Walk 8 – Hastings town to Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex
When visiting Hastings I always park a 1/2 mile or so from Hastings Old Town (Dudley Road area), so I can enjoy the atmosphere of the historic buildings as I walk to the sea. There is always something new to see and discover.
This section of shoreline starts at the far eastern end of the town, just passed the Hastings Fishermen's Museum and the Shipwreck Museum.
After a few yards along this shingle stretch popular with beach anglers, my path is halted by a sea wall. Even at low tide there is no way around it, so I pick my way through a car park to continue my journey.
Passing the colourful boats and winch lines of the Hastings' fishing fleet, it's hard to imagine that vessels have been sailing from this spot for over a millennium. This is a great place to explore amongst the old fishing net huts and when the boats return. It's a part of living history.
Another sea wall and I carefully scramble over the smelly and slippery sea defence, which drops me onto another shingle and wide sandy beach. Flanked to the right by buildings dating back hundreds of years, Hastings was made popular by the roving Victorians and later by Londoners, looking to escape the foul smog.
Soon, the sad dilapidated pier is reached. Built in 1872, destroyed by fire in 2010. A real shame. My grandfather used to bring me here in the 60s to play on the arcades. Don't linger under the buckled metal as decaying pieces still fall off.
Leaving the pier in its water grave, my old friend soon appears, mud. A rich vein accompanies me past Goat Ledge on my way to West Marina. At Bulverhythe the tide recedes further exposing more sludge and at very low spring tides, the wreck of the Amsterdam (sank 1749). It is worth visiting the preserved hull and surrounding petrified forest.
Porpoise and seals have been spotted along this shoreline but I make do with gulls. They're always ready to help you with lunch. Popular Glyne Gap is empty as I slop along in the returning tide and bright sunshine.
Galley Hill by the start of De La Warr Parade is my finishing point and a sign educates me on Bexhill-on-Sea's car racing heritage. Not just a retirement town after all.
If returning to Hastings town, there is a lovely walkway that follows the shoreline giving plenty of opportunity to notice the architectural styles of Hastings seafront.
On this walk…
- Interesting museums
- Working fishing fleet
- Ruined pier
- Shipwreck (certain times of the year)
- OS Explorer map 124 Hastings and Bexhill