Sunday, 5 July 2015

A day in Hastings



"Let's go to the seaside", said The Boy.
"OK", I said, fully aware that agreeing to such a thing over a week in advance was optimistic at best. I had images in my mind of us huddling on the beach in cagoules, shivering in the rain as we clasped out hands round a hot chocolate for warmth.

Fortunately the day of our seaside trip fell on the week of the hottest day in the UK for nine years, and we stepped off the train at Hastings in bright sunshine and temperatures for 25 degrees.
The East Cliff funicular railway. We gave this one a miss.
I'd been to Hastings a few times before, but it was The Boy's inaugural visit, so we worked our way through the stereotypical seaside checklist. First up was a trip to the beach itself. Despite the balmy temperatures, the beach itself was a bit chilly with the wind, so we only stayed for about half an hour before hotfooting it back up to the path, where we came face to face with the crazy golf.

Not quite Barbados, but good enough for me

Something you should know if you go to Hastings; the crazy golf is deceptive. The course itself looks tiny. What you realise once you get closer is that it's actually three separate courses, each 18 holes. Hours of fun to be had! Faced with the choice of Adventure golf, Pirate Golf, or regular crazy golf, we opted to start with the Adventure golf.

The course was, expectedly, quite busy, so I was expecting it to be a bit of a bunfight, golf clubs at dawn, that sort of thing, but it was a most respectable affair, with everyone queuing for the holes in the most British of fashions (and a bit of inter-group chatter, most un-British - the sea air clearly got to some people's heads).

The Adventure Crazy Golf course
After the Adventure golf, we had the bug, so had a quick round on the regular crazy golf course (windmills, whirlygigs, you know the sort).

36 holes left us with quite an appetite so it was off to the chippy for a typical seaside lunch of fish and chips (OK, chicken nuggets and no chips for me), which we tucked into on the beach. Seven nuggets and an altercation with a seagull later, we were ready to continue exploring, and headed towards the East Cliff Railway, into the fishing quarter of Hastings. This is the quaint part of town - old wooden huts, lovely boats, very photogenic - and a couple of free museums to visit too.

After poking around for a bit, we headed back in the direction we came, giving the funicular railway a glance, but deciding to give it a miss. I was on the hunt for an ice cream, and found one down a back street just off the seafront. It was a lovely street with a few independent bookshops and gift shops, but by this time it was pushing 5pm, so they were all closing.

The amusement arcades, however, were very much open and waiting to take our pennies from us. Having exhausted our copper supply on the slot machine, we moved onto the grabbers, and failing to win ourselves a Paddington cuddly toy, ended up on the air hockey table for the ultimate battle.

Fed and watered, we headed back to the beach for a sit and a paddle (a seaside must), before hotfooting it back to the station for the train home.

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