Welcome to Hastings Pier, East Sussex
Hastings Pier has officially reopened, and what an opening it was. A full-on gala day last month that really drew the crowds, locals and visitors alike. There were of course the obligatory speeches to sit through but this is a local triumph and the tireless campaigners who've made it happen deserved their moment of glory.
Hastings Pier is owned jointly by a charitable trust and the 3,000 shareholders who jumped in to help save it because they really care about its heritage and future. They even got Madness to headline the celebrations, presumably because front-man Suggs was born in Hastings - and I seem to recall Madness gigs have created seismic shocks in the past, so the fact that the pier survived the experience should bode well for its future. More gigs are scheduled too, with Happy Mondays, the Levellers and Turin Brakes on the bill in September.
The old pavilion is now a new restaurant and bar that champions fresh Sussex ingredients; you'll also find a cafe inside part of a fabulous new building called The Deck, which also houses an education room if you're thinking of bringing a school party or a group of children on holiday, and an interactive museum called the Memories Room where you can share and add your own stories.
You'll find a vintage funfair going on through June and July and Zippo's Circus in August, and watch out for family-friendly film screenings from Cinema on the Pier, which turns the pier into a fabulous open-air cinema. There'll be other performances and workshops, summer and winter fairs for all the family and something they describe as 'urban sports', which I leave to your imagination. And that's all quite apart from the delight of just strolling on the pier, looking at the sea and perhaps eating candyfloss, because that's traditional after all.
So come on down to Hastings Pier - if you're staying in one of our seaside apartments or coastal cottages it's a doddle to get there - click here to view properties in the area.