We've just got back from a fortnight discovering the lunar lava landscapes of Lanzarote, but I still haven't finished telling you about our trip to Hastings yet, so you'll have to wait for a while to hear about our Canarian holiday adventures ! While in Hastings, we headed up to the West Hill which, you've probably guessed it, overlooks the East Hill, rising up on the other side of the Old Town.
We had plans to go up there too but ran out of time so that will be for another trip. It's a wilder, less developed area that would be perfect for a spot of kite-flying, and you may remember how much fun Pierre has been having with his kite lately. I even managed to find two kites for a pound in one of the town centre pound shops, so it's all set up for next time !
The first thing we visited on the West Hill was St Clements Caves, now known as Smugglers Adventure - I've already blogged about our slightly spooky visit so click through to find out more about it.
The next stop was a play area where there was lots of giggles on the swings and roundabouts.
While Pierre and Juliette burnt off some of their endless energy ...
... the older members of the extended Madhouse family found a nice bench to have a rest on !
From both the West and East Hills, you get great views across the Old Town and down to the beach.
You can see down to the Stade with its amusement arcades and fairground rides. I'm trying to look at my old hometown through the eyes of a tourist and introduce Madhouse Daddy and the kids to some of the things that the residents take for granted. We'll have to have a go on the boating lake in one of the swan boats next summer and maybe take the tiny miniature train along to Rockanore.
We always end up going down to win toys in the 2p machines in the amusement arcades and have a go on the bumper cars, so it must be about time to go the whole hog as daytrippers !
I always love the way the Old Town mixes up the old and the new, with the amusement park backing on to the historic net huts and the fishing fleet.
Hastings is famous for the fact that the fishing boats are pulled up onto the shingle beach rather than into a harbour.
To finish off, we headed up to the Ladies' Parlour, a grassy plateau on top of the sandstone cliffs just opposite Hastings Castle.
I haven't been there for at least 20 years and it's another of the places I always think I should show the family, but there's hardly anything left so it never really seems worth it ! Nearby Bodiam Castle is always much more impressive.
Before heading for home, we had a good giggle at the warning signs dotted around behind the fences !