Battles and Bonfires in 1066 Country

Battles and Bonfires in 1066 Country

Battle, East Sussex is the heart of 1066 country and every year in October there’s one hell of a fight. We’re invaded by Normans and there’s a big hoo-ha on the battleground behind the Abbey. This year the invasion is going to be even bigger because it’s the 950th anniversary of The Battle of Hastings.

Despite the name, the clash between the Saxons and the Normans didn’t actually happen in Hastings. It took place six miles away in Battle. Yes, our town ended up being named after the famous spat that took place there in 1066. Battle Abbey was built by William the Conqueror after the conflict as penance for the blood spilled on the battlefield. It dominates the High Street and the grounds are the meeting point for the annual re-enactment clash of the Saxons versus the Normans.

Battle Abbey in East Sussex

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Rathfinny Wine Estate – Home of Sussex Sparkling

Rathfinny Wine Estate – Home of Sussex Sparkling

Rathfinny Wine Estate and Sussex Sparkling. If you’ve not heard of them yet you soon will because Sussex is the future of English wine production. With award-winning wines spilling out of the county it won’t be long before you’ll be toasting your celebrations with a glass or two of Sussex Sparkling. Rathfinny, near Alfriston in East Sussex, is the state-of-the-art vineyard that’s on course to become England’s largest single-site vineyard. I dropped by to find out what all the fizz and the fuss is about.

rathfinny-wine-estate

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Flavours of Sicily Cookbook – A Giveaway

Flavours of Sicily Cookbook – A Giveaway

* COMPETITION ENDED *

Congratulations to winner Lucy Dodsworth. If you didn’t win and you’d like to buy a copy here’s the link: Flavours of Sicily

It’s giveaway time on The Travelbunny this week. I’ve teamed up with publishers Ryland, Peters and Small to offer one lucky reader a copy of Flavours of Sicily by Ursula Ferrigno. Dipping into this colourful book has had me drooling over the fresh and vibrant recipes from Sicily, the little Mediterranean island which has a long-standing love affair with food.

Flavours-of-Sicily-cookbook

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A Weekend Break in Rye, East Sussex

A Weekend Break in Rye, East Sussex

Rye, in East Sussex, is one of those pretty little market towns that time seems to have passed by. Nestled between green rolling hills and the English Channel the Cinque Port town is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in England. Higgledy-piggledy half-timbered houses line a muddle of steep cobbled lanes, beach walks and ancient inns make Rye the perfect place for a chilled weekend break.

Mermaid-Street-Rye

Mermaid Street

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Six Cool and Quirky Things to do in Amsterdam

Six Cool and Quirky Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has more than its fair share of culture, art and history. The Van Gogh museum and Rijksmuseum are filled with 800 years of dutch art and history whereas Anne Frank’s House tells a dark, more recent story. The city has a risque reputation with it’s Red Light District, coffee shops and a faint waft of cannabis hanging in the air. A UNESCO ancient canal system lined with leafy trees and pretty gabled houses is perfect for a wander with plenty of cafes and bars to stop at along the way. But what if you’re cultured out, coffee shop weary and can’t face another Stroopwafel? I’ve put together a list of six cool and quirky things to do in Amsterdam.

Bicycles, Amsterdam

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Visiting English Lavender Fields

Visiting English Lavender Fields

The lavender fields of Provence have been calling me ever since I clapped eyes on a gorgeous photo on Pinterest. Row upon row of plump purple haze paled into the horizon on a misty summer’s dawn. I was instantly enchanted and knew I’d have to see them for myself one day.

english-lavender-fields

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A Douro Valley Steam Train Journey

A Douro Valley Steam Train Journey

If you’ve been to Porto in Portugal you’ll probably have paid a visit to some of the port caves for a port tasting session. Here you’ll learn that the grapes are grown in a region called the Douro Valley. I did just that, and after falling a little bit in love with Porto, and its wines and port, I was keen to take a closer look at the area where the grapes are cultivated before they’re transformed into port and wine. What better way to discover the region than by Douro Valley steam train followed by a boat trip – which is exactly how the barrels were originally transported to Vila Nova de Gaia for ageing in the port caves.

douro-valley-steam-train-portugal

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An Isle of Man Weekend Getaway

A UK weekend away is a great way to take a break without travelling too far from home. If you take a trip across the water and visit one of Britain’s islands then it sort of feels like you’ve gone overseas anyway. My first Isle of Man weekend getaway this month showed me that this little island in the Irish Sea is the perfect destination for a UK break – and it’s not just for TT motorbike petrol heads.

calf-sound-iom

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