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“Conquering History”

Battle Abbey and Battlefield
Ranked #1 of 15 things to do in Battle
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Stand at the centre of where England's future was fought. Imagine and discover the stories unfold, brought to life in the exhibition and in audio as you follow the footsteps of the Norman & Saxon soldiers. Watch the compelling film about the Norman invasion, then plan your own attack on the country's most famous battlefield. See the new wood carved sculpture trail around the battlefield, experience the stunning 360 views from the new rooftop viewing platforms, and take your time to explore the monastic ruins. For kids we now also have a new kids natural play area, and a fun kids trail. Make sure you experience the atmosphere for yourself.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We arrived at Battle Abbey as members of English Heritage, and were met with a pleasant surprise, car parking for members was only £1 for the visit. Staff were friendly and helpful and informative, It was a bitterly cold day around freezing and the easter egg hunt kept my son active. The battlefield walk was closed due to very muddy and waterlogged conditions but we were told about this when we arrived, but still had a good walk. The cafe served wonderful apple and chocolate cakes and not expensive rip off tourist prices, we will return especially as we dont have to pay.

Thank Mike L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"audio guide"
in 187 reviews
"english heritage"
in 202 reviews
"king harold"
in 52 reviews
"re enactment"
in 35 reviews
"information boards"
in 58 reviews
"car park"
in 93 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 95 reviews
"short film"
in 36 reviews
"longer walk"
in 16 reviews
"non members"
in 17 reviews
"walled garden"
in 24 reviews
"david starkey"
in 18 reviews
"free audio"
in 18 reviews
"interesting place to visit"
in 16 reviews
"gift shop"
in 45 reviews
"enjoyable visit"
in 16 reviews
"entry fee"
in 16 reviews

1,314 - 1,318 of 1,561 reviews

Reviewed April 8, 2013

If you like medieval monasteries, this is the site. If you like watching well-produced 15-minute videos about medieval battles, check out the visitor centre. If you want to hold the sword a Norman or Anglo-Saxon would have wielded, ditto. And if you want to visit a very nice gift shop (I bought some mead), it is also worth stopping. What I would stress, however, is that the experience of the battle -- 5,000-odd Normans matched up against an equal number of Saxons, contesting the future of England -- is not really provided here. As with some other reviewers, we came on a day when the full battlefield site was closed. But even if it had been open, it's not clear to me how much of a sense we could have got for the battle. It is very hard to understand where exactly what part of the fighting took place. I think English Heritage have missed an opportunity to make the experience more interactive, with a sense of the timelines and locations. That said, this is clearly one of the crucial sites of English history, and what you get here is clear and respectful to the tradition, with a relatively decent price. And, frankly, Battle has a monopoly as the one site of Normans vs Saxons -- if you're in the area, you have to visit!

Thank Biglondontraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2013

I'm not sure why English Heritage charge full price for this attraction when most of the Battlefield Trail is closed off to visitors. That doesn't seem fair since you're not getting what you pay for - the full battlefield experience. Annoyingly, we were pounced on as soon as we walked in by some woman who wanted to sell us English Heritage membership. £48 a year and we wouldn't have to pay entry for the battlefields. How about you take some of that money and the entrance fees collected from unsuspecting tourists who arrive without knowing about the closure and put that towards improving and weather proofing the trails instead of irritating me with your unwanted sales pitch? She then thrust the membership brochure into my already full hands, and told us to think about becoming members while we view the attraction. I had to hold this stupid brochure, my cycling helmet, the map and audio guide when I didn't want what she was selling in the first place and she wouldn't take no for an answer. And I couldn't throw it away as she wanted it back before we left! Is this reaaaallllly necessary before you even pay entrance fee??

On the positive side, the audio guide is very good and so is the visitor centre (despite the touch screens not working properly), and of course the grounds and abbey ruins are stunning. Just wish it had been entirely accessible when we visited as I doubt we'd go back again.

Thank Perpglo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

I absolutely loved this place, I really 'felt' a sense of history here. A very interesting couple of hours, I actually thought the £7.80 entry fee was well worth it. Take a free audio guide and a pair of good walking shoes to explore the (often muddy) battlefield, I believe you will really get a sense of perspective from the bottom of the battlefield looking up (the Norman position) and vice versa. I really learnt a lot about the logistics of the day of the battle, far more than I ever learned in school, the remains of the Abbey are well worth a look, the audio guide is excellent and the gift shop is well stocked. Allow yourself at least two hours to immerse yourself in a day that changed British history. :)

Thank teebee1984
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 24, 2013

The sign made it very clear: the battlefield is closed to visitors. The rain had made conditions treacherous under foot. We wandered around the outside of the field where history was irrevocably changed and were forced to wonder: "Would William the Conqueror and King Harold have taken as much notice as the visitors?"
There are plenty of ruins to investigate, views across the battlefield to ponder - but the opportunity to actually stand where Norman and Saxon fought and feel the weight of history was taken away.
A pity. What's more the 1066 battle re-enactment planned for next October has already been cancelled. Are we entering a latter day Dark Age?

Thank gl8246
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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