www.hastingsonlinetimes.co.uk     Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

The walk description includes some views on what it is like to live in Marine Court (photo: Simon Hookey -Wiki Commons)

Lewes walker discovers St Leonard’s charms

Sea, street art (including a Banksy), fabulous regency architecture, grand art deco, aristocratic parkland, the rich, the poor and the trendy, and all within a kilometre of St Leonards Warrior Square station! Sustainable travel expert Chris Smith from Lewes has launched a new historic and scenic walk around St Leonards, writes Chris Cormack.

Street art in St Leonards does come and go quite quickly, warns Chris.

“Hastings and St Leonards sometimes get a bad press,” Chris says, “but I was amazed at what there was to see in St Leonards. It must be one of the most fascinating places in Sussex at the moment. I was surprised that there was no walking tour easily available, so I set out to create one.”

The walk is up to three miles long.  Starting from Warrior Square station, it includes the bullet hole in Queen Victoria’s knee, Bumptious Mansions, a chance to swim, current issues in Marine Court, places of worship old and new, wonderful Georgian architecture and High Victoriana, a Banksy artwork, a visit to a Turkish bath, greenery in the city and a look at current social issues in the town. Chris also recommends that walkers learn more about St Leonards’ women from local resident Helena Wojtczak.

Gensing Gardens in spring - regeneration? (Photo: Chris Smith)

Chris’s thoughts on St Leonards also dwell on the degeneration or regeneration question. “The town is becoming attractive to some people, including artists, who like the old housing and the boho vibe and are not too worried about commuting or a slightly gritty atmosphere. Is this enough? Is it desirable?” he asks. He leaves it to the walker to decide whether St Leonards can take off in a virtuous spiral or remain in a vicious circle.

Travel Log Lewes is a sustainable travel and recreation project based in Lewes, covering Sussex and beyond. Chris Smith, or ‘travelman,’  started the website because he wanted to encourage people in Lewes to use public transport, walk and cycle more and because he was amazed that people didn’t know what was possible. On the site there is information about walks and cycle rides, bus and train routes and the cheapest fares. The website also offers details of walks around Battle and Rye.

Travel Log Lewes

Posted 11:32 Tuesday, Jan 21, 2014 In: 1067 & All That

2 Comments


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  1. DAR

    The walk is a good idea. Yes, Central St Leonards has a lot to offer – but would be even better if it were clear of drunks and smackheads.

    Comment by DAR — Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 @ 18:35

  2. Angie Phillip

    Great article and what a good idea to create a St Leonards Walk. I love what I know of St Leonards – very buzzy and friendly as well as beautiful buildings and lovely spaces, always something going on thanks to David Francis at the Roomz, the events at Gecko’s, the Hastings Arts Forum etc etc.

    Comment by Angie Phillip — Wednesday, Jan 22, 2014 @ 17:18

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