Things to see and do
Welcome to Battle Abbey
We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click here.
Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.
- Battlefield, Abbey grounds and Abbey ruins - The Abbey grounds, Abbey ruins, battlefield and battlefield trail are all open for you to enjoy.
- Exhibition and Gatehouse – The visitor centre exhibition will remain closed. The Gatehouse and rooftop viewing platform will be open.
- Summer Adventure Quest - This summer, from 18 July, take your family on a free fun adventure quest with a historical twist. Download your trail map here and learn more below.
- Cafe - The cafe will be open for takeaway service and with a new one way system in place. Our café is taking part in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. Find out more here.
- Shop - The shop is open offering a range of gifts and souvenirs. There will be a one way system in place and we encourage contactless payment. You can also visit our online shop.
- Playground - The play area is now open.
- Toilets – Toilets will be available as usual. Additional hand sanitising stations will be available across the site.
- Audio Guide – You can enjoy an audio-tour at Battle Abbey using your own device. Simply download the Guide ID podcatcher App from either the Google Play Store or App Store. Once downloaded search for Battle Abbey on the menu screen to access the audio guide. We recommend downloading the audio tour before your visit using password EHBattle.
- Face masks - Face coverings must be worn when buying in Battle Abbey's indoor shop and café or tea room. We won’t be able to give you a face covering, so please come prepared so you don’t miss out.
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.
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.
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.
Take a stroll round the Duchess of Cleveland’s Victorian walled garden, 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 abbey gatehouse is open to explore, with an exhibition examining the important stories of the abbey in the years after 1066.
Enjoy an orientation courtesy of our multimedia guide, and examine fascinating original artefacts and recreated objects from our collection. Upstairs, a stunning panoramic view out across the town and the 1066 landscape is available from the rooftop viewing platform.
Explore online some of the highlights from our collection of paintings and artefacts.
Ice House and Dairy
Decorative dairies were fashionable, and often used for entertaining guests. A rare survival, the ice house at Battle Abbey was originally built by Godfrey Webster between 1810-1820. It sits atop a surviving medieval undercroft and stored ice harvested from ponds in Winter for culinary use throughout the following Summer.
Paintstakingly restored in 1991, you can now explore this unique example of a gothic style thatched dairy and underground ice house on your visit to Battle Abbey.
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?
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.