The Canine guide to Hastings holiday cottages

Towns and cities

The Canine guide to Hastings

Kate W 22 April 2021

Get to know the best of dog-friendly Hastings in our guide and you can begin looking forward to seaside adventures with the whole pack. Head to this historic coastal town with your canine companion for beach days and the odd journey back in time in a landscape brimming with heritage and wild spaces. 

Dog-friendly Sussex is well-known for its reserves, and Hastings boasts several for you and your best pup pal to explore, including the clifftop Hastings Country Park Local Nature Reserve. There are so many dog-friendly things to do in Hastings that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Uncover the site of the famed 1066 battle, visit a museum dedicated to crime with a host of stories to delve into, or enjoy family-friendly days on the local beaches offering everything from water sports to beach cafes – dog friendly, of course!

Or, if you’re rearing and ready to race off on holiday, get inspired with a look through our dog-friendly cottages in Hastings.

What have we got to get tails wagging?

Top dog-friendly attractions in Hastings

Battle Abbey: Best for young families and history buffs

A statue of a soldier on a horse at Battle Abbey

No trip to Hastings is complete without a bit of investigation into the famous Battle of Hastings of 1066. Head over to Battle Abbey, the site of the famed event, that’s now cared for by English Heritage. The abbey itself was built by William the Conqueror to commemorate the battle. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed inside, however, you’re likely to be more interested in exploring the famous battlegrounds anyway!

Today, wooden sculptures of Norman and Saxon soldiers line the footpath around the battlefield, and there’s even a unique play area designed by the team behind George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. The café opposite does not allow dogs but has lots of outdoor seating so you and your pup can sit and relax outside while the youngsters play.

Why your dog will love it:

There’s plenty of varied outdoor space to enjoy and heritage to sniff out.

Alexandra Park: Best for pretty foliage and family fun

A dog in a park catching a throw toy

If you’re looking for dog-friendly places to go in Hastings, there’s nothing quite like beautiful Alexandra Park, a 2.5-mile-long stretch of greenery that lies in a valley, with formal gardens and a wild wooded section to explore.

There’s an exquisite tree collection/arboretum with a ‘Tree Walk’, a few bodies of water including the two fishing areas of Harmers Pond and Buckshole Reservoir, and a Miniature Railway. A café, playground, pavilion, and games area complete this fantastic outside space.

Why your dog will love it:

There’s woodland to explore full of sticks – perfect for a round of fetch – and plenty of grassy space to run and play in.

The True CRIME Museum: Best for amateur sleuths and fans of crime drama

A case board, like a detective would use to solve a crime

Grab your deerstalker and notebook and head to The True Crime Museum to uncover a host of criminal stories and dark dealings.

Find out all about gangers, drug lords, mafia, serial killers and a host of other grisly people and acts from throughout history during a tour of this dog-friendly attraction in Hastings. A chance for a good fright during your holiday, and a particular favourite at Halloween.

Why your dog will love it:

On a wet weather day, this indoor attraction is just the place to escape the rain with your faithful friend.

Top dog walks in Hastings

Hastings Country Park: Best for wildlife and unbeatable views

A view of Hastings Country Park with a path through countryside and a view to the sea

This awesome landscape has fantastic views out over Hastings and the coastline and offers a 7-mile circular walk.

Hastings Country Park is a great place for dog walking, home to a nature reserve with varied terrain and plenty of wildlife to spot along the way. Birdwatchers should look out for peregrines, black redstarts and fulmars, who breed on the cliffs, and Dartford warblers, stonechats and yellowhammers hopping amongst the gorse. Stoats and weasels are known to live around here, and you might even spot a bottlenose dolphin or harbour porpoise out to sea.

Why your dog will love it:

During your walk with your four-pawed pal, there are lots of opportunities to settle down for a picnic, a game of fetch and admire the scenery – not to mention plenty of wildlife trails for dogs to sniff out!

Saxon Shore Way (Hastings to Rye): Best for a challenging coastal walk

Coastal birds in the mud surrounded by samphire or sea rosemary

For a seafront ramble, step out on the Saxon Shore Way: Hastings to Rye section which covers 13 miles of coast. Take in this historic landscape, where battles raged and smugglers worked, while giving your legs a workout – this walk is not for the faint-hearted!

Why your dog will love it:

You’ll pass Fairlight Cove and Pett Level Beach along the way, great for cooling off paws during your adventure.

The Stade Walk: Best for a gentle walk about town

A view of The Stade Beach and a part of Hastings seafront

Follow The Stade Walk to get to know Hastings at a slower pace, with plenty of chances for pit stops along the way. You’ll get to see all the historic sights Hastings has to offer, including passing by the Boating Lake, Lower Lighthouse and local museums.

It’s a great way to get to know this impressive town on the first day of your holiday so you can begin planning days ahead, but it can be enjoyed anytime.

Why your dog will love it:

It’s a lovely choice for old dogs and young pups who’d like to see the sights and then head home for a nap beside the fire.

Top dog-friendly beaches in Hastings

Hastings Beach: Best for seaside days close to your cottage

Children playing on the shingle of Hastings Beach

There’s no need to roam far from your Hastings holiday home as the beautiful shore of Hastings Beach is dog friendly. Step foot (or paw) on the shingle beach that is backed by a two-layered promenade full of amenities.

There’s a Victorian pier that you could enjoy a short dog walk along to take in views back towards the beach and the white Edwardian hotel that stands as its backdrop, and when the tide rolls out an expanse of golden sand is revealed. This beach has everything you would want on a traditional day by the sea.  

Why your dog will love it:

Every hound can enjoy a visit to Hastings Beach where there’s the chance to meet canine mates and cool off paws in the lapping waves. Best of all, old dogs and pups with little legs won’t have to walk far if you’re already staying in Hastings.

Camber Sands: Best for water sports

A long-eared dog walking through the dunes at Camber Sands

Many people would say that Camber Sands is the best beach in Sussex – and it’s dog friendly! This sandy, water sports mecca invites families and their fur babies all year round to walk its shores and splash through the waves.

It’s perfect for sporty beachgoers who can windsurf along the water and it's great for sun worshippers who can relax on the soft sand. During the summer months, there are restrictions with clearly zoned areas for four-pawed pups to stick to so that everyone can enjoy this wonderful dog-friendly beach.

Why your dog will love it:

Even in the summertime, your dog still has 1 mile of sand and dunes to roam and a host of pet-friendly pubs where you can dine and watch the sunset.

St. Leonards Beach: Best for peace and quiet along a busy coast

A white dog standing on a large rock at St. Leonards Beach

This dog-friendly beach just west of Hastings is another top choice for dogs and their families who don’t want to venture too far from their holiday home, yet fancy a change from Hastings Beach. Take a wander 100 metres down the coast and you’ll stumble across beautiful St Leonards Beach, a slightly quieter dog-friendly place to stay in Hastings where you can relax on your beach towel or swim in the sea.

Like Hastings Beach, a great expanse of sand is revealed when the tide is out and there are restricted areas during the summer – a perfect place for dogs and their human companions to explore.

Why your dog will love it:

When the tide is low you can walk all the way to Bexhill Beach – most dogs love a good coastal stroll!

Top dog-friendly places to eat in Hastings

Petit Fi: Best dog-friendly cafe in Hastings

A flat lay image of a piece of carrot cake and a latte

A quaint and quirky dog-friendly café in Hastings Old Town, Petit Fi is just the place for a coffee, cake and some people-watching.

It’s tucked away on the pedestrianised George Street alongside independent shops and boutiques, so a member of your party could wander off to pop into the shops while the rest of your party sits with the dog and shares a drink. They have a delightful menu of sandwiches, soups, cakes, soft drinks and wines, and a daily special too.

Why your dog will love it:

It’s the perfect place to sit and watch the world pass by outside. 

Hastings Arms: Best dog-friendly pub in Hastings

A close-up of a plate of pie, chips, vegetables and gravy

Cosy up in this pet-friendly pub in Hastings with your pup at your feet and a hearty meal on the table – ideal after busy days out and about around Sussex.

The Hastings Arms is an 18th-century smuggling haunt and claims to be one of Hastings' most haunted pubs, so while there, keep a lookout for a ghostly figure sipping beer at the bar or the soul said to float past the window in her wedding dress. When it comes to food, the Hastings Arms has a great selection of classics including steak and ale pie, cod and chips, and burgers. 

Why your dog will love it:

There’s a host of delicious dishes your dog would no doubt love to sample if you have any titbits left over after your meal.

No. Eight: Best dog-friendly restaurant in Hastings

A flat lay image of king prawns cooking in a skillet with parsley

This seafood restaurant is just the place to visit with your pup for a menu that includes prawn, scallop and crab dishes, alongside beef and lamb options.

No. Eight sits on Cambridge Road, not far from the seafront, and is ideal whether you’re planning a group dinner out or a quiet romantic evening at this stylish little eatery.

Why your dog will love it:

As you’re so close to Hastings promenade, you can enjoy a short coastal walk along the beach or pier before popping into No. Eight for a delicious dinner.

Dog-friendly towns and cities to visit near Hastings

Bexhill-on-Sea: Best for a vintage day at the seaside

A view of the pavilion and sea at Bexhill-on-Sea

This exquisite seaside town has been described as ‘Retro on Sea’, and you quickly see why with a stroll along the seafront. The De La Warr Pavilion is a spectacular modernist building found here that hosts exhibitions and events, while there are also many delightful vintage independent shops to browse.

When it comes to days out with the dog, there are plenty of places to visit including Egerton Park, Combe Haven and High Woods. Best of all, Bexhill-on-Sea is just west of Hastings so you could enjoy a dog walk from your Hastings cottage to this pretty town during your break.

Why your dog will love it:

Dog-friendly Bexhill offers lots of walking opportunities, from woodland walks to scenic coastal strolls.

Pevensey Bay: Best for birdwatching and wildlife spotting

A homemade sculpture of driftwood, rope and pebbles at Pevensey Bay

This area was underwater during the Norman invasion, with a community first settling in Pevensey Bay during the 1600s, and it has retained a quiet, tranquil atmosphere ever since.

Today, Pevensey is best known for the Pevensey Levels, an important wildlife reserve with a flat marshy area that still floods in winter. Birdwatchers, wildlife enthusiasts and families who love to investigate the natural world will enjoy exploring this destination. Head to Pevensey Castle and Pevensey Levels Nature Reserve where dogs must stay on leads, before letting your four-pawed pal run free on the beach.

Why your dog will love it:

Pevensey Bay Beach is dog friendly all year round.

Rye: Best for shopping and dining out

Boats in the water at Rye Harbour

Dog-friendly Rye is another top wildlife-watching spot, with the beautiful Rye Harbour Nature Reserve 2 miles down the road.

Yet this town also has a host of dog-friendly cafes, pubs and boutiques to call in at – visit Strand Quay for a bit of shopping during your trip. Mermaid Street is another charming place for a stroll full of half-timbered houses and a cobbled road. Take a look at our dog-friendly cottages in Rye.

Why your dog will love it:

The more metropolitan pups will enjoy socialising in the local pubs and exploring the town’s historic streets by your side.

Top dog-friendly places to stay in Hastings

The Salty Stack, Hastings | sleeps 2 dogs and 9 humans

A montage of photos at The Salty Stack, Hastings | dining room, living room and bathroom

Best for big groups: Earthy tones and vintage style make The Salty Stack a unique choice for a group holiday to Hastings with dogs.

It’s a Victorian townhouse in the west of Hastings, with a small garden for pets to potter about in and plenty of sociable space including a breakfast bar, a cosy sitting room with seating, and a dining table for meals altogether.

Why your dog will love it:

  • The Salty Stack is just a 300-metre walk to the promenade and St Leonards Beach, while across the road from the cottage is St Leonard's Gardens, a green space perfect for walks and picnics.

Belmont Cottage, Hastings | sleeps 2 dogs and 5 humans

A montage of photos at Belmont Cottage, Hastings | kitchen, bedroom and the courtyard

Best for a grown-up family holiday: This is another fashionable bolthole hidden away down one of Hastings’ side streets – you can almost imagine smugglers of old passing outside your window in this pretty town-centre let.

Classic Sussex style exudes from every inch of this elegant retreat complete with two TVs, a courtyard garden with seating and a wonderfully contemporary kitchen.

Why your dog will love it:

A dog bed and bowls are available at this welcoming family escape.

Self-catering cottages in Hastings

Escape to this ancient town to visit historic Battle Abbey, enchanting Camber Sands, and wildlife-rich Hastings Country Park. Begin browsing our dog-friendly cottages in Hastings today.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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