ST LEONARDS-ON-SEA

To the west of the Old Town, ‘modern’ Hastings, with a mixture of Regency, Victorian and later buildings now merges with St.Leonards-on-sea. Its popularity as a resort really began with the arrival of the railway in the nineteenth century, which enabled and encouraged the enjoyment of seaside holidays by the Victorians. Overlooking the seafront at St.Leonards and visible for twenty miles along the coast on a fine day, is the remarkable block of flats known as Marine Court. Built in Art Deco style in 1937, it was originally called The Ship as its design was based on that of the Cunard-White Star liner, RMS Queen Mary. A gem amongst this seafront development is Burtons’ St.Leonards. Founded and laid out in 1828, as an example of Regency town planning and garden landscaping, by James Burton and his son Decimus, who were famous for their work in Bloomsbury and Tunbridge Wells. The entrance to it was once through an arch and with its stately houses and wide promenade and shops, it became a great favourite with foreign royalty in the nineteenth century. It was designated as a conservation area in the late sixties and is protected by The Burtons’ St.Leonards Society. James Burton’s grave is on the cliff behind the town, marked by a stone pyramid. St. Leonards is Boho and trendy hence many quirky sea front cafes and antique shops in addition to Norman Road where there are numerous contemporary boutiques selling everything from vintage fabrics to stylish homeware and antiquities. Hastings along the road has all the main multiple shops and stores.