If you were paying attention to our Goudhurst exploration, you'll be well accustomed to Kent's smuggling history. Hastings offers further evidence, along the coast in East Sussex. It's the home to St Clement's Caves, rife with smuggling history. Aside from a smuggler's hide-out, the caves have been used as an air-raid shelter, hospital and even ballroom! You can take the family along to experience it all, just visit Smuggler's Adventure.
If it's adventure you're looking for, Hastings also hosts it's very own half marathon every March. This year it's being run on the 24th March - something to keep in mind if you're looking to visit this weekend!
That level of physical activity isn't for all of us! Don't worry, Hastings has plenty to offer in the way of alternative entertainment. The Electric Palace offers a wide range of alternative films and film events. The cinema is independently run and relies on volunteers to keep the magic alive. It's certainly worth a visit!
Whilst you're exploring the Old Town, you must visit Penbuckles, an adorable little deli right in the heart. Aside from being a long-standing supplier of Goupie, Penbuckles offers the opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle with a cup of coffee before picking up some charcuterie for dinner. The Goupie team often stop off for a caffeine hit; either when doing deliveries, or on group outings. It comes highly recommended!
Some of our other favourite haunts include Boulevard Bookshop and Thai Cafe, a truly unique little place offering second hand books by day and delicious home-made Thai by night with BYOB policy, and Cafe Maroc, a similar style restaurant with BYOB and a functioning store all around you, but serving authentic Moroccan food. The Thai cafe is especially good for vegan eats, and can offer practically their entire menu for the choosing.
There are plenty of other places to eat in Hastings, and classic pubs for a drink. But if you are going to be by the coast, you really must visit our favourite fish and chip shop, The Codfather. Aside from the catchy name, the location is superb and ticks all the boxes in terms of service and quality.
If that's not enough to get you interested in a little visit, we don't know what will be! Aside from its rich history, not just with smuggling, but also the 1066 battle (which famously didn't actually happen in Hastings), there's plenty for the family to do. Crazy golf and theme park style rides can be found near the beach, the beach itself is stoney and the perfect place to eat your chips, and on your way back to the car you can pop in at a number of antique shops for a token of your day out!