Local Attractions

Local Attractions 2016-11-20T12:27:19+00:00
bodiam-castle

Bodiam Castle (6 miles from Claverton)

Stand at the centre of the landscape where England’s future was fought. Imagine the battle as you follow in the footsteps of King Harold and William the Conqueror. Uncover the stories of the day, all vividly brought to life in the exhibition and audio tour. Start planning your attack on the country’s most famous battlefield and abbey ruins, and experience the atmosphere for yourself.

www.english-heritage.org.uk

Hastings Old Town is a little enclave of loveliness snuggled between two hills at the far eastern end of this seaside town – it’s physically, in look and feel, quite separate from the rest of Hastings. A picturesque jumble of weather-boarded cottages, mossy-roofed townhouses and narrow ‘twittens’ (passageways), it’s home to a thriving artsy community, which feeds plenty of cafés, restaurants and independent shops selling art and antiques, upmarket homewares, flowers, artisan bread and more. Down on the seafront is The Stade, where the tall black net huts of the town’s still-working fishing fleet (the largest beach-launched fleet in Europe) abut the sleek, black-tiled Jerwood Gallery of modern art. For the best views of Old Town, take one of the two old funiculars that scoop you up the hills on either side: West Hill, topped by the ruins of the old castle erected by William I after his victory at the Battle of Hastings; or East Hill, the start of a three-mile stretch of lovely coastline that makes up Hastings County Park.
Set in the heart of an historic landscape, with spiral staircases, battlements and a portcullis, 14th century Bodiam Castle is one of Britain’s most picturesque and romantic ancient monuments. Windows where arrows were once shot, a tower that was once a look-out and ruins that were once walked upon by knights; this is a place where you can relive your childhood memories and let your imagination run riot.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodiam-castle

Once surrounded by sea, this fortified hilltop town played an important role in the defence of the south coast of England. These days, the river no longer harbours warships and is home to the local fishing fleet.

Meandering for over one and a half miles from Rye to the coast, the river forms part of the picturesque scenery visible from several vantage points in and around the citadel of Rye.

St Mary’s church tower (usually open to the public) offers the best viewpoint to show the terracotta roofs of the many timbered houses. These ancient buildings, cobbled streets and secret passages, once the haunt of smugglers and highwaymen, regularly attract film crews in search of historical settings for period productions.

Many authors, musicians, artists and celebrities have made Rye their home, a medieval haven periodically visited by Royalty. In 1573 the title “Rye Royale” was bestowed upon the town by Queen Elizabeth I after a three day stay.

The sheer concentration of living history packed into this vibrant market town makes it the ideal place to visit with plenty of charming inns, shops and restaurants.

Enjoy a family guided tour around this historic castle built by Henry VIII. Camber Castle lies between Rye and Winchelsea. The ruin of an unusually unaltered artillery fort designed to guard the port of Rye. There are monthly guided walks round Rye Harbour Nature Reserve, including the castle and local farm.
Georgian house with literary associations
Red-brick fronted house with literary associations – both Henry James and E. F. Benson lived here.
Lamb House has a walled garden, one of the largest gardens in the old town of Rye; it was designed as we see it today by a friend of Henry James called Alfred Parsons.

The Campsis still climbs the wall as it did in James’ time; there are roses, lilies, spring bulbs and many herbaceous varieties bordering the lawn which ensure continuous colour and interest throughout the year.

Also to be found in the garden are the graves of James’ much loved dogs. The garden is a tranquil contrast to the busy streets of the town in the summer and sitting beside the pond one can fully understand why James had such affection for his garden. Today the garden is a refuge for visitors and local people alike.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lamb-house

Jacobean house, home of Rudyard Kipling
‘That’s She! The Only She! Make an honest woman of her – quick!’ was how Rudyard Kipling and his wife, Carrie, felt the first time they saw Bateman’s.

Surrounded by the wooded landscape of the Sussex Weald, this 17th-century house, with its mullioned windows and oak beams, provided a much needed sanctuary to this world-famous writer.

The rooms, described by him as ‘untouched and unfaked’, remain much as he left them, with oriental rugs and artefacts reflecting his strong association with the East. Kim was his first major piece of writing that he wrote from his study at Bateman’s which links him and his fond childhood memories to India with real clarity and devotion, truly a master piece of decriptive writing. Kipling was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1907.

Bateman’s is very much a family home that feels as though the Kiplings have just gone out for the day.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/batemans

Ellen Terry’s early 16th-century house and cottage
Built in the early 16th-century when Smallhythe was a thriving shipbuilding port, Smallhythe Place was purchased by renowned Victorian actress Ellen Terry in 1899.

Her daughter Edith Craig set up the museum in 1929 which is home to a fascinating personal and theatrical collection which highlights Ellen Terry’s extraordinary career and unconventional personal life.

Smallhythe Place includes a cottage garden and a charming 17th-century thatched Barn Theatre which provides an opportunity to attend a show with a regular programme of talks and shows.

On your visit, take a look at our information on the shipbuilding in the area and be sure to speak to our knowledgeable guides who can tell you more about the colourful history.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/smallhythe-place

With a history stretching back over 16 centuries, Pevensey Castle chronicles more graphically than any other fortress the story of Britain’s south coast defences.

www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/pevensey-castle/

Country house, romantic garden, 14th century moated castle – all in a beautiful wooded estate
Relax in our picturesque garden with the glorious backdrop of our fairytale castle. Venture into the wonderful woodland and parkland with over 770 acres to explore. Discover the delights of our Victorian country mansion with its secrets and stories; you might meet our much loved cat in residence ‘Puss Puss’.

Enjoy a delicious meal in our tea-room or bring your own food along to eat in our newly created woodland picnic area. Your day would not be complete without a visit to our shop, where you will find tasty local produce including our very own Scotney bitter and yummy honey made from our busy bees.

The estate is open all year, offering a variety of walks through our beautiful parkland, woodland and Hop farm.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/scotney-castle

Historic, poetic, iconic; a refuge dedicated to beauty. Vita Sackville-West and Harold Nicolson fell in love with Sissinghurst Castle and created a world renowned garden.
Vita Sackville-West, the poet and writer, began transforming Sissinghurst Castle in the 1930s with her diplomat and author husband, Harold Nicolson. Harold’s architectural planning of the garden rooms, and the colourful, abundant planting in the gardens by Vita, reflect the romance and intimacy of her poems and writings.

Sissinghurst Castle Garden was the backdrop for a diverse history; from the astonishing time as a prison in the 1700s, to being a home to the women’s land army. It was also a family home to some fascinating people who lived here or came to stay. We’ve undertaken research this winter to find out more about Vita and Harold’s original design and we are taking steps to recapture the vision that they had. Keep an eye out for changes we are making around the garden this year. Don’t miss the vast panoramic views from the top of the Tower, the working farm and the 450-acre wider estate.

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/sissinghurst-castle-garden