Things to see and do

 
Five archers dressed in re-enactment Norman outfits at 1066 Battle of Hastings Battlefield and Abbey firing into the air

1066 Battlefield

Today peaceful with wild flowers and birdsong, this evocative landscape once played host to thousands of men, fighting for the future of king and country.

Explore the battlefield and picture it full of life (and death) on the day that England's history changed forever.

The Anglo-Saxons held the ridge - now under the abbey buildings - whilst the Norman invaders attacked. Follow the full course of the battle with our audio guide, and special children's version. See the impressive new wood carved sculpture trail. During wet weather, a shorter route along the terrace provides views out over the battlefield landscape and allows visitors to listen to the audio tour from a more comfortable vantage point.

A boy looking up at a replica battle axe weapon in the Visitor Centre at Battle Abbey

Visitor Centre

Set the scene with our introductory film, vividly re-telling the story of the great battle. Start your tour of the site here and start unlocking the story of where you're standing. The visitor centre now includes new interactive displays.

Are you strong enough to carry a Norman shield into battle? Find out what England was like at the time of the conquest, and learn more about the events that led up to the fateful day .

Battle Abbey ruins bathed in sunshine under blue summer skies

Abbey Ruins

Explore the atmospheric ruins of William the Conqueror’s famous abbey. Stand on the very spot where King Harold is said to have died.

Admire the stonework and acoustics of the 13th century rib-vaulted dormitory range, including the Novices Common Room. You can now also climb the staircase to explore the first floor too.

This room was used to record a live performance of Sovereign Light Café by Keane.

A close up of an oxeye daisy wild flower in Battle Abbey Walled Garden, Kent

Walled Garden

Take a stroll round the Duchess of Cleveland’s Victorian walled garden. It was recently recreated to provide a glimpse into a lesser known time in the abbey’s history.

It is constantly growing and evolving, and is a relaxing and tranquil environment in which to enjoy the historic varieties of fruit trees and seasonal wildflowers. The garden is also host to the abbey's beehives, producing honey for our shop and cafe.

The visitor centre at the battlefield.

New for 2017

The abbey gatehouse is now open, with a new exhibition examining the important stories of the abbey in the years after 1066. Come and see all the work that's been done, and gain access to the extra floor, previously closed to visitors.

The new gatehouse rooftop viewing platform is also open, with a stunning panoramic view out across the town and the 1066 landscape.

Explore online some of the highlights from the collection of paintings and artefacts, some of which can be seen at Battle Abbey.

Thatched octagonal Gothic dairy at Battle Abbey, built in 1818

Ice House and Dairy

Explore this unique example of a gothic style thatched dairy and underground ice house, built by Godfrey Webster between 1810-1820.

A rare survival, the ice house was built on top of a surviving medieval undercroft and stored ice harvested from ponds in Winter for culinary use throughout the following Summer and was restored in 1991. Decorative dairies were fashionable, and often used for entertaining guests.

A Norman Knight re-enacotr wearing helmet and chain mail

Hot Topics

Find out the answers to the some of the questions regularly asked about Battle Abbey.

  • Did the battle actually take place here?
  • Why have no bodies or archaeology been found from the battle?
  • Did Harold actually die at the battle?
  • Why is it called the Battle of Hastings if it wasn't in Hastings?
  • Why was the abbey built?

 

A family enjoying snacks and drinks in Battle Abbey Café

Battle Abbey Café

Relax for a light lunch or afternoon tea in the delightful surroundings of Battle Abbey Café.

With our emphasis on homemade and local produce, we are able to source many seasonal ingredients on site including from the Walled Garden.

There are plenty of tasty choices to keep you fed before or after exploring the site, and if you are particularly hungry then be sure to try our hot food specials.

Adjacent to the cafe and picnic area is our new natural play area. In the tranquil monastic settings, it has been designed by Studio Hardie - the team behind George Clark's Amazing Spaces, and provides a space to further inspire kid's imaginations. 

Plan your visit to Battle Abbey today.

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