Smugglers and steam trains – 1066 country in East Sussex has a long and intriguing history. Here are our favourite places to visit
The Cinque Ports A group of towns from which, by Royal Charter, the monarch could raise a fleet of ships for defence: Rye, Winchelsea and Hastings are the East Sussex members. www.cinqueports.org
Bateman’s (National Trust) Burwash, Etchingham. Rudyard Kipling’s former home. The editor would like to live there! Tel: (01435) 882302; www.nationaltrust.org.uk
Battle Abbey (English Heritage) Battle. Stand on the spot where Harold was slain or view the annual re-enactment of the battle each October. Tel: (01424) 775705; www.english-heritage.org.uk
Blue Dolphin Fish Bar, 61b High Street, Hastings. Some of the best fish and chips on the south-east coast, best eaten on The Stade beach over the road. Tel: (01424) 425778.
Hastings Shipwreck & Coastal Heritage Centre, Hastings. Maritime history told through exhibits and tours through the ‘maritime park’ at low tide. Tel: (01424) 437452; www.shipwreck-heritage.org.uk
Herstmonceux Castle & Observatory, Hailsham. History and science packed together in beautiful surroundings.Tel: (01323) 834457;www.herstmonceux-castle.com
Jeakes House (5-star), Mermaid Street, Rye. Luxurious guest house in a 16th-century building on Rye’s most famous street. Tel: (01797) 222828, www.jeakeshouse.com
Kent & Sussex Steam Railway. Steam from Tenterden to Bodiam stations, through the Rother Valley. Tel: (01580) 765155; www.kesr.org.uk
Rose and Crown Burwash, Etchingham. Good food and local real ale at this pub in a pretty village: it’s the perfect spot for lunch after a visit to Kipling’s nearby home. Tel: (01435) 882600
The George at Rye (4-star), 198 High Street, Rye. Hotel with a history that dates back to 1575 and an original Georgian ballroom. Tel: (01797) 222114; www.the georgeinrye.com
The Powder Mills (3-star), Powdermill Lane, Battle. Hotel located in private grounds on the edge of the battlefield. Tel: (01424) 775511; www.powdermillshotel.com
Learn more about our kings and queens, castles and cathedrals, countryside and coastline in every issue of BRITAIN magazine!