An independent bookstore had a VIP visitor... who even left with a few new poems.

Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant stopped off in Hastings to visit shops in the Old Town ahead of his gig at the White Rock Theatre.

The shopfront of Hare and Hawthorn Bookshop in George Street caught the eye of the rock star, who popped his head in for a browse - much to the surprise of owner Neal Neofitou.

"You don't see someone of that stature here that often," Neal said.

"I seemed to recognise him, and wondered if that was him - and then it was about five to ten minutes later I Googled him and found out it was him.

"He saw the new poetry book by John Cooper Clarke in the window and asked me if I had that in the shop.

"I didnt have any copies apart from the one in the window, so I said there’s one in the window you can look at.

"He said: 'I don't want to look at it, I want to buy it, if that's alright'."

The vocalist also bought a biography of John Cooper Clarke before heading out. 

Neal added: "It was nice that he came. A lot of people playing down here don’t bother coming round to the shops.

"It's nice that he came out to us."