Things to do in Battle
Battle is a history buff’s dream. Named after the infamous Battle of Hastings in 1066, this tiny town attracts visitors from far and wide to discover one of the most talked about instances of warfare in human history.
It’s brilliant for us to be able to say that we’re just a stone’s throw away from Battle, on the outskirts of Hastings at our Combe Haven park in St Leonards-on-Sea. Only seven miles separates Battle and our Sussex park. You can hop in the car for a 15-minute drive with the loved ones, experience all the sights and sounds of this historic place and have more than enough time in the day to wind down in your caravan. Let’s go through the things to do in Battle and what exactly made the town so famous.
The 1066 Battle of Hastings – what was it all about?
1066 marked the start of turbulent times for England. The death of King Edward without a clear heir to the throne led to a succession crisis, with several individuals laying claim to be the next King of England.
Various leaders galvanised their armies, and the two strongest met on the battlefield at Battle. William, Duke of Normandy and his forces won a decisive victory against the last Anglo-Saxon King, Harold II, marking the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England. The Norman era had begun.
Many of the things to do in Battle mark this event nearly 1000 years later.
Address: Butter Cross, High St, Battle TN33 0AE
A visit to Battle Abbey gives you and the loved ones the chance to stand on the exact spot where the armies in the Battle of Hastings clashed. The beautiful Sussex surroundings stand in stark contrast to the dramatic events of 1066 and offers a lovely backdrop for your day out experiencing one of the best things to do in Battle.
Amongst it, in Battle Abbey’s grounds is what’s known as the ‘Harold stone’, marking the spot where King Harold himself fell. There’s also a battlefield trail, paying tribute to the Norman and Saxon soldiers through wooden sculptures. Tickets can be bought on the day, but the best deals come from booking in advance.
Battle Museum of Local History
Address: The Almonry, High St, Battle TN33 0EA
The quaint Battle Museum of Local History provides an alternative look at the town throughout the ages, giving a nod to the events of 1066 but by no means dwelling on them. Housed in The Almonry, which itself was built in 1090, the museum contains a 200+ year-old effigy of Guy Fawkes.
It’s brought out every November by the Battel Bonfire Boys (yes, that’s the spelling!). There are some great tributes to the First and Second World Wars too, with tunnels thought to lead to Battle Abbey underground to this day. To top off their offering, the museum houses a special exhibition each year, so there are always new things to discover here.
The 1066 memorial statue
Address: High St, Battle TN33 0XB
Completed in 2016 to mark 950 years since the Battle of Hastings, the 1066 memorial statue is a striking specimen that depicts a Norman soldier on horseback. Times this image by thousands and this would have been the scene surrounding the town back in 1066.
Paradoxically placed in the centre of a roundabout in the town, you can park up and get a coffee or drink nearby and admire the way it memorialises something so historical amongst a classic sign of modern development. Designed by Guy Portelli, taking a picture or two of it is one of the best things to do in Battle.
Battle Brewery and Taproom
Brewery address: Beech Farm Estate, Off, N Trade Rd, Battle TN33 0HN
Taproom address: 52 and 52A, High St, Battle TN33 0EN
Battle Brewery is on the outskirts of the town and throws open its doors every Friday and Saturday for the general public to visit its operation and try some of the finest beers in Sussex.
A visit here is one of the top things to do in Battle, and the rural far location is about five minutes out of the town centre through some of most scenic countryside you can lay your eyes on. What’s even better: if some of the vegan-brewed beer takes your fancy, there’s a taproom in town to sit down and enjoy one or two more, and you can take bottles home too.
St Mary the Virgin Church
Address: Upper Lake, Battle TN33 0AN
A mainstay of Battle for around 900 years, the church was founded after the Battle of Hastings itself around 1115. It’s been the centre of religious life in the town ever since and stands gloriously as you enter the town from us down on the Sussex coast at Combe Haven.
Its existence is the reason Battle became a centre of dwellings, with the town having sprung up because of and around the church’s foundation. St Mary’s welcomes visitors of all religions today and there are historic facts dotted both inside and outside the beautiful church façade.