Hastings Old Town has been crowned Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood.
The announcement was made today (Monday, March 19) following a public vote to find the very best urban area for going about everyday life on foot.
The Old Town was one of ten areas to make the shortlist for Britain’s Best Walking Neighbourhood Award and over the last two weeks the public have been voting for their favourite. More than 12,000 votes were cast, with Hastings Old Town taking 21 per cent of the vote.
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 awards 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.”
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.