Kathryn Vale offers a walk through central Hastings.  Vista wonderment, architectural appreciation and local colour should be added on a DIY basis.

After the winter of torrential rainfall we’ve been experiencing, all the best walks around are deep in mud and no longer the care-free stroll one might wish for. So footpaths it is – here’s one, more or less mud-excluding. Start at Hastings station, follow the map and these notes, and you can keep your shoes relatively clean.

1 Looking out from the station concourse, head for the red pillar-box on the far side of the taxi area. From there, head downhill to meet the Braybrooke Road ring road. Take life in hands (drivers think they are at Le Mans, they don’t realise there is no crossing place for pedestrians for half a mile and most of it blind summits), cross under bridge, and turn left up Braybrooke Terrace.

2 A few yards up on the right, find the walk-in entrance to the overlooked (hooray) Linton Gardens and walk through on the main path to the far end (also overlooked), up stairs onto Linton Road and turn right.

3 At the top, cross Priory Avenue and look for the entrance to Fox’s Walk more or less opposite.

4 Descend Fox’s walk (this IS a bit slippery, so take care – leaves on the path) to reach Lower Park Road at the bottom.

5 Cross over and turn right to get onto grassy verge, then at the corner of Dordrecht Way enter Alexandra Park by the footpath there, leading past the café and on down towards the town centre.

6 Beyond the War Memorial is the main exit from the park onto a four-way roundabout. Cross the roads there as if to climb up Elphinstone Road opposite, but turn immediately right into St James’s Road. 

7 At the far end of St James’s Road, take steps up, turn right to cross the railway by the footbridge, keep right, then head up along Grey Owls Passage to come out on St Mary’s Terrace. 

8 Walk up St Mary’s Terrace with a view of Morrisons car park below, emerging at the top on West Hill. Cross the green by any of the paths you fancy and find your way down steps into the Old Town – lots of twittens to choose from.

9 By now you may need a rest – pubs and coffee houses abound. If you are going on, though, head for All Saints Street by crossing the Bourne, carry on up (by any route you like: easiest on Crown Lane) to reach Tackleway, then ascend the steep steps (or take the funicular railway for a fee if it’s open) to East Hill.

10 The footpaths go on from here towards Fairlight, but are mudbound.  So look west instead and head back down into town along the prom.

Allow a minimum of an hour for the full walk – more if you like to stop and stare.


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