With a spectacular combination of coast and countryside that is scattered with relics and ruins from the past, 1066 Country, in South East England, is the kind of place where you don't just learn about history, you live it.
1066 Country is now recognised throughout the world as a leading brand of historical experience. In this section, we look at the local towns and villages you should consider visiting during your stay in Bexhill.
Travel north from Bexhill and discover the historic and fascinating town of Battle, set against the historical backdrop of Battle Abbey.
Battle is the site of the Battle of Hastings, where William the Conqueror defeated King Harold II in 1066. The town of Battle was gradually built around the Abbey of St Martin, which was constructed by William the Conqueror following his victory. It is believed that the high altar of the Abbey church was built on the spot where Harold died. The Abbey and the battlefields at the back of the Abbey are now cared for by English Heritage and make for a fascinating journey back in time to our famous past.
As well as its 1066 history, Battle also has history dating back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It was home to one of the biggest gunpowder mills in the country, supplying high quality gunpowder to British ships during the Napoleonic wars. It is believed that this mill may have also provided some of the powder used in the Guy Fawkes' plot.
Battle has many fine examples of Georgian architecture throughout its main High Street. Cottages and Houses that neighbour the Abbey date back to the beginning of the eighteenth century. These days, Battle has a delightfully unspoilt, old-fashioned high-street containing lots of small, independent shops.
Yesterday's World is a very popular tourist attraction in Battle, taking you back in time to centuries gone by. They boast over 100,000 genuine historical artefacts on display from the last 100 years in their 15th century hall-house, located opposite Battle Abbey in the high street.
If you are looking for great places to eat out, you certainly don't go short on choice in Battle with a wealth of restaurants serving delicious food for your palate.
Bodiam is a little village situated about 35 minutes north of Bexhill and surrounded by countryside. Though small, it boasts one of the finest castles in 1066 Country. Dating back to the late fourteenth century, it is an exquisite example of a late medieval moated fort.
Mention Bodiam to most residents of 1066 Country and they will, more than likely, think of the castle. However, Bodiam was also well known for being a hop growing village in the previous century, with the hops being brewed to produce Guinness. In order to transport the hop-pickers to and from the fields, a railway line was built and that stretch of track, now known as the Kent and East Sussex Railway, is a very popular tourist attraction in 1066 Country. Steam engines run along the 11 mile track between Tenterden and Bodiam throughout the year. More information on the railway can be found on their website.
The delightfully peaceful village of Bodiam also contains a restaurant, two schools, a twelfth century church, a pub and a small number of houses. The Curlew restaurant, a grade II listed public house, makes for a fantastic place to enjoy lunch. Popular all around the area for a number of years, they have achieved a very good reputation for the quality of their food. If the weather is nice, why not sit out in their picturesque garden and relax?
Journey 10 minutes west along the coast from Bexhill and discover the historical village of Pevensey.
For a small village, Pevensey is rich in English history, dating back through the centuries from Roman and Norman times and through the periods of the Spanish Armada. The fort of its major landmark, the castle, was built by the Romans during the 3rd century. During this time, the castle was surrounded by sea. Over time the sea has gradually moved out, revealing the land now known as Pevensey Bay. It was at Pevensey Bay that William the Conqueror landed ashore with his invasion fleet in September 1066.
In 1066, the Roman fortress at Pevensey was granted to Robert of Mortain by his half brother William the Conqueror. The Normans occupied the fort and De Mortain used the existing fortress as the base for a new castle. His inner bailey can be seen at the eastern end of the outer bailey. Since the end of the 16th century, the castle and fort has been left largely to fall into ruin, though part of it was re-used for defensive purposes during the time of the Spanish Armada. It was also used as a German aircraft lookout point during World War II.
These days, the castle is maintained by English Heritage. Although time has not been kind to the Castle, it does still make for an interesting place to visit. There is an exhibition of artefacts and an audio programme covering the history of the castle inside the inner bailey.
Pevensey High Street, to the east of the castle, contains some small local shops as well as the Pevensey Courthouse Museum. It has some pubs and restaurants where you can enjoy traditional local food.
Pevensey is recommended for an afternoon visit to learn about our historical past.
Travel 25 minutes north east from Bexhill and discover the historic port town of Rye.
This enchanting, medieval town boasts a maze of cobbled streets, fascinating buildings, wonderful shopping, antiquarian bookshops, potteries, antiques, art galleries and Rye Castle Museum. The Rye Heritage Centre hosts the Town Model and Sound and Light Show and unique exhibitions of working old pier slot-machines.
All of these attractions make Rye a popular visitor destination. With links to its maritime past, Rye Harbour still operates as a port for small yachts and boats.
Served by the local fishermen in the town's small fishing fleet, Rye boasts a delightful array of sea food restaurants. It also caters for other gastronomic tastes: Rye is sure to satisfy every palette.
The neighbouring holiday village of Camber is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of life. It has a picturesque sandy beach, with unspoilt coastline and sand dunes as far as the eye can see. Attractions such as sand yachting often take place when the tides are low. It is these expanses of sand at Camber that make the beach attractive to couples and families alike.
The quiet village of Burwash hosts Rudyard Kipling's house 'Batemans'. Europe's largest beach-launched fishing fleet can be seen in Hastings and St Leonards where you can also enjoy the picturesque Old Town. Herstmonceux is the perfect place for visitors to lose themselves in the magic and mystery of modern science. Northiam is a rich tapestry of thatched cottages and country pubs.
If you are looking for a fun and interesting location to visit for a short break in Southern England, visit 1066 Country and you will do far more than learn about history, you'll live it!
Bexhill is an idyllic seaside town on the Southern Coast between Hastings and Eastbourne. It is ideally situated amongst all of the history and attractions of 1066 Country and makes for a relaxing base for your holiday.
If you are interested in visiting or staying in Bexhill, please feel free to browse over the other pages in this website. You can also view the Accommodation Guide and book accommodation for your visit.
Read more articles on the blog.
Tuesday: Sunny Intervals
Max temp: 19°C (66°F)
Min temp: 15°C (59°F)
Wednesday: Light Cloud
Max temp: 20°C (68°F)
Min temp: 12°C (54°F)
Thursday: Sunny Intervals
Max temp: 20°C (68°F)
Min temp: 13°C (55°F)
(weather info from BBC Weather Centre)
Over The Top - Bright Lights Theatre Company
7.45pm (Sat Matinee 2.30pm) at Little Common Methodist Church Hall, Little Common.
No Exit Cover Band
7pm at No.48 Devonshire Rd.
Irish Folk With The Leprechauns
7pm at No.48 Devonshire Rd.
Little Common Summer Fayre
3pm to 5pm at The Wheatsheaf.