The day before we go back to school we usually do something a bit special, the final summer fling. My children chose Hastings this year. Hastings is the ultimate in kitsch, and we love it - it's not for everyone, but we love it.
The old 50's style fun fair on the sea front - is not the rusty, seedy type - just simple, clean, freshly painted and inexpensive. A small train runs alongside it and the beach is just the other side. There's fantastic fish & chips (Maggie's in the fisherman huts is our fave) and two vernicular railways go up the cliffs past smuggler's caves (the caves can be visited too). The old, tall fisherman's huts where the nets were hung to dry cluster together on the stones, and boats still bring in their catch of the day.
Acutely aware that simple pleasures like this will soon be a thing of the past for my children, I enjoyed every second of it. But I love visiting on my own or with friends - there's good food, quirky antique & junk shops and a growing craft community.
Any visit to Hastings must include a stop here. This talented bunch of crafty people have the most beautiful stuff - it's like visiting favourite Etsy sellers in the flesh! And for the best bread in Kent, Judges is the place - get a good sour dough fix there if like me, you pine for SF.
This place is great fun, a bit rough around the edges - but that's the way I like it.
BTW - Love this definition of kitsch: something of tawdry design, appearance, or content created to appeal to popular or undiscriminating taste. Guess that's me :)