Things To Do

Enjoy the countryside of Hastings Country Park nature reserve, the many different beaches and other great 1066 Country Attractionsactivities to do during your stay...

The official tourist guide

Listing the best attractions and events in the local area:
Hastings, Rye, Battle, Bexhill, Herstmonceux & Pevensey

Click here for the 1066 Country Attractions guide.

Welcome to 1066 Country

50p Battle of Hastings950 years ago, in the year 1066 - the date that made history. The battle of Hastings (Norman conquest of England), is where King Harold met his fate. William the Conqueror successfully invades Britain, changing the face of England forever. The Royal Mint has produced a special commemorative 50p coin, do you have one in your wallet?

From coast to countryside, seaside to historic towns and villages.
There are many things to do in Hastings and 1066 Country, including excellent days out and places to see.

On the coast visit the unspoilt sand dunes of Camber, visit the quirky lively resort of Hastings and Bexhill, or go in search of dinosaur bones at Pett Level beach.

For free things to do in Hastings, why not experience the beauty of the countryside by taking a walk through Hastings Country Park, Combe Valley or Alexandra Park via woods and ancient forests.

Be inspired by exotic planting and old-fashioned roses in the glorious gardens of Great Dixter & Pashley Manor.

Look out for wildlife and birds in the natural nature reserves of Rye Harbour.

For the more active there are adrenaline sports, cycling and boat trips.

Visit where history began at the site of the Battle of Hastings & the imposing castles of Bodiam & Herstmonceux.

Go to the historic homes of famous writers including Rudyard Kipling and Lamb House.

1066 Country has been a magnet for artists over many years, and the arts play a major part in the area with several small galleries such as the Jerwood, 1066, HMAG, Stables and artist’s studios.

Go for a bike ride along coastal cycle path which starts in Hastings Old Town behind the net shops right the way along the beach to Bexhill providing a safe alternative to the road.

Start your ride with a visit to the Jerwood Gallery and end with the De La Warr Pavilion.

Ride the West Hill Cliff Railway up to the Smugglers Adventure in St Clements Caves, then visit the aquarium, fairground, Pier, have some fish & chips, and afterwards have a game of crazy golf on the UK's biggest adventure golf complex, home to the annual World Crazy Golf Championships!

Or take the steepest cliff railway in the UK up to the East Hill or the 197 steps for great views over the Old Town and English Channel.

1066 Country is not short of ideas for fascinating days out that are sure to delight every member of the family.

Local Attractions in Hastings

The Old Town area of Hastings is where all the fun happens, located around the fishing port with lots of amusements, tourist attractions, history to explore and the quirky boutique and antique shops in George Street. Otherwise head over to the newer part of town where you'll find the large Priory Meadow Shopping Centre in Queens Square and the local Tourist Information Centre.

  • Hastings Castle & 1066 Story
    Enter the medieval siege tent and enjoy the fascinating history of Britain’s first Norman castle and the story of the Battle of Hastings told in a spectacular audio visual show. Dynamic sound effects and thrilling images take you from 1066 to World War II.
  • Smugglers Adventure
    Journey deep into the heart of Hastings’ historic West Hill to discover the fascinating world of the Smugglers Adventure in St Clements Caves. Join notorious smuggler ‘Hairy Jack’ as he leads you through acres of underground caverns, passages and tunnels on a voyage back through time to the heyday of smuggling.
  • Blue Reef Aquarium Hastings
    Take the ultimate undersea safari at Blue Reef Aquarium. Enjoy close encounters with seahorses, native sharks, giant octopus and hundreds of other amazing aquatic creatures. Don't miss the amazing tropical underwater walkthrough tunnel! Informative, entertaining talks and feeding displays throughout the day.
  • Hastings Museum and Art Gallery
    A varied and exciting collection spanning many themes and ages. There are plenty of special features for children, with fossils that transform into dinosaurs, prehistoric crocodiles and fish, a diorama of local animals and birds and much more.
  • Shipwreck Museum
    With fascinating family friendly exhibits of local historic shipwrecks, and a Cretaceous gallery with everything from dioramas and footprints to fossils and a preserved 138 million year old fish!
  • Fisherman's Museum
    Housed in a disused church this is a wonderfully atmospheric exhibition of local maritime history including a full size lugger and a wealth of art and artifacts.
  • East Hill Cliff Railway
    The "cliff lift" provides easy access to Hastings Country Park with spectacular views over the Old Town and Rock-a-Nore. The lift also provides great views over the Stade, home to the largest beach launched fishing fleet in Europe. You can alternatively walk up the footpath next to it for free.
  • CRAZY Golf
    This fun crazy golf for big kids on the sea side features three 18 hole courses which include waterfalls, fountains and even a cave to negotiate around!
  • Alexandra Park
    Features include a boating lake, bowls green, cafe, adventure playground, tennis courts, multi play area, formal flower and rose gardens, reservoirs for fishing, natural woodland and a miniature railway.
  • Beauport Park Golf Course
    A visually stunning 18 hole Championship Course.  The Course sets a compelling and stern, yet fair challenge, whilst you enjoy the views of the gently strolling East Sussex Countryside. 
  • Beauport Park Riding School
    Learn how to ride a horse or improve your skills. Set in over 350 acres of unique woodland, Beauport Park Riding School offers both Individual and Group riding tuition in one of the largest indoor facilities in the South East of England.
  • Priory Meadow Shopping Centre
    Located in Hastings town center it is the place to go for all your shopping needs. Its large multistory car park is the best and cheapest place to park your car for the day, then explore the towns shops, cafe's, beach and attractions. All with-in walking distance.
  • Fishing
    Whether it be sea fishing or fresh water fishing in Clive Vale reservoir, head to the Hastings Angling tackle shop for info and day pass's. All fisherman are welcome from beginners to professionals. Tel 01424 432178.
  • Summerfield Leisure Centre
    swimming pool with separate teaching pool, sauna, sports hall for badminton, 5-a-side football, studio offering a programme of exercise classes, gym, squash courts, café and crèche. 
  • Bexhill Museum
    Main galleries include Costume and Motor Racing heritage as well as local archaeology and history, dinosaurs and fossils, natural history and geology, social history and cultures of other lands, local arts and crafts.
  • White Rock Theatre
    Theatre in Hastings that presents a varied program of touring shows including comedy, opera, ballet, musicals, pantomime, children's shows and the Hastings Musical Festival in March.
  • Cinema
    The multiscreen Odeon cinema showcases all the latest blockbuster films, great entertainment with your friends/family and a big bag of popcorn!

A bit further away

  • Rye (8 miles)
    One of the best preserved medieval towns in England, Rye is home to the enchanting cobbled Mermaid Street, the impressive Norman church of St Mary’s, a rich selection of specialist shops and a thriving fishing fleet.
  • Camber Sands (near Rye - 9 miles)
    This is one of our favorite places to visit on a hot sunny day, 30 minutes drive away. Its a beautiful golden sand beach backed by sand dunes. Dog friendly and always great fun.
  • Camber Castle (near Rye - 9 miles)
    Accessible by guided tour only, this historic castle is bound to get kids' imaginations going as well as teach them something, plus monthly guided walks round Rye Harbor Nature Reserve.
  • Battle Abbey (6 miles)
    Here you can walk the site of the battle of Hastings and stand on the very spot where King Harold met his fate. There are atmospheric abbey ruins to explore and especially for the children there is an 1066' themed out door play area (suitable for 4 - 12 year olds). The village of Battle is also great to explore and shop.
  • Yesterday's World (Battle - 6 miles)
    Bringing the Past to Life. An amazing journey through history with life-size street scenes and shop displays! Discover 5 floors with over 150,000 nostalgic artifacts, evocative sounds & smells of the past, virtual & interactive exhibits. All weather attraction, open all year.
  • The Observatory Science Centre (11 miles)
    Hands-on science and discovery in former home of the Royal Greenwich Observatory - Children's Workshops and activities - Indoor/Outdoor - Interactive Exhibits - Water Play Areas - Discovery Park with giant sized exhibits and Spectacular Science Shows, above all it's FUN! For all ages.
  • Eastbourne (13 miles)
    A much larger town to that of Hastings, with great beaches, shops and loads to things to do and explore.
  • Fort Fun and Rocky's (13 miles)
    Fort Fun in Eastbourne is a fun park spread over two acres, with amusement rides, 'American Adventure Golf' and go-karts. Rocky's is an indoor adventure play area.
  • Sovereign Centre Leisure Pools (13 miles)
    The Sovereign Leisure Centre in Eastbourne has something for everyone, splash in the fun pool with waves and flume, swim in the 25m gala pool or dive into the diving pool!
  • Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway (13 miles)
    Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway Adventure Park. One eighth scale Steam and diesel train journeys for nearly a mile around the beautiful park.
  • Treasure Island (14 miles)
    Spacious two level indoor adventure play, parkland with paddling lagoon and shipwreck adventure playground, plus 8 hole golf with extraordinary themed landscaping: all with a pirate theme. Yar Eastbourne here we come!
  • Laser Quest Eastbourne (14 miles)
    An adrenaline pumping game, combining the classic game of tag and hide & seek with a high-tech twist. Hit sensors on your opponents pack to gain warrior status in our two story dungeon themed arena. Anyone from 6 years to 100 can join in and battle against family and friends.
  • Knockhatch Ski and Snowboard Centre (15 miles)
    Skiing and Boarding with the new Powderpac Softer Surface 110m main slope along with Nursery Runs and Drag Lifts. Child friendly, over 8yrs catered for.
  • Go Ape! Bedgebury (16 miles)
    Go Ape is the UK's No.1 Forest Adventure. Take to the trees and speed down zip slides. They’re part of an exciting course of rope bridges, Tarzan swings and crossings; all set high above the forest floor.
  • RH & DR Railway (20 miles)
    The worlds smallest public railway, a superb fleet of one-third full size steam trains and diesel locomotives, provide a fun family day out making memories across generations. Plus Steam Driver "drive a train" Experience.

National Trust & English Heritage

View web sites for the National Trust and English Heritage.

Great days out visiting historic venues, houses, buildings, gardens, parks, coast and countryside. 

or find a National Trust event using our post code TN35 5DR

Big Annual Events

  • Jack-in-the-Green Festival
    Hastings largest festival takes place over the May Day bank holiday weekend (first Monday of May). A traditional English celebration of springtime fertility with a procession of Morris dancers, flowers, fancy dress, concerts and ceilidhs. The event also coincides with the motorcycle show called May Day Run.
  • Hastings Beer and Music Festival
    A two day event at the beginning of July. Organized by Hastings Round Table bringing you the best in music, beer, and atmosphere - and it's all for charity. Or as we say, "great fun for great causes".
  • Hastings Town & Country Show
    Usually mid July in Alexandra Park with entertainment including birds of prey, farm animals, childrens entertainment as well as arts, crafts, gifts, food marquees and a family dog show.
  • Pirates Day
    A day of family fun around the Old Town and beach in July. If your not dressed as a Pirate you'll stand out from the crowd! Each year they try and beet the previous years Guinness World Record. A great day out.
  • Old Town Week
    Typically occurs during the first week of August. Concerts, street parties, charity races, Morris Dancing and carnival procession with 'floats', dancers, majorettes, marching bands and a large firework display.
  • Hastings Week
    Around mid October the Hastings Bonfire Society stages a torchlight procession through the streets, with a beach bonfire and large firework display over the sea.
  • Lewes Bonfire
    Remember, remember the 5th of November... The local village of Lewes celebrate with the worlds biggest bonfire night in the world. Expect an array of processions, bonfires and fireworks all across town.

Local Info