Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

2016 was one of the best years ever for tourism in Hastings, as it marked the 950th anniversary of the battle that has made it the most famous town in the world.

Cllr Kim Forward, lead member for marketing at Hastings Borough Council, explained :- “Tourism is vital for Hastings :- it supports over 5 000 jobs in the town, and generates over £266m for the local economy.

“I am very grateful to our marketing team at the council who work so hard to promote the area. They have recently been congratulated by independent experts Blue Sail as providing ‘some of the best tourism PR in the country’, as well as for their captivating copywriting.

“2016 was particularly busy thanks to the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings and the ROOT1066 festival of contemporary arts. Our PR helped make sure these events captured the imagination of local, national and international audiences and will benefit Hastings for years to come.

“We regularly host visits to Hastings from journalists and travel bloggers, as we find this is more cost effective and has more of an impact than traditional advertising. Many journalists comment that they really enjoy their time in Hastings and add that the variety to be found further afield in 1066 Country makes Hastings very attractive for visitors.IMG_1951

“Extensive UK coverage of Hastings as a tourism destination in the quality and tabloid press included The Guardian, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Sunday Mirror, and The Times. We were covered in many overseas publications too, especially in Belgium and The Netherlands where we are extremely popular. And we’ve just struck a deal with EasyJet to publicise the town in their on-board magazine, bringing Hastings to a potential audience of four million passengers.

“Our events posters can be found throughout the year on Southeastern station platforms, thanks to our close working relationship with the train operating company.

“We are represented at travel shows in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, and in January we attended a travel show in the Netherlands which had over 100 000 visitors. Being able to provide our brochures in Dutch was an important selling point for visitors to our stand.

“We send out monthly e-newsletters to our database of over 38 000 people, and have nearly 12 000 followers on Facebook and Twitter. And our website visit1066country.com had an average of 45 000 unique visitors per month in 2016.

“No wonder tourism is booming here in Hastings!

“We’re very grateful to all of the tourism businesses and event organisers who make Hastings such a great place to visit. And we are always happy to talk to businesses wanting us to help promote what they have to offer to visitors, they should contact us at visit1066country@hastings.gov.uk

Hastings mayor Cllr Judy Rogers has ‘struck’ her own commemorative Battle of Hastings 50p coin on a visit to the Royal Mint to see the special coins being made.

Cllr Rogers was invited to the Royal Mint with Cllr David Furness, mayor of Battle, and they made the trip to Llantrisant, in the Welsh valleys on Monday (10th October). They were met by Adam Lawrence, the Royal Mint’s chief executive, and given a tour of the site, including a visit to the Royal Mint’s museum.

Cllr Rogers said :- “It was a fantastic day out, and I was honoured and privileged to be able to ‘strike’ my own Battle of Hastings commemorative 50p.

“It was fascinating to see other coins being struck too, including the new twelve-sided £1 coin which goes into circulation next year, and the Royal Mint museum. This included coins going back over 1000 years, including coins that were used in the time of both Harold and William.

“The special commemorative 50p coins can be bought from the tourist information centre at Breeds Place, Hastings, and they will also be on sale at the 1066 Country stand at the Battle re-enactment over the weekend.”


The Source BMX is proud to announce the final lineup of riders for the Battle Of Hastings BMX contest to be held at The Source Park on September 10th and 11th.

The contest is one of the most hotly anticipated in the BMX World in years and features the 44 best BMX riders on the planet. The International field is made up of 18 Americans, 16 Brits, 3 French, 2 South Africans, 2 Australians, 1 German and 1 Spaniard. The World’s BMX media and industry are also making the journey to watch the 2 days contest to be crowned as the first winner of the Battle of Hastings.

Local interest is strong with professional BMX riders Dan Lacey and Bas Keep being joined by 20 year old Source employee Tom Wilson who qualified his place in the event through a qualifier contest held in July.

Tickets are on sale for the contest at www.sourcebmx.com/boh and priced at £10 per day or £15 for both days (plus booking fee) and the event is on track to sell out soon. Practice on Friday 9th September is free of charge for spectators and the event will also be live streamed from 15.00-18.30 on the Sunday to a huge global audience at www.sourcebmx.com/boh

About the Source BMX Battle of Hastings

The Source BMX Battle Of Hastings is presented by Monster, in association with Etnies and is proudly sponsored by BSD, Cinema, Cult, Federal and United.

The original Battle of Hastings took place in 1066 and this year with the 950 year festivities, we ́re putting Hastings back on the international contest scene with our version of the Battle of Hastings to celebrate the first big BMX contest at the Source Park.
To say we’re excited about this is an understatement; putting on amazing events was our biggest motivation when getting the Source Park opened.

Follow the @sourcebmx Instagram account and #BoHBMX for regular updates or head to: www.sourcebmx.com/boh
Press opportunities are available before and during the event and photos, video clips and quotes will be available afterwards upon request.
Press Contact : The Source on: boh@sourcebmx.com , Tel +44 1424 460943

Blacksmiths from all over the country will converge on Hastings on the weekend of 8, 9, 10 July, for a live forging event at the Stade Open Space, as part of the ROOT1066 Festival of Contemporary Arts, inspired by the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.

Hastings-based sculptor Leigh Dyer, in collaboration with the British Artist Blacksmiths Association, will produce parts for a new piece of public art.

“We’re delighted to welcome the British Artist Blacksmiths to Hastings for this event,” said Cllr Dawn Poole, Hastings Borough Council’s lead member for culture. “Leigh’s work is iconic in Hastings – for those who don’t know, he’s behind the chess sculptures at Butler’s Gap, the winkle on Winkle Island, and many more landmarks around the town. This collaboration is sure to create something wonderful.”

The free event will include opportunities to try your hand at forging, including a fully safe children’s forge. The blacksmiths will be at work from midday to 6pm on Friday, 9am to 7pm on Saturday, and 9am to 4pm on Sunday.

The sculpture – ‘The Landing’ – will be unveiled in September, when it will “rise like the prow of a Norman longboat from the shingle” on Hastings seafront, by Albert Place. It will incorporate a time capsule of letters from local people, to be opened in 2066 on the 1,000th anniversary.

The British Artist Blacksmiths Association has created collaborative public artworks around the UK – such as the Blacksmith’s Needle on the Quayside in Newcastle, and the International Pillar of Friendship in Ironbridge. In September, they will be travelling to Ypres in Belgium to work on a commemorative Poppy Cenotaph.

ROOT 1066 International Festival has been funded by Hastings Borough Council, Arts Council England and the Coastal Communities Fund.  Blacksmiths on the Beach has been sponsored by Birchwood Ford, and many local people and companies have supported the building of The Landing through a successful crowdfunding campaign.

For the latest news visit www.1066contemporary.com, follow @ROOT1066 on Twitter, or like facebook.com/ROOT1066. Brochures will be published in July.

With its grand opening last month, the new skate park along the promenade has taking Hastings by storm and is just what the town has needed to give it a boost and create a number of new jobs on the way.

Earlier this week we got the chance to go and have a look around the park itself, find out some of the background information on the building and have a chat with Matt Brown who helps to run the place, and we were not disappointed.

If you have grown up in Hastings you may know some of the history of the venue, designed by architects Cross, Jefferey, Skiller and Wells, it has been a number of different things over the years from a gentleman’s bath (the women’s came the following year), a cinema, Turkish bath’s and an ice rink.

Finally, after years of being derelict brothers Richard and Marc Moore who run the biggest BMX mail order company in Europe ‘The Source’ decided to make a change to the town and turn the old building into something that would attract the best riders from around the UK and Europe.

The Source park is open to all ages “if you can ride a BMX or stand on a skateboard, your welcome.’

The main skate park is the biggest of the two parks, this is where the old swimming pools and ice rink used to be and  if you not a skater you can sit and watch from the viewing balcony, this is also home to the café.

The Plaza which used to be the ladies swimming pool features smaller ramps and a foam pit which any BMX fan or skater will love, seeing as you have to go down a ramp to get too it.  Although the smaller room there still seems to be plenty of space, with ample ramps and rails to try out.

The Source Park is also home to their award-winning BMX and Skate Shop. The Source shop carries the largest stocks of BMX bikes, parts, skateboards, shoes and clothing in Europe

You can book online to use either park or just turn up. You can also hire BMX bikes, Skateboards and safety equipment if you don’t have any yourself as well.

From the outside of  the venue you can’t judge the amount of space there is inside,  it really its something to see.

We had a guided tour by Matt Brown who told us:

“The arrival of the park has been really good for the town, whether you an existing skater/rider or new to BMXing or skateboarding.  We are starting coaching sessions in March which is creating a real hype in the town, loads more people are giving it a go that probably wouldn’t have done before based on the venue being here and the safety of the venue.”

“Competition wise, we have a really big competition coming up on the 8th September which is ‘The Battle of Hastings’ bmx contest.  We’re flying over 66 of the world’s bmxers , 66 is a play on words because it is the 956 anniversary of the Battle of Hastings.  There is £20000 prize money for the contest and the town will be expected to be full of BMXers, skaters as well as industry people.”

The ’Battle of Hastings’ competition should be great for the town, with thousands expected to turn out for this, also with the opening of the pier in May.  This summer Hastings should have plenty of holiday makers visiting the town to check out all the new attractions, which will hopefully see local businesses booming and making Hastings the place to be in 2016.

We took quite a few pictures when we were down there, check them out below.

Saturday 10th October see’s the start of Hastings Week.  Celebrating the 949th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings on October 14th 1066.

Hastings Week will kick off on Saturday with an opening ceremony outside BHS at 9.30 am with a march to the Town Hall.

The classic car show will be returning to the Stade open space on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am-3pm with an impressive range of classic cars and motorcycles and a street cruise will be taking place on each day at 1.30pm.

There will be plenty of different events taking place over the week, from arts and crafts to toddle waddle and horror walks plenty for everyone to join in.

The week will be finished off on Sunday 17th October, when 1000’s of people wrap up warm and join in with the celebrations with a spectacular procession along the seafront rounding off with fireworks and a bonfire display.  Organised by Hastings Borough Bonfire Society.

Plans for the 950th anniversary for the Battle of Hastings are under way in the town linked to the most famous conflict in English History. Organisers have said that they’re also planning a military parade through Battle and special church services.

battle of hastings

Thousands of people are expected to take part in this event,  five mayors in the French region of Normandy are also being invited to commemorate the Battle of Hastings. The events aim to mark the significance of the battle which altered the course of history in medieval England and led to the Norman Conquest.

The anniversary will be taking place on October 14th 2016.  On this day in history in 1066 the Battle of Hastings was fought at Senlac Hill in Battle. It is estimated that Harold’s army was made up of about 6000 soldiers and the Norman army numbered about 7000.

If the legends can be believed King Harold was killed when he was shot through the eye with a Norman arrow.  William went onto win the Battle of Hastings and he was crowned King having successfully invaded England.