Complete 1066 Private Guided Tour
6 hours approx - is restricted to your group and can be customised to suit your requirements
This tour includes a walk of around 7.5 miles over both flat, gentle hills, paved as well as rough and uneven terrain. There are a number of stiles and narrow bridges to cross as well as an open railway line foot bridge making this tour unsuitable for wheelchairs. If you are a wheelchair user or have mobility issues please request a modified tour.
Our tour will begin at your Eastbourne area hotel or requested pick up point. (Outside Eastbourne may incur additional charge). We will then travel by private car to Pevensey Bay where we will begin our tour at the Castle Walk public right of way.
I will begin our walk by explaining the geography of the area in 1066 and looking at the reasons why William chose this spot to land his army. I will then explain the background to the 1066 conflict and the reasons why William chose to invade.
The scene above shows reclaimed marsh land stretching from Pevensey Bay to Pevensey Castle. The castle, was built inside an existing Roman Fort, the walls of which are just visible behind the tree-line. As we continue towards Pevensey Castle we will stop at a vantage point so that we can consider what it would have been like for the Norman Invaders approaching the harbour on September 28th 1066.
Reaching the village of Pevensey we will pay a short visit to St Nicolas' Church built in 1216 before going inside the Roman walls to visit Pevensey Castle.
We will pause just inside the Roman Walls for an explanation of the events of 1066 leading up to the Norman landing before highlighting the differences between what the Normans expected to find in Pevensey and what actually happened. We will then go inside Pevensey Castle and there will be some free time to explore the castle ruins.
We will then leave the castle and exit the site through the Roman walls. I will explain why William chose to leave Pevensey and make Hastings his base instead. We will see the old village green and will continue to St Mary's Church which dates from 1080.
After a short visit to the church, we will then follow the route through the village of Westham taken by the Norman soldiers on the first leg of their journey to Hastings. We will walk to a vantage point where we can look out over the countryside towards Herstmonceux and I will point out where they made camp for the first night. We will then make our way back towards the castle and will stop for a local pub lunch (not included in price).
After lunch we will be taken by private car to Battle. Our driver will take us through Herstmonceux and pick up the route walked by the Norman soldiers through Boreham Street, Ninfield and Catsfield. We will see the spot where local legend states William raised his standard. I will explain what William did in Hastings and why he was happy to wait for Harold to march South rather than marching to London.
Our driver will drop us at Battle Memorial Hall which lies on the route taken by the Norman soldiers as they marched to fight the Saxons. We will walk up a gentle hill to the site that latest research indicates may be the actual Battle of Hastings battlefield site.
Here we can see Caldbec Hill which is acknowledged as the muster point for Harold's Saxon army and also thought by some to be the Battle of Hastings site. I will explain why the location of the battlefield site is disputed and we will consider the pros and cons for each site being the Battlefield. We will then make a short stop at St Mary's Church, which was built by the monks of Battle Abbey.
Leaving the Church we will be able to see the outer walls of Battle Abbey which was built on the order of William I at the top of Senlac Hill, traditionally believed to be the site of the Battle of Hastings.
Once inside the abbey we will walk to the position where Harold set his shield wall. We will then walk the perimeter of the battlefield. Using maps and diagrams I will explain the events of the battle from when it began at 9am on 14th October 1066 to the point where Harold was killed and William claimed victory late in the afternoon.
Leaving the battlefield we will walk to the spot where it is believed that Harold fell. Here I will explain what William did immediately after the Battle of Hastings and how he managed to secure the backing of the Ealdormen for his coronation on 25th December 1066.
If time allows we will spend some time looking at the abbey ruins, the small exhibition, or enjoying refreshments in the abbey cafe before our return transport arrives to take us back to Eastbourne.
price per tour (not per person)
£330 up to 3 people
£480 up to 5 people
£575 up to 7 people
(price includes entrance to Pevensey Castle and Battle Abbey but does not include lunch or refreshments)