Start point for the walk: Hastings Station (TQ 813 096)

Finish point for the walk: Battle Station (TQ 754 155)

OS 1:25 000 maps: 124 Hastings & Bexhill

Length: 23.20 km

Maximum height: 174 m

Minimum height: 5 m

Height ascended: 523 m

Estimated time for the walk: 5 hrs 30 mins

Outline route description

(Route description based on a survey walk undertaken on 01 June 2008.)

This walk from Hastings to Battle, calling at Northís Seat, follows the 1066 Country Walk Hastings Link (called the 1066 Hastings Walk on the way marks), and then part of the 1066 Country Walk proper.

1066 Hastings Walk way mark1066 Country Walk way mark
Way marks

On coming out of Hastings station, head south until you reach the seafront. It is easiest to cross the main road running along the seafront using the subway. Walk along the seafront heading east, to the start of the cliffs at East Hill. Just before the Dolphin Inn on Rock-a-Nore Road (which in turn is just before you reach the cliff railway), there is a narrow flight of steps going steeply up hill, called Tamarisk Steps. Follow the steps up to a road called Tackleway. Just over the road, there is another flight of steps, which lead you up on to the plateau of East Hill, taking you to the top of the cliff railway, East Hill Lift (which was, at the time of writing, 'temporarily closed for repairs').

East Hill
East Hill, from Hastings sea front

The route across East Hill (part of Hastings Country Park Local Nature Reserve) is somewhat undefined. Head diagonally across the green space, going roughly north-east, aiming to pass just the seaward side of highest point (marked as a BBQ and Picnic area on the orientation map at the top of the steps). Once you get to the far side of East Hill (and onto Rocklands Lane), the route is reasonably well signposted, and itís just a matter of following the way marks.

East Hill orientation map
East Hill orientation map

The 1066 Hastings walk does not actually go to the very top of North's Seat itself, but passes within a few hundred metres of the top. Itís a simple detour to get to the top of the hill. There are some views and a stone and brass orientation table. The trig point is about 10 metres or so north of the orientation table.

North's Seat
North's Seat - top

Having admired the view, walk back the couple of hundred metres to rejoin the 1066 Hastings Walk. Generally, the walk is easy to follow from here on, although there are a few points to watch:

Common Spotted Orchid
Common Spotted Orchid in Great Wood

On coming out of Great Wood, the road into Battle itself is dully suburban, but it leads you to straight to the Chequers Inn. At the Chequers Inn, you can turn right to the centre Battle, which is somewhat more picturesque than the bit you have seen up to now (and it is worth visiting Battle Abbey to see the site of the famous Battle of Hastings). Alternatively, you can turn left and follow the road on down until you see the sign for the railway station.

Chequers Inn
Chequers Inn sign

The Chequers Inn is worth stopping at if you have time for a pint before catching your train. It sells Harvey's Best Bitter. It was recommended to me by one of the attendants at Battle Abbey.

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North's Seat

The 1066 Country website said of North's Seat:

Approached by footpath from the picnic area on the Fairlight Road, North's Seat is two miles from the sea and is the highest point in the town, standing 575 feet above sea level. There was once a windmill on this spot which was destroyed by fire in 1872 and later a look-out platform erected by Frederick North, former Mayor of Hastings and local MP, which brought the height up to 600 feet.

Although the platform no longer exists, the views from this spot are extensive and you can see for more than 60 miles across the Downs and Weald in the westerly direction. On a clear day, you can even see the coast of France with the naked eye!

North's SeatNorth's Seat
North's Seat - trig point