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St Leonards-on-Sea

Hastings East Sussex

We say

Hastings is really a town of three parts, with a down-at-heel town centre sandwiched between the handsome Old Town to the east, and part-scruffy, part-hip St Leonards-on-Sea to the west. Once a completely separate town, St Leonards has a real identity of its own, artsy and creative, and is best known, by visitors at any rate, for its clutch of galleries, laid-back cafés and vintage shops – although architecture buffs will also appreciate the splendid Regency buildings of what was the country’s first ever planned seaside town. St Leonards’ buzzy hub is Norman Road, a parade of contemporary galleries, quirky cafés (including the wonderful Love Café) and independent shops selling everything from hip homeware (check out SHOP) and vintage furniture to haberdashery and dog treats. Also worth a look is on-the-up Kings Road, a few streets away. Down by the seafront there are a few more galleries and shops in the colonnades underneath Marine Court, a hulking Art Deco apartment block modelled on the Queen Mary ocean liner, which even today divides opinion as to whether it's a Modernist masterpiece or seaside monstrosity.

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Getting There

St Leonards-on-Sea lies at the western end of Hastings. The main hub for shops and cafés is Norman Road, which runs parallel to the main coast road, just by Warrior Square.

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