Winkle Island is at the heart of Hastings Old Town in East Sussex, England, in the United Kingdom. The traffic island is part of a unique area in Hastings called 'The Stade' (the old Saxon term for 'landing place') and the stretch of shingle beach from which Hastings' famous fishing fleet has been launched every day for over a thousand years.
Winkle Island is located at the foot of All Saints Street at its junction with Rock-A-Nore Road at Hastings seafront. The small island is the central meeting point for many outdoor events such as the Hastings Hastings Old Town Week, and Jack In The Green. It is also the symbolic gathering place of the Winkle Club charity, as well as other local artistic events and street performances. A sculpture of a giant winkle, a marine gastropod, stands on the pavement and is used as a collecting box for charity purposes.
visit1066country.com describes The Stade and its associated fishing fleet as one of the most exhilarating examples of living history in the United Kingdom, keeping alive a thousand years of techniques and traditions. The Sea Fish Industry Authority described The Stade "as near perfect a fishery as could be devised", because of the environmentally sound methods used by the fishermen (which includes changing their net size to allow young cod to escape and keep stocks high). Visitors are welcome to witness the fleet in action, but must respect the fact that the area is very much a working beach with many hidden perils.