The 1066 Country Walk is a historic walk through Sussex that follows in the steps of William the Conqueror as he progressed with his army from Pevensey, his landing place, to Battle, where the famous Battle of Hastings took place. The battle famously resulted in the demise of King Harold of England who, it is said, was mortally wounded by an arrow in his eye. The walk includes several historic sites and passes through ancient villages, towns, woodlands, over hillsides, passing close to many other interesting landmarks.
You will discover a wealth of places to explore, but some you should try not to miss are:
- Pevensey Castle – built around 290 AD to guard the English coast against Saxon pirates, this castle has a rich history. The Normans reoccupied it in 1066 and used it as a major bulwark.
- Herstmonceux Castle – this is still a beautiful castle surrounded by a moat. Built in the 15th century, it is more of a large elaborate manor than a defensive castle. The estate covers 300 acres and includes several formal gardens and trails through managed woodland.
- Battle – now an elegant market town this is close to where the Battle of Hastings took place, resulting in 70,000 English and Norman deaths and a major change to England’s history. Visit the English Heritage site “Battle Abbey and Battlefield” where you can relive history. There is even a re-enactment of the famous battle in October.
- Icklesham – located on a ridge connecting the coast and the River Brede you will find some excellent views of the countryside. This was an important target in 1066 as whichever army held it would command the crossing of the River Brede.
- Rye – said to be England’s best preserved medieval town, it marks the end of the 1066 trail. With its cobbled Mermaid Street, its charming shops inns and restaurants, Ypres Castle, Rye Museum, and the Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, it is one of the walk’s shining highlights.
Joining the walk
The complete walk is around 30 miles (50 kilometers) and extends from Pevensey Castle to Strand Quay in Rye, though if you don’t want to cover the complete walk, you can choose to join it at an intermediate point. If you base your visit at Rye, you can take a bus to various locations on the walk including Pevensey, so you can complete the walk in sections returning to Rye at the end of each day. Allow four good days walking if you intend to cover the full route. Alternatively, if you prefer to take your car, there are several circular routes on the 1066 route including a 4½ walk from Rye.
Rest your weary feet with a stay at the Rye Lodge Hotel
Whether you intend to complete the full walk or just sample part of it, at the end of the day you will need somewhere to rest your weary feet. As Rye lies on the east end of the walk, the Rye Lodge Hotel is the perfect place to do so. You will discover our hotel is the perfect place to relax with comfortable rooms, an excellent champagne bar, and a Venetian Spa pool where you can revitalise your aching limbs. Rye has some great restaurants too, and we will be happy to recommend some of the best.