The 31-mile 1066 Country Walk is a relatively easy, low-level route through countryside that witnessed the Norman Conquest. Starting at Pevensey Castle (though you can start in Rye), it passes Herstmonceux Castle, the historic 1066 Battle Abbey and Battlefield, medieval Winchelsea, ending in historic Rye.
Much of the walk passes through the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a typical medieval landscape with rolling hills and valleys, atmospheric marshes, ancient woodland, historic towns, quaint villages, old churches, rustic farms, elegant estates, oast houses and windmills, and plenty of cosy pubs and cafés along the way.
This breaks the walk into six easy sections, each of which takes 3-4 hours, and should be used in conjunction with the OS Explorer map 124.
Or why not make a longer break of it? There are plenty of places to stay along the route.
Created by local artist Keith Pettit, the ten wooden sculptures along the Walk are inspired by the Bayeux Tapestry and the heritage of 1066 Country.
The ten sculpture in order of location:
Norman Longboat at Pevensey Castle (accessible by wheelchair)
Isti Mirant Stella
Halley’s Comet crossed the sky just before the invasion, Herstmonceux Castle (accessible by wheelchair)
OS Map ref: TQ 64545 04820
The horses that played a vital role in the invasion, Ash Tree Inn, Ashburnham
The animals depicted in the border of the Bayeux Tapestry, beside Great Park Farm (accessible by wheelchair)
OS Map ref: TQ 72697 14575
King Harold, King William and the Crown, hidden in trees by the path, outside Battle Abbey
OS Map ref: TQ 74465 15645
The crown over which the battle was fought, Battle Great Woods
Monoliths overlook the Normans’ new realm, Pattletons Farm, Westfield
OS Map ref: TQ 83095 16185#
Saxon and Norman roots entwine in the English language, Lower Snailham Farm, Guestling
A sentry watching for the arriving Norman fleet, Wickham Manor Farm, Winchelsea
OS Map ref: TQ 89825 16405
Treow (Old English for Tree)
A Bayeux Tapestry tree, start of the path at Rye (accessible by wheelchair)
Images shown in order. All photography by Jim Holden
Look out for the annual 1066 Country Walk Puddings and Pathways Festival - free professional street theatre at eateries on various dates along the route.
You’ll also find delicious 1066 themed puddings at eateries along the route, which raises the question ‘how many puddings can you eat in one walk?’
List coming soon…
1 December 2020: 1066 Country Walk sculptures take their place
18 June 2020: First sculpture completed for 1066 Country Walk makeover