12 Things To See And Do

12 Things To See And Do

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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 eternally… 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 japanese finish of the East Sussex shoreline, the landscapes listed here are stuffed with historical past. That is the place one of many greatest 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 your complete 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.

12 Things To See And Do
Bodiam Citadel (see #6)

Go to a winery, spot birdlife in nature reserves, or take an exhilarating RIB trip alongside the coast. Discover castles and nation manors, or head to historic cities in quest of museums, unbiased purchasing, and nice native eateries.

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

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

The place is 1066 Nation?

1066 Nation covers the japanese 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 yr 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 your complete nation.

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

Enjoyable Issues to do in 1066 Nation

1. Study 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 significant 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. As we speak, 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. Picket sculptures of troopers dotted alongside the path assist deliver 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 not standing, however its structure 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. Make sure to climb as much as the tower roof for glorious 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 way in which, the route passes among the space’s most historic websites, together with Battle Abbey, the Norman Herstmonceux Citadel, and medieval Winchelsea.

The complete stroll might be achieved in two days – or three in the event you take it gradual. However you don’t must do the entire thing! The official information breaks the 1066 Nation Stroll into 6 quick sections, various from 4 to six.6 miles in size. So you’ll be able to decide a bit and luxuriate in a brief, simple hike by way of 1066 Nation.

I’d advocate the part from Brownbread Avenue to Battle Abbey, following within the footsteps of the Norman military and passing by way of 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 stuffed 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 right down to St Mary’s Church to go to Battle Tapestry, a kind 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 a wonderful 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 preferred 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 considered one of Rye’s most iconic buildings

The charming little city of Rye close to the coast of East Sussex has change into one of the vital widespread locations to go to within the south of England. This medieval city is stuffed 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 long-lasting Mermaid Inn, considered one of England’s oldest pubs. The principle constructing dates from 1420, when the city was rebuilt after a fireplace, however the cellars date from 1156. It’s additionally mentioned to be essentially the most haunted inn in England, with common sightings of spirits reported by employees and guests.

E-book 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’ll want to 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 an exhilarating, fast-paced RIB trip alongside the coast with Full Throttle Boat Charters.

Their Seal Safari boat journeys (from £35pp) are an excellent solution 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 that 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’ll be able to nonetheless get a terrific view of the lovable creatures swimming.

Will had some spare binoculars I used to be in a position to borrow – however I’d advocate bringing your individual, and a digicam with a zoom lens you probably have one.

6. Step Again in Time at Bodiam Citadel

12 Things To See And Do

Bodiam Citadel is definitely one of the vital dramatic sights in 1066 Nation – and an absolute must-visit! This 14th-century damage is strictly what you consider if you image a citadel. A basic medieval citadel with towers, portcullis, and a moat, set throughout the picturesque

It was in-built 1385 and fell into disrepair throughout the fifteenth and Seventeenth centuries. As we speak, this evocative damage is protected by the Nationwide Belief – so you’ll be able to 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 Citadel can be dwelling to 6 species of bats, together with the biggest recognized roost of Daubenton’s bats within the UK. It’s the right spot for them: the towers are supreme nesting locations, and each the moat and close by River Rother entice the bugs the bats feed on.

You’ll be able to generally spot the bats sleeping whilst you discover the citadel towers. When you can’t go to the citadel after sundown, in the event 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 change into well-known as a wine-producing area lately, and East Sussex is not any exception. In reality, East Sussex is dwelling to among the UK’s main wineries.

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

Though there are a lot of wineries dotted round East Sussex, this one is solely natural, so it’s properly price visiting if you wish to strive one thing somewhat completely 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’ll be able to 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 beloved) Oxney’s basic 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 considered one of my favorite actions, particularly on rivers and lakes. It’s such a soothing, light journey and a good way to discover the countryside.

Flowing gently by way of the Sussex Weald, the River Rother is a perfect setting for paddleboarding. Sluggish-moving, broad, and straightforward to navigate – it’s excellent for learners.

Lease 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 – in the event you’re fortunate, you might 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

When you have extra time (and vitality) it’s additionally attainable to paddle all the way in which to Bodiam Citadel within the different course. The pleasant employees at Bodiam Boating Station might be comfortable to share suggestions to your journey.

You can too borrow kayaks, rowing boats, and multi-person canoes – however SUP will at all times be my favorite! Whenever you’re achieved, you’ll want to gasoline up at Bodiam Boating Station’s fabulous, Scandi-inspired Lime Wharf Cafe. Menus change with the seasons and are at all times stuffed with artistic, domestically 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 fulfill their three pleasant pet alpacas: Pepe, Ollie, and Ricardo.

Founders Nicki and Carol provide three unbelievable 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 bunch of six – so this can be a unbelievable, inexpensive choice.

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 very 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 do-it-yourself scones served within the backyard overlooking the alpaca discipline.

When you’re achieved 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 full of life coastal city gives an ideal mix of historical past, tradition, and breathtaking sea views.

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

george street in hastings on a sunny day with shops on either side and colourful bunting overhead
Make sure to go to George Avenue within the Previous City

Discover the cobbled streets of the Previous City, resembling George Avenue, lined with quirky outlets, galleries, and eateries.
Stroll alongside the seafront: go to Hastings Pier, benefit from the seashores, and take a trip on Hastings Miniature Railway.
Take the East Hill Raise. Journey 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 Residence 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 a minimum of 1634, the historic property was purchased by the Jungle E-book creator and his spouse in 1902. It was left to the Nationwide Belief, who’ve preserved the home because it was left – proper right down to Kipling’s writing desk in his examine.

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 in the event you’re not a fan of the author, it’s price 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 provide year-round magnificence. When you have loads of time, you can too go for a stroll on the broader property to discover the gorgeous Sussex Weald countryside.

12. Birdwatching and Bike Driving 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 occasional!)

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’ll be able to spot birds whilst you take pleasure in a espresso and a domestically 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 trip across the reserve. They’ll offer you a digital map with completely different path choices – don’t miss Henry VIII’s Camber Citadel or the Mary Stanford Lifeboat Home as you cycle round.

When you have loads of time, you’ll be able to even cycle from the reserve right down to Pett Degree seashore – the place at low tide you’ll be able to see fossilised tree stumps and the wreck of the Seventeenth century warship, HMS Anne.

Glamping in 1066 Nation & the Sussex Weald

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

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 positioning, handcrafted by a neighborhood builder utilizing sustainable, native supplies – and every one is themed round a distinct historic interval. Click on right here to learn my full overview 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 gives 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 opulent 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) also have a wood-fired scorching tub. Click on right here to learn my full overview 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 every part I’ve talked about on this weblog publish – in addition to spend numerous time stress-free at my attractive glamping lodging.

Nonetheless, in the event you’re quick on time, you’ll be able to nonetheless see and do rather a lot in 1066 Nation. I believe an extended weekend or a two- or three-night keep could be ample time to discover. You simply want to select and select a number of of the actions that attraction most to you.

Or, you can base your self in one of many historic cities, and plan an itinerary specializing in that space. I’ve shared some pattern itineraries under to present you an thought of 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 bit 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 seashore

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 trip or stroll round Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Second Morning: Go to Bodiam Citadel
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 very best 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 really is considered one of Southeast England’s prime hidden gems!

Should you’ve obtained a query – or a advice of your individual – please go away a remark on the finish of this publish.