Walk 6 – Hastings town to Hastings Country Park, Sussex
It's just under 1.5 miles from the car park at Hasting's Aquarium to the nudist beach near Black Rock below Hastings Country Park, Sussex, but sometimes small is best.
If you do venture along this short stretch of shoreline, allow a good couple of hours to devour the joy of a car forbidden world and very few people.
The walk starts at Hastings Country Park visitor centre car park (£1 all day) at Fairlight. The tarmac track to the coastguard station affords distant views over Pett Level, the windfarm at Little Cheyne Court and the unmistakable, battleship grey Dungeness power station.
Saxon Shore Way
Turning right at the ever spinning radar, the path drops to the sloping cliff edge travelling west, with the return beach terrain slowly revealing itself.
This undulating path, the Saxon Shore Way, reveals green open meadows, wooded hills with glittering streams and to cap it all, superb cliff-top panoramas. Although steep in places, the two miles are a walkers' delight.
Before dropping down into Hastings past the 1903 electric East Hill Cliff Railway, a rooftop vista of the old town takes you back to a slower age, with views over the bustling harbour just around the corner.
Passing the old fishing net huts, museum and aquarium, from the car park the boulder strewn shoreline stretches to infinity. Today, smugglers enter the country further along the coast, usually in large vans.
Ignoring the access sign, drop down onto the beach, turn your back on Hastings and you'll forget it's there. With fragile cliffs looming over their own debris, a floating pterodactyl would complete the scene.
Even in the spring drought, the waterfall which drains from Ecclesbourne Glen above freely flows, while remains of the tea rooms and coastguard station which once stood proudly on the hill top, can still be seen gently eroding in the pebbles.
Just before Black Rock, carpeting the low hillside is the impenetrable, flesh tearing scrub of Covehurst Wood – best left to the birds and bees.
As the dense, thick undergrowth gives way to muddy landslides, you will find the small path from the beach which heads upwards via wooden steps to the main path. Turning right, this hilly route will return you to the Fairlight Coastguard Station.
On a warm, sunny day this is a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy Mother Nature's peace.
On this walk…
- Short but very enjoyable
- There are nudists at Black Rock beach all year round
- Lovely walk if returning to Hastings along cliff tops
- OS Explorer map 124 Hastings and Bexhill