Forming part of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Battle is a historic town where the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066. A Benedictine abbey was built here in the following years and the town mushroomed around it, with Battle later garnering a reputation for its production of high-quality gunpowder.
Things to do in Battle
Dominating the centre of town is the Battle Abbey, which was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and dedicated to St. Martin of Tours. Now partially in ruins, the atmospheric buildings and monks’ gatehouse are operated by English Heritage. After browsing the artefacts recovered from the abbey, you can let the kids run loose in the playground or relax with a coffee at the on-site cafe.
Adjacent to the ruins is the Hastings Battlefields, a picturesque meadow where the Anglo-Saxons fought against the Normans in 1066. Take advantage of an audio guide as you wander around the site or soak up the views across the open expanse from the covered terrace. To the west of Battle is the Hemingfold Meadow, which has been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest due to its nationally rare grassland species.
Carving through the heart of town is the Battle High Street, which is lined with timber-framed houses dating back to the 15th century and several stately Georgian residences. In addition to its antique stores, gift shops and delicatessens, there is also a patisserie and several cafes where you can grab a bite to eat.
Getting around Battle
Battle is a 15-minute drive from Hastings while central London and London Heathrow Airport are both 1.5 hours away. Regular trains connect to the Battle railway station, which is a 10-minute walk from the town centre.