This characterful two-bedroom cottage in Hastings, East Sussex, has a beautiful white and blue façade and tantalising glimpses of the sea. Exuding a Mediterranean air from the exterior, period features throughout the interior, such as wooden floorboards, cast-iron fireplaces and arched windows, are accentuated by a cool colour palette, allowing the seascape to act as a backdrop. The breathtaking vistas continue in the sunny courtyard garden, and the front garden is planted with mature palm trees, camellias and agave, adding colour and texture. Situated on West Hill, its location offers extensive walks along the coastline and through Hastings country park, in addition to the myriad of attractions in Hastings Old Town. London can be accessed by train from Hastings in an hour and 20 minutes.
Setting the Scene
The area between Hastings Old Town and Hastings itself is demarcated by an elevated outcrop known as West Hill, with its eponymous Norman castle dating to shortly after 1066 perched on the top. The area is characterised by its rows of brightly coloured houses and a lovely park with coastal views that reach all the way to Beachy Head. West Hill is served by its own Victorian funicular that opened in 1891. This cottage is situated down a quiet twitten known as Langtry’s Flight that connects Plynlimmon Road to St Mary’s Terrace, a row of Georgian villas within the Hastings Old Town Conservation Area. The twitten is so named as Edward II allegedly entertained his mistress Lily Langtry in a villa on West Hill. Together with the adjoining cottage, it is accessed on foot, meaning it feels like a secret retreat tucked away from the rest of the town. For more information, please see the History section.
The Grand Tour
A wrought-iron gate opens to the south-facing front garden and the cottage’s distinctive façade, where recently repainted cerulean blue front door and windows punctuate fresh white walls.
Entry is directly to the sitting room, which echoes the exterior, painted in pure white and accented by chalky blue floorboards. A three-quarter length bay window with 5×3 glass panes allows dappled light to pour in through the array of plants in the front garden; a wood burner is set into the former fireplace, making it a cosy space in warmer months. A cast-iron fireplace centres the adjoining dining room, where an arched window overlooks the back garden. The kitchen is set up in a galley layout, with a sash window overlooking the garden—wooden worksurfaces top white cabinetry; open shelving above adds extra storage.
A wooden flight of steps leads to the two double bedrooms, each with a cast-iron fireplace. The bedroom at the front of the plan has glimpses of the sea. The room at the back of the plan has a sash window, which frames charming views over a patchwork of roofs and gives access to a neat terrace.
In contrast to the rest of the house, a bathroom on the ground floor is finished in citrus yellow tiling; it has a bath with an overhead shower and a WC.
The Great Outdoors
A small garden is accessed by a wooden door from the kitchen. The area closest to the house is gravelled, creating a terrace for garden furniture, and the back of the garden is decked, allowing room for planters. Its elevated position means it is the perfect suntrap, perfect for whiling away a few hours reading a book. A mature palm shades the front garden, which is particularly peaceful due to the house’s pedestrian access.
Out and About
Pynlimmon Road is situated between Hastings and its Old Town. The latter is home to a thriving cultural, retail and gastronomic scene. Among the finest of the town’s eateries and pubs are The Crown, The Albion and The Rock A Nore Kitchen, all of which specialise in locally sourced and seasonal cuisine, while Maggie’s Fish and Chips is a local stalwart. On the High Street, Judges Bakery (founded in 1826) and Penbuckles Delicatessen are perfect community food shops. The family-run Rock-a-Nore Fisheries, on the seafront, smokes local fish on-site.
The Old Town is full of antique markets and independent retailers too. Some of the most respected are Made in Hastings, Hastings Antiques Warehouse, AG Hendy & Co, Warp and Weft and Ode Interiors. Art galleries are likewise abundant. The most significant is Hastings Contemporary (formerly the Jerwood Gallery) by HAT Projects. However, there are others of note, including The Rebel Gallery, Lucy Bell Fine Art and The Memorial Gallery.
Trains run direct from Hastings to London St Pancras in one hour and 20 minutes, to London Bridge and Charing Cross in one hour and 30 minutes and also to London Victoria.
Council Tax Band: A
Hastings’ origins can be traced back to the Bronze Age, with its strategic maritime position making it the perfect spot to defend from invading armies. The most famous of these invasions was the Norman Conquest of 1066, which saw the construction of Hastings Castle on the elevated sandstone cliff known as West Hill above the port.
The town and the castle fell into disrepair following devastating floods in the 13th century and raids by the French in the 13th and 14th. By the 16th century, Hastings had acquired a new guise as a small fishing settlement with a backstory as a smugglers’ haven. In the centuries that followed, it expanded into a flourishing coastal resort.
The town grew West Hill developed. In 1891, the West Hill Lift – a railway line cut deep into the sandstone hill face – was constructed. Today, its original wooden Victorian coaches remain an ode to the area’s history.
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