Hastings is on the South Coast and grew from a small settlement between the East and West Hills. Hastings was attacked by the French during the Hundred Years War, and in 1377, a second attack all but destroyed the town.
The Old Town's architecture ranges from Medieval to Victorian. One of the oldest buildings, the Court House is believed to have been built around 1450. There are ancient churches and the Old Town Hall, which now houses a museum. There are lots of passages and narrow streets (called twittens) that are worth exploring that go off the Old Town High Street. There are cafes, bars and restaurants that add to the cosmopolitan atmosphere of the Old Town.
Hastings has the largest fishing fleet in Europe that is launched from a beach, which is known as the Stade. The Castle built by William the Conqueror but now in ruins is at the top of West Hill and offer wonderful views of the area and Channel. The steepest funicular railway in Britain takes passengers from the Old Town up to the Castle.
Hastings Museum and Art Gallery has amongst its highlights exhibitions dedicated to American Indians and Grey Owl, an early conservationist, who came from Hastings and John Logie Baird who pioneered television in Hastings. There is also a reproduction of an Indian Durbar Hall, which was created for an Indian and Colonial Exhibition in Kensington in 1886.
There are many other attractions in Hastings, both architectural and cultural, which include a theatre, parks and gardens. The town hosts several events throughout the year, which include the Hastings Half Marathon, the Jack in the Green Festival, Hastings Beer Festival, Coastal Currents and the Old Town Carnival.
There have been many famous and illustrious residents and visitors to the town, which include J M F Turner, Beatrix Potter and Charles Dickens. The Old Town and beach are important locations in the popular television series 'Foyle's War' starring Michael Kitchen and Honeysuckle Weeks.