Hastings Old Town was presented with the first ever Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award today (Wednesday, May 16).
The Old Town was one of ten areas to make the shortlist for Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award, and took the crown with 21 per cent of the 12,000 plus votes cast by the public.
Anthony Slack, long-time Hastings Old Town resident, nominated his neighbourhood for the award. He said: “Whether it’s simply to visit local shops and restaurants, to go to the doctors’ surgery or to the local cinema or theatre, or just to admire our historic buildings, walking is usually the best way to do it in Hastings Old Town.
“The well maintained green spaces, the sea views, and the pleasant places to stop for a rest and to socialise, all combine to make Hastings Old Town a fantastic, walkable community. We’re delighted that the Old Town has been crowned as Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood.”
The award sparked residents’ pride in the area, with many sharing their love for walking in the town. Resident Dean Parker said: “I’ve walked in Snowdonia, the lakes, the Scottish Highlands and almost everywhere in between, hankering for these places daily. Yet since living in the Old Town I have no desire to leave. It doesn’t have the drama of the mountains, or the beauty of the northern countryside, but with the sea, the sharp steep steps up into the country park and the wonderful views I have all I need to fulfil my days.”
Cllr Kim Forward, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council and lead member for marketing, said: “I am delighted that we’ve won this award. All credit to Anthony Slack and all those who voted for our wonderful Old Town. We have won a number of awards over the years, and every one is special; just like Hastings.”
The Ramblers launched the award to celebrate areas that put pedestrians first. The walking charity hopes the awards will encourage more local authorities to think about how they could make small changes in design to improve walkability, to help improve the health and wellbeing of residents.
If you think your neighbourhood is well-designed for walking, nominations are now open for the 2019 award. Download a nomination form from www.ramblers.org.uk/urbanaward.