BATTLE OF HASTINGS & SUSSEX HISTORY TRAIL
The English Experience offers you this ‘behind the scenes tour’ to explore the lesser-known facts of the last successful invasion of Britain by William the Conqueror in October of 1066!
Our local Sussex guide has created a fascinating itinerary that can be adapted to the time you have available. If you are staying in London and fancy a day or two (or three!) in the glorious, historic Sussex countryside, then join him on a tour that takes you on a journey of discovery…
|King Harold – Bayeux Tapestry depiction
|| Battle Abbey
One day tour itinerary:
Travel from central London by rail. Our guide will meet you at the train station and take you first to Pevensey Castle to learn about William’s arrival on England’s shores.
Explore the ancient village of Pevensey with it’s tiny Jail, Mint House, excellent Museum and historic church. You will visit ‘Normans’ Bay’ (the actual landing site of William’s invasion force) and then continue to the market town of Battle.
|Pevensey Castle ruins
||Norman church West Ham/ Pevensey
In Battle you will find the magnificent Battle Abbey built by William to commemorate his victory over the Saxons and King Harold. Visit the Abbey and the splendid English Heritage interpretation centre, and if time, your guide will accompany you to walk the field Battle Site that surrounds the Abbey.
Your guide will drive you to the nearest train station for your return journey to London.
LONGER TOURS: 2 – 3 DAYS.
If you have more time – and if you want to experience more of Sussex’s beautiful countryside, and picturesque villages, then consider staying longer. Overnight accommodation will be arranged to suit your chosen itinerary. The basic theme of 1066 history can be enhanced and updated to include WWII connections, or you could spend a delightful day exploring other castles and gardens in the region.*
Your guide will meet you at the rail station and take you first to Pevensey – a tiny village with an impressive history. Explore William’s first castle – an excellent ruin and discover its importance. Continue on a scenic ride through the delightful 1066 Countryside of Sussex through Normans’ Bay and across the Pevensey ‘Levels’ to the original coastal fishing village of Hastings. Take a walk through the Old Town before continuing to the charming 14th century hill town of Rye where you will overnight.
After breakfast your guide will drive you from Rye to the actual site of the Battle of Hastings located in the market town of Battle. Visit Battle Abbey and the church to see the Roll of names of the knights who fought with William against the Saxons. Walk the battlefield with your guide, and enjoy lunch in one of Battle’s many inns or tea rooms. The English Heritage interpretation centre at the Abbey is well worth a visit. After lunch you may choose to explore one of the area’s nearby historic homes or gardens. Your guide will be happy to suggest some sites. If you prefer to take the day at a slower pace, there is plenty to fill a whole day in Battle alone. Overnight in Rye.
DAY 3: WWII Day
After breakfast you guide will drive you from Rye to Dover. Dover Castle is a magnificent fortress built on the famous “White Cliffs”. Explore this 12th century castle and interactive exhibits depicting selected events from English history, especially the underground tunnels where Churchill planned the evacuation of Dunkirk. Another opportunity today is to visit a private museum dedicated to Battle of Britain aircraft and that contains an amazing collection of memorabilia from WW11.
DAY 3 * :Alternative Day – countryside tours
Your driver will accompany you to explore several of the following optional visits to suit your interests.
The late Christopher Lloyd’s fascinating and charming gardens at Great Dixter – a short distance from Rye.
Churchill’s home Chartwell, just over the Sussex border in Kent. This can be combined with a visit to Hever Castle & Gardens.
Sissinghurst Castle Gardens – the world famous gardens created by Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicolson. Combine this with the romantic site of Scotney Castle and Gardens.
Lewes – the county town of East Sussex. Enjoy a visit to this hill town and its fine Norman castle. See where the revolutionary Tom Paine met with fellow members of the Headstrong Club to support the cause of American Independence. This could be combined with a visit to Charleston Farmhouse, located just outside the Victorian seaside town of Eastbourne. Charleston Farmhouse, now a museum, was the countryside location of the Bloomsbury Group in the early 20th century. A fascinating ‘gem’ linked to Virginia Woolf, her sister Vanessa Bell and other intellectuals/artists of the era.
Call or email The English Experience to plan your trip.
2010 Price Guide
Driver/guide services – full day $495. (for 2 – 3 passengers)
Overnight non-smoking accommodation choices in Rye:
Jeake’s House –high quality character B& B from $86 per person per night
River Haven Hotel - Riverside location quality B&B: from $128 per room per night
Superior Room from $145 per room per night.
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