly, made to last and stand the test of time. Beautifully unique and vintage, there are plenty of homewares for the kitchen, scullery and broom cupboard as well as furniture for the dining room, office and garden.
There is also a seafood restaurant tucked away in the building, workshops where you can learn fish dishes, food writing and styling and a Tudor House which you can visit or hire.
I was pleasantly surprised by Hastings and would love to visit it again one day with the family.