Counties > East Sussex > Hastings


HASTINGS has never quite caught the limelight in the way that Brighton has. Much of it has a slightly down-at-heel look, though the population still swells with trippers and holidaymakers during the summer. There are good walks along East Cliff across the gorse-covered valleys to Fairlight. Hastings seafront is much like any other, with a fine pier built in 1872. The Castle ruins now tell the 1066 story audio-visual style. The White Rock Theatre does a good line in variety shows, concerts and plays, and there is a cinema. The High Street shops and the modern Priory Meadows mall draw shoppers from the neighbouring villages. You can buy fresh fish from fishermen pulling their boats up on to the beach.

Much of the housing is Victorian. Commuters usually prefer to live within walking distance of the station, close enough to the William Parker comprehensive if they have families. A two-bedroom house in this area would cost around £110,000; four bedrooms between £160,000 and £200,000. One-bedroom flats in a converted house come at around £65,000. A view, or even a squint of the sea, will add a small premium. A two-bedroom top floor flat with a sea view will cost around £90,000 to £100,000.

One of the smartest areas is St Helens, close to Alexandra Park, where a three-storey, four-bedroom Victorian house will cost £250,000 to £275,000, and a three-bedroom semi with 100ft garden over £150,000. For modern properties people look to Parkstone. A two-bedroom bungalow here will sell for between £160,000 and £175,000; a four-bedroom detached around £210,000. Property prices in other parts of Hastings have fallen steeply and the neighbourhoods have become popular with the disadvantaged. If you don’t mind it being in need of repair, you might find a small Victorian house for as little as £100,000. The most expensive area is probably the Old Town. Some people find it too claustrophobic, with tourists pressing their noses against the windows in summer, but others find the innate charm of the close ancient streets well worth the extra money. Here you might pay £100,000 to £130,000 for a two-bedroom flat; £250,000 to £300,000 for a four-bedroom Edwardian terrace.

Good for: affordable seaside, charming areas, regeneration in progress.
County:East Sussex
London terminal: Charing Cross
Journey time: 93 mins
Season ticket: £3840
Peak trains: 1 per hour plus 3 per hour to Cannon Street
Off-peak trains: 2 per hour
Notes: also valid to Victoria via Eastbourne, but the journey is half-an-hour longer