All the current travelling restrictions are definitely a great opportunity for all of us to go for some serious exploring in the countries we live in. I've lived in London for more than 10 years but I realise that I haven't seen much of England. I've been to a few English cities but I've always wanted to visit more places – the list is actually quite long ! So a lockdown is just all it takes, 2020 here I come, I'm off for a 100% British summer holiday in a country that has a lot more to offer than people think.
Lovely view on the seafront from Hastings' West hill
A couple of weeks ago I travelled to the Southeast part of the country, in East Sussex towards Hastings. Medieval towns, historic landmark and sandy beaches...A perfect combo to spend a great extended weekend out of London !
Go back in time visiting Battle Abbey
If you're after some historical sightseeing from the Middle Ages you should definitely stop to Battle on your way to Hastings. This is where King Harolds was defeated by French Duke William of Normandy (aka William the Conqueror) in 1066.
The main landmark from this quiet town is Battle Abbey which was built where the battle has supposedly taken place.
Entrance of Battle abbey
The building of this beautiful abbey was built by the Normans and ordered by the pope four years after the battle for the loss of life incurred.
The magnificent Novices' room at the Battle abbey
How to get there ?
Most trains going from London (Charing Cross, Victoria or London Bridge) to Hastings stop at Battle. The journey takes just under 90 minutes.
If you want to get there from Hastings the train journey only takes 15 minutes.
Eat seafood in Hastings Old Town
Hastings definitely has this nice holiday feel that many coastal towns lack of in this part of the country. I was pleasantly surprised by Hastings as I didn't have high expectation prior to this visit.
It's definitely worth walking around the city, the seafront and its incredibly wide Victorian pier.
Chilling time on the pier in Hastings
But the most charming part of Hasting is definitely the Old Town located between two imposing cliffs. Once you're tired of walking definitely treat yourself with this amazing seafood platter:
A very special treat at Webbe's restaurant
This is served in the Old Town at Webbe's restaurant and I totally recommend it. I find that seafood is always a big let down in England but this one hit the spot. Fresh stuff, good quantity and fair price.
This platter for one costs £14.50 but you can also get it for two for £26.
How to get there ?
Jump on a train from London Charing Cross. The journey takes roughly two hours.
Wander around Rye's pittoresque streets
Charming cobbled lane in Rye
Rye is a very charming little medieval town located only a few miles away from Hastings. It has become a touristy location which attracts the crowds with its cobbled lanes and ancient Tudor buildings.
One of the city gates in Rye
Bare in mind that accommodation in Rye is ridiculously expensive so I would recommend you stay overnight in Hastings instead.
How to get there :
The train journey from Hastings to Rye is less than 20 minutes. There is a train per hour. If you travel from London: take an hourly train from Kings Cross and change in Ashford. The journey will take around 90 minutes.
Enjoy an afternoon at the beach in Camber Sand
Breathtaking sand dunes at Camber Sand
It can be difficult to find decent sandy beaches in this part of the country! This one is definitely a winner and probably the best close to London. With its undulating sand dunes Camber Sand is the perfect spot to relax on the beach or go for a swim before low tide.
How to get there ?
Rye and Camber Sand make a really nice combo has they are located very near each other. If you rely on public transport you can easily reach the beach by bus (number 100 or 101) from Rye train station. It should take you under 20 minutes to get there.