Driving Hastings forward 01424 205481

The 1066 Cycling Festival is a FREE two day festival celebrating everything cycling. The festival will take place on Saturday 17 in Hastings and Sunday 18 June in Bexhill.

The event is organised by Hastings Borough Council and East Sussex County Council’s Active Hastings team in partnership with Active Rother at Rother District Council.

Cllr Andy Batsford, the council’s lead member for leisure said:

“This is a fantastic family event with so much to see and do. On both days visitors can see Savage Skills Stunt team, bike decorating with Treasure Tots, have your bike MOT’d by Handsome Bicycles, make bike powered smoothies with Sustrans and  try the Freedom Leisure Challenge. Pav Bryan will also be sharing cycling and nutrition tips.”

“Thanks must go Stade Saturdays and Coasters for funding La Dinamo Funky Bike Band who are parading along the seafront and performing on the Stade Open Space and Hastings Lions Club for funding Rollapauza in Hastings where you can battle it out on static bikes at speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour”.

On Saturday 17 activities will take place on the Stade Open Space, Hastings between 11am to 3pm. The Source Park will showcase BMX demos at 12 noon, 1pm and 2pm. A 50 mile bike ride will take in some of the best of 1066 country in Handsome Bicycles Historic Half Hundred and the Bottle Alley Bike Bomb (next to the Pier) will start at 7pm.

The fun continues on Sunday 18 at the De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill with events including The Brompton Challenge, Local Modern Vintage ride around Bexhill led by Classic Cycle Club and 1066 Coastal Cultural Trail Ride and Picnic led by Bexhill Wheelers.

For more information and to view the full festival programme visit www.visit1066country.com/cyclingfestival or call Eugenie on 01424 451051

Hastings has a variety of events going on over the next few months to keep the town entertained and bring in more tourists to our seaside town.

Here is a list of what is happening in the town between June and September.

Hastings Town and Country Fair

Hastings town and country show

Now in its 8th year this popular family event takes place in pretty Alexandra Park on Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 June. All day entertainment will include the Dog & Duck Show, 1066 Reptile Display Team, birds of prey flying displays, terrier racing, children’s entertainer Mario Magic, the goat show including bottle feeding lambs and kids, children’s petting pens, historical re-enactment and much much more. Plus demonstrations of rural skills for you to enjoy.

Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival

Hastings Fringe

The 2nd annual Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival will be taking place from June 14 – June 18. With some of the best established and up and coming circuit comedians bringing previews and working progress shows to some of Hastings favourite venues in the Old Town.

St Leonards Festival

st leonards festival

Back with a brand new look, this event takes place on Friday 30th June (evening only) and Saturday 1st July 2017. There will be activities happening across the town including the Kings Road Market, Street Theatre and Performances, musicians and a beach zone. There will be plenty of family entertainment for everyone to enjoy at this unique and reinvented festival. Don’t miss out!

Hastings Pier Jam

Hastings Pier Jam 2017

Saturday 1st July 2017 you can have the opportunity to get your jam on at this lively event at Hastings Pier. The line up includes Gorgon City, Amine Edge & Dance and Redlight. Tickets are available to buy but they’re selling out quickly! The event will be held between 3pm and 11pm but the minimum age to get in is 18. Click here to buy your tickets.

Hastings Beer & Music Festival

Hastings Beer and Music Festival 2017

This is the best music event of the summer and is held in Alexandra Park in Hastings. This event runs between Thursday 6th July until Saturday 8th July 2017. So if you’re looking to have a bit of fun in the sun and enjoy great music, good company and a lovely atmosphere, make sure you get yourself along to this event. The best part is that it’s all for charity! There’s something for everyone, even the kids!

Hastings Pirate Day

Hastings Pirates Day 2017

If you’re up for dressing as a pirate, want to hear some good music and get involved in some awesome entertainment, then don’t miss Hastings Pirate Day on Sunday 16th July 2017. Get yourself to Hastings Old Town for a day of festivities. You can expect a golf competition (pirate themed, of course!), a pirate and craft market, a fancy dress competition and lots more.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week

hastings old town carnival

This exciting event takes place from Saturday 29th July until Sunday 6th August 2017. It will include the Pram Race, Sea Boot Race, Bike Race and the spectacular carnival itself. You can expect lots more events throughout that week including competitions for both men and women.

International super group, Keane, hit the UK music scene in 2004, leaving an indelible imprint on their homeland of 1066 Country in East Sussex. In 2012, ‘Sovereign Light Café’, one of the album tracks from their fifth consecutive chart topping album, Strangeland, name checked many localities in the towns of Battle, Bexhill and Hastings.keane 1066

The Keane Trail was created as an online trail by the Battle Marketing Group. Now the company who helps travellers to create their own travel audio guides, Geotourist, is proud to announce the launch of an audio version of the trail, in collaboration with the 1066 Country Marketing partnership. It is available for smartphones via the free to download Geotourist app.

For fans of Keane, it’s a great way to better understand the impact that the local area had on both the band and their work. For visitors who may be new to Keane’s work, the trails represent a fabulous opportunity to uncover more about this local band and see just how 1066 Country continues to play a key part in the UK’s heritage – from history to popular music culture.

There are three trails, one each in Hastings, Battle and Bexhill and they run from  between 2.4 – 6.8 kms in length. Each takes in points of importance to the band and their journey to music stardom, as well as the locations behind the lyrics of their songs.

Geotourist are delighted that the Keane trails add to the seven other Geotourist tours in the area. With a richly historic tour of Battle, narrated by ‘Game of Thrones’ actor Anton Lesser, bringing the whole town of Battle to life, visitors can access the history of the town beyond the fascinating abbey and 1066 battlefield.

In Hastings, the Geotourist tour brings The Stade fishing and cultural quarter to life and explains just why the iconic black netshops were so important to the day to day life of the town.

The tours of Bexhill’s rich heritage and of Huguenot Rye lift the lid on some surprising local facts that you might miss by simply walking round.

The Geotourist platform means that people can listen to tours in the same way that we now listen to music, through our devices. The free tours can be enjoyed through personal smart phones, meaning you can immerse yourself in the world around you as you move at your own speed. There’s no need to sign up to an organised tour group, making it easy to take a tour in a quiet half hour or to help orientate yourself when (or even before) you arrive in a new place.

With May Bank Holiday on the horizon, these tours are ideal for visitors. Find out more about the tours at geotourist.com and look out for the stickers as you’re walking around.


New contemporary arts festival commemorates one of English history’s most important dates.

The Battle of Hastings was a significant moment in this country’s history and a hugely rich source of inspiration – both on the history of the country itself and the impact it has had on our culture and identity.

To mark the 950th anniversary of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England, a new, six-week contemporary arts festival has been created and gets underway on 3 September (running until 16 October). 

ROOT1066 is composed of spectacular indoor and outdoor events across 1066 Country in East Sussex staged by internationally renowned artists and companies, including Glyndebourne Opera, Chris Levine, Wildworks Theatre, Marcus Harvey and Turner Prize short-listed Fiona Banner, plus many more. It includes 13 new commissions and premieres, all exploring big themes such as Who are we?  Where do we come from?  What is important to us? 

Highlights of the rich and varied programme include:

  • I Am A Norman – a photography project highlighting contemporary Normans. Nigel Green and Andrew Moran have traced people who live in 1066 Country with a surname derived from the original army of Norman knights and their retinues and photographed them in a setting of their choice. These photographs will be on display in bus shelters from 1-31 September. Familiar faces in familiar settings, connecting us to the past.
  • A pioneering large scale sound and light event – iy_Project – has been designed by the acclaimed light artist Chris Levine, famous for his 3D light portraits of The Queen, the Dalai Lama and Kate Moss and collaborations with The Eden Project and top recording artists (most recently with Philip Glass at Glastonbury in a special tribute to David Bowie).  He will be working in collaboration with sound artists to create a spectacular immersive experience on the seafront, which will include an invitation beamed over the Channel to Normandy to signify the start of the festival. (Saturday 10 September)
  • Making its world premiere on Saturday 1 October at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, new opera PUSH will be performed by soloists from Glyndebourne and musicians drawn from some of the UK’s major orchestras, while 250 children and adults from across 1066 Country will form the accompanying choir for this thrilling and innovatively staged production. PUSH, written by internationally acclaimed composer Howard Moody, is inspired by the compelling, true story of Simon Gronowski, who was pushed from a train bound for Auschwitz by his mother in 1943. Mr Gronowski himself will be guest of honour at the first performance.
  • Paying cheeky homage to British Museum Director Neil MacGregor’s ground-breaking series for BBC Radio 4, Hastings Museum and Art Gallery is telling The Story of Hastings in 66 Objects. From a 1066 silver penny and part of a Spanish Armada boat to a JL Baird letter and a MOD’s Lambretta, members of the public picked their favourite works from the 100,000 held by the museum to create a new exhibition that covers the Norman invasion, through Tudor, Stuart, Georgian and Victorian periods into the 20th (On now)
  • WildWorks are renowned for their unique style of site-specific theatre. Their show The Great Survey is inspired by the Domesday Book of 1086, which was entitled The Great Survey of the Wealth of England.  But where the first Great Survey focused on the country’s physical wealth in terms of land, livestock and other possessions, this one 930 years later will be focusing on the town of Hastings greatest riches: its people and communities. Their show will take place in the shadow of Hastings Castle (9-11 September) and feature a revolving cast of 50 local people.
  • Jerwood Gallery presents a major exhibition of the celebrated English artist Marcus Harvey. Inselaffe is a German word meaning ‘Island Monkeys’ – used to describe the people of Britain, a tongue-in-cheek theory that evolution must have stalled in the UK.  Harvey’s most recent work forges motifs and emblems of Britishness, such as military memorabilia and joke shop knick-knacks, into collaged portraits of historical figures – from Nelson to Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon to Tony Blair (until 16 October).
  • Leading British artist Fiona Banner presents an immersive installation at the iconic De La Warr Pavilion, exploring her ongoing interest in language and its limitations. The exhibition, Buoys Boys, which takes place both inside and outside of the gallery, is a play on digital versus material experiences. (24 September – 8 January 2017).

All these events, and many, many more, will work in partnership with other 1066 commemorations and celebrations, including the Battle Festival (throughout October) and a monumental re-enactment of the Battle of Hastings (15 & 16 October).

ROOT1066 is curated by Hastings Borough Council’s Polly Gifford, who says “Hastings has a long artistic tradition and a growing reputation as a cultural hot spot for outstanding contemporary arts, with an eclectic arts scene fuelled by a thriving community of artists.  ROOT 1066 shows off the best the area has to offer, with unique projects from local, national and international artists that will linger in the memories of audiences and leave a lasting legacy for the area.”

The ROOT1066 Festival Patron is playwright and scriptwriter, Hastings born, Sir David Hare. He says “ROOT 1066 comes along at just the right moment to mark the re-birth of this part of the world. Its curious beauty and distinctive melancholy are as powerful as ever. But now at last it has sturdy young life as well.”

You can download a full festival programme now at www.1066contemporary.com



The 1066 Cycling Festival, a brand new two day event celebrating cycling, was a fantastic success last weekend (11 and 12 June.)

Organised by Hastings Borough Council’s Active Hastings team with support from Rother District Council the event took place in both Hastings and Bexhill and showcased some fantastic cycling events, demonstrations and family fun activities.Girl on decorated bike IMG_4628 SM

The council’s lead member for leisure Cllr Dawn Poole, who attended the festival said:

“It was great to see so many people attend this brand new event here in Hastings.

“The displays put on by 3SIXTY were amazing and the fast cycling sprint challenge at the Rollapoluza stand was brilliant.

“Lots of people took part in decorating their bikes on the day and the schools and family cycle parade was excellent.

“Our thanks must go to everyone involved in organising the event and of course everyone that took part and participated. We couldn’t have wished for better weather as it meant that everyone could cycle comfortably and really enjoy everything on offer.”


The first 1066 Cycling Festival will be taking place this weekend with lots of things to do for all the family, with family bike rides, Source demo, Children’s Parade and lots more.

The festival begins on Saturday 11 June at the Stade Open Space at 2pm and will continue in Bexhill on Sunday.

Here is what’s happening over the weekend.bikes

School Parade

Meet Sustrans at 2.50pm, all children must be accompanied by an adult.  For more information contact Lucy here.

Source Pro-demo show

The Source will be putting on a show at 3.30pm for all the children on the parade and the public.


Children and adults can ride head-to-head on stationary bicycles in short timed races to a sound track of high-tempo rock and pop music.

3Sixty Bicycle Stunt Team

There will be four 25 minute stunt displays.  The 3Sixty Bicycle Stunt Team will be performing at the Stade Open Space between 2-6pm.

Best Decorated Bike Competition

Judging will take place at 5.30 pm – sign up at the main information tent.

Bottle Alley Bike Bomb

Races start at 7pm at Bottle Alley – register for free at the Pier from midday.

On Sunday the festival will be taking place in Bexhill, events are as follows:

Morning ride to Hastings 11am

Meet at the 1066 Cycle Club stand at the De La Warr Pavillion for a ride to Hastings and back. Email Bill on bill.larke@gmail.com

Vintage Cycle and Picnic

Meet at the Stade Open Space wearing your best togs and dress, for a cycle ride to De La Warr for a picnic.

Lunch Time Ride

Hastings via Bulverhythe link path at 1pm led by Bexhill Wheelers.

BMX Sessions

At Bexhill BMX track, Canada Way.  Booking is required; call 07834 272377


The hit dinner party series, Come Dine With Me is back with a new series and are on the hunt for contestants from the Hastings and Bexhill area.

If you’ve never seen the show before it goes like this: Over five days, five strangers take turns to cook for each other get voted on by their peers to win a £1000 cash prize at the end of the week.

If you or anyone else are from Hastings, Bexhill, Rye & surrounding areas thinks they’ve got what it takes to win to the prize money then all you need to do is get in touch with the shows organisers either by email (Free) cdwm@itv.com or you can call 0871 244 4142 (Callers from a BT landline will be charged a set up fee of 14p per call plus 10p per minute. Calls from other networks may be higher
and from mobiles will cost considerably more.)

Either way you need to be quick as shooting is scheduled from Feb 7th to Feb 12th 2016.

Oh and one more thing, to be on Come Dine Witb Me contestants have to over 18 years of age.

Hastings Direct is set to join the ranks of insurers listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE), which is expected to value the firm at up to 1.5bn. In a statement that was issued Tuesday it announced its intention to float on the FTSE index of the LSE next month.   It plans to raise £180 million through a listing on the LSE, using the proceeds to reduce debt and strengthen its capital base.

Hastings Direct was founded in 1997 with just 50 employees, with a large base in Bexhill and other offices in Newmarket and Leicester it is now one of Britain’s fastest growing motor insurance businesses.

The firm is led by chief executive Gary Hoffman, who ran Northern Rock after the bank was rescued by the Government.  He stands to benefit in the float plans, from the boost to the value of equity he holds and potential performance-linked share awards.

US investment bank Goldman Sacs will also enjoy a huge return less than two years after ploughing in £150 million to what was then a loss making business employing around 750 people. It will also sell at least a quarter of its holding shares.

This is also good news for Hastings Direct employees, who also stand to benefit through schemes that will see them receive shares worth hundreds of pounds each.

The company is aiming to expand its number of customer accounts from 1.9 million to 2.5 million by the end of 2017.

Hastings Direct will join the likes of Admiral, Direct Line and Esure on the stock market at a time when the broader insurance is witnessing a deluge of takeover activity.  The group has seen rapid growth over the last three years with the number of live customer policies growing at a compound rate of 22.5% across that period.


The De La Warr Pavilion will once again be running the sunset screenings through the summer of 2015, in association with McPhersons. These free to attend screenings will showcase some of the classics such as E.T, Bugsy Malone and Indiana Jones and make a great night out. Starting on July 18th and going through to 29th August, the events are open to everyone.

The events will be even more special this year due to the De La Warr celebrating its 80th Anniversary. McPhersons also have a surprise up their sleeve for those attending. The directors have been busy on set filming their latest video which will be shown as a trailer before each film. There’s no prize for guessing which movie inspired them!

New Look has been bought for £780 million by a South African magnate.

Brait, who is controlled by retail billionaire Christo Wiese, has bought a 90% stake in the budget fashion chain and the family of Tom Singh, who founded the company in 1969, and other senior management will have the remaining 10% stake.

New Look, who has more than 800 stores in 21 countries including  stores in both Hastings and Bexhill, is being sold by the private equity firms Apax and Permira. In 2004, they took the chain private in a £700 million deal because the retailer had spent six years listed on the London stock market.

In 2010, the firms planned to relist New Look but the stock market flotation was abandoned due to volatile market conditions. The Brait deal means that Apax and Permira will not make any attempt to float New Look, which is carrying around £1 billion of debt.

Brait stated that it had originally bought New Look for its 600 stores in the UK and its possibility of growth in markets such as China and continental Europe. It also has a near 20% stake in the food retailer Iceland and had bought a controlling stake in the Virgin Active gym chain for around £700 million last month.

Anders Kristiansen, chief executive for New Look, will stay on following the purchase. In recent years, Mr Wiese has been linked with a string of UK retail takeovers which includes a bid for department chain BHS, formerly owned by Sir Philip Green.

Another investment of Mr Wiese’s, Pepkor, is launching a discount fashion chain in the UK called Pep & Co with Andy Bond, who is the former Asda chief executive. It plans to open 50 stores, creative 500 new jobs by the end of the summer.