Visit Battle, East Sussex: Places to stay, things to do

There's more to Battle than an association with the last successful English invasion. Nick Peers takes a trip through East Sussex's stunning rural landscapes


Why go there?
There’s the obvious connection of course: Battle grew up on the site of the Battle of Hastings around the abbey that was finished in 1095 as a penance for the numbers killed 30 years before. The abbey itself is open for visitors and dominates this small market town, although you’ll find a number of other attractive medieval and Georgian buildings dotted around.
Battle’s location makes it the perfect place to enjoy wonderful countryside – it sits in the High Weald, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Two nearby attractions include Battle Great Wood, which will attract twitchers with species such as the nightjar and hobby, while Powdermill Wood Reserve is also worth a visit, and is run by the Sussex Wildlife Trust.


Where to stay
Despite the name, the Tollgate Farmhouse B&B is situated in Battle itself, a short 10-minute walk from the heart of the town. Prices start from £32.50 per person per night, and include either continental or full English breakfast.

Where to eat
Nobles Restaurant is featured in the 2009 Michelin Guide, which comments favourably on its modern British and European cuisine, all based around freshly sourced local and seasonal ingredients. If the a la carte menu is a little pricey – mains are around £12-16 – then check out the £10.66 two-course lunch set menu instead.

Local secret
The High Weald has remained virtually unchanged for five centuries, making it essentially a medieval landscape. Rolling hills, irregular shaped fields, abundant woodland (70 percent of which is classed as ancient woodland) and scattered farmsteads linked by sunken lanes and paths make it the perfect place to disappear into the country for the weekend.

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