Follow in the footsteps of William the Conqueror on the 1066 Country Walk

'Farbanks Henge'. Sculpture at Pattletons Farm. Credit: Jim Holden
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Follow in the footsteps of William of Normandy, across the rolling hills and atmospheric marshes which witnessed the Norman Conquest, and through the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The 31-mile 1066 Country Walk has had a facelift! Major works to upgrade the signage and install a series of sculptures and information panels between Pevensey and Rye in East Sussex are finally complete and the walk is set to become a major visitor attraction for 2022.

  • The route begins at William of Normandy’s landing place, Pevensey, and ends at medieval Rye
  • There are six relatively easy low-level sections of three to four hours each. Plenty of way markers make navigation easy
  • Ten bespoke sculptures are situated along the route, created by local artist, Keith Pettit,  inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry
  • 18 new information panels explaining the history and wildlife of the area have been added
  • You can download the Walkers’ Guide illustrated by local artist Ness Mann to plan your walk
  • You can join the walk at a number of points along the route
  • Visit iconic attractions along the way, including Battle Abbey and Battlefield and beautiful Winchelsea, the smallest town in England
  • The route passes country pubs, farm shops and a vineyard for a wine tasting experience
Extract from the Walker’s Guide for the 1066 Country Walk, illustrated by local artist Ness Mann

Pevensey Castle to Herstmonceux Castle

‘Landings’. Sculpture at Pevensey Castle. Credit: Jim Holden

Did you know?

  • Pevensey Castle was built by the Romans in AD290 and fortified by the Normans.
  • After light pollution in London became too great, the Royal Greenwich Observatory relocated its massive telescopes to Herstmonceux and these can now be seen at the Observatory Science Centre.

Sculptures to spot:

  • ‘Landings’, Pevensey Castle
  • ‘Isti Mirant Stella’, Herstmonceux Castle Estate

Herstmonceux Castle to Brownbread Street

Herstmonceux Castle. Credit: Sam Moore, Visual Air

Did you know?

  • Herstmonceux Castle is one of England’s oldest brick buildings.
  • Sir Roger Fiennes, ancestor of the famous explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, built the castle to reflect his wealth and status. The village is home to the Sussex trug.

Sculptures to spot:

  • ‘Isti Mirant Stella’, Herstmonceux Castle Estate
  • ‘Rest’, The Ash Tree Inn

Brownbread Street to Battle Abbey

‘Window’. Sculpture at Great Park Farm. Credit: Jim Holden

Did you know?

  • The Battle of Hastings in 1066 took place seven miles from Hastings at Senlac Hill where Battle Abbey now stands. The battle lasted for nine hours, with over 7,000 lives lost.
  • Battle Abbey was built by William the Conqueror, on the orders of Pope Alexander II, as atonement for the carnage.

Sculptures to spot:

  • ‘Rest’, The Ash Tree Inn
  • ‘Window’, Great Park Farm
  • ‘Bound Division’, outside Battle Abbey

Battle Abbey to Westfield

Battle Abbey and the market town of Battle beyond the walls. Credit: Sam Moore, Visual Air

Did you know?

  • Europe’s finest gunpowder was once produced in Battle and it is said that Guy Fawkes sourced his gunpowder here.
  • The oldest Guy Fawkes effigy in the world can be visited in the Battle Museum of Local History.

Sculptures to spot:

  • ‘Bound Division’, outside Battle Abbey
  • ‘Hidden Truth’, Battle Great Wood

Westfield to Icklesham

‘Legacies’. Sculpture at Lower Snailham Farm. Credit: Jim Holden

Did you know?

  • The residents of Westfield band together each year to raise money for the local St Michael’s Hospice, using the village’s popular Christmas lights display. At the latest count in 2019 they had raised a total of almost £85,000.

Sculptures to spot:

  • ‘Farbanks Henge’, Pattletons Farm
  • ‘Legacies’, Lower Snailham Farm, Icklesham

Icklesham to Rye, via Winchelsea

St Thomas the Martyr Church, Winchelsea. Credit: Tony Duke

Did you know?

  • Comedian Spike Milligan is buried in the churchyard of St Thomas the Martyr at Winchelsea. His epitaph reads in Gaelic, “I told you I was ill”. Toast his memory with a wine tasting at the cellar door of Charles Palmer Vineyards.
  • Rye is one of the best preserved medieval towns in England. In 2021 historic Mermaid Street was voted one of the most ‘instagrammable’ streets in the country.

Sculptures to spot:

  • ‘The Watcher’, Wickham Manor Farm
  • ‘Treow’, Rye
Mermaid Street, Rye. Credit: The Mermaid Inn

Top tips

  • Each section takes around three to four hours of walking. This will take longer if the paths are muddy or you visit attractions on the way.
  • The route is well sign posted but we recommend OS Explorer map 124.
  • Dress according to the weather – it can be muddy in places.
  • Take water with you.
  • Check the opening times of all the attractions you intend to visit before you set off.
  • Protect the countryside: Stay on the path, keep dogs on leads, close gates and take rubbish away.

More information

‘The Watcher’. Sculpture at Wickham Manor Farm. Credit: Jim Holden

Depending on where you decide to spend the night, you may need to take transport to your accommodation, however the walk passes close to Manor Farm Oast B&B and Wickham Manor, Winchelsea and The New Inn, Winchelsea.

You can find places to stay along the route here.

Railway stations are at Pevensey and Westham, Battle, Three Oaks, Winchelsea and Rye.

For more information about how to get to 1066 Country see here

For more information about the 1066 Country Walk see here.

Find out more about beautiful 1066 Country here.

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