Perfidy Banned

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 4

A Daytripper’s Taste of Hastings 

The Albion (formerly The Royal Albion)

To paraphrase Samuel Johnson “when a man is tired of George Street, he is tired of life; for there is in George Street all that life can afford.”
I do like the hustle and bustle of George Street, whether during the day or in the early evening, to take a coffee or sit with a pint and watch the world go by, funny as that world might be.

George Street is such a mix of pubs, eating places and coffee shops standing cheek by jowl to clothes shops, sweet shops, book shops and shops full of ‘collectibles’ that it is easy to while away the time.

There is almost too much temptation with Dragon, The Hastings Arms, Ye Olde Pump House and The Anchor but save yourself for The Albion, it offers something a little different and not a hint of ‘treachery’.

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First licensed for drinks in 1730, The Albion – at the western end of George Street – is a fitting place to end the walk just a few minutes away from the start at Breed’s Place. With its subtly restored interior, this former William Younger’s house has retained the wood panelling and tartan panels of some Georgian drawing room.

There is a bar complete with boar’s head and a larger room with some tables set for eating around a wood burner. The Albion serve Tim Taylor’s Landlord, Harvey’s Best and a guest Dark Star Hop Head in a comfortable Arts and Craft setting and is a great place to end this pub walk.

But, if you do not want a beer, I would suggest Di Pola’s Gelateria, almost next door, for a couple of scoops of ice cream.

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Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information, from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links:

CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

The Curious Plough

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 4

A Daytripper’s Taste of Hastings – The Plough, West Hill

On West Hill, the grand terrace on Priory Road stands like a beacon but the next terrace has slightly less decoration and the next even less and so it goes on with rows of ordinary terrace houses, built at the back and hidden from the glorious views of their richer neighbours.

Continue up Priory Road, across Collier Road and The Plough, with its curious Dutch barn styled roof and white clapperboard facings stands on the left.

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The Plough first opened as a beer house in 1835 before West Hill was developed in the 1870s. It stood in Mill Field with four windmills close by and even one in the Plough’s back garden, which may account for the barn style design. The last of the windmills was demolished in 1874.

The Plough is an intimate, cosy, warm and welcoming one roomed community pub. One corner suggests a front room and elsewhere exposed brickwork complements the wild retro lighting that creates a unique house, that is neither town nor country, in which to drink good beer – Harvey’s Best, Tim Taylor’s Landlord, a guest which was Jennings Cumberland and Old Rosie for the cider drinkers. Food is limited to filled cobs, crisps and nuts.

Watch the Walk on You Tube

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information, from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy: Click Here

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links:

CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

Old Settles, Wooden Floors

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 3

A Taste of St Leonards – The St Leonard

At first glance, there is nothing to London Road except a mishmash of shop fronts, infills and traffic and that can often offend those more used to gleaming shopping centres and pedestrianised streets but you must look further into the character of both the shops and the people who belong to London Road.

My wife and I grew up in Nottingham and we both remember similar streets, indeed, my father had a thriving pharmacy on one such street now demolished. Everyone knew my father and so everyone knew me. St Anns Wells Road, Alfred Street and Arkwright Street all provided everything that you needed from sweet shops and cake shops, milliners, butchers and bakers, green grocers and grocers, a Home and Colonial, a Dewhurst’s, book shops and cafes, a pub on every corner and almost as many churches. To me, London Road is the same.

St Leonards PosterA pint in the CAMRA award winning St Leonard, creaking with atmosphere, old settles, wooden floors and life, helps the musings for ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’ and the forthcoming ‘Pub Walks in 1066 Country’.

The St Leonard is not some country pub but a warm and friendly town pub, refurbished in 2012, (it was formerly known as The Warrior Gate a corruption of the original 1833 name Warhouse Gate, taken from the name of an old lime kiln).

Now its wooden floors, mismatched tables and chairs, local art work and three regularly changing guest beers create a busy urban chic.

There is popcorn served with drinks and a food tasting menu available that includes sausage rolls, scotch eggs, charcuterie plate and pork pies and pizzas can be delivered to your table.

On one visit, I tried Brighton Bier South Coast IPA 5%, St Austell Trelawny 3.8%, Hogs Back TEA 4.2% and a taste of Prehistoric Amber 4.5%. All were well conditioned and well-kept but on the next visit, they are likely to have changed. Another time, I was impressed with the Franklins St Leonard, Franklins Greedy Guvnor as well as the Hogsback T.E.A.- again!

There is always a welcome and despite the restricted hours (Wednesday to Saturday 5pm -11pm and Sunday 3pm – 9pm) it is one to visit, to drink a pint and to sit and think – after all, they say that there is a book in us all! With such restricted opening hours it may be one to note in that black beer stained notebook to return to later.

If it is closed, there is consolation opposite in The Oak Bakery where money can be invested in their wonderful and moreish ‘Portuguese tarts’!

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Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy:Click Here

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links:

CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

A Quiet, Atmospheric, Dog Friendly Pub

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards – Walk 3

A Taste of St Leonards – The Horse and Groom

Posh St Leonards, still full of Victorian and Edwardian grandeur. Those dreams that occupied the rich and famous have been largely replaced by a more pragmatic approach to urban living. The big houses still command Burton St Leonards but many have been converted to flats. The little terraced cottages, that housed the tradesmen and the washerwomen, now possess a chic that is more appealing and far more affordable.

Burton St Leonards was the first new seaside resort for the wealthy and became instantly popular with royalty and aristocracy. There were service areas for the new town; Mercatoria for shopping, and Lavatoria for laundry.

It was said ‘We should look in vain on any other coast in England for such a range of buildings as those he (James Burton) has raised below St Leonards Cliff; of a superior order, though not so ornamented as some of his previous structures. None but the unrivalled crescents of Bath and Bristol is superior to the Marina of St Leonards’. (Spas of England and Principal Sea-Bathing Places A.B. Granville, 1841).’

Horse 2The Horse and Groom was St Leonards’ first pub. It was built and licensed in 1829 for the benefit of the workforce busy constructing the new town of St Leonards. It is on record that they were so thirsty that the pub opened before the windows were installed. Workers also came to the Horse and Groom on Saturday nights to be paid their wages and were called in from the street one by one. They came again on Sundays to quench another thirst, this time to listen to the newspapers being read aloud. Edward Thebay was ‘Sunday reader’ at the Horse and Groom for many years. (Hastings Pub History).

Thirsty workers/walkers still visit The Horse and Groom. Warm and friendly, the two rooms are separated by a horseshoe bar and a back room for larger groups. The beers, Harvey’s Best and one or two guests, are always good and you get the feeling of a proper pub with no taped music, no food (just cobs on the bar, if you are lucky) and eclectic decoration. A quiet, atmospheric, dog friendly pub where you can enjoy good conversation and when I visited, the guests were Young’s Winterwarmer, Longman Long Blade and a fine Green King Abbot that slipped down a treat.

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Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Discover and Explore Walks from History Walks

To see all the walks and for details of how to buy:Click Here

Web: www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

Links:

CAMRA WhatPub, Hastings Tourist Information, Stagecoach

Expand Your World

Take A Walk in the Park

 

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The North Star and Alexandra Park, Hastings.

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards

Probably one of the best parks in the country.

Venture beyond the wide-open spaces of children running and playing and mums and dads trying to keep up. Cross the road into the beginnings of winding paths and streams that weave between the trees. A miniature railway has occasional outings to the whoops and shouts of its passengers.

Gentle climbs lead you beyond a fishing lake into the beginnings of a steep valley with unmade paths that follow the stream to Old Roar Ghyll – imagining and exploring. There are ferns and overhanging trees, the sound of the water rushing through gullies and a feel of mystery, emphasised by a darkness even in high summer.

Back the same way to walk to the other side of that fishing lake and a track carpeted with leaves. It leads to more black pools surrounded by dark trees and the path climbs but the steepest hill is left to the last to ensure your thirst for a pint at The North Star that is just around the corner.

The return leads you downhill through the trees to that more manicured park, past the café and children’s playground to the gates and full circle’

The North Star is a treat too. A proper pub with little of the 21st century. It was most likely named after the famous railway locomotive built by George Stephenson for the Great Western Railway. At one point, the locomotive was shipped to New Orleans, intended for the New Orleans Railway but the money could not be found to pay for it and it was duly returned. But why The North Star when it was so far from the station? Maybe the link is Joseph Wisden, a former guard on the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway, who built the pub in the late 1860s with steam still running through his veins.

The beer is good too!

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Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards is available from Hastings Tourist Information and from The Bookkeeper, Kings Road, St Leonards and by mail order from www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

The General Havelock to the Pier and Back

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All Around The America Ground

This short walk reflects on the building of Hastings ‘New Town’ as Hastings began to develop as a seaside resort in the late 18th century. Once the America Ground was cleared, the developments began that would culminate in the creation of the pier and finally the promenade.

The fire wracked pier of 2010 has been reborn as a rejuvenated, modernist pier for the 21st century, shorn of tat, enabling uninhibited views of the whole of the sea front, if you walk to the very end.

It can be an invigorating walk, in a stiff south westerly with the waves crashing over the promenade, but in a lighter breeze and on a sunny day it is a leisurely stroll through the joggers, walkers and mums with pushchairs. There may even be time for an ice cream.

Details of this and other pub walks can be found ‘Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards’

The General Havelock

The start and finish is at the General Havelock where the outside tables and chairs tempt you for a drink, however weak the sunshine, but really, you must go inside the Havelock to stand in awe at some of the largest tiled murals in any pub in England. I will leave my look inside until the end of the walk.

*CAMRA quotes that ‘The General was built in 1857 and named after Sir Henry Havelock, a distinguished campaigner during the Indian Mutiny. The general himself cuts an imposing figure astride his horse in a tiled panel at the entrance. It dates, like the rest of the tiling, from a refit in 1889-90 and an inscription tells us it came from ATS Carter of Brockley in south-east London.’ These spectacular panels line the wall of what was once a corridor with one of the two larger murals shows a scene from the Battle of Hastings and the other large mural shows what is assumed to the crew of the Conqueror, Hastings fighting a shipload of French pirates. The third tiled painting shows Hastings Castle and on the wall by the back door is the General himself. The pictures date from between 1890 and 1917.

*(CAMRA Pub Heritage – Historic Pub Interiors – http://www.pubheritage.camra.org.uk/pubs/pubguide.asp)

The Havelock is a warm and welcoming, friendly house. Dark woods, benches, odd chairs and tables, a standard lamp all add to the lustre of a Victorian pub and of course, no machines. Food too is ‘proper’ food and today I could sample Tim Taylor’s Landlord and guests Wychwood Brewery’s Gold Hobgoblin and Wickwar Wessex Brewing Company’s Falling Star. For the cider drinkers, there was Weston’s Old Rosie Cloudy Cider. On another visit, Sharp’s Atlantic and Longman Best were the guests.

You can sit outside but that misses the point for the glory of the Havelock is inside.

Pub Walks in Hastings and St Leonards.

Available from Hastings Tourist Information

Mail Order: http://www.1066haroldsway.co.uk

For a full list of stockists and walks in the History Walk series see website

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Sussex Gold

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The day after Boxing Day was a walk in Bedgebury Pinetum and a picnic on a bench overlooking the children’s playground. Rufus, 4 years and almost 5 months, climbed and ran and jumped and played and when the playground was played we all ventured further into the trees to the bigger kid’s stuff with ropes and balancing and other such adventures.

Auntie Hannah promised to bring Rufus back in summer for the Go Ape adventure, he is already tall enough but I suspect that it is really Auntie Hannah, famed throughout the Andes, Tough Guy and London Welsh Ladies Rugby, who wants a go.

Back home at dusk and as the evening darkened, I opened my bottle of Arundel’s Sussex Gold.

It was a real treat, a taste of spring and summer combined, a rich golden beer that made me reflect on 1066 Harold’s Way The Final Journey.

The Final Journey is my walk across the breadth of Sussex from Battle Abbey to Bosham following one of the legends of what happened to King Harold’s body after the Battle of Hastings. It gives me a chance to discover all that is good about Sussex.

Sadly, my route lies to the north of Arundel so a visit to the shop in the town is out but, they do produce cask as well as bottles and it will be a pint to look out for when I walk near Amberley in early summer.

It will be just the job at the end of a long walk.

Sussex Gold is a rich golden beer with a hoppy, citrus finish, very smooth, light and refreshing.

www.arundelbrewery.co.uk

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CAMRA

The Inn Sign Society

Sussex Ramblers

PS. photographs taken this morning, 14th January 2015, from the balcony at Marine Court, St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex. It is ten tears to the day since we took the keys to the flat and sat looking at the same view in similar weather.

However, the weather forecast suggests that this is the lull before the storm, we await tonight’s promised storms.