Hastings Old Town and The Firehills

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Hastings boasts a rich coastal history. This ‘taster’ walk brings you from sea level up to its cliff top castle via one of the famous cliff lifts. The West Hill lift slowly rises through a tunnel to the cliff top. Originally it was powered by trickling water between tanks attached to the two cars. (If you don’t want to use the lift, there are some steps close by.) Notice the castle perched on its rocky knoll, before going down via steps and alleyways to the High St with its three interesting churches and ancient houses.
The walk continues over breezy, open clifftops to the east – an area known as The Firehills, because of the flaming yellow gorse bushes which are prolific here. There are attractive views across the town, to fishing boats and the famous net huts of the shore line. Until recently it was possible to continue eastwards along the cliff for some miles. However, a cliff fall in 2015 destroyed a section of the path, and local authorities now strongly discourage this, so our route turns westwards, descending via Tamarisk Steps to sea level. (The East Hill lift runs in summer and some winter weekends only.)
You may wish to walk a little further east to where the road ends, and then various attractive options offer themselves for the return to your vehicle. Hastings boasts the largest beach-launched fishing fleet in Europe. Walking along the fish quay, you will also see tall, black huts which were used for drying the fisherman’s gear, and may visit the Fisherman’s Museum or buy some fresh fish at one of the stalls. Alternatively, cross the A259 and wander through some of the narrow streets of Old Town Hastings. George St is on your car-ward way and is full of quirky shops and eating places.
Though quite short this walk has been classified as ‘moderate’ because of a couple of short, steep sections, and a number of steps.

England - South England - East Sussex - Coast


Ancient Monument, Birds, Cafe, Castle, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Museum, Play Area, Pub, Sea, Toilets

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Distance away
10.6 Miles