Saturday, June 22, 2024

12 Issues To See And Do

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view of Sussex countryside from the roof of a stone tower on a sunny day. Things to do in 1066 Country East Sussex England.

In 1066 Nation, East Sussex, historical past, journey, and nature come collectively to supply a various array of experiences.

Rolling countryside, wealthy historical past, and a battlefield that modified the story of England perpetually… that is 1066 Nation. This gorgeous nook of East Sussex is dwelling to mile upon mile of peaceable countryside, dotted with picturesque villages and medieval cities.

Encompassing the attractive Sussex Weald and the jap finish of the East Sussex shoreline, the landscapes listed here are filled with historical past. That is the place one of many largest moments in England’s historical past performed out. William the Conqueror landed at Pevensey in 1066, defeated the final Anglo-Saxon king on the Battle of Hastings, and ultimately conquered all the nation.

In 1066 Nation, that historical past nonetheless feels alive. Go to the battlefield, discover Norman castles and church buildings, or stroll a path that follows the identical route because the Norman military.

It’s not all about historical past, although. The East Sussex shoreline and the attractive countryside of the Sussex Weald, a part of the Excessive Weald AONB, are excellent settings for journey and having fun with nature.

a castle with a moat around it reflected in the still water and framed by trees on a very sunny day
Bodiam Fort (see #6)

Go to a winery, spot birdlife in nature reserves, or take an exciting RIB experience alongside the coast. Discover castles and nation manors, or head to historic cities searching for museums, unbiased buying, and nice native eateries.

On this submit, I’ve shared my decide of the prime issues to do round Battle, Hastings, and Rye in 1066 Nation. I’ve additionally included some itinerary concepts on the finish of the submit, that can assist you plan your personal journey. No matter you stand up to, you’re positive to take pleasure in exploring this unimaginable hidden gem in southeast England.

This evaluation was created as a part of a sponsored journey supported by Go to 1066 Nation. As all the time, all phrases and opinions are my very own.

The place is 1066 Nation?

1066 Nation covers the jap nook of East Sussex in Southeast England, stretching from the Sussex Weald to the coast.

The area encompasses the attractive landscapes of the Excessive Weald AONB, the East Sussex shoreline from Bexhill to Camber, and among the space’s most historic cities and villages – together with Hastings, Rye, and Battle.

Why 1066?

wooden statue of a man in medieval clothes and hat holding a large bow and arrow in a grass field with trees in the distance. Things to do in 1066 Country East Sussex England.
The battlefield at Battle Abbey in 1066 Nation

The identify, 1066 Nation, comes from the 12 months of the well-known Battle of Hastings and subsequent Norman conquest of England.

It’s maybe the one historic date everybody in England is aware of, and a pivotal second within the nation’s historical past, when William the Conqueror (Duke William of Normandy) gained a battle towards King Harold, the final Anglo-Saxon king of England – ultimately conquering all the nation.

The battle occurred proper right here in East Sussex, about 7 miles north of Hastings, at a web site the place at present the aptly named city of Battle stands.

Enjoyable Issues to do in 1066 Nation

1. Be taught in regards to the Battle of Hastings at Battle Abbey

view of the large stone manor house at Battle Abbey from above

As I’ve talked about above, 1066 Nation takes its identify from the well-known Battle of Hastings. Whether or not you’re British, or a customer from abroad, studying about this important piece of English historical past is an actual eye-opener.

Battle Abbey was based by William the Conqueror in 1071, 5 years after the battle, as an atonement and a memorial to the lifeless. After the dissolution of the monasteries within the 1500s, the abbey turned a rustic property. Immediately, the primary a part of the nation home – previously the abbot’s lodging – is dwelling to a non-public faculty.

Begin with the Customer Centre for a wonderful introduction to the Battle of Hastings historical past – then comply with indicators for the Battlefield Stroll. This takes you thru the property and across the precise battlefield. Wood sculptures of troopers dotted alongside the path assist carry the story of the battle to life.

interior of norman abbey cloisters at Battle Abbey with stone pillars and arches

Subsequent, discover the ruins of the abbey cloisters. Elements of those buildings are nearly a thousand years outdated! The church is now not standing, however its format is marked out in stones, together with the place of the excessive altar – which is believed to be positioned on the spot the place King Harold fell.

Lastly, discover the Abbey Gatehouse – which dates from 1338 and homes a small museum about life within the abbey. You should definitely climb as much as the tower roof for wonderful views of the encircling countryside.

2. Comply with the 1066 Nation Stroll

wooden trail marker post in a pine forest with a yellow arrow and a red circle which says "1066 country walk"

For eager hikers, the 1066 Nation Stroll is the easiest way to discover the realm’s wealthy historical past and gorgeous nature. It’s a 31-mile long-distance strolling path from Pevensey (the place the Norman military landed) to Rye.

Alongside the best way, the route passes among the space’s most historic websites, together with Battle Abbey, the Norman Herstmonceux Fort, and medieval Winchelsea.

The total stroll will be completed in two days – or three should you take it gradual. However you don’t need to do the entire thing! The official information breaks the 1066 Nation Stroll into 6 brief sections, various from 4 to six.6 miles in size. So you may decide a piece and luxuriate in a brief, simple hike via 1066 Nation.

I’d advocate the part from Brownbread Avenue to Battle Abbey, following within the footsteps of the Norman military and passing via the traditional Powdermills Wooden.

3. Discover Battle

timber frame house with red tiled roof and white walls with a garden filled with many colourful flowers
three shops on Battle High Street - Barnaby's, White Sails, and Battle Tap. Top things to do in and near Battle, East Sussex
Battle is filled with unbiased outlets

When you’re visiting Battle Abbey, don’t neglect to discover the city of Battle itself. It is a cute, vibrant little nation city filled with quirky unbiased outlets and eateries.

Begin with a stroll all the way down to St Mary’s Church to go to Battle Tapestry, a form of modern-day sequel to the Eleventh-century Bayeux Tapestry, crafted in 2017 by resident Tina Greene and over 700 native stitchers.

Whereas the Bayeux Tapestry depicts the occasions main as much as the Norman Conquest, the Battle Tapestry tells the story of how the city of Battle developed between the Battle of Hastings in 1066 and the founding of St Mary’s Church in 1115. 

close up of a section of Battle Tapestry, a white cloth emroidered with many figures in muted reds, yellows and greens

Subsequent, hit the Excessive Avenue to discover Battle’s fab unbiased scene. I extremely advocate Rother Books (bookshop in an attractive timber-framed constructing), BRITISH design BRITISH made (for arts, crafts, and presents from British makers), and White Sails (for garments and cute dwelling furnishings)… however there are masses extra nice outlets to discover.

Lastly, swing by Battle Faucet to strive a few of Battle Brewery’s award-winning beers (I appreciated Fyrd’s Gold), together with different native drinks.

4. Wander the Historic Streets of Rye

cobbled street with a large medieval half timbered inn painted white with dark wood timbers and lots of ivy growing on the facade
Mermaid Inn is one in every of Rye’s most iconic buildings

The charming little city of Rye close to the coast of East Sussex has develop into one of the vital standard locations to go to within the south of England. This medieval city is filled with historical past and character – particularly the well-known Mermaid Avenue.

Begin with a go to to Rye Heritage Centre to see the well-known Rye City Mannequin – constructed by a neighborhood couple in 1973. The good Story of Rye sound and light-weight present brings the mannequin to life whereas narrating the city’s historical past. A number of native legends and ghost tales are labored in, including a contact of intrigue. Don’t miss it!

model town of Rye with many small model buildings with red roofs against a black background with the text Rye Royal
Don’t miss the Story of Rye

Subsequent, discover the picturesque cobbled streets of Rye’s compact centre. Mermaid Avenue is the spotlight, dwelling to the enduring Mermaid Inn, one in every of England’s oldest pubs. The primary constructing dates from 1420, when the city was rebuilt after a hearth, however the cellars date from 1156. It’s additionally mentioned to be probably the most haunted inn in England, with common sightings of spirits reported by employees and guests.

Guide your keep at Mermaid Inn right here

Don’t miss the Landgate, a part of the unique metropolis partitions relationship from 1329, or the picturesque West Avenue. Go to the red-brick Lamb Home for a glimpse inside a Georgian townhouse with a wealthy historical past. Lastly, you should definitely climb the bell tower of St Mary’s Church for the very best view of Rye.

5. Go on a Seal Safari

grey seal heads emerging from the sea next to orangey-brown cliffs

Craving journey? Head to Rye Harbour for a thrilling, fast-paced RIB experience alongside the coast with Full Throttle Boat Charters.

Their Seal Safari boat journeys (from £35pp) are an excellent strategy to expertise the East Sussex shoreline – and get near a few of 1066 Nation’s cutest residents!

Skipper Will tells me he’s by no means not seen seals in “Seal Bay” – so you’re just about assured to identify some. A complete colony of gray seals hang around on the foot of the cliffs close to Fairlight; on my go to, we noticed dozens. The boat excursions don’t get too shut, in order to not disturb the seals, however you may nonetheless get an important view of the lovable creatures swimming.

Will had some spare binoculars I used to be capable of borrow – however I’d advocate bringing your personal, and a digicam with a zoom lens when you’ve got one.

6. Step Again in Time at Bodiam Fort

a castle with a moat around it reflected in the still water and framed by trees on a very sunny day

Bodiam Fort is definitely one of the vital dramatic sights in 1066 Nation – and an absolute must-visit! This 14th-century smash is precisely what you consider once you image a fortress. A traditional medieval fortress with towers, portcullis, and a moat, set throughout the picturesque

It was inbuilt 1385 and fell into disrepair in the course of the fifteenth and Seventeenth centuries. Immediately, this evocative smash is protected by the Nationwide Belief – so you may discover contained in the ruins, and even climb among the towers. The views of the attractive Sussex countryside from the highest are unbeatable!

stone wall of a castle ruin with three archways with more of the castle visible behind, through the 3rd arch you can see a man and woman sitting on a wooden bench

Bodiam Fort can also be dwelling to 6 species of bats, together with the biggest identified roost of Daubenton’s bats within the UK. It’s the proper spot for them: the towers are supreme nesting locations, and each the moat and close by River Rother appeal to the bugs the bats feed on.

You may typically spot the bats sleeping whilst you discover the fortress towers. When you can’t go to the fortress after sundown, should you’re strolling close by you’ll have the ability to see them flocking from the towers to feed.

7. Take a Tour of Oxney Natural Winery

close up of four Oxney Organic Estate wine bottles on a wooden table outside on a sunny day. Things to do in 1066 Country East Sussex England.

South East England has develop into well-known as a wine-producing area in recent times, and East Sussex isn’t any exception. Actually, East Sussex is dwelling to among the UK’s main wineries.

Certainly one of these, Oxney Natural Winery, was proper subsequent door to my glamping web site within the Sussex Weald – so in fact I had to pay a go to!

Though there are numerous wineries dotted round East Sussex, this one is totally natural, so it’s nicely value visiting if you wish to strive one thing a bit totally different.

Based in 2012 by Kristin Syltevik and Paul Dobson, Oxney is a beautiful property with 35 acres of vines surrounded by the tranquil Sussex Weald. You may go to for a tour to be taught extra in regards to the natural winemaking course of – and, extra importantly, to strive their superb wines.

Sitting within the solar with proprietor Kristin, chatting about wine and the glories of East Sussex, was simply one of many highlights of my journey! I’ve tried (and cherished) Oxney’s traditional glowing wine earlier than, so I used to be excited to strive the total vary. The glowing rose was my private favorite – excellent for a sunny day.

8. Paddleboard on the River Rother

emily wearing a long red dress standing on a paddleboard on a river with a low stone bridge behind. Things to do in 1066 Country East Sussex England.

Paddleboarding is one in every of my favorite actions, particularly on rivers and lakes. It’s such a calming, light journey and a good way to discover the countryside.

Flowing gently via the Sussex Weald, the River Rother is a perfect setting for paddleboarding. Gradual-moving, extensive, and straightforward to navigate – it’s excellent for newcomers.

Hire a board from Bodiam Boating Station (£15 first hour) and set off alongside the river for beautiful views of the encircling countryside. In an hour, you may make it to the Kent & East Sussex Railway railway bridge and again – should you’re fortunate, you may even see one of many steam trains crossing.

front of a paddleboard on a river with a grassy bank and trees in the distance on a very sunny day

If in case you have extra time (and power) it’s additionally attainable to paddle all the best way to Bodiam Fort within the different course. The pleasant employees at Bodiam Boating Station might be completely happy to share suggestions on your journey.

You can even borrow kayaks, rowing boats, and multi-person canoes – however SUP will all the time be my favorite! While you’re completed, you should definitely gas up at Bodiam Boating Station’s fabulous, Scandi-inspired Lime Wharf Cafe. Menus change with the seasons and are all the time filled with inventive, regionally sourced dishes.

9. Dine with Alpacas at Fisherwood Farm

emily wearing a long blue dress feeding a white alpaca from her hand in a grassy field with two more alpacas on either side

Within the coronary heart of the Sussex Weald, you’ll discover one of the vital uncommon issues to do in 1066 Nation. Head to Fisherwood Farm to meet their three pleasant pet alpacas: Pepe, Ollie, and Ricardo.

Founders Nicki and Carol provide three incredible alpaca experiences at their picturesque smallholding. A forty five-minute go to, the place you’ll get to feed the alpacas and meet all of the cattle, prices simply £25 for a gaggle of six – so it is a incredible, reasonably priced possibility.

However for one thing a bit extra particular, I’d extremely advocate choosing both cream tea (£25pp) or afternoon tea (£40pp) with the alpacas.

emily wearing a blue dress taking a selfie while feeding a white alpaca from a pink bowl
Feeding the alpacas is a extremely enjoyable expertise!

I attempted out the cream tea expertise – and it was simply one of many highlights of my journey! You get the entire place to your self, and a scrumptious cream tea with selfmade scones served within the backyard overlooking the alpaca area.

When you’re completed consuming, it’s time to feed the alpacas. They’re very pleasant, very cute, and VERY grasping – making for a brilliantly entertaining expertise.

10. Discover the Coastal City of Hastings

small white rowing boat and a stack of fishing nets on a stoney beach with some buildings behind and a large grassy cliff with a furnicular on it. Things to do in 1066 Country East Sussex England.

Nestled alongside the East Sussex Coast, Hastings is a little bit of a hidden gem on the south coast of England. However this vigorous coastal city affords an ideal mix of historical past, tradition, and breathtaking sea views.

There’s a lot to see and do right here that you might simply spend a full day or extra exploring. Try my buddy Chloe’s fab information to the very best issues to do in Hastings for inspiration! However should you’re brief on time, these are the highlights…

george street in hastings on a sunny day with shops on either side and colourful bunting overhead
You should definitely go to George Avenue within the Outdated City
  • Discover the cobbled streets of the Outdated City, comparable to George Avenue, lined with quirky outlets, galleries, and eateries.
  • Stroll alongside the seafront: go to Hastings Pier, benefit from the seashores, and take a experience on Hastings Miniature Railway.
  • Take the East Hill Elevate. Experience the funicular to the highest of the cliffs for panoramic views and entry to Hastings Nation Park.
  • Go to Hastings Museum & Artwork Gallery to be taught extra in regards to the space. Don’t miss the exhibit about Annie Brassey, a neighborhood Victorian girl who travelled the world by yacht along with her household. An inspiration for feminine travellers like me!

11. Go to Rudyard Kipling’s House at Bateman’s

front of a large country manor house built from beige stone with a reddish tiled roof in front of a neat lawn mowed into stripes

No go to to the Sussex Weald is full and not using a go to to Bateman’s, the gorgeous Seventeenth-century Jacobean nation home that was as soon as dwelling to the creator Rudyard Kipling.

Courting from no less than 1634, the historic property was purchased by the Jungle Guide creator and his spouse in 1902. It was left to the Nationwide Belief, who’ve preserved the home because it was left – proper all the way down to Kipling’s writing desk in his research.

close up of Rudyard Kipling's writing desk with hand written letters laid out across the desk next to a framed photo of the author

Even should you’re not a fan of the author, it’s value visiting Bateman’s solely to discover the creaking outdated home with its vintage furnishings and oak panelling. Then there are the beautiful English gardens, full with orchard, rose backyard, and lily pond, which supply year-round magnificence. If in case you have loads of time, you may as well go for a stroll on the broader property to discover the gorgeous Sussex Weald countryside.

12. Birdwatching and Bike Using in Rye Harbour Nature Reserve

hand holding binoculars above a mug of coffee in front of a window with a view of marshland. Things to do in 1066 Country East Sussex England.
Go to Rye Harbour Discovery Centre for birdwatching (and low!)

Most individuals flock to Rye for the picturesque historic city, however there’s additionally loads of nature to discover within the space, too. Don’t miss Rye Harbour Nature Reserve for gorgeous views, nice birdwatching, and an array of wildlife-rich coastal habitats together with shingle, saltmarsh, and reedbeds.

Begin with a go to to Rye Harbour Discovery Centre to be taught in regards to the native atmosphere and the animals that decision this space dwelling. The cafe right here even gives binoculars – so you may spot birds whilst you take pleasure in a espresso and a regionally baked cake!

black mountain bike leaning against a sign on a shingle beach with wildflowers growing between the stones and a small black wooden hut with a red roof behind
Discover Rye Harbour Nature Reserve by bike

One of the best ways to discover is to lease a motorcycle from Harbour Cycles and set off on a experience across the reserve. They’ll offer you a digital map with totally different path choices – don’t miss Henry VIII’s Camber Fort or the Mary Stanford Lifeboat Home as you cycle round.

If in case you have loads of time, you may even cycle from the reserve all the way down to Pett Stage seaside the place at low tide you may see fossilised tree stumps and the wreck of the Seventeenth century warship, HMS Anne.

Glamping in 1066 Nation & the Sussex Weald

Glamping is the proper strategy to immerse your self within the historic landscapes and peaceable countryside of the Sussex Weald and 1066 Nation. There are dozens of incredible glamping websites and distinctive lodging dotted all through East Sussex – so that you’ll be spoilt for alternative!

Starcroft Farm Cabins – glamping close to Battle

wooden cabin with a terrace in a grassy field with the sun setting through the trees behind. Starcroft Farm Cabins review, glamping in East Sussex England

Starcroft Farm Cabins are excellent for historical past lovers. They’re proper on the 1066 Nation Stroll, round a 40-minute stroll from Battle Abbey, set in a peaceable wildflower meadow on the sting of Powdermill Woods.

There are three cabins on the location, handcrafted by a neighborhood builder utilizing sustainable, native supplies – and each is themed round a distinct historic interval. Click on right here to learn my full evaluation to search out out extra!

Swallowtail Hill, close to Rye

circular wooden cabin with green pannelled exterior and a light brown wooden door in a woodland with a large oak tree behind. Glamping cabin in 1066 country East Sussex.

Over close to the attractive city of Rye, Swallowtail Hill affords a number of fully distinctive glamping choices on a tranquil personal nature reserve. There are six quirky cabins dotted throughout a rewilded farm run fully for conservation (no crops or livestock).

Expertise a sustainable, off-grid keep in an expensive cabin in its personal personal patch of the character reserve – as “away from all of it” because it will get! Some, just like the Roundhouse (the place I stayed) even have a wood-fired scorching tub. Click on right here to learn my full evaluation of Swallowtail Hill.

How Many Days in 1066 Nation?

interior of norman abbey cloisters at Battle Abbey with stone pillars and arches

I spent 5 days exploring 1066 Nation. That was loads of time to see and do all the pieces I’ve talked about on this weblog submit – in addition to spend numerous time stress-free at my attractive glamping lodging.

Nonetheless, should you’re brief on time, you may nonetheless see and do loads in 1066 Nation. I feel a protracted weekend or a two- or three-night keep can be ample time to discover. You simply want to select and select a number of of the actions that enchantment most to you.

Or, you might base your self in one of many historic cities, and plan an itinerary specializing in that space. I’ve shared some pattern itineraries beneath to provide you an concept of methods to form your time.

close up of the hed of a wooden sculpture of a man wearing a medieval helmet and armour leaning against a tree

1066 Nation 2-Day Itinerary: Hastings and Battle

  • First morning: discover Battle Abbey
  • Lunch in Battle and discover the outlets on Battle Excessive Avenue
  • Afternoon: stroll a piece of the 1066 Nation Stroll
  • Second morning: go to Bateman’s
  • Cream tea alpaca expertise at Fisherwood Farm
  • Afternoon: Discover Hastings and/or go to the seaside

1066 Nation 2-Day Itinerary: Rye

  • First morning: take a Seal Safari with Full Throttle Boat Charters
  • Lunch in Rye and discover the city centre
  • Afternoon: Bike experience or stroll round Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
  • Second Morning: Go to Bodiam Fort
  • Lunch at Bodiam Boating Station, then paddleboarding on the River Rother
  • Late afternoon: Tour and tasting at Oxney Natural Winery

So, that’s my information to the greatest issues to see and do in 1066 Nation – together with Battle, Rye, Hastings, and the Sussex Weald.

Discover the wealthy historical past, distinctive cities, and picturesque countryside of this gorgeous nook of East Sussex. This actually is one in every of Southeast England’s prime hidden gems!

When you’ve obtained a query – or a suggestion of your personal – please depart a remark on the finish of this submit.

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