Heatwave gives boost to town’s tourist trade

Alana Warren at Adventure Golf
Alana Warren at Adventure Golf

OUTDOOR attractions and hotels have seen an upsurge in visitors in the last week, thanks to the warm weather.

With temperatures reaching as high as 27°C on Sunday (July 7), the beaches were packed full of day-trippers and residents enjoying the sun after a cold winter and disappointing spring.

David Hentley, from Hastings Adventure Golf in Sturdee Place on the seafront, said: “The last week has been absolutely excellent for us. Summer has finally arrived and we are doing the sort of business we would expect after the schools have broken up for summer.”

Blue Reef Aquarium, Hastings Castle and the Smugglers Adventure have also been busy throughout the last week.

Chris Ireland, director of Blue Reef Aquarium, said: “The sunny weather brings more people to the town and we did see an increase in visitor numbers on Saturday certainly at Blue Reef.

“It was a little quieter on Sunday as we find in sunny, warm weather people will be more inclined to go to the beach, wanting to make the most of the sunshine. It was also the men’s single final on Sunday at Wimbledon.”

Mr Ireland added that he hoped the hot weather was here to stay.

He said: “It has a positive effect on the town and does increase the footfall across all three of our attractions. Last week they saw more than 5,000 visitors overall.”

Jim Norris, chairman of Hastings and St Leonards Tourism Association, said hotel bookings had ‘gone wild’ since last Thursday (July 4).

He said: “Though bookings for this year are generally down on last year, there has been an upsurge of one- and two-nighters since around last Thursday.

“It seems that the people who are visiting Hastings are day-trippers for the main part.”

Cllr Peter Chowney, deputy leader of Hastings Borough Council, said: “After such a long winter and cold spring, we’re delighted to see that summer has finally arrived.

“Hastings has so many great indoor attractions to visit all year round but this sort of weather really lets visitors and residents alike make the most of the Hastings ‘great outdoors’ such as Hastings Country Park, Alexandra Park and, of course, the beaches.

“We’re hoping the weather continues to hold for some of the town’s most popular outside events, such as the St Leonards Festival tomorrow (Saturday), Pirate Day, the Sea Shanty Festival and Old Town Carnival Week - and preferably for the rest of the summer.”

The current heatwave is expected to extend well into next week although there may be a risk of a shower in 1066 Country tomorrow (Saturday).

It is also expected to rain next Tuesday (July 16) but give way to sunny, warm weather on Wednesday and Thursday.

The hot weather is a result of a dominant anticyclone, an area of high pressure, which brings stable conditions, warm temperatures and few clouds.