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. 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.

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.

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.

Although very new, it is constantly growing and evolving, and is a relaxing and tranquil environment in which to enjoy the historic varieties of fruit trees, seasonal wildflowers and beehives.

A young visitor examines a backlit image of the Bayeaux tapestry in the Abbey Museum

Coming Soon!

From summer 2016 there will be a new special exhibition, roof top viewing platforms, children's play, and more. The old gatehouse museum has now been retired and is in the process of being updated ready for the new summer exhibition. Watch this space for more information, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Thatched octagonal Gothic dairy at Battle Abbey, built in 1818

Ice House and Dairy

Step inside the Georgian thatched Gothic dairy, built in 1818.

Adjacent is an underground ice house, where ice was dragged up from the lakes below on the old battlefield and put into storage. The ice house is closed for Bat hibernation until 24th March.

Both are survivals of the abbey’s later life as a country house.

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.

Plan your visit to Battle Abbey today.

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