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The dogs know we are getting close to the park before I do and they begin excitedly dancing on their leash. At the crest of an impossibly green hill, rolling grass meets a never-ending view of the English Channel. We are up high on the hill, and the ocean looks like it goes on forever.
My housesit in Hastings, UK was short but memorable. Since I was only there for two days, I decided not to work and see as much as possible. This is what my day looked like house sitting in Hastings.
7:30am Wake up and greet the adorable dogs
The day begins with a morning potty break for the dogs, followed by breakfast. With the excitement of potty and breakfast out of the way, they curl up on the couch and promptly go back to sleep. Time to find some human breakfast. I grab my jacket and walk down the street about half a block to the convenience store. Inside, I buy some milk and hideously overpriced Cheerios because they are the only cereal in the store that aren’t chocolate flavored… not that I have any problems with chocolate. After a short walk back home, I enjoy my breakfast of champions.
9:30am Time for a walk!
The dogs and I walk about two blocks to the sweeping park overlooking the sea. Immediately, the dogs begin joyfully sniffing everything in sight. The park has different levels that eventually lead down toward the sea. We zigzag back and forth through the park until we get to the bottom, then we walk along the boardwalk.
10:30am Explore the pier with the pups
Hastings is a dog-friendly town. Dogs are welcome pretty much everywhere, and they make great companions for exploring the pier and seafront. These pups are very big fans of the beach! We walk down the pier, stopping to enjoy the cute beach huts selling hot cocoa and seashell knickknacks. The signs along the pier tell its history. You can’t tell by looking at it, but this pier actually burned down in 2010 but was rebuilt through a huge town effort.
12:00pm Lunch on the beach
We walk along the beach until we see the sign for The Codfather, like a beacon in the night. The Codfather was voted best fish n’ chips in Hastings in 2016 and was highly recommended by our host. Plus that name. I had to. There is nothing better than ocean-fresh fish n’ chips out on the seaside patio while the dogs snooze under the table.
1:30pm Return the pups
The pups, tired from their exciting day of smelling and frolicking and under-table napping, are ready to go home. At home with wi-fi, I quickly look up a few things I want to see in town – oh the joys of traveling without data! I traded my doggy bag for an umbrella, just in case, and set out again.
2:00pm Visiting the Fisherman’s Museum and the Shipwreck Museum
I walk back toward town along the beach until I find the Fisherman’s Museum. Hastings has a unique fishing culture since they are one of the last places that still launch their fishing boats right from the beach. My favorite exhibit is one of photographs, all in black and white, of fishermen and their families. They explained a typical day for fishermen and the deep family history many of them share with this career.
The museum is also filled with items from World War I and World War II that were trawled up in the sea. Gas masks covered in barnacles and shells of old weapons were arranged alongside the fishermen memorabilia.
Next door, the Shipwreck Museum also has some very cool and unexpected exhibits. I enjoy looking at old photographs of early shipwreck excavations, then seeing the very riches they uncovered in the display beside the photo. Outside these museums, the beach is lined with fishing boats, ready to go out and explore the seas.
3:30pm Awesome views from East Hill
After hiking up thousands of steps on East Hill, I am greeted with amazing views of Hastings. This park is beautiful and a little scary. The cliff basically just drops off and below is the town and the sea. As I walk around the park, a little fluffy white dog runs up and greets me. His owner, an elderly man with an English accent so thick I almost can’t understand him, follows shortly behind his dog and we begin to chat. He tells stories about growing up in Hastings, remembering what it was like being a small child here during World War II. He points out places on this hill where military buildings and weapons used to be positioned. At 4:30, the sun starts to set.
5:00pm Check on dogs and get beautiful for dinner
Home is only a short walk away, but going down so many steps takes forever. At home, dogs are let out, fed, and watered. Like clockwork, they return to couch snoozing. I spend some time cuddling the dogs, relaxing, and enjoying my beautiful house sit home!
7:00pm Pizza and Gelato, of course
The old town of Hastings is a beautiful place to eat dinner and explore. This part of town looks an awful lot like Diagon Alley in Harry Potter, complete with gas torches outside many of the restaurants. Fagins Diner served an awesome pizza and gelato from Di Polas closed out the night in delicious style.
9:30pm Lights out
The pups get their evening bathroom break and I flop into bed. There is so much to see in Hastings, and I’m pretty sure I covered most of it in one day. Now it is time to rest up for more adventures tomorrow!