A Walk Around Battle Abbey

One of the great things about where I live is that I don’t need to go far to visit a historical site.  I finally went into Battle.  No, I didn’t put on any armour or anything like that.  I went to Battle, the town.  Last Christmas, I went to visit a friend who was staying there, but I never got a really good look around.  Besides, it was really cold and icy, with snow on the ground.

Although the Abbey is open pretty much all year round, most of the tour is actually outside.  It is best seen when dry. And sunny.

The Battle of Hastings was fought here.  I don’t know why it is called The Battle of Hastings when Hastings is a bit further away (6 miles), but that is one of the things about the English that I will never understand and just leave it as is.

Anyway, here is where the battle was fought:

The Battlefield

Hmm, it doesn’t look like much of a battlefield, but many men lost their lives here and The Battle of Hastings changed the history of England.  The Normans conquered England, so basically that makes the English French.  No? 🙂

The entry fee includes an audio tour which is very informative and entertaining.  If you didn’t know anything about The Battle of Hastings before the tour, you will learn a considerable amount during.  The Battlefield walk takes about 30-40 minutes, but that is only if you stop and listen to the tour at various points, otherwise it will take less time, around 20 minutes.

Access to The Abbey is rather limited as a large part of it is taken over by a school which is in the great hall and library.  However, there are the dormitory ruins and undercrofts that one can go into.  I didn’t go into the exhibition which is housed in a modern building.

Battle has a small town centre.  There are some lovely shops and plenty of places to eat.  We were a bit late for lunch, so by the time we finished the Abbey tour, about 5pm, there was nowhere to have tea.  It is a good idea to get there early, have a wander around the town, eat lunch, do the tour (about 2 hrs), and then have a cream tea.  If you have energy and enough daylight after that, there are some lovely walks in the fields around the town.