St Leonards-on-sea

Just to the west of Hastings, this seaside town is best known for its fine Regency architecture and vast shingle beach. It is located on England’s South Coast, in the county of East Sussex, and was originally designed in the 19th century, as a new town of elegant housing for the wealthy. The shore runs east, into Hastings, and west, toward Bexhill. Backed by a promenade and divided by wooden groynes, it is the perfect place to sunbathe or swim. There are a variety of places to eat and drink on the seafront, including Goat Ledge, in front of Warrior Square Gardens, which serves good coffee and vegetarian dishes. Graze on Grand is a popular spot for a drink at sunset, while La Bella Vista is an excellent Italian restaurant on Grand Parade, overlooking the beach.

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Exploring the town from your holiday cottage in St Leonards-on-Sea, you will discover a creative community, with galleries and vintage shops, many of which can be found in and around Norman Road. There are a few more independent businesses in the colonnades, underneath Marine Court, an art deco building that was based on the Queen Mary ocean liner. Highly recommended on self-catering holidays in St Leonards-on-Sea, the Horse and Groom is the town’s oldest pub and an atmospheric place for a pint of Sussex ale. Next door, St Clement’s is one of the town’s best restaurants, with a reputation for local fish. 

A short stroll eastward from holiday cottages in St Leonards-on-Sea, the neigbouring town of Hastings has a ruined Norman castle, a pier, a funicular railway, and rows of historic fisherman’s sheds on the shingle shore. The green, unspoiled countryside of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty lies to the north of St Leonards-on-Sea, while the eerie landscapes of Romney Marsh and Dungeness are a short drive to the east, on the Kent coast.