With my scooter finally repaired and back on the road, we decided to take a day trip to the town of Battle to visit Battle Abbey and the battlefield where the 1066 Battle of Hastings took place. It’s around 65 miles south of London and can also be easily accessed by train with regular Southeastern services between Battle and Charing Cross.
The Abbey and Battlefield are managed by English Heritage so members can get in for free, otherwise it’s £8.30 for adults. Parking is available on site but there is a charge – £1 for members or £3.50 for other visitors.
I’ll admit that I didn’t know a lot about the history surrounding the Battle of Hastings but fortunately there was a member of staff dressed in period costume who did a great job of telling the story to a group of visitors. There’s also an informative video in the visitors centre and an audio guide to use around the site.
After grabbing a bite to eat in the cafe we walked over the precinct wall which gives you a great view over the village of Battle.
And then wandered around the Abbey ruins. Unfortunately most of it was hidden under scaffolding so there wasn’t a lot to see other than the crypt.
We then did the “short tour” walk which looks out over the battlefield. You can do a walk that goes all the way around the battlefield which takes around 30-40 minutes but we opted not to do this as it would have been quite muddy from the recent rain and we did not have appropriate footwear. The short tour is only around a 15-20 minute walk.
Since almost the entire site is outdoors you really need to visit on a nice day otherwise I think it would be a miserable experience. Luckily it was sunny for us even though it was quite chilly!
Unfortunately I think we chose a bad time to visit as many areas of the site were closed for refurbishment. If I had paid the full admission price I would have left feeling a bit disappointed, especially since they don’t seem to warn people about this on their website or social channels. Hopefully these areas well re-open in the summer and they’re also planning to open a new exhibition and roof top viewing platforms.
Have you visited Battle Abbey? I’d love to know more about the areas I’ve missed out on and whether its worth popping back in once they’ve reopened.