It only took a few weeks upon returning from our Swiss Alps hiking adventure, for me to start itching to get back out on the trail again. Since it was summertime, we decided a coastal UK hike would be just the thing to take advantage of an August weekend in London and our longing to get hiking again. Andrew consulted our favorite UK hiking resource, the Saturday Walker’s Club and settled upon walk 25, Winchelsea to Hastings.
Since we had already walked the Seven Sisters last year, this was the perfect summertime hike for an August weekend. Beginning in the lovely, little historic village of Winchelsea and ending in the bustling seaside town of Hastings, we had a lovely, relaxed day on the trail.
Early Saturday morning, we took the train to Winchelsea from ??. Upon our arrival, we set out along the road to meet the trail and came upon a very friendly local who told us of a famous recording studio in the vicinity and instructed us on the best route to take into town. It was a nice welcome to Winchelsea!
We made our way up the hill to Winchelsea, passing through the old medieval gate into the centre of town.
Winchelsea has a unique and interesting history. Once upon a time, it was located on the ocean. But during the 16th century, the harbor became so silted the port there was destroyed.
The church in the middle was beautiful and I wished we could have spent more time here, exploring the quaint pubs and taking in the views from its hilltop spot.
The trail for the most part was not that scenic at the beginning, nor did we find it that challenging, however, we had just returned from the Swiss Alps, so I’ll call our experience the exception.
We made our way pretty quickly, passing by the recommended lunch pubs before they opened for the day.
Lunch at the Coastguards Tearooms
We’d made it to Fairlight by lunchtime, which was super lucky, because that meant we could stop into the Coastguards Tearoom for lunch! It was a lovely meal, perfect for two hungry hikers. The scones were the best gluten-free scones I’ve had in the UK. They were fabulous.
We dined with a view of the ocean and the service was great and friendly.
Back on the trail, we approached some of the highlights of this particular route: the gorgeous cliff views….
… and the nude beach and the trail diversion due to landslips. Very exciting.
Since we had covered so much ground so quickly, we decided to go down and check out the nude beach.
It was decidedly not very nude, as everyone we saw there was fully dressed. Perhaps that is due to the fact that your average English summer day is not conducive to seaside adventures without layers, but this wasn’t as cold a day as usual.
From there, we climbed back up to the part of the trail with a detour. Land slips from winter rains had washed away parts of the trail at this point, and a diversion was recommended. We had done our research, and since it had been such a dry summer and day, we decided to bypass the diversion and keep to the original trail.
The trail would be nearly impossible if wet, but in dry conditions it was fine for us with our backpacks. I liked this section of trail the best, so I’m glad we chose this route.
This walk ends high up over Hastings on East Hill. It is a lovely end to winding countryside walk. The wind was whipping as we made our way across the green to the stairs leading down into town. There is also an elevator down for any tired hikers!
Our research had showed that Hastings was home to the best pub in England. The Crown is located right near the stairs, so we walked over for a post-walk pint. It was a cute place, though most striking to me were the cheap drinks, compared to London!
After a post-hike beverage, we explored around a bit before heading to the train station.
It was a lovely way to spend a summer Saturday!