On the bank holiday while in Tonbridge (Kent), Ben’s mom and Mick offered to take me, Ben, and Ben’s little bro Max to Hastings and Rye on the coast. It’s in East Sussex on the South coast. We drove from Kent but you can take a train from Charing Cross in London and that’ll take about 2.5 hours.
If you have time you should definitely take a day in Hastings and Rye.
Hastings used to be a huge fishing port in England but is now more of a seaside vacation spot with delicious fish n chips. There is a fisherman and shipwreck museum (free to enter, donations accepted) and also an arcade area with rides and bumper cars.
I hadn’t had a “real” fish n chips until I had this. It was served in newspaper with vinegar to splash on it and tartar sauce… delicious! I picked all the skin off and didn’t realize until after that everyone else ate theirs.
In the photo below you can see these fisherman huts (net shops?) where they sell their catch. They were built to provide a weatherproof storage for fishing gear so things wouldn’t rot.
Other than walking through the lanes to see shops and eat, there are fisherman selling fresh catches near the sea. You can choose to go to the Hastings Castle and up the hillside trains which looked a bit scary and went up at such a steep gradient!
I think I’m the only person in England that wants filter coffee with creamer lol, it’s definitely not the norm but I guess the truth is I don’t like coffee that much I like to add so many flavored creamers that it’s basically hot chocolate… so coffee with milk and sugar in England seems pretty strong to me!
Jellied Eels. What is it!?!? I don’t even know lol but I did NOT try it because it looked so gross haha! I got the prawns which were good but I didn’t love the mayo(ish) sauce I put on it. I like cocktail sauce on them. Ben had crawfish and Max had cockles.. which again I didn’t want to try. He soaked them in vinegar.
Hastings was very cute! We took Max to the arcade where lots of money was spent, hundreds of tickets were won, and Max took home 2 very small stuffed minions lol… arcades are such a rip off but he loved it! Him and Ben did bumper cars… and it was not their best show of driving skills to be honest. They’re much better at playing computer games ;)
After Hastings, we stopped in Rye which was about 20 minutes away if I remember right so that I could see the little stone walkways/roads. It’s got more charm then Hastings but is really small. I can’t imagine living there!
I didn’t take as many pictures because it was raining, but Rye was great. I didn’t get a chance to shop in Hastings, but I don’t shop in England really because the GBP is so expensive for Americans. The shops did look cute though, mostly things for the home more than boutique clothing shops.
I think both Hastings and Rye are worth a day trip from London. Actually, you can go on a day trip to see Hastings and Tunbridge Wells all in one day which could be really cool.
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