Rye on the Sussex coast was one of the Cinq Ports of Elizabethan times, charged with defending the south coast against invasion. It thrived as a port for some time, and was a popular base for smugglers, until the silting of the river eventually lead to its decline. Nowadays the town is a couple of miles inland from the river and the former warehouses and wharves house craft shops and workshops. Rye is particularly famous now for its hand crafted pottery, available from many of these shops.
Mermaid Hill is one of Rye's most famous streets, lined with beautiful buildings it runs downhill to what once was the sea. At the top of the hill stands The Mermaid a fine old Inn that used to be the haunt of smugglers.
Bodiam Castle is very much a 'fairy tale' castle. It stands bang in the middle of a lake and is reached by an excepionally long drawbridge. Only the outer walls and towers reall reamain - the castle looks a lot more complete from the outside than it does on the inside! You can get up to the tops of the towers, though, for a good view of the Sussex countryside.
About 15km north of Hastings of the A229
Battle Abbey was established by William The Conqueror and the alter of the abbey's church was placed at the spot where King Harold fell. The gatehouse and surrounding walls are largely intact, but the abbey itself is riuned. You can take a self guided audio tour of the battle site, which is quite interesting.
Well folks, this inauspicious looking field is actually the scene of a pivotal point in British history. This field is the site of The Battle Of Hastings and it's not actually in Hastings, it's in a small town nearby called Battle. (Guess how the town got it's name :-))
On this site King Harold got one in the eye from William of Normady in the last successful invasion of British soil. The year was 1066.
The entry ticket we bought for the inside of the Royal Paviljoen, was also valid for a visit of Preston Manor.
This old Manor House evokes the atmosphere of an Edwardian gentry home, both upstairs and downstairs
Preston Manor is situated 2 miles north of Brighton on the A23
I notice this Synagogue one of the days when I passed by, good to see that here they do not burn them as so often ‘they’ did in mainland Europe.
This was built in 1350 and used as a defence from invaders coming from the sea. It has been used as a jail and now houses the Rye Museum.
A 12th century parish church that houses one of the oldest functioning clocks in England. (More info to come)
This is the Parish Church in Rye, with a particularly ornate clock. It is set down a narrow alley, of which there are many in Rye, criss-crossing the town.
There are some good pubs in Battle, and the 1066 is one of them. Right in the centre of town by th Abbey gate, it serves great food and beer.
Go for a walk along the coast.
Photo: Coastline somewhere between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton
When in the Sussex area - try and visit Hastings, especially around the 15th October, as each year there is a battle reinactment of the Battle of Hastings that took place in 1066.
Rottingdean, Woodingdean, Ovingdean, Saltdean, Peacehaven
all these are villages on the outskirts of brighton.