Walk completed August 16, 2014

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 -- Day 29, Eastbourne to Battle, 9 miles

I’m in what is known locally as 1066 Country – named for the year in which William the Conqueror (the 7th Duke of Normandy) defeated King Harold (who may have been a Saxon king, whose ancestors probably defaulted into power when the Romans left after having stolen the island from the picts and other neo-lithic folks, who were probably minding their own business. Has anybody ever used a chart to diagram who became what when, where and how?)  Anyway, William named himself king, and because his forces had killed King Harold, there wasn’t anybody around who wanted to challenge him, so king he became.

William the Conqueror’s great conquest is known as the Battle of Hastings, and is probably more well-known than Waterloo, Trafalgar, Culloden or Gettysburg. Funny thing, though, the battle wasn’t at Hastings. The battle took place at Battle, my destination for today, quite some distance from Hastings. I suppose that naming the event the Battle of Battle just wouldn’t sound right.

There is a long distance footpath that purports to trace William’s route across the countryside as he subdued everybody who didn’t want to call him king, and that footpath is called the 1066 Country Walk. It runs from near Eastbourne, through Battle, Icklesham, Winchelsea, and into Rye. There is a spur that connects Bexhill to Battle. Oddly, the 1066 Country Walk doesn’t pass through Hastings.

The Walk seems to be waymarked better than the routes designated by names like “public footpath”, but the waymarking is not nearly as good as on national trails. Today, I walked the spur from Bexhill to Battle. The day was beautiful, and the route-finding was just challenging enough to keep the walk exciting, without thoughts of having to summon search and rescue.

Horses ignoring me

Swans and Cygnets

Battle is a touristy town, with most tourists coming by bus or train. I didn’t see anybody on foot all day, except for a few dog walkers.


Aside from the tea room, the big tourist spot is Battle Abbey, which William built between 1070 and 1094 as penance ordered by the Pope to atone for the loss of life in the conflict. As usual, I didn’t have time to tour either the Abbey or the tea room.

Identify this car

© 2014 Ken Klug


  1. Well, so happy to hear that the horses are ignoring you, must have finally found some soap to take a shower!
    Talk about a historical walk, wow, some real history there. But again, you are in England where lots of history was made.
    At least you had a beautiful sunny day. Have fun!

  2. Car is a Rolls-Royce . . . which would pay for many a hiker's breakfast buffet if a suitable transfer of ownership occurred.